Dear Stephen,
I have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, mild rheumatoid arthritis, and high levels of NK killer cells. I have been advised by an herbalist not to use astragalus as it seems that I am Th-1 dominant and that astragalus stimulates Th-1 activity (I have not been able to get pregnant/or hold a pregnancy because of my overactive immune system). I live in a lyme endemic area and am looking for a good preventative. I tested positive for band 23 on IGM Lyme western blot. I have never been symptomatic but feel like I most certainly have been exposed to lyme as I am a professional gardener. Could my overactive Th-1 response have kept the spirochetes at bay? Your book is so intelligently written…Thank you, for all of your work!!!
Stephen’s response:
A high Th-1 immune system does seem to help prevent infection and at the least help prevent severe infection if an infection occurs. I would suggest using cat’s claw daily since you are in an endemic area.

  • Stephen Harrod Buhner

    Stephen Harrod Buhner was an Earth poet and an award-winning author of twenty-four books on nature, indigenous cultures, the environment, and herbal medicine including the acclaimed book Healing Lyme: Natural Healing & Prevention of Lyme Borreliosis & Its Co-infections.

    Stephen came from a long line of healers including Leroy Burney, Surgeon General of the United States under Eisenhower and Kennedy, and Elizabeth Lusterheide, a midwife and herbalist who worked in rural Indiana in the early nineteenth century. The greatest influence on his work, however, was his great-grandfather C.G. Harrod who primarily used botanical medicines, also in rural Indiana, when he began his work as a physician in 1911.

    Stephen’s work has appeared or been profiled in publications throughout North America and Europe including Common Boundary, Apotheosis, Shaman’s Drum, The New York Times, CNN, and Good Morning America. Stephen lectured yearly throughout the United States on herbal medicine, the sacredness of plants, the intelligence of Nature, and the states of mind necessary for successful habitation of Earth.

    He was a tireless advocate for the reincorporation of the exploratory artist, independent scholar, amateur naturalist, and citizen scientist in American society – especially as a counterweight to the influence of corporate science and technology.

This protocol was incredible. After only a few weeks most of my symptoms were gone. After six months all my symptoms were gone… it has given me my life back.

– Amazon review by Joseph

Please note:

Stephen Buhner is no longer living and this Q + A column on Planet Thrive is closed to new questions. It will be kept on our website so readers can access vital information in the archives, communicate with each other in the comments section, and find herbs, books + lyme adjuncts in our directory. If you want to read more of Stephen’s writings, please see his website at:

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  1. karoliuna

    fdear stephen, what should one do if i have chronic lyme and new tick bite to which i react turbulently. what then? i wanted to start protocol and then i got this new bite, also tested positiv with with ureaplasma, garganella, klebsiella and yersinia and ehrlichia. i also am positiv with HLA B27 and while starting to take cats claw i had such a severe joint reaction that i had to stop talkin iut ( im blood gruop 0 rh- nd it seems that cats claw boosts immune system and it may attack my cells as well or its not possible and it was only attacking spurochetes?? this is really inportant to me) .
    so what if soneone has chronic not cured lyme and new bites ? what then, thats a pity chrinics cant take astragalus for even prevention and new bites, as i assume but id be terrified if You, dear Stephen, somneday saw this question, since its impossible now to add new questions:(.

  2. theo

    Why Astragalus cannot be used for chronicle lyme? Thanks

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