Dear Stephen,
I have been on the protocol for almost 3 months now and it seems that the lyme has been under control for a few weeks now. I am taking full dose of knotweed, andrographis, smilax, cat’s claw, stephania, and teasel root. I have been on the maximum dose for 7 weeks now. Is there any report that one of these herbs or all together might cause tinnitus or exacerbate an existing issue? Thanks for letting me know what you think.
Stephen’s response:
Tinnitus is a common problem with lyme and some of the coinfections. I don’t know of a specific tinnitus side effect from the herbs but you might begin lowering the andrographis levels and see if it helps. I don’t usually recommend smilax any longer as I didn’t find it to be very effective in the long run.

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. Marc Verhoeven

    For me, the knotweed causes more tinnitus, when taken in high dose. (I take 15-25 grams in decoction).

  2. Jimmie smith

    How can I get rid of tinitis from lymes ? Do you know which lyme infection it comes from?

  3. Gloia Mallet

    I have been diagnosed with Menieres. Do you have any treatment suggestions?
    Thank you.

  4. TaiTai

    Tinnitus is a difficult to treat symptom. It can happen because of blood-vessel changes but also from nerve irritation. If it is the bloodflow, Ginkgo or Gotu Kola will help.

    Because Lyme spirochetes are so difficult to eradicate, using antispirochetal herbs might cause the spirochetes to die and become active. This can cause inflammation of the nerve and cause nerve-pain and tinnitus. Andrographis and Japanese Knotweed caused both of these.

    Doxycycline seemed to get rid of the nerve pain and tinnitus but also drives the spirochetes into deep tissues and different morphological forms. Because andrographis doesn’t make the spirochetes revert they become agressive and irritated. This will cause all kinds of disturbing symptoms. It will take 3-4 months in my experience to become less of a problem.

    If it doesn’t, ginkgo or gotu kola can be a great asset. Just my 2 cents on this. Hope it makes sense.

  5. Jim

    I have had tinnitus for a few years and only recently found out it was common with Lyme. So I got a new lyme test that was mostly negative but somehow declared that I had been exposed to BB. Now I don’t know what to do. I don’t think I have been bitten by a tick.

  6. Alfonso Aquino

    Do u still have tinnitus?

  7. gloria

    i started Japanese knotweed and cat’s claw 3 weeks ago and noticed I’ve been hearing my heart beat loudy in both ears.. even when i’m quiet.. meditating or sleeping.. i’m taking 2 knotweed 500 mg capsules and 1 cats claw .. wondering if I should keep going at it.. ramping up or just keep italic this or drop down to 1 knotweed a day?

  8. cg

    no more tinnitus finally, just hear emf nonstop unless I go to the country, so damn annoying!

  9. JB

    magnesium….glysinate taurate.. even citrate just pour it in bath water and soak. get magnesium oil and spray and leave on body.
    Plus a strange thing to do is soak your feet in 2 Tablespoons of TSP phosphate powder used for cleaning (hardware store) and you want the one with phosphate. Soak 3 times a week for 10 mins … the other thing I did was potassium chloride pellets for water softners I put a handful of pellets in bath water and along with magnesium.
    and as much as you can drink distilled water with a little sea salt. I had lymes, I did teasel with so many other things along with what suggestions I just gave you. I no longer ache nor have fever I do have itchy spots that are coming from inside me I take a dull but still with edge knife and scrap along the area little tiny hard lumps will come out I think it is eggs. I am totally relieved and feel I am on the mend…Good health to you

  10. Chris

    Wondering when someone else would realize its the EMF from cell towers and cell phones, and more.

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