Will the protocol be harmful if I don’t have lyme?

by | Jul 31, 2012 | Columns, Healing Lyme, is protocol working?, The Basics | 8 comments

Dear Stephen,
I’ve had many varied symptoms for nearly 25 years. I ran across a lyme checklist last week based on the Burrascano guidelines and answered “yes” to 39 of the 46 questions. This prompted me to remember testing positive for spirochetes on a blood test 3 years ago (moved again and couldn’t follow through). I live in rural Missouri and I don’t know of any natural lyme literate practitioners around, and so I’m thinking of starting the protocol on my own. I highly respect the potency/efficacy of herbs and wonder if there would be any potential harm in doing the protocol if I don’t actually have lyme (or if I have a different kind of infection)?
Stephen’s response:
No, there is no down side to taking it if you do not have lyme or do have a different kind of infection. You should know within two months if it is helping you.

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: stephenharrodbuhner.com.

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  1. Ellen Clement

    Dr. Stephen,

    After recently (Sept.) taking Cipro for an infection I started having strange migrating aches and pains which have increased over time. I have also been exposed to ticks. I thought I was dealing with toxicity from the drug and that may be the case but I wonder if it may be lyme. Arthritic symptoms are predominant and I’ve had occasional light rashes on stomach that disappear quite fast(1/2 hour).

    I’m allergic to most antibiotics and have gone to a clinic nearby and was prescribed Serrapeptase, Banderol and Samento, Detox Factors, Zeolite along with saunas, dry skin brushing, etc. I’ve started all the detoxing and other treatments but not the antibacterials yet. Waiting for the Western Blot results although I understand even a negative test doesn’t prove anything. Because I react to antibiotics I’m concerned about the safety of the herbs which I assume haven’t been extensively tested. Can you comment on your experience with these herbs and how safe you consider them. Thanks so much for your help.

  2. Tee


    It’s very likely that Cipro is what caused your pain issues. Fluoroquinolone abx can cause a full blown syndrome (not herxing – but a long term to permanent syndrome) including tendon pain, joint pain, muscle pain, neuropathy, neuromuscular weakness, CNS issues and more. There are support groups online for victims of quinolone antibiotics just like there are support groups for lyme. Cipro has also been found to mutate white blood cells and lymphocytes in vitro – so it may not be good for your immune system. One of the more active boards is here https://www.facebook.com/groups/46690244194/

    Be well,

  3. Holli Droke


    I dont know if this is still active but here is my story….my daughter is 18 she is an intelligent overachiever hard on her self kind of kid. she was ready to leave for college when this nightmare began.
    she was very sick as a child first 6 months lived in a hospital lots of antibiotics until they figured out she had urinary reflux disease due to double ureters ,, over the years she has always had problems with tearing tendons and muscle issues. she was always on crutches or in a brace or a wheelchair every year. she also has forward head motion( dowager hump)
    Forward to now…
    Dec she had a rash on her thigh dr thought it was fungal gave her a cream never thought about it again ..Jan she had 3 more rashes on her thighs had a biopsy done they said it was drug induced( she was not on ANY drugs ) or had been sick prior to Jan.
    Jan she was having an anxiety attack and couldn’t breath, 2 hospitals later they realized that she had a pneumomediastinum. no idea how it happened and she had a headache so bad ( not a migraine) they kept her sedated for the pain. They sent her home when she could breath and the air was cleared but the neurologist never showed up..
    went to a neurosurgeon who diagnosed her with Occipital Neuralgia gave her nerve blocker shots helped a little but not for long.
    She was dealing with the headache, we went to a Dr -they put her on Zoloft for anxiety and possible Fibro ( as that is what every says you have when they have no ideas)and we had her tested for Lyme because of the rash. Western blot had only band 41 pos .
    she was determined and managed to gradute HS cum lade and then in June had wrist pain next day elbow by the end of the week she was bedridden in screaming pain in every joint of her body. went to Neuro said he had no idea we should see a rheumatologist, went back to Dr that specialized in Fibro and lyme… he did tests that showed she had 13X mycoplasma than normal and started her on the Lyme PROTOCOL of heavy antibiotics.
    Then the neuro put her in the hospital to do a spinal tap and while we were there we saw every specialist in a 2 week period and they even sent her to the <ayo clinic. Still no answers.11 weeks the kid is still in pain she walks to the bathroom as she refuses to wear a Diaper, we have put her on strict diet lots of kangen water too. nothing touches the pain ( except for marijuana) I am on all kind of FB pages and totally confused as to what protocol as I still have no idea what is wrong with her. I took her off all ABX right now and thought I would just detox her and build up immune for a few weeks ..I have 20 pages of test results and these are the only ones out of normal range:

    .**Her B-6 is off the charts 190.3 ( normal range is 0-20) from my research I now believe she may have the MTHFR gene mutation which would explain many other things!
    ** Mycoplasma antibody IGG is 2.91 it was 10 times higher 10 weeks ago.
    ** Mycoplasma IGM is fine 276.
    ** HSV1 IGG 1.96 Positive but HSV2 IGG is negative
    ** Herpesvirus6 IGG positive
    ** Absolute Eosinophils( i have no idea what this is ) is very high at 1056 -norm range is 15-500
    ** and last but not least her adrenals are not working at all!! no cortisol being made at all!!!
    we are redoing the B6 and cortisol just to make sure

    she was on the following over the last 11 weeks
    Minocyclin, Flagyl, NAC, Zoloft, gabapentin, neuromag, probiotic, celebrex, CoQ10 , curcumim, valaclovin…new dr added the following 3 days ago: Detox powder cleanse, D3 10,000iu, Vit C 3,000MG day, IV therapy with DMSO and vitamo=ins, Electrolytes drops for her water. There has been no improvement. the other symptoms she has are a lot of hot flashes, dizziness and of course fatigue. it doesnt hurt to touch her but cant grab her or help her. I have just asked for a bunch of new tests and also awaiting 23andme result. Thank you so much for your time and help.

  4. Jacqueline

    Hi Holli, so sorry to hear about your daughter’s pain and suffering and the frustration of no one being able to help you understand what is going on. Check out Anthony Williams “Medical Medium.” Be prepared to have an open mind. He’s a medical intuitive who specializes precisely in these autoimmune ‘mystery illnesses’ that no one seems to be able to figure out, and he’s saying the underlying cause is indeed viral. He has helped thousands of suffering people (though it’s hardly possible to visit with him in person as he has something like a 15k person waiting list)- but he has two books out and a radio show- you can look his name up on SoundCloud and listen to his shows for free. Completely different understanding and approach, and potentially transformative (if you can be open minded and patient, but since doctors aren’t helping much in your case, might as well give it a try). I hope your daughter fully recovers!

  5. Donne'

    how is your daughter Holly

  6. Margaret

    Have you looked into Ehlers Danlos syndrome? It is a connective tissue disorder (there are several different types). It is caused by a gene which causes collagen to be made improperly. This results in tendons tearing easily and not healing correctly. Ciprofloxacin family antibiotics can be horribly painful and destructive. It doesn’t mean she doesn’t have other problems, infection etc., but boy can it really mess things up and be hard to categorize as collagen is in everything. Common problems are joints, heart, lungs, skin. It’s a hard road, but knowledge is so helpful.

  7. Katherine

    How long should someone remain on protocol after all symptoms are gone? Have been using your protocol now for over 3 years and ‘feel symptom free’. Should I take something forever or stop? I have found a few herbal stores that carry different mixtures that you recommend.
    Thank you in advance and also thank you for helping me, you’re a lifesaver.

  8. John

    Hello Katherine it’s awesome that you are symptom free! Just curious, how long do you think you had Lyme disease before you started on the protocol? I was bit 2.5 months ago and went right on the protocol after 2 month . Awaiting Vibrant America test results but wanted to get started right away. The few symptoms I had are almost already gone which is great, was wodering if you started the protocol early as soon as you found out you had Lyme. Thanks again for sharing your story!

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