Definition of chronic, late-stage and “new” tick bite

by | Jan 27, 2013 | astragalus, chronic lyme, Columns, Healing Lyme, Herbs, Lyme & Co-Infections | 5 comments

Dear Stephen,
I have read your book (THANK YOU for sharing your tremendous knowledge!) and am starting your lyme protocol. I am stumped however on some of the instructions such as “astragalus – not for chronic lyme, new tick bites only”. I was bitten by a tick 4 months ago. About 6 weeks after the bite I started experiencing heart arrhythmias, sleep issues and joint pain. I went on 10 days of doxycycline which took care of the joint pain but the heart arrhythmias and sleep issues continue unabated). I don’t remember seeing chronic, new or late-stage defined anywhere in your book (if it’s there please excuse my error and point me to the pages). What am I? What are the qualifications to be in each group. Is there something in between “new” and “chronic”. I don’t feel I belong to either of these categories. Should I be taking astragalus or not? Thanks for any guidance.

Stephen’s response:
Well, in the book, I mention that it is for early and early to mid-stage lyme, rather than late. I do talk about the distinction in the book but it is a hard one to pin down, not much medical agreement on the stages. I would go ahead and use the astragalus. Yes.

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. Tyler Buchinski

    Hi Stephen,

    I was bit 2 years ago and promptly started doxy with your protocol and a limited Cowden. Symptoms went away and I’ve continued with astragalus ever since. I got pregnant 8 months later and I’m now nursing a 7 month old. I stopped taking astragalus for about a month and have had my nausea, leg tingling and foot pain come back suddenly. I’m sure it’s hormones causing the flare. My question is do you think I should start to astragalus again or would you consider me chronic at this point even though I’ve gone a month without it. I’m going to start the dosage you recommend for nursing of knotweed and cats claw as well. I’m just not sure about the astragalus and if I should increase the dosage or eliminate.

  2. healing lyme admin

    Hi Tyler,
    As noted on our website, the Buhner Healing Lyme Q & A is no longer taking new questions. You can use the search tool as well as browse the navigation menu items to search past questions that might apply to your situation. Best, Julie

  3. Emily

    Hi Tyler,

    Im currently training in a degree in herbal medicine and treating a patient for chronic Lyme disease (with appropriate supervision!) and I couldn’t help but reach out over your question! Astragalus is contraindicated in some sources for pregnancy as harmful effects have been seen in animals models but these could have been very high amounts. I cant stress how important it is to visit a registered herbal practitioner for any herbal queries as many herbs you may have taken before may now not be suitable in your pregnancy – its always best to check plus there are always safe alternatives specifically to help balance out hormones! Wish you the best x

  4. Ruth

    My son went undiagnosed for years and is now suffering from anxiety and depression, along with muscle aches, headaches, poor sleep, brain fog etc. He also had mycoplasma pneumonia antibodies revealed in a blood test and positive for babesia. He was put on a 21 day dose of antibiotics 4-5 years after the bite and I am sure that it did nothing. I bought Gaba supplements and Rhodiola Rosea and N-Acetyl Cysteine, L-Lysine and IP6 (Inositol). I will purchase any protocol that you think will help with chronic lyme – mainly for the neurological issues. Please let me know what else I should buy.
    thank you so much.

  5. Jo Hebert

    Chronic Lyme since 2003
    Oh my – if only the Western Medical Profession knew what we go through. I have not yet tried the protocol; but am prepping to do so. What I have done that works – not to cure, but gets one’s life back close to normal: products from Professional Complementary Health Formulas. E18 specifically: PhytoLymEx. I certainly have taken other items from PCHF that help as well. I quit taking E18 for probably a year and wicked Lyme flared up recently big time. (I also have multiple co-infections verified by DNA Connexions via a urine test.) PCHF sells only to doctors/naturalpaths, etc. They have to order to get a catalog – though it is viewable on-line.
    All the Best – jjsonne

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