Dear Stephen,
My daughter was diagnosed at 18 months with JIA and then we had a positive lyme result through DNA testing. She was on a mixture of antibotics and herbals for 8 months and seemed to be in full remission for a year after treatment ended. She has recently experienced a flare-up of her arthritis, her SED rate is up and she is actually positive for lyme now. Do you have any specific recomendations for a young child with persistent lyme arthritis (knee, elbow, foot/ankle and toe)?
Stephen’s response:
The first thing to know is that nearly all children spontaneously resolve lyme within 18 months or so and their symptoms are usually confined to arthritic ones. It is unfortunately common, however, that lyme does come back after antibiotics. I would use teasel root to treat her to begin with and see how that works, then after a few weeks add in cat’s claw and knotweed root. The dose needs to be reduced for her weight but in this case I would use tinctures, as they are easier to work with in children. I would begin with 10 drops 3x daily of each. In juice or something. See this post on pain management for more:

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. Lenzi Hite

    My 3 year old was diagnosed with Lyme last May while living in CT. She had three Bulls eye rashes approx 27 days after being bit. She ran a fever with the rash, developed a cough and would complain of a belly ache too. Doc gave her 10 days worth of amoxicillin and sent us on our way with “we see this all the time – antibiotics take care of it.” About five months later she started complaining of belly aches a lot and occasionally her leg would hurt but not consistent enough to say there was a problem until 2 weeks ago she couldn’t walk and was limping and falling down. Now almost every night she curls up in a ball and winces in pain. She says it’s her knees and her stomach. Doc confirmed Lyme disease antibodies exist at appointment last week and tested for crohns which was negative. Her lab work indicated high sed rate and low hemoglobin. I want to start with the teasel root as you suggested to another concerned parent with a similar situation. I have your book on the way! Thank you for being the only trustworthy resource it seems!! My one question is, to nip this in the bud early on would it be suggested that my 3 year old stay on herbal therapy? I just don’t want to under treat to find out later in life she had new symptoms! Especially since symptoms can be serious…

  2. Traveler from healingwell

    I was one of those kids. I was infected at 7 yrs old, diagnosed at 44 and finally treated properly at 47. Some say that kids can clear these infections on their own, I’m here to say it’s not worth risking the child’s health to see if they will. 40 years is a horrible sentence to live out with these infections being chronic. In the few years previous to my infections, I was a very happy and healthy child. No signs that there were any health issues at all. After the age of 7, my symptoms just continued to accumulate until I could no longer work and was finally bed bound.

    I would suggest that any parent that believes their child is infected to treat the child with the full protocol and age/weight appropriate doses. Again, it’s simply not worth what that child will have to live through if they don’t clear these infections – I sure didn’t.

  3. Christina


    Could you please let me know what protocol did you followed for treating your lyme disease?

    Thank you!

  4. RM

    I agree. After watching my two children deteriorate physically and mentally from Lyme, getting psychotic and suicidal symptoms at times, I would not take the infection lightly. In fact, no infections should be taken lightly as they can all wreck havoc on the brain and body. You will set them up for a lifetime of suffering. Also keep in mind that these infections destroy their immune system, resulting in immune deficiency. With herbal and antibiotic and antiviral treatment along with Low dose naltrexone, one child is now lyme negative and the other is doing very well. We found an underlying immune deficiency in the one still battling lyme and he is improving by addressing that also. There is a high risk of mental illness if you don’t treat lyme and let it go to late stages in kids.

  5. Violetta

    Finally after year and a half of searching what was wrong with me, I diagnosed myself with Lyme and found Lyme literate provider who confirmed my diagnosis. Unfortunately meantime I got pregnant and unknowingly breastfed my newborn till the diagnosis. He saw Dr. Jones who to my great relief, said that Leo is healthy. But every time he cries too much or wakes up several times a night with screaming, I get chills worrying what can be wrong with him.
    I feed him only organic, home made foods with no gluten and raw cows milk, trying to transition him to goat’s milk only.
    Can you please let me know what medications/herbs were you giving to your children? Are they following any specific diet?
    I am very happy for you that your children are thriving! Wishing all of you lots of health. Best regards!
    Thank you for your feedback

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