Dear Stephen,
Since I was diagonalized with lyme, my WBC has been low but usually in the mid 3 (3.5) range. Before I started your protocol my WBC was 2.7. My labs just came back on my WBC at 2.2, my neutrophils are 0.7. My doctor got so concerned that she referred me to a hematologist (still waiting for an appointment). I am very worried myself, I wonder if there are any herbs from the protocol that may cause my WBC to keep dropping? I started the protocol 3 months ago. Are there any herbs I can take to increase my WBC? Currently I am taking Japanese knotweed, cat’s claw. andrographis, eleuthero, cordyceps, scutellaria, hawthorn berry, ashwanganda, sida acuta, cryptolepis, teasel root, red root, and I just added smilax (after the WBC test).

Stephen’s response:
I haven’t heard of any of those herbs causing drops in WBC count, in fact a number of them should actually be raising WBC count (eleuthero, cat’s claw, cordyceps, andrographis, ashwagandha, red root). You can, however, try adding two herbs to see if you can get the WBC levels up. Ligustrum and Echinacea angustifolia (NOTE: DO NOT USE PURPUREA, it is useless for this the way it is prepared in the US).
Ligustrum tincture: ¼ tsp 3x daily (you can purchase from
Echinacea angustifolia tincture: 1 tsp 3x daily (you can purchase from
Take these for two weeks and get retested, the count should be up.

  • 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. Becky

    I’ve been taking Cat’s Claw, Andrographis and JK and my Neutrophils are high for the first time. Is this suppose to happen?

  2. Joan

    in 2015 I had a knee replacement with complications. As of 2017 I have had 2 revisions and 2 surgeries which took my knee out. I am waiting for a 5/6 surgery to put a knee in now. Very iffy if this will get me walking again. I was diagnosed with Q Fever. I have been on 3 types of antibiotics and each one creates terrible itching, dry heaving, chills and night sweats. Even the infectious disease doctor said I have a rare bacteria and very little will help me. I am a unknown/how to fix patient. Now what? needless to say I am not only a physical but a mental and depressed women. I tried many Eastern meds and Western meds and much pain. I use a walker and do very little outside of the house.

  3. Katie

    Hiya Joan. How are you doing now? Did you get your knee and is the Q fever gone? Should be with doxy. Doxy can make you throw up. If you have some crackers or something light and then take your doxy and follow it with a few more crackers, that should help. Do not lie down for at least an hour after taking the doxy because it can literally burn a hole in your esophagus. Hope you’re better!

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