Torso tightness after unknown insect bite in Ecuador

by | Feb 7, 2013 | Columns, Healing Lyme, muscle/skeletal/joint, Symptoms | 0 comments

Dear Stephen,
I was bitten by an unknown insect in Ecuador last summer, which caused me to lose 40 pounds in less than a month, made walking almost impossible and caused my entire torso to become so tight I couldn’t breathe. At first, the torso skin (front, sides, back) burned terribly. I was diagnosed with 2 types of lyme (burgdorferi and hermsii) for which I received 42 days straight IV ceftriaxone, freshly mixed, after which I was able to walk and breathe and I’ve now regained the weight AND antibodies have dropped dramatically. BUT a very uncomfortable torso tightness remains. I’m not sure if this tightness is lyme related but it’s definitely associated with the Ecuador insect bite. Other than this, I’m doing well – but BOY is the tightness uncomfortable!! It feels as if there’s scar tissue under the entire ribcage — front, sides, back. Any recommendations?? I would be MOST grateful….Thank you for what you’re doing!!


Stephen’s response:
As a first approach, try skunk cabbage root tincture. I prefer the western variety but have not found a reliable supplier yet. This is the eastern. Try 10 drops each hour for three or four days and see if it helps.

I also think that pedicularis tincture could be of use: see Take ¼ tsp 3-6x daily (NOTE: I have used up to ½ ounce of this at a time, it is very safe in large doses, and is a very good muscle relaxant).

Motherwort could also be good: same dosage range as that of pedicularis.


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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