Dear Stephen,
I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia about 7 years ago. Then rheumatoid arthritis about 3 years ago. My CRP (C-Reactive Protein) is almost always elevated but my RF (Rheumatoid Factor) is negative. I’m sick and tired of taking toxic drugs so I have turned to the holistic approach. I was told by the health food specialist that I have lyme disease. I haven’t had any blood test that confirms lyme, however, I have been in pain and fatigued since I was 17 and I’m now 42. I’m taking two tinctures 3 times a day. One consist of Cretan Rock rose, turmeric, and teasel root. The other is Chinese smilax, Japanese knotweed, motherwort, violet leaf, celandine, white willow, and lesser periwinkle. I have been taking it for about a week. I really haven’t noticed much change yet. Should these tinctures help me if I don’t truly have lyme? I am so desperate to get my life back and feel normal again. It has been very hard to function daily with bilateral shoulder pain and my right shoulder has corrosion from inflammation. If you have any suggestions it would be much appreciated. Thank you!

Stephen’s response:
Unfortunately, diagnosing the lyme group of infections is generally difficult. Because the infections cause symptoms that are also caused by numerous other conditions, off-the-cuff diagnoses are common. These herbs won’t hurt. However, if I were you (and I have suffered with those particular conditions in prior years) I would begin with the chronic fatigue formulation in the second edition of the Healing Lyme book (also available in modified form from Dry Creek Herbs in CA). I would use the formulation in the book with the addition of devil’s claw powder (2 parts, as per the recipe in the book). It does contain turmeric as well. In general, take it at night before bed, 1/8 cup or a bit more (I tend to take ¼ cup daily). This can usually help fatigue and those conditions. Continuing to take knotweed root might also be helpful as it is exceptionally good at reducing inflammation in the body. In general, a week is not enough to see benefits, usually 2 weeks to 6 weeks is common.

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:

You May Also Like …

Natural solutions for PMS

Natural solutions for PMS

Dear Susun, Is there something natural that would help with severe pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS)? I’m completely done with trying antidepressants. But I still suffer and could really use some help.

read more


Dear Susun, Have you ever worked with adhesions? I have them all throughout my abdominal/pelvic area, esophagus, diaphragm, ribs, and lungs.

read more


  1. Micki Pekluso

    Dear Stephen,
    I am at the point of being bedridden from Chronic long term lyme. This happened because It is in my central nervous system and goes for my heart causing afib and heart failure and MS symptoms. I cannot use antibiotics anymore due to drug interactions and I can’t use cat’s claw due to low blood pressure from said drugs. I have Japanese Knotwood and am scared to use it due to blood thinning interactions with my wayfarin. I also have andrographis which may cause afib at high doses. I take young shoot plant stem cells and that even causes a herx. Isn’t there any potent lyme killer that won’t interact with the wayfarin. Some of the others on the protocol thicken the blood so I could try to balance them but it is scary. I am truly going to die from this soon and all the healing herbs are right at my disposal.I have both editions of ‘Healing Lyme.’I know the core protocol by heart.
    Thank you for your time,

    Micki Peluso

  2. healing lyme admin

    Dear Micki,
    The Buhner Q & A column is now closed to new questions. You can try emailing Stephen directly at He sometimes answers emails but receives so many, there is no guarantee. You can also try asking on the Buhner Healing Lyme Facebook group which he is a member of, and tag him to see if he responds. Best wishes, Julie

  3. Andy Hedges

    Hi Stephen,
    I have LB
    and have been doing your core protocol from your 1st edition book (resveratrol, andrographis, cats claw and smilax along with eleuthero) slowly building up to the full on 60 day protocol 3-4 tabs 4 x daily. I have been on antibiotics for the past 7 months (5 months of continual doxycycline and azithromycin + Plaquenil and also Artesunate 4 days on 3 days off). For the past 2 months I have been taking pulsed antibiotics (tetracycline, doxycycline and minocycline)alongside.
    I am now due to start reducing the herbals as per your protocol, but am not feeling any benefit at all at this stage.
    My doctor has asked me to do a repeat test for LB but I have to come off the herbals for 7 days prior.
    My question is:-
    When i go back to taking the herbals after the 7 day break, do you recommend going straight back in to taking the current dose of herbals or should I start slowly building them back up again.
    Also, what would you now recommend as a maintenance dose and for how long should I continue to take them?

  4. Debbie

    Hi Micki, I like you am on blood thinner and blood pressure meds but I am desperate as I can no longer bear the pain or inability to have some normalcy. I am going to seriously begin the protocol again. Finances had prohibited me the first time. If I have any results positive or negative I will be happy to share them. Blessings

  5. Jezebel O'Rourke

    Hi Andy, not an expert but I can tell you from reading other people’s experiences that you should slowly work back up to the full dosage instead of going straight back to the full dosage.

  6. patricia Stroman-Brown

    Are you familiar with any herbals that can downregulate or stop IL-6, anti-ccp antibodies, or to lower IgG subclass one?

  7. Keith

    Hi Micki,
    I think I replied to you maybe 6 months ago. I make a boron-rich trailmix out of raisins, filbert nuts, dates, almonds, and peanuts. You can add any other nuts you like. Roughly equal prtions of each article. Why these? They are all high in Boron, which is antimicrobial. As an active man, I would eat about 2/3rds of a large peanut butter jars worth for breakfast.
    For lunch I follow that with 1/6th wedge of green cabbage, at least one small to medium sized turnip, about 2-3 inches of daikon radish root, 1or 2 leaves of kale of your choice, and about 2 carrots. Why these vegetables? Green cabbage has again, Boron, and it is part of the cruciferous vegetable family. More on this family will follow. Hippocrates called green cabbage Heal All. With a name like that, it’s gotta be good. Why the carrots? hey, you eat all the other vegetables and get them down the hatch- You Need a Reward! Plain & simple. Eat an apple too if you can. About cruciferous vegetables: they have sulfer compounds called Sulforaphanes which are highly antimicrobial. I would eat this breakfast & lunch combo 3-5 days out of 7. I ate whatever I wanted for dinner. I would have very subtle herx reactions. I’d eat this combo for these number of days per week for about 2 months and it was a good tune-up for me. Honey’s also antimicrobial with a bunch of organic acids inside it. Apples have a little bit of arsenic. You know, “an apple a day…” Just because the arsenic in minute quantities may in fact be theraputic, don’t go swallow any arsenic compound in the hardware store. Get it solely from apples- 1 or maybe 2 a day. Coconut oil is also antimicrobial with organic acids in it. The usual antibiotics for Lyme (Biaxin, doxycyclene, minocyclene, etc) have a molecular weight of about 400 to 500 while the antibiotic Flagyl only has a molecular weight of about 74; Flagyl can penetrate cycsts, the other AB’s can’t. Gee, maybe the smaller the molecular weight of the active lyme-killing agent, the better it works? This in fact seems to be the case. The salt / vitamine C therepy can work wonders, and the molecular weights of the agents here (cloride ion, vitamine c) are also small. The sulforaphane MW’s are also small. Don’t jump on the salt/C therapy without your doctor’s approval. The spices cinnamon and others look to be promising as therapys, as does baths using Borax and/or table salt. Watch out for the Iodine content of the table salt. Get sound advice before doing these, but in my humble opinion, you can’t really go wrong with the trailmix/vegetables/apples combo. Lastly, get a copy of the Bagdavita by Yogananda. He discusses and teaches how to do true yogic meditation which is very very hard to do, requiring very much focus, but the rewards are incalcuable with increased energy. ‘Hope that helps you.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

empowering the environmental illness community