Sida acuta side effects

by | Oct 19, 2016 | Columns, Healing Lyme, Herbs, miscellaneous | 32 comments

Dear Stephen,
Are there any known side effects with Sida Acuta? I added the following protocol yesterday which included: Japanese knotweed, cat’s claw and eleutherococcus (just 1 capsule 3X/day) and sida acuta (just 1/4 tsp 1x/day). Today I noticed a rash on my stomach that looked like spirochetes. I have been taking andrographis and artemisinin for a few months now. I have never had an issue, but could that be the problem now even after so much time of being with incident? I am desperate to find a protocol that helps me as most things (antibiotics) seem to make me worse. Also, if the sida acuta is okay, are there any preferred ways to take it, it is rough in water?

Stephen’s response:
I have not heard of that side effect for sida, the main thing we have seen is that sometimes the herb can make symptoms worse. Usually we suggest reducing the dose which generally takes care of it.

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. Megan Young Wiese

    Dear Stephen,
    You are giving us hope at a very difficult time. My 12 year old daughter (5’7″; 95 lbs) has apparently been suffering with lyme, babesia & bartonella for several years. The last two years have been extreme — too weak and in too much pain to attend school, etc. Two weeks ago she started Sida Acuta — 5 drops — and all symptoms intensified. This week, I tried 3 drops on an empty stomach which was too hard (especially breathing difficulty, etc), so I have given her two drops for the last two days. All symptoms are very bad. I will give one drop to her next, but I am concerned about it. Does this protocol work without Sida Acuta? How long should I push this? Since she has battled this (undiagnosed) for probably half her life, do we need a protocol that is designed for someone who has a “severe” case, not a “mild or moderate” case? Thank you very much.

  2. healing lyme admin

    Hi Megan,
    Sorry to hear your daughter is suffering so. The Buhner Healing Lyme Q & A is closed to new questions. If you search our archives, you will find that Stephen advises to cut back on dosage if symptoms are too strong after taking any of the herbs. You really need to customize to the individual. And children should get doses based on weight. Please check the dosage, children, and sensitivity sections of our site. I would start small and give after food, not an empty stomach, if she is reacting so strongly already. Better to start low and work up as her body adjusts. When you kill microorganisms they release toxins and a compromised system can have difficulty detoxifying from the die-off. You might even stop altogether for a few days until her symptoms from taking herbs subsides and then start again with a very low dose. Some are so sensitive, that even 1 drop would be too much, and you could try putting 1 drop in a small glass of water, mixing well and just giving her a sip to start. You can try emailing Stephen directly at but he does not answer many emails these days. There is a lot of info in our archives, but you need to search through past Q & As to find what you need. Please keep in mind that I am not an herbalist nor physician; my feedback is only based on running this Q & A for 10 years and seeing Stephen’s responses to hundreds of others. Blessings to your daughter and your family as you navigate her recovery.

  3. Becky

    I just noticed herbs recommended in extract form contain Glycerine sometimes. I cannot take this and I’m guessing it may be because I have systemic Candida.
    I found Sida Acuta Extract 20:1 CONCENTRATED EXTRACT POWDER on Amazon. Can anyone direct me on how much to start with and work up to if added in water?
    I have chronic Lyme and cannot wait anymore to find help as most doctors/herbalist are months out.
    Greatly appreciated!

  4. DeAnn

    I am an herbalist in Alabama and I have a good section of my pasture with lots of sida acuta. I can tincture it if anyone needs it.

  5. Stacey berg-suchin

    Hi DeAnn
    Can you send me your info?

  6. Dee

    Hi DeAnn,
    I’d love to have your contact info for Sida and other herbs you may have available!
    Feel free to text me at 607-422-6479

  7. Jennifer

    Hi DeAnn can you please call me? I am looking to purchase a months worth of sid a. I am suffering from m r s a :(

  8. robin

    Yes. I have been using the Samsara Herb Company Sida Acuta 20:1 concentrated extract powder for 15 months now for babesia. It is working for me. I started with 1/4 t. and worked up to a heaping 1/2 t. If I take too much I feel very fatigued so cut back.

  9. Angie

    Hi DeAnn!
    I’m very interested in speaking with you!
    I’d like to ask a couple questions about your products, treatment with Sida compared to Houttuynia and Japanese Knotweed tinctures to kick the remains of my Bart. I’m almost done!! ☺️
    Please message me back at your earliest convenience.

    Have a great rest of the weekend!

    Thank you!


  10. Angie

    Hi Jennifer!

    I’m sorry about your health conditions. I’m in my fifth year of treatment for #Lyme, Bart, and Babesia. The Lyme and Babs are gone, but the Bart is hanging on like a Beast Monkey. ??

    I was wondering if you had heard back from Miss DeAnn?
    I hope she was able to help you.
    Take care and enjoy the rest of your weekend!


  11. Beverly Ann Swegman

    Hello, could you please give me your information. Thank you!

    My daughter is 19 yrs old with lyme disease, it went into her heart muscle she now has bradycardia, complete heart block. Her pulse rate is between 35-53. She also has autism, ocd, and anxiety. I have been using astragalus it has worked for her anxiety but did nothing for her heart rate. I give her 1000mg daily. She had lyme now since 2016.

  12. Cory Alder

    Hi Beverly Ann

    Sorry to hear about your daughter’s suffering.

    My son is suffering from ocd and anxiety probably from lyme. Has anything helped for the ocd?

    Thank you!

  13. Candace Gebhardt

    His book says 1/2 teas 3times a day . And also says some people are hightly sensitive to this herb , if so reduce dose

  14. Man

    Please kindly guide me or help me. Could Sida Acuta be ujsed to treat staphlococus? If yes please what dosage . Thank you

  15. Antony

    Man, the short answer is “Yes”; Sida Acuta can be used on many Staphylococcus species, but it’s necessary to take it simultaneously with other herbs, the complete protocols are in Stephen’s book on Herbal Antibiotics.

  16. Sven

    I have been using the Samsara tick recovery formula. it really seems to work well but also spikes OCD symptoms. Has anyone found this to occur? Is there a specific herb in the mixture that would be causing increased OCD? I would like to keep taking it because it works wall but obviously want to eliminate any ingredients that would increase OCD. it seems to me like the Japanese knotweed and Hootuyuna would not be causing this issue. Is it possibly this sida Acuta?

  17. Sven

    Possibly inositol. may require very hi doses.
    That Samsara tick recovery formula spikes my OCD so beware of tht and other herbs.

  18. Sven

    Wow seems like Stevia may be the cause of increased psychological issues when I was taking the samsara tick recovery formula. that is frustrating because I’m assuming the stevia is in there just to make it more palatable and otherwise has no health benefits. Does anyone else agree with me on this point?

  19. Alysia

    Um why is nobody mentioning detox it’s very important the most important !! Lemon water is quick excellent way to detox so is glutathione liquid biggest difference, I take green tea capsules as well and drink green tea the matcha kind. I’ve had Lyme babesia Bartonella and mycoplasma for years without diagnosing my tests were negative except for 1 positive Lyme because I had taken years of Motrin Benadryl and numerous meds for my undiagnosed symptoms which started as a child I’m now 26. I mix side acuta and Japanese knotweed in cranberry juice and taste nothing try this. Remove bread grains rice pasta sugar and dairy from diet which causes more inflammation. Homemade soup with carrots cabbage chicken crackers almonds kefir etc. It’s my 2nd with protocol I tried only 3 drops of sida acuta and no reaction so next day up it to 6 drops. Now tried 6 drops of Japanese knotweed and notice board difference. I start with 1 herb at a time seeing that I have anaphalaxis to raw fruyts veggies all nuts u name it seafood soy wheat mold latx etc!! I’m terrified and never no what else I’m allergic too. Your daughter will have worse reacrions if not detoxing 1st. That’s why most people have this reactions all of that bacteria is built up for years and is all trying to come out at once and needs a way to detox!!

  20. Mark

    Sven, some Stevia extracts have been shown to kill Borrelia burgdorferi in all its various morphological forms, at least in the lab. see Stevia may not be well absorbed by the gut though, unsure whether sublingual absorption is better, but this extract could be a promising treatment option for lyme.

    Whenever symptoms increase when I start taking something, I assume it’s caused by increased die-off. If it gets too much I back off the dose and/or try to find a detox that helps.

  21. EP

    Re Samsara Herbs Tick Recovery, I started taking this recently (after a long time working up the nerve to start yet another protocol…) and so far so good; no bad reactions anyway. Especially re the taste, I was expecting it to be pretty rough based on comments seen here and on amazon. Strong, yes!
    But what I’ve discovered in using some other herb formulas: add cinnamon and lemon juice to tolerable (or possibly even enjoyable) taste.

    For me at least, this pair makes some pretty terrible tasting herbs entirely doable or even better. Of course this can all depend on your individual body chemistry, but just wanted to toss it out there in case it might be useful for anyone.

    For the Samsara, this is something like: 1/2 Tablespoon Samsara + ~13oz water + ~1/2 teaspoon cinnamon + ~3oz lemon juice.
    It ends up, for me, like herby lemonade.

  22. ruth kinn

    I know this is an old post but I am hoping you still have that field of Sida. Please contact me. ruth

  23. Alex

    Sorry to hear about your son. From what I’ve read and studied, Bartonella in combination with ebv tend to cause the most neurological problems. I recommend seeing a llmd asap. Two months of Doxy and Rifampin helped me get over similar symptoms.

  24. LaLainya

    Is this offer still good?

  25. Bonnie

    Looking for Sida Acuta! Please
    Contact me regarding getting some from you! Thanks

  26. Colleen Giovanniello

    look at Cowden program

  27. Megan lindberg

    Megan I know this post was written four years ago but my son is battling lyme and he’s 17 years old which would be close to the same age your daughter is now. Can you tell me how she is doing? What you found to have worked for her treatment wise? I am desperate and in need of some help

  28. Rachel

    Beverly Ann,
    This comes over a year and a half since your post and hopefully your daughter is fine. I have found Hawthorn to be helpful for normalizing heart function. I have used tincture of leaf, flower and berry and often have to get doses up pretty high: 70-100(+) drops. But I would definately start lower than that as with any herb and work up in increments. Capsules may be fine(500 mg, 3 times/day). I just don’t like to question absorption when it comes to the heart. Dr. Sinatra’s “awesome foursome” might also be helpful here: Co Q-10, D-ribose powder, Carnitine, Magnesium:

    And of course addressing the root cause.

  29. Destiny

    I suffer from Lyme and I’m 19 and I herx badly with sida acuta until I added activated charcoal and now I have no herx reaction and I take 50 drops now.

  30. healing lyme admin

    Activated charcoal mops things up so make sure you take it at least 90 minutes away from food/herbs/medications. Best, Julie

  31. Israel

    Hello Robin, did you take the 1/4tsp once per day or three times when you were taking the Sida Acuta Extract 20:1?

  32. Kim Chapman

    Re: herx reactions-
    I have found that adding chlorella to the mix greatly decreased herx symptoms. My daily arsenal for herx was NAC, spirulina tincture, and serrapepatse, which I will take about an hour after my protocol herbs for bartonella, babesia, mycoplasma which are mostly tinctures I add to pomegranate juice.
    Adding on the cracked cell chlorella tablets was a huge improvement.

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