Herbs for Lyme Disease

Herbs for Lyme Disease - AndrographisWhen I asked Francis Ashwagandha, Ayurvedic Consultant at the Big Carrot Dispensary, what he would suggest for people battling Lyme Disease, his first response was “Andrographis.” Curious, I searched Vitality’s archives online for a reminder about what we had published on this herb, and here’s what I found:

“In Scandinavia, this is now the main herb used to fight the common cold, flu, and upper respiratory infections. Clinical trials have shown that this herb really works… by boosting the immune system, helping the body to battle infections and prevent them from reoccurring.

Andrographis is traditionally used to treat a host of illnesses in China, Thailand, and India – addressing bacterial and viral infections, fever, diarrhea, inflammation, blood pressure, and blood sugar problems. And Andrographis extract has even been shown to inhibit the proliferation of cancer by causing differentiation-inducing activity among tumour cells.”

Although the above was written in regards to Andrographis for colds and influenza, this herb apparently has broad spectrum antiviral and antibacterial properties, thus its value in battling Lyme bacteria.

Andrographis is available at health stores in two forms:

1) St. Francis Herb Farm’s Andrographis comes in a tincture bottle (alcohol-based);

2) A certified organic powder form of Andrographis is produced by Organic Traditions.

Another herb that entered the discussion is Asafoetida, not because it treats Lyme but because it is very high in sulfur which works as an insect repellant when taken internally. Francis says he takes it whenever he does his hiking tours in Cuba, in order to ward off the mosquitoes in the mountains. The thinking is that if it wards off mosquitoes, it just might ward off Lyme ticks too, if taken before hiking into tick-infested parks and woodland areas. There’s no research on this though.

He also recommended a good book on the subject, entitled Healing Lyme by Stephen Harrod Buhner; Raven Press.

For more information, call Francis Ashwagandha, MH, at the Big Carrot Wholistic Dispensary (348 Danforth Ave., Toronto, 416-466-8432, email: dispensary@thebigcarrot.ca)

Julia Woodford founded Vitality Magazine in 1989, and has been its Editor-in-Chief for the past 30 years. Prior to a career in publishing, her studies included Political Economics at York University, Journalism at Ryerson University, and Psychology, PhysEd, and Anthropology at University of Toronto. She remains a lifelong student of herbalism, nutritional medicine, and the healing arts to this day. You can read her columns on the Vitality website. She is also the Show Manager for Whole Life Expo, Canada’s largest showcase of natural health and green living. Learn more at the Expo website In 2018 she received a “Hall of Fame” award from National Nutrition. In 2019, she was nominated for a “Person of the Year” award by National Nutrition.

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