Why Botanical Treatments for Chronic Lyme Symptoms Work!

Lyme Disease ResearchIn medicine, when an infection becomes chronic, we generally consider that either the immune system is failing to control the infection, such as in HIV and AIDs, or that the infection is able to hide from the immune system, such as with the herpes virus that causes cold sores. Evidence suggests that chronic infection with any of the microbes associated with Lyme disease falls into both categories, which is one reason why persistent symptoms are so difficult to treat. [1] This is also one important reason why we turn to botanicals for help.

Botanical Treatments for Lyme Disease

When treating chronic infections, many conventional immunological approaches attempt to boost the immune response with a vaccine, or by applying cytokine therapy. Cytokines are chemicals that your immune system uses to communicate and regulate reactions against disease-causing (pathogenic) organisms or cancerous cells. Pharmaceutical therapies that manipulate cytokines are currently used in the realm of HIV, autoimmune conditions, and some cancers. But did you know that many botanicals, particularly those used therapeutically for hundreds to thousands of years, are potent cytokine manipulators?

Take Baical Skullcap, for example. Its scientific name is Scutellaria baicalensis and it’s been used in Asian medicines for at least 2000 years. A quick Pubmed search of its capacity to manipulate cytokines, reveals over 150 research papers. A review of turmeric (curcumin) and cytokine manipulation, brings up well over 1000. There’s a reason these botanicals are central to some effective and popular Lyme disease treatment protocols. Including this:


Botanicals & Biofilms

Bacteria, including those that contribute to chronic Lyme disease symptoms, form dense protective barriers around their communities called biofilms that antibiotics and our immune cells are challenged to breach. Antibiotic protocols include a lot of sneaky approaches designed to disrupt bacterial biofilms and improve delivery of the antibiotic to the bacterial community. It often means taking multiple antibiotics and bio-film busting nutraceuticals at once with well-designed timing through the day and week to hit the bugs at sensitive stages of their lifecycle. These medical professionals are surprised to learn that many botanicals already contain biofilm disrupters and bacterial-communication (quorum sensing) disruptors (1-4). It’s an all-in-one system that is very effective if the right botanical combination can be matched to the right set of symptoms.


In other words, many botanical protocols are designed to restore optimal immune system function by manipulating your cytokine balance and the bacteria’s protection strategies simultaneously. It truly is a sophisticated approach to a complex illness.



[1] Chronic Lyme disease is best understood as an umbrella term denoting infection with not only Borrelia bacteria, but also at times the microbes we call “co-infections”, such as mycoplasma and bartonella. Please see previous blog articles, here.



1. Luo J et al. Baicalin inhibits biofilm formation, attenuates the quorum sensing-controlled virulence and enhances Pseudomonas aeruginosa clearance in a mouse peritoneal implant infection model. PLoS One. 2017;12(4):e0176883. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0176883. eCollection 2017.

2. Feng J et al. Evaluation of Natural and Botanical Medicines for Activity Against Growing and Non-growing Forms of B. Burgdorferi. Front Med (Lausanne). 2020;7:6. doi: 10.3389/fmed.2020.00006.

3. Feng J et al. Selective Essential Oils from Spice or Culinary Herbs Have High Activity against Stationary Phase and Biofilm Borrelia burgdorferi. Front Med (Lausanne). 2017;4:169. doi: 10.3389/fmed.2017.00169.

4. Feng J et al. Identification of Essential Oils with Strong Activity against Stationary Phase Borrelia burgdorferi. Antibiotics (Basel). 2018;7(4):89. doi: 10.3390/antibiotics7040089

immune system, Lyme disease, Naturopathic medicine

Dr. Sonya Nobbe, ND

Dr. Sonya Nobbe is a Naturopathic Doctor and Director of Kingston Integrated Healthcare Inc. She has been practicing in the Kingston area since 2007. Dr. Sonya maintains a family practice, with a clinical focus on complex chronic disease, including Lyme disease and Fibromyalgia.


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