Skip to Main Content

Natural Treatments for Lyme Coinfections

Anaplasma, Babesia, and Ehrlichia

Published by Healing Arts Press
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

Harvard researchers estimate there are nearly 250,000 new Lyme disease infections each year--only 10 percent of which will be accurately diagnosed. One of the largest factors in misdiagnosis of Lyme is the presence of other tick-borne infections, which mask or aggravate the symptoms of Lyme disease as well as complicate treatment. Three newly emergent Lyme coinfections are Babesia, Ehrlichia, and Anaplasma. Tens of thousands of people are known to be asymptomatically infected and at least ten percent will become symptomatic this year--with symptoms ranging from chronic headache and arthritis to seizures.

Distilling the latest scientific research on Babesia, Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, and Lyme disease, Stephen Buhner examines the complex synergy between these infections and reveals how they can go undiagnosed or resurface after antibiotic treatment. He explains how these organisms create cytokine cascades in the body--essentially sending the immune system into an overblown, uncontrolled inflammatory response in much the same way rheumatoid arthritis or cancer can.

Providing an in-depth guide for those suffering from Babesia, Ehrlichia, or Anaplasma infection as well as for clinicians who work with those infected by these organisms, Buhner details effective natural holistic methods centered on herbs and supplements, such as Ashwaganda and Chinese Skullcap, and reveals how to treat specific symptoms, interrupt the cytokine cascades, reduce inflammation, and bring the immune system back into balance. He explains how these natural methods not only complement conventional Lyme disease treatments involving antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals but also provide relief when other forms of treatment have failed.


Chapter 4
Natural Healing of Babesia

The advantages of natural compounds are fewer side effects in comparison to orthodox medical drugs, and the production of synergistic effects for a more positive treatment outcome.
Kaio Kitazato et al, “Viral infectious disease and natural products with antiviral activity”

Each patient carries his own doctor inside him.
Norman Cousins

To effectively treat babesial infections there are five points to keep in mind about the parasites.
1. They infect red blood cells.
2. They significantly inhibit nitric oxide production in the body (the body’s main defense against them).
3. They, during all but severe babesial infections, lower inflammation by preventing the inflammatory Th1 response the body would naturally use to counteract them.

4. They infect and distort the endothelial cells that line blood vessels, using them as a niche in which to hide, and they cluster red blood cells around those sites, which causes a number of blood vessel and organ problems from the subsequent coagulation and blockage of the vessels.
5. Studies on the treatment of Babesia infections have found that a 7-10 day treatment approach is, in half of all infections, insufficient; treatment must last 30 days or longer to successfully treat the infection, to prevent recurrence, and to prevent pharmaceutical resistance from developing.

That said, babesial infections are highly responsive to natural protocols. There are many plants that are directly effective against the parasites and to which the organisms do not develop resistance.

One Size Does Not Fit All

The herbs and supplements in this book are not the only ones in the world that will help. Please use these protocols as a starting place, a guideline. Add anything you feel will help you and delete anything that you feel is not useful. Protozoa, when they enter a human body, find a very unique ecosystem in that particular person. Thus the disease is slightly different every time it occurs. This means that a pharmaceutical or herb that works for one person may not work or work as well for another. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment that works for all people in all times and places. Life, and disease, and the journey to wellness, are much more complex and challenging than that. Trust your own feeling sense and pay attention to what your body is telling you. You are the best judge of whether something is working for you or not, whether you need to add something else or not, whether you are getting better . . . or not.

And now, a few other points that commonly arise:

1. Yes, you can combine a ll the herbs in the l iquid of your choice. You do not have to take them separately.
2. Yes, these herbs can be taken along with antibiotics.
3. No, the bacteria do not develop resistance to the herbs.
4. Yes, you can take these herbs along with protocols suggested by other practitioners.

Please be aware that it is common for about half the people who use an herbal protocol, when they begin to get better, to be so excited about being themselves again that they do too much, overexert themselves, and relapse. This is extremely common (and very understandable; it’s tiring being sick for so long). So, please be very careful once your strength and joy begin to return. It may seem as if you can immediately begin exerting yourself as you used to do; however, your body has been under a long-term stress, its reserves are low. It will take, if you have been ill for a long time, at least a year to rebuild.

Part of the function of serious chronic illnesses is to increase personal awareness. (I know from personal experience.) There is the life you had before Lyme, there is the life you have after. It is rarely possible to go back to being unaware of the impacts of stress on your system, the kind of self-caretaking your body (and spirit) needs, or the dangers of overextending yourself and your energy. Ignorance may be bliss (however short that bliss may be), but awareness is empowering . . . and health enabling.

Initial Intervention Protocol

The initial intervention rationale, using a natural protocol, suggested for mild to moderate babesial infection, relapsing or not, entails the following:

1. Antibabesial herbs. The use of anti-babesial microbials that are broadly systemic
2. Organ support and protection. Protecting and enhancing the function of red blood cells, the spleen, liver, and the endothelial tissues
3. Immune modulation. Modulating the immune response and cytokine cascade by decreasing IL-10 and TGF-beta levels; inhibiting the generation of arginase; and increasing levels of IL-12, IFN-gamma, L-arginine, and nitric oxide
4. Specific symptom treatment.

There are thousands of plants that can be, and are, used in the treatment of disease. These are the ones I have found effective.

Antibabesial Herbs

The primary antibabesial herbs and plant-derived compounds I prefer, and believe the most effective, are Cryptolepis sanguinolenta, Alchornea cordifolia, Sida acuta (or similar species), Bidens pilosa (or similar species), and the Artemisia species and their constituents artesunate or artemisinin or artemisone. Some additionally useful herbs and compounds are Brucea javanica, the homeopathics China 30C and Chelidonium 30C, and riboflavin (vitamin B2).

Other herbs and herbal compounds active against babesial parasites are Camellia sinensis (or its constituent epigallocatechin-3-gallate, a.k.a. EGCG), Allium sativum (and its constituent allicin), Phyllanthus niruri (also a good liver herb), lactoferrin (colostrum), Calophyllum tetrapterum, Curcuma xanthorrhiza, Curcuma zeodoaria, Elaeocarpus parvifolius (bark), Elephantorrhiza elephantina, Excoecaria cochinchinensis, Garcinia benthaamiana, Garcinia rigida, Lansium domesticum, Peronema canescens, Sandoricum emarginatum, Shorea balangeran, and the terpene nerolidol (found in neroli, ginger, jasmine, lavender, tea tree, lemongrass, and Cannabis sativa) and the berberine-containing plants such as goldenseal. However, please note: Berberine plants are not systemic enough to use as a primary treatment for babesiosis, though they may, in certain circumstances, work well as supportive therapy. As well, I do not think garlic (Allium) is systemic and potent enough to work as a primary treatment for these protozoa.

About The Author

Stephen Harrod Buhner (1952–2022) was an Earth poet and the award-winning author of many books on nature, indigenous cultures, the environment, and herbal medicine. He comes from a long line of healers including Leroy Burney, Surgeon General of the United States under Eisenhower and Kennedy, and Elizabeth Lusterheide, a midwife and herbalist who worked in rural Indiana in the early nineteenth century. The greatest influence on his work, however, was his great-grandfather C.G. Harrod who primarily used botanical medicines, also in rural Indiana, when he began his work as a physician in 1911.

Stephen's work has appeared or been profiled in publications throughout North America and Europe including Common Boundary, Apotheosis, Shaman's Drum, The New York Times, CNN, and Good Morning America.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Healing Arts Press (March 12, 2015)
  • Length: 448 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781620552582

Browse Related Books

Raves and Reviews

“Stephen Harrod Buhner’s new book, Natural Treatments for Lyme Coinfections, is a brilliant follow up of his previous groundbreaking books Healing Lyme and Healing Lyme Disease Coinfections. This is a must read for medical practitioners and patients, providing a deep understanding of how these microorganisms have evolved and relate to their intricate ecosystems. Stephen insists that it is not possible to successfully treat these evolving microbes without a full grasp of this information. For example, knowing that Babesia requires red blood cells, endothelial cells, and spleen tissues to reproduce and understanding the biochemistry of how this happens allows him to provide a clear roadmap of how to approach treatment properly. This roadmap has not been available until now. Thank you, Stephen!”

– Neil Nathan, M.D., board certified family physician and author of Healing Is Possible

“Stephen Harrod Buhner is performing important work in disseminating this information to patients and their clinicians. Many with chronic Lyme suffer from undiagnosed coinfections and would benefit from the entourage effects and herbal synergies of medicinal plants. Relief is available in the natural world, a true alternative treatment, beyond the reach of the medical bureaucracy.”

– Julie Holland, M.D., author of Weekend at Bellevue

“In this newest volume of Stephen Buhner’s exploration of Lyme and its coinfections, he again excels in presenting an enormous amount of detailed information in a thorough and accessible manner, offering what readers need most in such a tome: the knowledge to make their own informed decisions in addressing these issues.”

– Jim McDonald, Herbalist

Resources and Downloads

High Resolution Images

More books from this author: Stephen Harrod Buhner