The blood brain barrier is something that is of particular interest to me, but it is still something I am struggling to understand. Forgive me if this sounds like a stupid question, but if a herb doesn't naturally cross the BBB does that mean it doesn't cross under any circumstances or can it cross if mixed with something that does?
Well without a doubt, a mixture of another substance can help absorption and possibly increase the rate at which some herbs cross the blood brain barrier. For instance pepper helping turmeric. Or liposomal helping glutatione or artemesinin. Problems still come in on "how much" of these herbs will actually be crossing the blood brain barrier? Will it be enough substance to eradicate borrelia in the brain if someone has neuro lyme, will it be enough to erradicate neurobartonellosis. Just like a brain tumor that's cancerous, will rick simpson oil be able to absorb enough into the body where it crosses the blood brain barrier to shrink the tumor and eradicate the entire cancer, it's just highly unlikely especially if you're in a late stage of cancer. But again, I'm sure some of it will cross the blood brain barrier and possibly still fight off the infection and reduce inflammation. Some are having good results using chemo and rick simpson oil together, even chemo has a hard time crossing the blood brain barrier.
I mean despite what's said on here, it's highly doubtful that anything like japanese knotweed, a herb that supposedly crosses the blood barrier, will ever work as good as dapsone, minocycline, or roxithromycin. I'm sure there's plenty of lyme patient that solely treat with herbs on here that will disagree.... But, I mean there just will never be a herb that can saturate the tissue and half a long half like Disulfiram. Disulfiram is basically a great reason why we compound plants into drugs at the lab.
No matter how much liposomal you add to a natural herbal formula of artemisinin, it will never be strong as something like coartem or artesunate in pharmaceutical form. These drugs have been compounded in a lab to specifically increase potency, terpenes added and flavonoids increased, scientists use all sorts of innovative ways to make herb 10x more potent in a drug versus the standard herbal form.
I suspect that there's just certain strains of bartonella, babesia, and babesia that herbs will never be able to kill because their persister cells are so drug resistant. And the scary though is, if you're only partially killing off certain forms of the borrelia and coinfections with these herbs, like the herbal form of artemisinin, you could just be making something like babesia stronger.
But just like chemo, there will be always the problem with how long one can tolerate these drugs due to the side effects. So while herbs may not be strong enough to the cross the blood barrier or have the powerful potency, they can still be useful getting off antibiotics and substituting them instead, allowing your body to recover.
And here's another thought, killing pathogens isn't entirely the whole part of treating this disease, bringing down inflammation and modulating the immune system is also an important too, which a lot of herbs have a success with like turmeric, cbd oil, fish oil, etc...
I want to to tackle this with herbal remedies if I can. It's clearly going to be a long process and I don't want to destroy my body at a cellular level by damaging mitochondria, which is the very building block of cells. If antibiotics are known to wreak havoc with mitochondria I am keen to avoid their long term use at all costs, as that will be incredibly self-defeating. My body has no chance of recovering if I am attacking the very thing that allows it to rebuild and rejuvenate.
Well I think with time, the body can heal mitochondria with supplements like alpha lipoic acid and glutathione, iodine and selenium for the thyroid, and plenty of kefir, yogurt, probiotic pills for your natural microbiome. I've been on antibiotics for 9 years, at times taking breaks from the drugs for months, even 7 months at one point, but eventually still went back to them. Personally I would use both, but hey, you can give just using solely herbs a try. What worries me about
going solely with herbs when you're in the late stage with chronic lyme is time and money. Most lyme patients want to get better as quick as possible, so they can go back to work and not run out of money. Herbs from what I've read and researched, can take a bit longer if you're targetting borrelia, babesia, and bartonella.
I'm slowly trying to build up knowledge in order to decide how I'm going to tackle this and if I have to ask some dumb questions in the process I'm happy to do that. My ego is still fairly intact after proving neurologists, hospital consultants and doctors wrong having got the Lyme diagnosis at last, so I can take the odd setback that comes from asking a stupid question of someone who clearly knows more than I do about Lyme treatment!
That's great and it's even better that you're reading up on both sides, which you have to do. Dr. B, Dr. H in New York is a must, as well as Dr. J in Washington DC. This video of Dr. B talking about
the history of lyme is still phenomenal to watch and very educational https://vimeo.com/306846706
Still to this day, I see both lyme patients and Lyme Literate Doctors that always reference Dr. B, but they never use his guidelines appropriately in the beginning stages of lyme, like using a high dosage of doxy or starting off with IV antbiotics. As he hints to, treating aggressively in the beginning stages can also make it a lot less having to treating the coinfections later down the road.
And what a lot of lyme patients, especially Americans miss, is exercise. This is straight from Dr. B -> "Despite antibiotic treatments, patients will NOT return to normal unless they exercise"https://www.prohealth.com/library/evergreen_pages/lyme-disease-exercise
Dr. B on ProHealth.com said...
Exercise is an essential component of any Lyme disease treatment plan. “Despite antibiotic treatments, patients will NOT return to normal unless they exercise, so therefore an aggressive rehab program is absolutely necessary,” states Lyme specialist Dr. Joseph Burrascano, Jr. “It is a fact that a properly executed exercise program can actually go beyond the antibiotics in helping to clear the symptoms and to maintain a remission.”
And by the way, exercise definitely helps raise body temperature and circulate both herbs and antibiotics through the body better...
I am already firmly convinced that biofilms are a huge part of the problem with Lyme and coinfections and I don't see Bruhner as quite the all-knowing expert that some do. I profoundly disagree with his opinion that it is not overly relevant. You can throw as many herbs or meds at Lyme as you like, but if the biofilm is what makes the bacteria so resistant you can't ignore that fact. It's there to defend the bacteria from the immune system and medication, so it has to be targeted as a priority in my opinion. That just seems like common sense to me.
Yes, there's too much evidence out to show biofilms are a major problem keeping this disease chronic. Here's a video from a news broadcast in Utah, discussing a pharmacetuical company named Curza looking to erradicate biofilms to get through to borrrelia to kill the bacteria. https://kutv.com/news/local/utah-drug-research-company-curza-takes-aim-at-lyme-disease
Bottom line is, certain herbalists, alternative Doctors, and even LLMDs themselves will ignore certain parts of this disease because they just aren't educated in it or because it just doesn't suit there protocols. Sadly, this isn't how science works.
Like I mentioned, I had an Osteopath who is a supposed LLMD in my home state, help me raise my immune system with vitamins and herbs, then my bartonella surfaced with cognitive problems, he told me to go to his Church's support group to heal from the inner out. I think it's downright dangerous as I've found out that 2 out of the 3 LLMDs in my home stage of Michigan just treat with standard antibiotics that target the borrelia infection and not these infections. This Osteopath also didn't use the adequate enough dosage when he first started me off on Amoxicillin, he always references Dr. B and Dr. H, but he doesn't follow their protocols, and that's the thing, just because a LLMD references these top LLMDs, doesn't make them a knowledgeful Lyme Literate Doctor. As I've learned, not all LLMD are created equally. 9 years later and still to this day, neither of the 2 LLMDs in Michigan treat coinfections because they're set in their ways. I'm not even sure biofilm is a relevant sword in their vocabulary.
Is there any value in the idea that serrapeptase and lumbrokinase can break these down? Lumbro in particular doesn't come cheap, so I don't want to be wasting money on that if there is no genuine evidence of it being effective in vivo.
From my own experience, the best herbs and supplements to use for biofilms are the fake sugars such as Stevia and Xylitol, Dr. J even has success using Lactoferrin. Just like this article suggests, using sugar with antibiotics tricks bacteria into feeding on antibiotics. https://www.livescience.com/14124-sugar-improves-antibiotic-treatment-persistent-bacterial-infections.html
It's quite ironic Stephen Buhner and Dr. Rawls are so pro-herbs, but when Stevia is brought up, they say it doesn't work because it has poor bioavailability, then herbal patients end up repeating this on the forums like it's written in stone. I think this just goes back to the fact that Buhner doesn't acknowledge biofilms enough to be the cause of chronic infection. But one thing I agree with him on, definitely mixing the herbs together can create a synergistic effect, which probably does erradicate biofilms to a certain point and kill persister cells. However, you still have the penetration into tissue and blood brain barrier aspect which herbs fall short of... You have to factor in all of it... Even the exercise, lol
My honest opinion is the enzymes like serrapeptase and lumbrokinase are basically the ones that are basically not reaching the blood supply, they're basically breaking down in the stomach and just being absorbed by food and breaking down the food. Some LLMDs say you have to take these on an empty stomach in order to work, from my experience, didn't have much experience with them when I was in the early stages of treating my chronic lyme. I think they probably do help, but from my experience, Stevia works better, and is a lot cheaper. Lumbrokinase is outrageously priced too...
I think if you use a highly concentrated form of Stevia like from the company Sweatleaf, which is called Whole Leaf Stevia, then put a few drops underneath the tongue, hold for a few minutes, then swallow, right after taking your antibiotics. It can greatly increase the absorption of stevia sweetness in your blood. Dr. H uses Stevia with his persister cells drugs like Dapsone. Dr. J uses Xylitol and Lactoferrin with Dapsone and other drugs like Daraprim too. While I do factor in a lot of what Stephen Buhner and Dr. Rawls says about
using herbs and treating this disease naturopathically, I still hold Dr. H and Dr. J to a higher standard due to their longer experience being in the field of studying and treating this disease. Again, I think all of them are geniuses in their own way... Some things piss me off how Dr. Rawls and other herbalists charge ridiculous prices for their herbs, when you can find the same herbs for the 1/4 of the price on Etsy, but it is what it is. They've all made their own great contributions to their field.
I do love Dr. Rawls blog, he made some great points on how Babesia is becoming resistant to mepron and malarone due to overuse of these drugs in livestock. So much to consider, it's super hard to absorb everything and learning can be long process, just don't be too hard on yourself if you get a few things wrong. I suspect for some, just using herbs could be the entirely right way, some can't even tolerate antibiotics at all.>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Thank you again for another excellent post loaded with information that is going to be a huge help to me.
I'm becoming more and more convinced that following one protocol alone is not going to work. It seems that Bruhner, Rawls, Cowden et al all have some things right and there is a general consensus on a number of things, but they all have their own differing opinions on a number of other things. Who is right? Probably none of them have everything right, so I'm picking little bits and pieces out of their protocols and observations that make sense.
I prefer to go with things that resonate with me personally, or at least seem logical. Science is one thing and common sense is another. I particularly like your thoughts on Stevia being taken with herbs/antibiotics as a potential way of going about
It's the biofilms that I'm most interested in right now and also trying to prepare my body for treatment rather than just jumping in with meds or herbs. I don't think the bacteria themselves are actually that difficult to kill, as plenty of things have killed them in the lab. It's about
making the body less hospitable to them and getting to the biofilms to replicate what is seemingly quite easily accomplished in vitro. I read that Monolaurin and something else made fairly short work of the biofilms in the lab, so it's not impossible.
The reason I like the idea of Stevia being taken at the same time as meds/herbs is because it's clear that sugar is something these bacteria thrive on. If I take all the sugar out of my diet and also reduce my blood sugar, which I need to do anyway as I am pre-diabetic, there is the possibility that a bacteria starved of other sugars will try using the stevia, which is known to kill it, and the other herbs will attack it at the same time. But first I need to
open up the biofilms somehow. That's the bit I'm struggling with.
For now I'm trying to concentrate on strengthening my body and clearing as many toxins as I can before I start going after the bacteria itself. I need lots of nutrients, water, exercise and sleep to achieve this, so I'm starting there. I'm probably going to go with a diet that helps the mitochondria and clears up the gut problems. I'm going to do a few weeks of this before I even consider starting with herbs that kill the bacteria.
I also want to starve and weaken the bacteria before I attack it with anything. If it likes manganese, I'm going to eat the bare minimum of foods that are high in manganese.
From what I can tell JK is at the centre of so many protocols that it's hard to ignore. It's the one consistent feature and I think that is because of its ability to cross the BBB. It's definitely doing something.
Interesting that you should mention church in this. Up until 2 or 3 years ago I considered myself to be an atheist. I was a big fan of people like Christopher Hitchens. Sometimes it takes someone to be at rock bottom before they start praying and reaching out to God... and many of my prayers have been answered in ways that I simply can't attribute to anything else. If I do manage to recover from this and get my life back, I know who I will ultimately have to thank for it.