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Buhner Lyme Protocol

Discussion in 'Lyme Disease and Co-Infections' started by Lotus97, May 14, 2013.

  1. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    Anyone try this? I first heard about Stephen Buhner's Lyme protocol after reading customer reviews on iHerb saying they were taking the herbs for his protocol and were "herxing". So that means it's working, right? Other people have expressed skepticism that Lyme could be treated with herbs when I told them about the protocol. Buhner has a book, Healing Lyme, which I'd recommend. I would also recommend checking out his website even if you've read the book because there is a lot of updated information from him since the book was first published.
    http://buhnerhealinglyme.com/
    There's also a summary of his protocol here:
    http://www.betterhealthguy.com/joomla/images/stories/PDF/buhner_2005.pdf
    There's more information on the protocol here:
    http://www.publichealthalert.org/Articles/scottforsgren/Buhner.htm

    I actually did sort of try it a year or two ago. I started at a low dose because I was afraid I was going to herx so by the time I got to the higher doses I ran out of supplements. Since I didn't herx and my Lyme rash hadn't occurred for the second time yet and I had been making a recovery I sort of put the possible Lyme diagnosis aside. Now that my rash has reappeared and I've suffered a significant relapse I'm going to try it again. This time I plan on trying the full dose for a period of time. I do have a question though. If I don't herx, does that mean it's not working? I assumed that it does mean that, but I thought I'd ask just to make sure.
  2. Ema

    Ema Senior Member

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    Herxing means that you've temporarily overwhelmed your body's ability to remove toxins and bacterial detritus. It isn't necessarily a good thing because it puts your body under a great deal of stress.

    You don't have to herx in order to kill the infections. In fact, many doctors recommend against herxing too much because it can also be damaging. Most LLMDs recommend going slower or backing down on the dose when the herxing starts and then ramping back up. I think this is probably a wise plan though I must admit to pushing through herxes myself for just wanting to get through it already.

    Ema
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  3. brenda

    brenda Senior Member

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  4. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    I absolutely agree with that, but at the same it is important to know whether the treatment is effective (then you can scale back the dosage if necessary). I just spoke with someone who tested positive for Lyme, but said that Doxy did nothing for them so now they're doubting the test results.
  5. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    One thing that might be confusing with Buhner's protocol (for people who haven't read the entire book) is when to use astragalus. Astragalus is recommended for early and post-stage Lyme only. It's contraindicated for late-stage Lyme because it could cause an overactive Th1 immune response in some people. I started a thread about it a few months ago if anyone wants to learn more about this:
    http://forums.phoenixrising.me/inde...e-lyme-and-buhner-protocol.22068/#post-349535
  6. helios

    helios

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    Since I would have had Lyme for a dozen years, I knew I was not going to be a quick recoverer, so decided to use both conventional ABx protocol with herbs. I had SB's site and it is great that he provides an alternative. I am not using his protocol exactly as it is outlined, but I am using a couple of his key herbs. Lion's Mane & Japanese Knotweed. I am also taking Sarsparilla (american), but I think I have been sold an inferior version because I don't feel any different when I take it and it does not smell or taste like sars.

    I took the LM & JNW for about 10 days before I started ABx. I actually felt a definite improvment in my health during the first 2 weeks. It was great. I dropped back on the herbs as I added each ABx. Now I guess I am about 2 months in and feel fairly ordinary. Some days I feel not too bad, but other days I feel really unmotivated & lethargic. The ABx is taking its toll on my energy. I still take the herbs but at low dose.

    I have taken astragalus in the past and I thought it made me worse. Its a highly recommended herb for immunity though. I read your post about it not being ideal for late stage lymies. I wonder if this is why it was not a winner for me. Its been years since I took it so I can exactly describe my symptoms (basically an increase in CFS symptoms).
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  7. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    helios
    Did you say you have taken a good version of Sarsaparilla? If so, how do you find a good brand of Sarsaparilla? Buhner now says that Sarsaparilla is hit and miss as far as whether or not it works for people. You take Lion's mane for neurological effects?
  8. helios

    helios

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    the JNW & LM, I imported from beneficialbotanicals. The sarsaparilla I bought on ebay from a local supplier. It was supposed to be the American/Jamaican variety. Sarsaparilla is a blood cleanser and was given as a treatment for syphilis (spirochete like lyme) before ABx, so I thought ti would be a worthwhile herb to try. There are a number of varieties of sarsaparilla with various levels of benefit. I thought the Jamaican variety was the really good one. I noticed quite a few online were selling the asian variety. What I got was fairly cheap powder and I'm not that sure if I got good quality stuff.
    Yes I take LM for neurological effects. I can't say I feel a noticeable kick from it. With the knotweed I do though. Other herbs like ginseng, brahmi & gingko have been good for me. (they worked better for me when I was younger though)
  9. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    1stChineseherbs was selling Chinese sarsaparilla/smilax for pretty cheap so I bought some, but now it looks like maybe I shouldn't have.
    http://www.1stchineseherbs.com/lyme_disease.html
    If you enter LYME as the promo code you can get 10% off. They're also having a 15% off sale on 1 lb herb powders with 7337 as the code. Andrographis should be bought as a 10% extract, but there's some other stuff including cat's claw and lion's mane.
    EDIT: I received my powders from 1stChineseHerbs today. I didn't realize when I ordered, but they're basically just selling Starwest Botanicals' products. So I checked iHerb and Amazon and most of the stuff can be purchased for cheaper from either iHerb or Amazon.

    I bought the last two from there, but Swanson sells NOW Foods' andrographis extract at a good price. I also bought some some stinging nettle because Buhner recommends that for inflammation. I'm taking a lot of other stuff for inflammation. Almost all of the herbs in Buhner's core protocol are anti-inflammatory.

    Herb Pharm sells the Jamaican sarsaparilla so I guess I'll buy some of that too. Eclectic Institute also sells Jamaican sarsaparilla and I say a 1 lb bag of Jamaican Sarsaparilla from Frontier being sold on Amazon. I wonder if the reason Buhner says sarsaparilla is hit and miss is because some people used the Jamaican others used the Asian. There's a lot of Q&As on his website and that's where he says that he's not as fond of sarsaparilla anymore.
    What do you mean by you felt "a noticeable kick" from knotweed? And which brand/type of knotweed do you take? I was thinking of buying a 1 lb bag at 1stchineseherbs, but I decided I'd just take Paradise Herb's capsules because it was more convenient. It says "Resveratrol" in the title, but it's a full spectrum knotweed extract.
  10. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    I edited my last post. It turns out there are cheaper sources than 1stchineseherbs for some of this stuff. Also, Frontier sells two different kinds of sarsaparilla. Their Jamaican is twice as expensive.

    I'm taking all the herbs in the core protocol. I think I'll add teasel too. Buhner recommends it for joint pain and inflammation, but also for certain types of spirochetes. It works well for people infected in the Wisconsin/Minnesota area, but not good for those on the East coast. For inflammation and joint pain it wouldn't matter where you were infected. I was bitten when I was 16 when I went to summer camp in Wisconsin. I'm glad I don't live there:p.
  11. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    According to Buhner, TOA-free cat's claw extracts are a waste of money and the whole herb works fine. However, this TOA-free cat's claw extract did get pretty good reviews:
    http://www.iherb.com/Nutricology-Prima-U-ntilde-a-de-Gato-Liquid-1-fl-oz-30-ml/3447
    It even says in the description: "Herxheimer's reaction may occur. Sensitive individuals may need to stay with 1 drop per day for an extended period of time, and increase very gradually." I'm not sure if this is just marketing or if the warning is necessary, but a few people did say it caused a strong reaction. Buhner said TOAs and POAs serve different functions. NOW Foods cat's claw extract is only standardized for TOAs (not POAs which are in the TOA-free and also the whole herb).
  12. helios

    helios

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    "What do you mean by you felt "a noticeable kick" from knotweed? And which brand/type of knotweed do you take?"
    With the Knotweed, I get a noticeable (same day) effect from it. I found it more difficult to fall asleep on it, but at the same time, I did not wake up tired the next day which was great. Many herbs can take a little while to build up an effect in the body or need time for the biological changes to take effect. With knotweed, I felt better on it with in a couple of days.

    I found out the sarsparilla I got was from Mexico. I have not noticed anything from it. Buhner's hit and miss comment on sarsparilla could very likely be as you said, because of the different varieties. I'd be interested to see how you go on it. Also with your Jamacian gear, can you let me know if there is a strong taste or odor?

    I've had a little break from the ABx (needed to as I felt really rotten), and been doing the Nutramedix herbs (Samento (catsclaw) being one). I started off low and have been only increased dosage a little. Felt worse when I increased but only for a day. I guess I could have ramped up the dosage more, since I wasn't getting much herxing, but after feeling so rotten on the Abx I was enjoying the break.
  13. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    That's interesting, someone else said that resveratrol made it harder for them to sleep. I was also wondering which brand/type of knotweed you bought. Extract or whole herb, liquid, capsules, bulk powder, etc.
    Is your sarsaparilla from Mexico sold by Starwest Botanicals? I bought that 1 lb bag from 1stchineseherbs and that's what they sent me. On their website it says that it's from Mexico also, but it says this too: (Common Name: Sarsaparilla / Smilax /Chinese Smilax Rhizome) So I'm not sure if that means it's the Asian variety or not.

    The Jamaican one I bought is a liquid extract from Herb Pharm. I've taken it a few times, but I can't really comment on it's potency. I've been taking it sublingually and does cause a very strong tingling sensation in my mouth, but that could just be the grain alcohol. I have a bottle of Herb Pharm's eleuthero so I can test whether that has tingling too, but I can't seem to locate it at the moment.
  14. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    Important Safety Precautions:
    In Buhner's book, Healing Lyme, he lists contraindications and drug interactions with some of the herbs he recommends. There are contraindications and/or drug interactions with supplements in general, but I just wanted to point that out to anyone thinking taking herbs is completely harmless.

    Buhner also recommends starting with only one herb at a time and at the lowest dose. And only add one thing at a time starting out at the lowest dose with each. The reason why is that some people have very strong reactions to the herbs (most likely due to a herx). One person even had a severe herx with sarsaparilla (which is rare) so you never know.

    Assuming that these reactions are from the herx (and not the herb itself), even more caution would be recommended for taking prescription antibiotics since I assume those are usually more powerful.

    There was someone who experienced a life-threatening reaction to knotweed. I believe this was due to a herx and wasn't directly caused by the knotweed, but I don't know for sure. The condition continued for several years afterwards.
    http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=30&m=2544244
  15. Sushi

    Sushi Moderator and Senior Member Albuquerque

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    Lotus97

    I had a very bad reaction to Japanese Knotweed too. It wasn't a herx, but a sudden violent reaction. Don't ask me the details cause I've forgotten--I've had so many bad reactions to things that I lose track of the details.

    Sushi
  16. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    Yeah, a lot of people here tend to have bad reactions to various supplements or prescription medications. Maybe we're more sensitive because I've read literally thousands of customer reviews over the past few years and only 1-2% of the people seem to have a bad reaction.
  17. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    So I think I've been more tired, more brainfogged, and have less of an appetite since starting the protocol a few weeks ago. I hope that means the protocol is working and isn't from something else. I did find something interesting on Buhner's website. It's definitely a different perspective than other people seem to have in regards to treating Lyme:
    justy, cigana and merylg like this.
  18. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    So I've found out that a small percentage of people can temporarily lose their sense of taste. Buhner said it could be from the andrographis or knotweed. For some reason he seemed to think knotweed was the most likely culprit, but I found a thread where 3 people said that andrographis caused it.
    http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=30&m=1591311

    I think it happened to me a few years ago with andrographis. I didn't know it was the andrographis so I think I continued to take it and the loss of taste lasted at least a month. I might have continued to take it even after the sense of taste came back, but I don't remember. I didn't completely lose my sense of taste. It was just sweet, sour, and salty that I couldn't taste. I think it happens differently to different people based on what people in that thread said and also what Buhner said.

    It seemed to be happening again yesterday, but last night my taste seemed ok. I'm stopping the andrographis and knotweed for now. Buhner said that Stephania could be substituted for the knotweed. I was planning on taking stephania anyway. I'll probably start taking knotweed again since what happened to last time was most likely from the andrographis. When it happened a few years ago I thought maybe it was from taking too much copper and coincidentally I just started taking copper a week or two ago. Luckily I found the information on Buhner's website and remembered that I was taking andrographis back then. I wasn't taking as part of the Buhner protocol and I wasn't even taking a high dose. Some people who posted in that thread also seemed to be taking a low dose. I also started a new toothpaste that had a weird taste so I thought maybe the toothpaste that caused it. Even though it's most likely the andrographis, I'm still stopping the toothpaste and knotweed for at least a week. I'm not sure why Buhner thinks it could be the knotweed, but maybe he's heard from others who did experience it with only the knotweed.

    I hope this doesn't scare anyone from doing the protocol. My guess is that taking prescription antibiotics could cause all sorts of problems so that's not exactly risk-free either.
  19. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    I couldn't find anyone saying that knotweed caused a loss of taste. I started taking knotweed based on my own experience with andrographis and also that thread I linked to in my previous post about people experiencing loss of taste from andrographis. I don't know why Buhner thinks that it's more likely than andrographis, but I think maybe I should send him that link to the thread. And I also want to ask him if he's heard from anyone who found that knotweed and not andrographis was the culprit.

    I think my sense of taste did eventually return despite me not stopping andrographis, but it took over a month and I don't feel like going through that again. Someone else also said that they continued to take the supplements and their taste eventually returned:
  20. Lotus97

    Lotus97 Senior Member

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    There's been some hype about a recent Lyme study using banderol and samento. Buhner had a lukewarm response to it:

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