Lyme borreliosis disease is a bacterial infection that is usually spread to
humans by infected ticks. Ticks are tiny arachnids found in grassy woodland
areas that feed on the blood of mammals such as deer, mice, dogs and
humans. See tick size on image.
However, it has been discovered recently that at least nine species of ticks, six species of mosquitoes, 13 species of mites, 15 species of flies, two species of fleas and numerous wild and domestic animals (including rabbits, rodents and birds) have been found to carry the Borrelia
burgdorferi Spirochete bacteria. Lyme disease
can also be transmitted through other means as well including breast
milk, saliva and semen.
Lyme disease is caused by the intracellular spirochete bacterium called Borrelia
burgdorferi. Intracellular means that the spirochete gets into
the cell and therefore is not always available to the
The cell membrane inadvertently protects the bacteria and
shields it from the antibiotics. The bacteria can also hide
dormant in the nervous system, among other places, where
antibiotic drugs can not reach them.
Lyme disease was named after a cluster of cases that occurred in
Old Lyme, Connecticut in the United States, in 1974 where
physicians were treating an unusually large number of cases of
what was first thought to be Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis.
disease may have various symptoms, the most common being a rash
called erythema migrans. Today it is known that this is
more than just a simple bacterial disease.
Many Lyme symptoms mimic other diseases, such as MS,
Alzheimer's, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, ALS (Lou
Gerig’s Disease) and other autoimmune disorders as well as
Parkinson’s and many other ailments, making it difficult to
determine whether a patient has Lyme or another disease.
Because of this mimicry, many Lyme patients go undiagnosed until
they are in a more chronic state and some never get diagnosed at
Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease and, in
general, is one of the fastest growing infectious diseases
today. In the USA around 250,000 new cases are reported per year
and the UK Health Protection Agency (HPA) estimates that there
are 2,000 to 3,000 cases of Lyme disease in England and Wales
each year, and that about 15%-20% of cases occur while people
are abroad. But of course as mentioned earlier, many go undiagnosed and, in the UK, the standard tests called ‘Western Blot’ and ‘Elisa’ that are used to determine the presence of Lyme disease are unreliable.
Ticks become infected when
they feed on birds or mammals that carry the bacterium in their
blood. People who spend time in woodland or heath areas are more at
risk of developing Lyme disease because these areas are where
tick-carrying animals, such as deer and other carriers live.
A tick nest looks similar to blackberries or animal waste and can be found on the ground in places where the animals it feeds upon are present such as deer. The best way to eradicate the ticks nest is to burn it.
Parts of the UK that are known to have a population of ticks that
can carry Lyme disease include:
New Forest in Hampshire
Richmond and Bushy Park
Parts of Wiltshire and Berkshire
Thetford Forest in Norfolk
Most tick bites occur in late spring, early summer and during the
autumn because these are the times of year when most people take
part in outdoor activities such as hiking and camping.
Lyme disease can exhibit the following
Lyme disease can travel and affect any part of the body.
Sore soles of the feet (especially in the morning)
such as wrong words or misspeaking
Sudden hair loss
Twitching of the face or other muscles
Unexplained back pain
Unexplained chronic cough
Unexplained menstrual irregularity or milk production
Unexplained shooting pains
Unexplained stomach pain
Unexplained weight gain or loss
Vertigo, spinning, off balance, light-headedness, wooziness, unavoidable need to sit or lie
It is important to get tested for
Lyme Disease when symptoms of
Parkinson's Disease appear as
symptoms can be identical and are often misdiagnosed.
Lyme disease can be difficult to treat especially as tests are often carried out too early for a proper diagnosis. It takes at least six weeks for the body to produce the antibodies that will show up on a test for Lyme disease. The double conundrum is that unless it is treated early (within six weeks) with antibiotics they may not work as it can travel deep into the body where they cannot penetrate.
Symptoms may change and come and go for several years in some cases and, as yet, the medical profession has not fully accepted that Lyme disease can become chronic and often misdiagnose the above symptoms for some other disorder.
Get a blood test to check for
deficiencies of zinc,
vitamin B complex and
vitamin D as this can slow down Lyme recovery. Then improve the diet accordingly. See below to find out what foods to eat for these vital
Probiotic foods can replenish the beneficial bacteria in the
intestines that are wiped out by antibiotic Lyme disease treatment.
Gingko biloba can be used to clear the mental fogginess that is a common symptom of Lyme disease.
Milk thistle can help the liver which is important in the fight against Lyme disease.
Salt: Use Himalayan pink salt crystals and unrefined sea salt in all meals can help to provide an environment that is inhospitable to pathogens and helps to make sure extra fluids are consumed as well as providing trace elements required to help the body fight the Lyme disease bacteria. However, high salt can also cause high blood pressure so care must be taken and the blood pressure monitored when consuming extra salt. Never consume refined white table salt.
Alpha lipoic acid works as an antioxidant in both water and
fatty tissue enabling it to enter all parts of the nerve cell and
protect it from damage and thus relieve peripheral neuropathy which
can be caused by injury, nutritional deficiencies, chemotherapy or
by conditions such as
thyroid disease and
kidney failure. Symptoms can include pain, burning, numbness,
tingling, weakness and itching.
NOTE: If suffering from reoccurring herpes, as can happen with Lyme disease, avoid Brewer's yeast and all yeast products as this can bring on attacks.
Chlorophyll provides the body with better oxygen absorption, which will support the body overall and the Lyme disease bacteria do not thrive in an oxygen rich environment. In addition, it provides a safe amount of copper, which will make the body more toxic to pathogens. It will also give the colloidal silver better penetration, because silver will electro-chemically bind with the copper that is inside the chlorophyll.
Highest sources of vitamin B6 in milligrams per 100 grams
Rice bran4.07 mg
Brewer’s yeast1.50 mg
Sunflower seeds1.35 mg
Wheat germ1.30 mg
Pistachio nuts1.12 mg
Tuna fish1.04 mg
Beef or calf’s liver 1.03 mg
Shiitake mushrooms 0.97 mg
Salmon 0.94 mg
Venison 0.76 mg
NOTE: Wild salmon (0.94 mg) contains far more vitamin B6 than farmed salmon (0.56 mg) and fresh salmon and tuna are far richer in vitamin B6 than tinned.
Highest sources of vitamin B9 in micrograms per 100 grams
Yeast extract 3786 µg
Brewer’s yeast 2340 µg
Chicken livers 578 µg
Basil 310 µg
Wheat germ 281 µg
Sunflower seeds 238 µg
Soya beans 205 µg
Spinach 194 µg
Lentils 181 µg
Chick peas, pinto beans 172 µg
Shiitake mushrooms 163 µg
Parsley 152 µg
Black beans 149 µg
Peanuts 145 µg
Navy beans 140 µg
Asparagus 135 µg
Turnip greens 118 µg
Chestnuts 110 µg
Beetroot 109 µg
Spearmint 105 µg
Chlorella and spirulina 94 µg
Fish roe 92 µg
Hazelnuts 88 µg
Walnuts 88 µg
Flaxseeds 87 µg
Avocado 81 µg
Mussels 76 µg
Kidney beans 74 µg
Peas 65 µg
Broccoli 63 µg
Brussel sprouts, okra 60 µg
Quinoa 42 µg
Papaya 38 µg
NOTE: One µg is one microgram.
Highest sources of vitamin B12 in micrograms per 100 grams
Clams 98.9 μg
Liver 83.1 μg
Barley grass juice 80 μg
Nori seaweed 63.6 μg
Octopus 36 μg
Caviar/fish eggs 20.0 μg
Ashitaba powder 17.0 μg
Herring 13.7 μg
Tuna fish 10.9 μg
Crab 10.4 μg
Mackerel 8.7 μg
Lean grass fed beef 8.2 μg
Duck eggs, goose eggs, rabbit 6 μg
Crayfish, pork heart, rainbow trout 5 μg
Shiitake mushrooms 4.8 μg
Lobster 4 μg
Lamb, venison 3.7 μg
Swiss Cheese 3.3 μg
Salmon 3.2 μg
Whey powder 2.37 μg
Golden chanterelle mushrooms 2 μg
Tuna 1.9 μg
Halibut 1.2 μg
Chicken egg 1.1 μg
Chicken, turkey 1.0 μg
Ashitaba 0.4 μg
Vitamin D is vital for the immune system to work effectively and can often be deficient in people in the northern hemisphere due to lack of sunshine from October to April. The skin manufactures it from cholesterol using the sun's rays but only stores enough for around 60 days so extra should be consumed in the diet from November until April. Covering up with clothes, sun screen lotions and windows also block this process so extra will be needed in these cases too.
Highest sources of vitamin D per serving listed
Krill oil - 1 teaspoon: 1000 IU
Eel - 85 g or 3 oz: 792 IU
Maitake mushrooms - 70 g: 786 IU
Rainbow trout - 85 g or 3 oz: 540 IU
Cod liver oil - 1 teaspoon: 440 IU
Mackerel - 85 g or 3 oz: 400 IU
Salmon - 85 g or 3 oz: 400 IU
Halibut - 85 g or 3 oz: 196 IU
Tuna - 85 g or 3 oz: 228 IU
Sardines - 85 g or 3 oz: 164 IU
Chanterelle mushrooms - 85 g or 3 oz: 155 IU
Raw milk - 1 glass or 8 oz: 98 IU
Egg yolk - 1 large: 41 IU
Caviar - 28g or 1 oz: 33 IU
Hemp seeds - 100 g or 3.5 oz: 22 IU
Portabella mushrooms - 85 g or 3 oz: 6 IU
NOTE: One IU is the biological equivalent of 0.3 μg or 0.3 micrograms.
NOTE: The recommended daily allowance is 600 IU for ages 19 to 70 and 800 IU for ages 71 and over but this may be far below what should be taken and is dependent upon the amount of sunshine an individual's skin is exposed to on a regular basis. Farmed salmon is often deficient in vitamin D.
Zinc is an important mineral when trying to eliminate the Lyme disease bacteria. Those drinking excess alcohol have low levels of zinc because alcohol decreases zinc absorption and increases urinary secretion of zinc. Diuretic medications also adversely affect zinc levels. If an individual ingests excessive amounts of caffeine, drugs or sugar, it is more than likely that a zinc deficiency will develop. Low zinc levels can cause liver deterioration and diminished functioning of the reproductive organs, immune system and skin.
Highest sources of zinc in micrograms per 100 grams
The recommended dietary allowance of zinc is
approximately 15 mg daily for an adult. Do not exceed 100 mg of zinc per
day from all sources.
THE DIET FOR RECOVERING FROM LYME DISEASE
A healthy diet is important to help the body fight off the Lyme disease bacteria.
The ideal food to consume in one day which will include all the nutrients needed to fight off Lyme disease would be as follows.
Apple: One per day including skin
Krill oil: Consume 1000 mg of krill oil per day for essential omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D
Psyllium husks: Consume one tablespoon per day in a large glass of water or sprinkled onto meals as it can support digestion and excretory processes and will work within two days to fix many colon and digestive issues.
Before breakfast or any beverage
One teaspoon of pure locally produced organic honey stirred into a half glass of warm water with half a freshly squeezed lemon, a small pinch of chilli pepper andone tablespoon of apple cider vinegar.
Apricots (dried and chopped)
Blueberries or cranberries
Kiwi fruit (chopped skin left on)
The grated zest of half a lemon or one lime
Mixed nuts (including almonds, brazil nuts and walnuts)
Yoghurt (plain with live cultures)
Beverages throughout the day
Four cups of green tea with freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice and any of the herbs listed above. Add three ground cloves to one cup of tea for additional Lyme disease fighting properties.
One litre of bottled mineral water (drink one full glass last thing before sleeping)
Cocoa made with goat's milk and a teaspoon of pure local organic honey and a quarter teaspoon of nutmeg (drink before going to bed), This will aid sleep and provide the energy that the body needs to carry out repairs during sleep and cocoa is rich in zinc.
Snack when hungry
Two hard boiled egg yolks (mashed)
One avocado (mashed)
Half a teaspoon of turmeric
Dill (chopped fresh herb or a half teaspoon of dried dill)
Himalayan pink salt crystals or unrefined sea salt
Half a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
Parmesan cheese (grated)
NOTE: Egg whites contain a protein called avidin that binds to vitamin B7 (biotin) and so can lead to a deficiency of this important nutrient. Remove egg whites before hard boiling the yolks. To avoid wasting them why not whisk the whites until fluffy and use as a mask for dry skin or rashes that can be caused by Lyme disease. After applying leave on for five or 10 minutes then wash off and then use cold-pressed coconut oil as a moisturiser.
Shell fish or wild salmon
Swiss chard or another choice of lettuce
Chicken or lambs liver cooked in cold-pressed coconut oil
Aubergine (including skin)
Red bell pepper
Sweet potatoes (including skin)
Turnips or parsnips
Himalayan pink salt crystals or unrefined sea salt
NOTE: After chopping the onions and garlic, leave them to stand for ten minutes to allow the allicin to be produced. This is a powerful antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral compound the plant produces when it is damaged as a weapon against infections from microbes and has the same ability in the human body when consumed.
NOTE: Sprinkle some cold-pressed oil on the sweet potatoes and red bell peppers, such as coconut, nut, seed or olive oil, to absorb the fat soluble carotenoids that these vegetables contain.
Foods to include in the diet
Consuming all colours of fruits and vegetables everyday can help the body to recover very quickly as each colour contains different nutrients. Pick one of
the six colours of fruit and vegetables such as yellow/orange, white, red, green,
black/blue/purple and cream/brown. Nature has kindly colour coded natural food for us and each colour provides specific nutrients and minerals in the right balances which are required daily. At least one green leafy vegetable or herb should be consumed daily.
If appetite does not allow enough consumption, juice them or make teas by steeping them in hot water for 20 minutes, then strain and drink immediately to gain the nutrients without the bulk. Teas can be gently reheated and honey and lemon added to make them more palatable and to add additional beneficial nutrients.
Nature's Colour Codes page.
If the appetite is low also try blending steamed vegetables listed
with the herbs and spices listed and serving as a potage soup before a meal.
Similarly blend all the fruits together especially orange,
tangerine, lemon and papaya with nutmeg and honey to provide a tasty
nutritious smoothie which will aid speedy recovery.
Non-heme iron is found in tea and dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and
kale. However, tea and green leafy vegetables also contain oxalates that block
the absorption of
iron. To assist the body in the absorption of non-heme
iron eat a couple
strawberries, a kiwi fruit or some
tangerine or mango at the same time.
NOTE: To benefit from foods containing
fat-soluble nutrients, such as the
carotenoids in carrots and tomatoes, always eat together with oily
fish, nut or other seed oils or
avocado because carotenoids are fat-soluble, meaning they are only
absorbed into the body along with fats and can then assist with the manufacture
of the essential
vitamin A nutrient.
Prevention of Lyme Disease
Homemade Natural Repellent Spray
In a spray bottle, mix 2 mugs of distilled white vinegar and 1 mug
of water. To make a scented solution (to eliminate the vinegar
odour) add 20 drops of any essential oil. Eucalyptus oil works as a
tick repellent, while peppermint and citrus oils give off a strong
crisp scent that also repel ticks and mosquitoes. Other tick repelling essential oils to use are:
10 drops rosemary essential oil
7 drops cinnamon essential oil
3 drops cedar wood essential oil
3 drops of rose geranium oil.
2 tablespoons of sweet almond oil
After mixing the solution, spray onto clothing, skin and hair before
going outdoors. Reapply every four hours to keep ticks at bay and
examine your skin and hair when back inside to make sure no ticks
are on the body.
NOTE: Essential oil is not suitable for pregnant or breastfeeding mothers
Repellent for Pets
For pets, add 1 mug of water to a spray bottle, followed by 2 mugs
of distilled white vinegar. Then add two spoonfuls of vegetable or
almond oil which both contain sulphur (another natural tick
Rose geranium essential oil is a good tick repellent for animals. Place a drop between the animal’s shoulder blades and at the base of the tail before going outside.
To make a repellent that will also deter fleas, mix in a few
spoonfuls of lemon juice, citrus oil or peppermint oil, any of which
will repel ticks and fleas while also creating a nicely scented
repellent. Spray onto the pet's dry coat, staying away from
sensitive areas including eyes, nose, mouth and genitals. When
outdoors spray this solution on two to three times per day.
Plants that repel ticks
Chrysanthemums have a high level of natural pyrethrins that repel ticks. Other plants that repel ticks are geraniums, lavender and peppermint. Using the essential oils of these plants diluted in a spray bottle of water can help to repel ticks.
Use fine-tipped tweezers to firmly
grasp the tick very close to the skin.
Don't squeeze it as squeezing can speed up infection.
With a steady motion pull the tick’s body away from the skin.
Then clean skin with soap and warm water.
Avoid crushing the tick’s body.
Do not be alarmed if the tick’s mouthparts remain in the skin. Once
the mouthparts are removed from the rest of the tick, it can no
longer transmit disease.
If the tick is crushed, clean the skin with soap and warm water or
Don’t use petroleum jelly, a hot match, nail polish or other
products to remove a tick
Angelica (dong quai), cumin, ginger, Japanese knotweed, motherwort and turmeric if taking anticoagulants (blood thinning medication) hormone therapies and contraception or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin and ibuprofen, have heart problems and during the first trimester of pregnancy.
Chlorella and spirulina if suffering from a seafood or iodine allergy, a metabolic condition called phenylketonuria (PKU), multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. If pregnant or nursing or have hyperthyroidism, consult a healthcare provider before taking spirulina. It may interfere with medications to suppress the immune system.
Devil's claw if diabetic or taking blood pressure or blood-thinning medications.
Grapefruit can interact with many types of medications, such as statins or blood pressure medications amongst others, by reducing or increasing their effectiveness.
Land caltrop can cause foetal miscarriage and must be avoided by pregnant or breast feeding women or individuals with breast or prostate cancer. Excess consumption of land caltrop can cause sleep disturbances and irregular menstruation and high doses may adversely affect the eyes and liver.
Try to avoid any foods with additives such as
aspartame, refined and processed foods,
coffee, fizzy drinks,
sugar, table salt (use Himalayan pink crystals or unrefined sea salt), white flour and white rice (choose whole grains and brown or wild rice).
Nat H Hawes SNHS Dip (Advanced and Sports nutrition) is a qualified nutritional and sports therapist and author of the new book, Nature Cures, who has been researching natural foods and their health benefits since 2003.
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