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Treating Lyme Disease with Essential Oils
- Lyme disease is an increasingly common problem. Difficult to both detect and treat, researchers are constantly searching for new approaches to Lyme. The complexity of Lyme, and antibiotic resistance has led to the use of antimicrobials, like essential oils.
- Lyme disease is complicated because it requires quick treatment, but can be hard to diagnose. Often, the result of limited treatment can be worsened symptoms, like brain issues such as memory loss and concentration problems. Antibiotics are no longer effective for Lyme, but essential oils can be a positive alternative.
- Essential oils can help to both prevent Lyme disease and reduce the symptoms upon infection. They work by fighting bacteria, improving the immune system, and detoxifying the body. Antimicrobials kill bacteria, without allowing that bacteria to grow resistant to the substances used.
- Research shows that essential oils can be a positive solution for fighting back against Lyme conditions in the brain. Not only can essential oils help to prevent some of the symptoms like brain fog, that happen to Lyme patients, but it can also help to remove Lyme from the brain through drainage.
- One of the most powerful solutions for using essential oil in Lyme treatment is that it allows for the prevention of Lyme by repelling the insects most likely to transmit Lyme. Various oils can stop tick bites, and therefore reduce your chances of an infection. This means that you won’t have to fight back against Lyme in the long-run.
Introduction to Lyme Disease and Essential Oils
Lyme disease is quickly emerging as a serious problem within the western world. You may not know that hundreds of thousands of people become infected with Lyme each year. While tick bites are regarded as the most common way to get Lyme, research is currently pursuing the potential for other sources.
As we search more aggressively for ways to cure Lyme and its co-infections, studies are beginning to show that essential oils could be a powerful tool. Besides simply reducing the risk of bug bites, essential oils can also help to manage Lyme infections too.
Essential oils are aromatic natural compounds derived from plants. These substances have been shown to improve organ detoxification, support gut health, and balance hormones. Thanks to the olfactory abilities of essential oils, it’s possible for these substances to impact mental health too.
When an odor molecule is inhaled through the olfactory cells, it gradually makes its way to the brain. Since the olfactory system is closely connected to the limbic system (containing the hippocampus and amygdala) the psychological effects are profound.
Turning to Natural Lyme Treatments
Lyme disease is caused by the contraction of the spirochete bacteria, Borrelia Burgdoferi. Traditionally Lyme is thought of as a “tick-borne” illness and is extremely complex and difficult to diagnose. While most people assume that the “bullseye” rash is the key indicator of Lyme, many people will never get a rash. Instead, a whole host of other health issues will arise when contracting Lyme.
Lyme is also complex because quick treatment is required to ensure a rapid reduction of symptoms. Unfortunately, since diagnosis of Lyme is so difficult, fast treatment is rare unless you see a bulls-eye rash or can send the tick in for testing. Unfortunately, the result of missing early treatment can mean serious symptoms. In some cases, Lyme disease can rapidly progress into more chronic issues such as cognitive problems like insomnia, brain fog, and memory issues.
Doctors that attempt to treat Lyme are having trouble finding the correct way to “cure” Lyme. Many traditional doctors attempt to use extremely strong antibiotics for years on end but the presence of biofilms and the fact that spirochete bacteria can burrow into cell walls makes eradication with antibiotics extremely difficult. Many Borrelia Burgdoferi infections become resistant to antibiotics.
Constantly bombarding the system with antibiotics means that other important “good” bacteria in the gut microbiome are destroyed. Because of this, body begins to fall out of balance, and immune system function start to suffer. Yeast overgrowth can begin, while cell membranes erode and energy levels continue to dwindle, presenting the perfect environment for Lyme disease to thrive in.
The dangers of ongoing antibiotic treatments are why so many people are now turning to natural treatments for Lyme. Essential oils are one of these natural treatments. As highly concentrated essences, taken from specific plants, essential oils play a crucial role in immune system support in plants. These oils allow the plant to heal from viral and bacterial infections, overcome injuries, and minimize environmental damage.
The good news is that essential oils can play a similar role in the human body. Because we share some of the same basic chemistry as certain plants, essential oils are highly compatible with our biochemistry. This means that these oils can help us heal in a way similar to plants. Research shows that essential oils help to fight back against infection, thanks to their antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
Antimicrobials are used to kill or prevent the further growth of microbes. This means that antimicrobials, such as those found in essential oils, can stop Lyme disease from growing and spreading in the body. Not only does this mean that essential oils could reduce the problems associated with Lyme, but also reduce the risk of chronic infections too, by:
- Fighting bacteria
- Strengthening the immune system
- Soothing irritation and inflammation
- Helping with mental and brain health
- Alleviating pain and discomfort
- Improving antioxidant production
- Reducing fever
- Detoxifying the body
Antimicrobial Essential Oils Used for Lyme
Antimicrobials and essential oils have both been around for centuries. They can fight against almost everything. Some people take essential oils for mental health concerns like depression and anxiety while others take essential oils for allergies and arthritis. The idea of using antimicrobials in essential oils to fight infection is not a new concept.
One of the benefits of using essential oils for treating Lyme disease is that evidence suggests antimicrobial oils like those found in the essential oils can kill bacteria without causing resistance to it, unlike antibiotics. While different people will suggest different cures for Lyme and bacterial infections, some of the most common antimicrobial oils include:
1. Cinnamon Oil
Cinnamon oil can be a powerful essential oil when fighting bacteria. Studies have been published to show the effectiveness of cinnamon against the bacteria planktonic E. Faecalis. Studies have shown that cinnamon essential oils eliminated the growth of the bacteria between 7-14 days of the procedure. Additionally, the study concluded that cinnamon essential oils are effective antimicrobial agents to use in antibacterial treatment.
2. Thyme Oil
Thyme oil is an impressive antimicrobial oil. Studies took place at the University of Tennessee’s Department of food technology and science showing the impact of thyme oil against bacteria in Salmonella and milk. Similarly to cinnamon essential oils, thyme essential oil was placed upon the bacteria and the results of the study found that the “nanoemulsions” (essential oils) could be effective at protecting bodies against bacteria.
3. Oregano Oil
Studies show that oregano silver oil and colloidal silver can act as potent antimicrobials. These solutions work effectively against various strains of drug-resistant bacteria. The research shows that combined and singular treatments these oils can limit cell density. This gives way to antimicrobial activities thanks to the disruption of cells. Ultimately, the results suggest that oregano oil may be an effective treatment in controlling infections.
4. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is another powerful solution designed to fight back against bacteria. This antimicrobial substance can be effective against various infections. Research conducted in India showed that tea tree oil combined with eucalyptus can fight staph and E. coli infections. These studies suggest that an immediate effect occurs upon application. It can also have an ongoing impact from an antimicrobial perspective as well. The effects offer a slow-release healing process over a 24-hour period. This means that the oils continue to work within the body after the initial application.
Treating the Brain with Essential Oils
There are various elements involved in the treatment of Lyme disease with essential oils. One common approach begins with examining problems in the brain. As mentioned previously, untouched Lyme infections can quickly progress. Often, the result is mental and emotional responses that impact the memory and concentration.
“Brain Fog” is a term given to people with Lyme who suffer from sluggish or reduced mental clarity because of the bacteria. Brain fog can be quite common amongst people infected with lyme and is commonly referred to as “cognitive dysfunction”. The severity of this “brain fog” varies greatly from case to case.
Since Borrelia Burgdoferi can persist in the brains of chronic Lyme sufferers, it’s important to resolve this issue as quickly as possible. Draining the brain by getting a significant amount of sleep can be one of the best ways to drain your brain. Sleep is the only time when the brain can drain glymphatic fluids. To aid this process, a drop of frankincense oil with a carrier like coconut oil or jojoba oil can be beneficial. Placing this mixture against the forehead and temple before bed. I’ve seen numerous clients get significant relief from using this simple technique. Frankincense has long been a powerful essential oil for brain treatment. It supports mood, improves focus, and reduces distractions. It can also improve concentration and reduce irritability and hyperactivity.
Other essential oils useful for brain treatment include:
1. Vetiver Oil
A member of the grass family, vetiver is a thick, potent oil that contains an earthy scent. This substance has grounding and calming effects on emotions, which makes it ideal for massage therapy. Vetiver oil can promote restful sleep, which is important for brain drainage, stress relief, and improve recovery from emotional trauma.
2. Lemon Oil
Citrus oils like lemon are highly uplifting to the body and mind. When used aromatically, lemon promotes purification and physical energy. The invigorating fragrance of lemon is warming, and many clinical studies suggest the use of lemon for managing mood and stress.
3. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint is yet another popular oil which can be effective for stimulating the mind in patients with Lyme disease. The scent of peppermint oil can assist with concentration and focus. Some people also find that peppermint oil is beneficial when it comes to mental performance and concentration.
Prevention is The Key with Lyme Disease
Essential oils can also be useful for preventing Lyme disease, rather than just limiting symptoms. Many experts believe that prevention is crucial with Lyme since the treatment and symptoms of Lyme are so complex. It is a good idea to check whether you live in an area that is particularly susceptible to Lyme disease.
If you’re concerned about tick bites and other sources of Lyme, then essential oils can help your chances of contracting it in the first place. There are numerous solutions available to prevent Lyme, such as:
1. Clove Oil
Many people think of “Citronella” bug sprays and candles when it comes to repelling insects. However, one study in 2014 compared the impact that both clove oil and citronella oil have on ticks. The scientists found out that citronella was useful but clove oil outperformed it significantly at more than 90% efficacy. Consider using clove in direct sprays and in outdoor diffusors where ticks might be common.
2. Vetiver Oil
Mentioned above for its positive impact on the brain, Vetiver can also be a powerful insect repellent. Similar to citronella, vetiver has a unique scent and is often more effective at repelling ticks than its popular counterpart. In tests for efficacy against larvae and fully-grown ticks, vetiver essential oil was incredibly effective. Use Vetiver on surfaces and ground treatments where ticks are common.
3. Oregano Oil
A popular and common kitchen herb, oregano has a powerful essential oil profile. Known as an antibiotic and antibacterial oil, oregano is very effective when diluted with water and sprayed onto your skin. Similar in compounds (eugenol and carvacrol) with clove oil, One study found that oregano oil is also highly effective against ticks and it has antibacterial effects too. Topical applications can give individuals a head start when it comes to warding off Lyme before it can settle into the body.
4. Garlic Oil
Many people enjoy eating garlic for its bold taste and potent aromatic effects. Researchers examined the potential of garlic as an essential oil against ticks. Upon exposure to the garlic oil, tick mortality rates increased up to almost 100%. If you can’t get hold of a garlic essential oil, you can make your own DIY garlic solution instead.
Treating Lyme with Essential Oils
No matter what you do to fight against Lyme disease there’s always a chance that you can fall victim to it. As we mentioned above, the good news is that you can begin to fight against the symptoms of Lyme with natural essential oils. Although you will need to seek out a more comprehensive recovery program, essential oils can help you to recover from Lyme faster.
At the same time, essential oils can be incredibly beneficial when it comes to keeping the symptoms of Lyme to a minimum and protecting brain health. While Lyme should be treated by a professional, it’s possible to use essential oils to help you support your treatment. For instance, you can use Vetiver to improve your focus, citrus for its antimicrobial effects, and chamomile to improve your mood.
As more research is issued into the impact of essential oils on Lyme disease, we discover more potential for these essential oils. The first thing to remember is that you should begin with preventing Lyme wherever possible. If complete prevention isn’t possible and you suffer from an infection then you’ll need to seek the help of a professional.