Sample Presentation

Sample Presentation: International Conference of the ‘National Herbalists Association of  Australia’ (April 2013, Melbourne)

© Amina Eastham-Hillier 2013

1. What is Lyme disease?

Lyme disease is a tick or vector-borne illness caused by spirochete bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato (Bb) or a number of other strains of Borrelia as well as co-infections.

Identified in Lyme Connecticut, USA in 1975. A group of children were being assessed with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. The disease has now been found all over America and many other countries including Australia. Reports go back to the early 1920’s, however, studies have found the presence of Bb DNA in humans from over 5000 years ago.

2. Lyme disease in Australia

Unfortunately, the current Australian medical model fails to recognize the prevalence of Lyme disease. However, there is an increasing number of patients presenting with Lyme symptoms and being tested positive. Some have never left the country & children have possibly been infected via utero.

Studies are currently being worked on at Sydney hospital, organized by the Karl Mcmanus foundation and a recent study by the Lyme Disease Association of Australia was conducted in November 2012.

3. Early Lyme disease Symptoms

  • Finding a tick or being aware of a tick bite especially if the tick may have been attached for over 24 hours.
  • Bulls eye rash (Erythema Migrans), may be present in up to 30% of people
  • Fever, chills, flu like symptoms, headaches, sore throat, swollen glands, aching muscles and joints, stiff neck, heart palpitations, and anxiety.
  • Fatigue, poor concentration & memory loss.
  • Abdominal pain, diarrhea, and nausea
  • Tinnitus, vertigo, blurred vision, irritable bladder.

4. Disseminated Lyme disease symptoms

Weeks to months later:

  • Arthritis-like symptoms often affecting knees
  • Paralysis often of the face
  • Memory impairment (Brain fog)
  • Random areas of tingling, numbness and shooting pains
  • Skin rashes, sensitivities to light and foods
  • Palpitations, irregular heart beat, chest pain, tightness around ribs, chronic cough, floaters in the eyes.
  • Psychological changes including depression

5. Chronic Lyme disease symptoms

  • Symptoms worsen
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Hypothalamus – Pituitary axis is compromised
  • Adrenal depletion
  • Food intolerance’s and increased sensitivities
  • Nervous system symptoms e.g. anxiety, depression
  • Muscular, nerve and joint pains
  • Seizures, twitches, spasms
  • Mould sensitivities

Testing can be more unreliable at this stage

6. The Great Imitator

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Lupus
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Depression
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Autism
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Multiple chemical sensitivity

7. The Borellia burgdorferi (Bb) bacteria

  • A spirochete (spiral shaped)
  • Similar to syphilis bacteria
  • Bb is the only bacteria to have 21 plasmids (Golden staph has only 1). Plasmids are transferable codes of DNA that benefit the survival of the organism.
  • Bb leaves the blood stream to migrate to inner tissues of joints and tissues
  • The bacteria can cross the blood brain barrier to the meninges of the brain.

8. Different Borrelia forms

  1. Spirochete shape with a cell wall
  2. Bio-film and cell wall deficient, L form (Intracellular forms will not show up in blood tests for Borrelia)
  3. Cyst form

This ability to change forms means that there are often three types of antibiotics medically used to treat all forms.

9. Co-infections of Lyme disease

  • Babesia (Protozoa)
  • Bartonella
  • Rickettsia
  • Erlichia, Anaplasma
  • Mycoplasma Species

Opportunistic infections: Epstein-Barr virus (Glandular fever), Herpes, Chlamydia pneumonia

Common Parasites, often found: Blastocystis hominis, Dientamoeba fragilis, Giardia

10. Medications often used:

  • Tetracyclines: Doxycyline, Minocycline (Used for cell wall deficient forms)
  • Macrolides: Azithromycin, Clarithromycin, Clindamycin
  • Penicillins: Amoxicillin, Bicillin injections (Used for spirochete forms)
  • Cephalosporons: Ceftriazone (IV), Cefuroxime (Used for spirochete forms)
  • Metronidazole: Flagyl, Tinidazole, Plaquenil (Used for cystic forms)
  • Atovaquone (Used to treat Babesia)

Borrelia burgdorferi reproduces from once per month in vivo or once every 48 hours in vitro. Strep throat bacteria produces every 20 minutes! 480 life cycles are treated with antibiotics therefore up to 2.5 years can be recommended to treat Borrelia burgdorferi.

11. What can we do as Naturopaths to treat CHRONIC Lyme?

  1. Listen to your patients story!
  2. Take detailed notes of signs and symptoms
  3. Treat the most debilitating symptoms e.g anxiety, pain, fatigue
  4. Start using anti spirochete herbs with minimal doses at first to avoid an unprepared Herxheimer reaction.
  5. Offer nutritional support and guidance
  6. Encourage home care e.g. Drink plenty of fresh filtered water, Dry body brushing, Epsom salt baths
  7. Patients must keep a DAILY DIARY OF SYMPTOMS (to ascertain cycles of Bb and other possible co-infections).
  8. Communicate with patients Medical Doctor especially if patient is taking medications.
  9. Test & refer patients accordingly for regular medical tests to appropriately prescribe.
  10. Comprehensive functional medical testing to support all systems affected

12. Amina’s Lyme Essentials – Anti Spirochete Liquid Herbs

  • Siberian Ginseng
  • Cat’s Claw
  • Sarsaparilla
  • Echinacea (Must be purpurea and angustifolia)
  • Garlic
  • Artemisia
  • Andrographis
  • Boneset
  • Astragalus

13. A Herxheimer Reaction

  • ‘Herxing’ is a reaction to the ‘dye off’ of bacteria
  • This can be a good sign the treatment is working but must be monitored according to patients tolerance.
  • Symptoms of herxing can include many of the original Lyme symptoms the patient may have had and is often exacerbated e.g. Muscle aches, shooting pains, fevers, sweats, tingling, nausea, rashes.
  • Herbs can help ease herxing such as Sarsaparilla, Silymarin.

14. Amina’s Lyme Essentials for General Chronic Lyme 

  • Giant knotweed (Resveratrol)
  • Turmeric
  • Bacopa
  • Withania
  • Rhodiola
  • Liquorice
  • Green tea
  • Philodendron
  • St Mary’s thistle
  • Myrrh
  • Ginger

15. Herbs for Early (Acute) Lyme disease

Sample: Support immune system, antimicrobial and anti inflammatory herbs

  1. Cats claw 40mls, Andrographis 20 mls, Echinacea 20 mls, Sarsaparilla 20 mls (Dose 7.5 mls, 2 x day)
  2. Astragalus & Siberian Ginseng in tablet form
  3. Garlic tablets
  4. Vitamin C, Zinc, Bioflavonoids

16. Chronic Lyme Herb Essentials Summary

  1. Immune Support with Lyme Essentials
  2. Nervous System & Cognitive function
  3. Adrenal Gland support
  4. Antioxidants
  5. Detoxification for liver and gut, must be ongoing throughout treatment
  6. Gut Microflora and Anti fungal/candida support
  7. Specific Nutrient prescriptions if needed, e.g. for Pyrroluria, MTHFR gene mutations

17. Nutrient Essentials for Lyme disease

  • Probiotics & Prebiotics
  • Antioxidants e.g. Alpha Lipoic acid, Glutamine > Glutathione
  • Magnesium
  • Co enzyme Q 10
  • Manganese
  • Proteolytic enzymes
  • Activated B Vitamins
  • Vitamin C
  • EPA/DHA essential fatty acids
  • Vitamin D3

18. Testing for Lyme disease and co-infections from Australia

  • PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction), Australian Biologics, Sydney
  • IgG & IgM antibody tests for co-infections
  • CD 57 (Natural killer cells)
  • IGeneX (A Western Blot test)  – USA
  • Elispot – LLT: Infecto laboratory – Germany
  • Immunosciences (IgG & IgM antibody tests for co-infections)
  • General medical blood tests, chemistry, iron, thyroid etc
  • Functional Medical testing e.g comprehensive stool analysis, parasite profiles
  • Heavy Metal Toxicity tests, Hair analysis, Organic acid testing
  • DNA testing e.g. For Lyme: HLA Celiac, MTHFR, CBS, SUOX gene mutations

19. Prevention of Lyme in Australia

  1. Take immune strengthening herbs e.g. astragalus, echinacea, turmeric
  2. Adopt a healthy, minimal toxin nutritious diet for life
  3. Wear light coloured clothing when walking in the bush and tuck clothes in.
  4. Pop clothes in the tumble drier for 30 minutes if unsure as this will kill any ticks.
  5. Always check yourselves and children every day if you live in a tick area.
  6. Get a good pair of tweezers!
  7. Grow insect repellant plants and herbs such as garlic, lavender, sage, chrysanthemums, citronella.
  8. Keep grasses short and garden bushes trimmed.
  9. Be aware of animals e.g. pet dogs bringing in ticks, or possums around the home.


Amina’s Book, Lyme Natural : Naturopathy for Lyme disease & co- infections is now available for purchase.

© Amina Eastham-Hillier 2013

Disclaimer: Please use the information provided on this website as an educational resource for choosing your options and making your own informed choices. It is not intended as medical advice with out having a professional naturopathic consultation with Amina and is not to self-diagnose, treat or prescribe remedies for Lyme disease or co infections.