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Lyme Disease/neurological late stage lymes disease


QUESTION: Can taking tincture of teasel root get past the blood-brain barrier and kill off Lymes bacteria? I have not tried the teasel yet because if it does not get to the brain, I'll need to try some other alternative.

I live in Maryland. I have been ill for at least 6+ months with many symptoms of Lymes disease and I have visited many doctors with no success.

ANSWER: Dear Allen,
Thank you for writing. Many Lyme patients have used tincture of teasel root with varying degrees of success but to be quite honest with you, I'm not sure if it CAN cross the blood brain barrier. My neurological symptoms from Lyme became so severe that I had to be put on IV antibiotics which DID cross the BB barrier, but I'm not sure what naturopathic remedies can do the same thing. I'm not saying they can't, I'm just unfortunately not familiar with them!

I CAN however, point you towards a wonderful book by Stephen Buhner called "Healing Lyme". It is one of the best books I've read on naturopathic remedies for treating symptoms of Lyme and I know there is a section on Teasel Root.

If you have only been sick for 6 months (I know, the word "only" is quite subjective!) you have an excellent chance of killing off the bacteria and getting well again. I would highly recommend going to this site: and under SEEKING DOCTORS - you can post a request for one in your area. I know there are some excellent Naturopathic doctors who treat Lyme, it's just a matter of finding them. I feel like you would benefit greatly by seeing a specialist who could provide you with some guidance on how to best treat your symptoms.

I'm sending you lots of healing thoughts and hope you can find a good doctor who is trained in Lyme Disease. Fortunately, I know there are several LLMDs in Maryland, DC and Virginia, so I'm hoping that Lyme Net will be able to help you find one.

All my best,

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I was using Google website for a Lymes search and came across an article by D. James Howenstine (April 17, 2005) that stated that cat's claw TOA free can clear up neurotoxins in the brain created by Bb (page 7 of report) in as little as 72 hours. Have you ever heard of this? Sounds too wonderful to be true. Also, if I tried cat's claw (suspecting I have chronic Lymes or a co-infection or both) do you know if I could herx on it?


ANSWER: Hi Allen - since I'm not that familiar with Cats Claw (I've heard about it for years but just haven't tried it yet), I checked with some Lyme friends of mine and they wrote the following:

I took cats claw for a few months.. Didnt notice a herx . Its really good for immune response in general. Couldnt hurt.

Dr Burrascano said on the ILADS internet streaming conference this weekend that Banderol and Samento (which is a type of cats claw ) was shown in research (not on humans yet) to break up biofilms.

I asked my LLMD about it and he did not know how to dose it but I hear Nutramix who sells it will tell you. I was hoping to add it at some point. It is hard to fit it all in cause many things need to be taken like 30 min away from other meals and supplements and that is always hard for me.

I've been on regular cat's claw for probably a year or more, but at low dose, maybe 4 capsules a day, not the 12 that is the Buhner high dose. I haven't tried the NutraMedix TOA-free Samento yet, although that's what the couple of studies (paid for by Nutramedix) used to show effectiveness in killing Lyme and cyst-busting.

I find NutraMedix herbs to be very potent so I always have to ramp up from one drop. For the Cat's Claw capsules I was able to tolerate them pretty well and pretty quickly. I can't say I have had any noticeable herx, I just tend to get spacey and headachy whenever I try anything new.

Sarsparilla (Smilax) was promoted as helping clear neurotoxins, I know Dr. Nicola really liked it, lately Buhner hasn't been quite as gung-ho about it. But I used it for a couple of years.

Remember that most herbs have broad spectrum abilities and uses, meaning we might be thinking of one just for Lyme or neurotoxins, but the reality is, that herbs used in various cultures for different things including many different bacteria, viruses, fungus, etc. so when we take it, we might be killing a few things and not know for sure what the reaction is from.


Allen - Hope that helps get some perspective from Lyme patients who have actually used it!  Also I found this link with some information:ís-claw/


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: According to Stephen Buhner book, Healing Lyme, on page 47 on the section in Neuroborreliosis, he states that spirochetes in the CNS tend to encyst rather than remain in elongated form. Do you know if the CNS is inside or outside of the brain? If both, I suspect that one would need an IV drug to kill off the spirochetes and another type of IV drug to kill off the cysts (IVs needed to cross blood brain barrier). Am I way off in my thinking?

Allen - The central nervous system is divided into two parts: the brain and the spinal cord. So, part of the CNS is in the brain and part is outside in answer to your question.

And yes, the only way to cross the blood brain barrier is to use IV medication which is why many doctors will use IV antibiotics when a patient shows neurological symptoms.

As far as killing the cysts, there is laboratory evidence that antiparasitisc like Flagyl or Tindamax will kill the bacteria when it's in its cyst form.

To read more about this please see Burrascano's Guidelines page 13:


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I contracted Lyme Disease while on hiking trip in Virginia almost 3 years ago. I returned to San Diego and within 3 weeks came down with a terrible "flu-like" illness. During that time, I developed some strange rashes on my fingers and the palm of my hand. I also had a giant melon size purple "bruise" on my left thigh which may or may not have been a bullseye - but I didn't even know that was back then. A week later, I went to the store and stopped right outside the entrance. I realized that I had completely forgotten WHY I was there and it was the most scary, unsettling feeling I've ever had. That was the beginning of my strange cognitive and neuro issues I would have for the next 2 and 1/2 years. I had previously been an extremely active person - running up to 4 miles a day and hiking a few times a week. All of a sudden, I was so tired I couldn't get out of bed and my legs became weaker and weaker. At first I thought I was anemic, and when I went to a clinic, they said you probably have mono even though you aren't testing positive. I began to get fevers, night sweats, sleep disturbances, abdominal pain, and horrible nausea. Within 6 months I was developing severe arthritis in every joint in my body and THEN...the worst. . . nerve pain developing in my arms and legs. It was horrific pain. It took 7 months and a dozen doctors to diagnose me with Lyme, and since then, my entire world has been turned upside down! I have had to learn everything I could about Lyme Disease since I live in San Diego and we only have FOUR Lyme Literate doctors in this city. I am a member of several Lyme support groups and have become very active in spreading awareness about Lyme Disease and helping people get the right treatment they need. I decided to join up as an Expert, since I saw there were currently no "Lyme experts" listed at this time. I can answer most questions about Lyme - most importantly, how to instruct people as to WHERE to get help, answers, resources, etc.


I have lived with Lyme Disease for almost 3 years now (in January of 2013) and have had to educate myself because of the appalling lack of (correct) information about this disease. There is so much misinformation about Lyme, that I took it upon myself to read every book, article and studies available and educate myself. I'm a member of several Lyme groups and have learned so much by listening to other patients about their experiences and treatments. Thankfully I now have a wonderful LLMD (Lyme Literate MD) and am finally getting the treatment that I need. I've worked with dozens of other Lyme patients in helping them get the proper information and providing them with the resources they need to find doctors, learn about their options for treatments and help them find local support groups in their area. It saddens me when well meaning doctors tell their patients that they should be CURED after 3 weeks of antibiotics and yet these same patients are still suffering years later because they still have large bacterial loads in their body that are causing symptoms like fatigue, brain fog, nausea, weight loss/gain, sinus issues, muscle weakness and sometimes lack of mobility, nerve pain, joint pain, etc. - the list goes on and on. We need doctors to come together and realize that the past guidelines are NOT effective and they need to take their patients seriously rather than suggest that maybe it's "all in their head" (which happens more often than you'd think!) I am now unable to walk without a cane or walker (depending on how bad my legs are!), I continue to have peripheral neuropathy in both arms and legs, brain fog and lack of focus/concentration (is maddening!), fatigue, joint pain, nausea, headaches, sinus issues. . .the list goes on. But I'm hopeful that I'm on the right track for treatment (Finally!) and am optimistic that SOMEDAY, I WILL be cured! :)

Local and National Lyme Groups including CALDA (California Lyme Disease Association) Southern California Lyme Group MD Junction Lyme Group

I have a blog called which I definitely need to update since my last post, but it DOES have a LOT of useful links and information!

I have a Masters Degree in Film and Television - no medical degree here, but honestly I feel like I know more now than most (non-Lyme) doctors in the country.

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