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» LymeNet Flash » Questions and Discussion » Medical Questions » Herx from herbs ?

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Author Topic: Herx from herbs ?
lightwise
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Hi, I have been recently diagnosed with Lyme, I just started on Buhner's protocol herbs. I am used to taking herbs so I decided to "ramp up" faster than he recommended in his book.

In 5 days I am up to:
4 Andrographis tablets, 4 Cat's Claw Caps, 4 Resveratrol, and 4 caps Smilax ... these are all in the brands and milligrams he suggests in his book. I'm taking these three times a day and will jump to 4 times a day soon.

My question is why haven't I herxed ?
I've read of others herxing on one andro pill. Just curious. My symtoms are mild and I feel pretty functional overall (thank God).


If one "really" has Lyme a herx is another way to confirm that the Lyme diagnoses accurate ... am I correct ?

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trueblue
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I don't think so. I might be wrong but am pretty sure not everyone herxes. Some others have told me they just took their ABX and slowly improved. Hmmm... wish I was one of them.

You're also only 5 days in (and I have no experience with that protocol so don't know how that works).

You might find you herx down the line.


Um... be careful ramping anything up too fast. If it does all of a sudden hit you... you don't want to wind up in the hospital.

--------------------
more light, more love
more truth and more innovation

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clairenotes
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Lightwise quote:

"If one "really" has Lyme a herx is another way to confirm that the Lyme diagnoses accurate ... am I correct ?"

Yes... it is another way of confirming a lyme diagnosis. And yes, people do often herx on herbs just like on abx.

Though I don't know of anyone personally, I have heard of instances where herxing did not occur and people got well. If I could only be sooooo lucky!!

Another possibility is that you don't have LD, which would be great. Perhaps there is some milder infection going on?

Still, if it were me I would experiment with the remedies a little. Is it safe/okay to increase the dose? Someone just posted on increasing cat's claw to a much higher level than suggested. Then again, maybe it is too early, as True mentioned (posts crossed).

I am treating LD with alternative remedies, but using a different protocol.

Best wishes,

Claire

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Lymetoo
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quote:
Originally posted by clairenotes:
Lightwise quote:

"If one "really" has Lyme a herx is another way to confirm that the Lyme diagnoses accurate ... am I correct ?"

Yes... it is another way of confirming a lyme diagnosis. And yes, people do often herx on herbs just like on abx.

Seems to me that more people herx while on abx than those on herbs...?

I think lightwise's first quote above would hold true for most IF we're talking about abx.

--------------------
--Lymetutu--
Opinions, not medical advice!

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MariaA
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I didn't herx on either herbs or antibiotics and I got a WHOLE lot better on both (still taking herbs only).

I started out on doxycycline and never really felt anything but steady improvement, no real worsening at any point until 6 months later when a different antibiotic gave me side effects that made me tired.

I attributed the herxless experience partly to taking eleutherococcus while on the antibiotics (before taking the buhner herbs) and partly to taking a lot of toxin-binding substances (chlorella, bentonite clay, Welchol). I think the eleuthero helped me with any energy loss I"d have felt with a herx (it helps your body deal with stress and many different illnesses).


By the time I started more serious Buhner core protocol herbs I think I"d killed a lot of the original germ load with over a month of antibiotics.

I have experienced something like a herx when I added boneset herb 7-8 months later due to bartonella symptoms, but that quickly turned into steady improvement and those symptoms going away as well.

I'd strongly suggest starting slowly- a few people on the lyme_Aid_Buhner yahoogroup forum said that they became sensitive to various herbs (especially andrographis and knotweed) and it seems to make sense to work your way up dosage-wise to avoid this.

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MariaA
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Also, if you don't have Lyme, these herbs are helpful for a wide variety of immune system conditions and infections that give Lyme-like symptoms, plus some of them are very good antioxidants, so if you don't react badly to them, it doesn't seem like there'd be much harm in using them for a while to see if your symptoms improve.

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MariaA
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Also, you said you're familiar with herbs- what else have you taken in the recent past?

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clairenotes
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My daughter and I must fall into the 'extreme sensitive to everything' category...

My reactions were to arteminisin (at low dose, in addition to higher doses), samento, freeze-dried garlic (huge!) homeopathics (some of which are based on herbs), CoQ10 (not an herb), salt/c (also not an herb). I have been much more foggy and irritable lately, due to increased amounts of CoQ10 (though, again not an herb).

My daughter reacted to all of the above (except garlic), and very recently, essential oils. She has been home from school for two days now (sore throat, headache, chills, skin break-out).

Thought I had read of others here having difficulty at times with herbal protocols?

Perhaps those on abx experience stronger reactions than those taking herbs, or other alternative treatments, and experience more side-effects, etc.

Claire

[ 14. February 2007, 08:15 AM: Message edited by: clairenotes ]

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hardynaka
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I guess I don't herx anymore for quite some time.

My lyme symptoms are gone, mostly. That's why, I think!!

When I was very bad, I certainly herxed with andro, but I'm not sure I herxed with other herbs, not that clearly as with andro. But I kept improving.

I guess if you have mild symptoms, you'll herx less. But if you don't improve, well, then you must continue searching!

Selma

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Annxyz
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lightwise:

If you have not had lyme a long time , then you may not have nasty herxing at all.

I had lyme ten years without an accurate DX, and even after almost 18 mos of ABX ( doxy ) I am having nasty herxing with herbs . I feel just like I did when I started doxy - VERY BAD.

I find the herbs powerful. Not the cat's claw for me , but the andrographis is VERY strong , esp when boosted by resveratrol .

I look forawrd to feeling better and figure I have a few months of feeling worse . Hopefully it will be worth it .

--------------------
ANNXYZ

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JimBoB
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I do not believe it is so much herxing from an herb, but maybe herxing or more accurately having a "reaction" from mixing the wrong kinds of herbs and/or not taking Red Root tincture and a good dose of Sarsaparilla and Milk Thistle.

At least that has been MY reaction.

Course I didn't herx when I first started treating with Cipro almost 7 years ago. I DID relapse though about 8 or 9 months later.

The abx just kill my stomach now.

Herbs do not seem to bother my stomach nor make me herx.

Jim [Cool]

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MariaA
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Anne,

have you tried sarsaparilla or high doses of eleutherococcus as described in the book? It can make "everything" feel better while you're killing the borellia. Sarsaparilla can reduce herxes, and eleuthero just gives you more energy and makes you better able to deal with stress and illness symptoms.

Maria

--------------------
Symptom Free!!! Thank you all!!!!

Find me at Lymefriends, I post under the same name.
diet: http://lymefriends.ning.com/group/healthylowcarbrecipes
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Annxyz
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Maria,

I am taking sarsaprilla and a detox remedy . Upon JimBOB"s advise, I ordered red root tincture today. I do not feel the sarsaparilla lessens the herx for me. I believe it kills bacteria in my case and adds to the fluey feeling and chills and fatigue .

I may try your other suggestion, but does it really help with herxing ? How does it help
YOU specifically ?

Maria, How much of each herb do you take now ?
How long have you been on the protocol? How long have you had lyme ? I have had it eleven years and did a year of doxy and had to take a break because of stomach/ yeast problems.

How long were you on the protocol before you began feeling better ? Did you herx a lot initially ?

I REALLY APPRECITE ALL SUGGESTIONS from you and JBOB and others who have tried the herbal
attack.

Thanks !!!

--------------------
ANNXYZ

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MariaA
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I haven't tried sarsaparilla yet. I'm on everything else in the core protocol plus stephania root plus lots of eleuthero. I did doxy initially, didn't herx that I noticed (I was semi-functional with LYme most of the time, not as sick as some here). I was using TONS of chlorella and bentonite clay and some eleuthero and also prescription Welchol (search here for cholestyramine for more info on what it does) and I think all of these things lessened any herxing that happened to the point where I never really noticed it.

After about a month of doxy I started core protocol herbs but stopped after two-three months because I had antibiotics side effects which I mistakenly thought were from one of the herbs. I felt like I saw a lot of improvement with the herbs and antibiotics combo.

I switched to azithromycin (that's what was causing the side effects actually) and did that alone for severla months. I stopped after 6 months and all my energy came back, I thought I was totally fine. I didnt do any herbs at that time as I was getting CD-57 and other tests done and didn't want to interfere with the results, but I had intended to switch to herbs for a few months to 'make sure' even if it seemed like I was completely in remission.

I was then OK and in perfect health for a month and then crashed big-time. I felt as sick as I'd ever felt. It turned out that my CD-57 was 23, so I definitely didn't get rid of the borellia with my antibiotics. My LLMD thinks I should have unless there was another problem, such as mercury or coinfections. I then tested high in mercury.

I started the core protocol and high eleuthero dosages immediately upon 'crashing' (getting super sick again). Within a week or 10 days almost all my symptoms were under control again except some new bartonella symtoms. I tested negative for bartonella but my doc thinks I should try antibiotics for it later when I can handle them again (too many side effects for this from the 6 months of oral antibiotics at the moment).
Anyway, I took boneset for bartonella and pain relief and within two weeks all my pain was gone too (core protocol does this too not just boneset alone).

I've been feeling pretty functional with the exception of about 10 days when I tried to do mercury chelation therapy and reacted VERY badly to it. My doc says I've got a metabolic pathway that's not functioning right so I wasn't able to excrete the chelated mercury/DMSA combo, so we dropped that idea for a while and I"m doing various things to try to build up my system (b-12 injections about to start, undenatured whey, eating well, tons of probiotics, and many other things).

I also have a further complication of having a bad ulcer- there's probably some kind of connection between Lyme and my really bad h. pylorii infection and I think the h pylorii is affecting my overall health and ability to treat the Lyme fully also.

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MariaA
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oh and I think I'm herxing from stephania, and I think I herxed mildly from boneset and from garlic. The stephania, which is for eye involvement (and neuro) in Lyme, is giving me red soreness in my eyes, and puffiness under the eyes. The soreness is a symptom I had before when I was really sick with Lyme- it feels just like if you didnt' sleep enough- but that symptom had subsided during all the treatment I did. Using stephania brought it back so I'm sure that's where the little buggers are hiding somehow. kill, kill, kill spirochetes!

I'm using it orally, not as an eyewash, and should try the eyewash if I can get around to it.

I also take red root, or would if I remembered where I misplaced the vial this week. I did get swollen lymph nodes when I first started taking it and boneset, which subsided after some exercise and more red root.

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Annxyz
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Thank you for sharing , Maria . I am glad you feel pretty functional most of the time.
I wonder if i will ever get ove the intense flu feeling that awakens me each AM. I am going to
Buhner's protocol a year , then look into rife.

I hope your doctor finds a good solution for thr H pylorii . It must be awful to not be able to resolve it .

Others here seem to get through this protocol without a lot of herxing . Hopefully I will get past it in a few months and see some benefit .

I hope you continue to make big strides and thank you for sharing your personal experience .

--------------------
ANNXYZ

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MariaA
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Well, I have the option of taking Flagyl and that'll resolve it, but I'm hesitant to because I'm still struggling with bad candida from the last antibiotic experience, and have had that problem quite badly even on shorter courses of antibiotics for things other than Lyme.

I think that everything I"m doing right now will eventually balance out the systemic problems I have- including the metals detoxification- and then I'll give antibiotics another go for the ulcer. I'm still trying to decide whether to try to target bartonella as well, since it's not clear whether I have it or not, and it's not clear how fast the Buhner herbs get rid of it. The symptoms seem to be gone so I might just ignore it.

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MariaA
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I upped my stephania dosage today and boy am I sick of the eyeball soreness thing- I look like I have the flu. I'm going to lay off of it for a few days and see if it goes away, so I can see if it's really the herb or if I've got some other problem.

Maria

--------------------
Symptom Free!!! Thank you all!!!!

Find me at Lymefriends, I post under the same name.
diet: http://lymefriends.ning.com/group/healthylowcarbrecipes
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HaplyCarlessdave
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I found that the herx effect often waxed strngest at about the third week of a new treatment and would repeat cyclically thereafter, lessening in intensity. The effect was stronger on some drugs than others, and while the intensity of the "herx" effect did sometimes seem to correlate with the effectiveness of a treatment, this wasn't always the case! So, don't worry about it too much- just worry about dealing with it when it happens. Detoxifying teas of various sorts can be a big help.

I agree with not "ramping up too fast", in general, but, then again, perhaps certain abx should be started full force for maximum effectiveness, and possibly to prevent development of resistance, too.

DaveS

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hardynaka
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Maria, it's "funny" to see your bartonella symptoms appeared when you had attacked many of the other critters. It sounds like me!!!

And that you feel 'cured' from it, but you're not sure. Like me !!!! If it's gone, it will have been an easy battle. I still can't believe. I gotta check with ART...

I guess you can't just shoot to all sides at once. I would concentrate on main problems you're having, like H. pilori and mercury, and leave the symptomless bugs to be dealt later. Just how I would do personally.

I had heard about awful reactions to DMSA injections. Sorry it didn't work well. What are your options now? Can't your doctor do a milder detox and have clemency? [Smile]

I don't know which I fear more, lyme symsptoms coming back or heavy mercury intoxication symptoms... Both are dreadful.

I just bouhght eleuthero capsules. I took one capsule today, nothing special, I'll raise to 2 tomorrow to see. But I guess when we get symptomless (or next to), it's hard to know what 'helps' or not...

thanks for your update on stephania. It feels it's doing something!

Hope you'll be able to solve your H. pilori problem.

I guess, accupuncture/ moxibustion helps with the pain (stomach). At least for me, these were precious saviours for decades. Even a hot bottle of water (very hot) applied to the right points (usually behind the stomach, on your back) were great pain relievers for me. I didnt' get an ulcer, only gastritis though.

Selma

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