This is topic artemisia annua--herx or what? in forum Medical Questions at LymeNet Flash.

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Posted by Peggy in Maryland (Member # 10480) on :
I've been dealing with Lyme off and on for over a decade. I've been mostly successful in that I've been able to live a relatively normal life, until this year when babesia reared it extremely ugly head. I'm just giving my background as a way of saying I'm very familiar with herxing, have been down that road many times.

But this is different. I started artemisia annua tincture two days ago after seeing some very good reports here. I had to stop Mepron a week ago; it just made me way too sick. I've tried many herbs over the years but never had results from any of them, including Buhner's protocol and Cowden. So I wasn't expecting a whole lot from AA, but I had to try.

I started on a very low dose of 3 drops of AA--the bottle says 20-40 drops 2-4 times a day. Nothing happened on day one. Yesterday I increased to 3 drops twice a day. By late afternoon the dizziness which I'd thought was a side-effect of Mepron, and which had begun to subside after I'd stopped Mepron, was back. By bedtime I couldn't go to sleep--I lay there for 2 hours before finally konking out. My cough was worse. And today I feel very wired.

My question is this--am I herxing? When I said earlier that I'm familiar with herxing, I am. But my herxes have always been about feeling exhausted, aching all over, flu-like symptoms. Then I say, ah, herx--this is working. I've never had symptoms like I'm having now, at least not as a result of taking an herbal tincture. So what might be happening?

Also I should add that I do lots of stuff for detox, so of course I'm doing that.

Posted by seibertneurolyme (Member # 6416) on :
The cough definitely is a babesia symptom as well as the dizziness so it sounds like you are herxing to me. As you continue your treatment do not be surprised if you start having increased night sweats and maybe even chills and fevers.

I am honestly surprised that you are herxing at such low doses, but what I would expect is that as treatment continues it will require higher and higher doses to get the same reaction.

Frequently with babesia meds you may start feeling significant improvement in symptoms within a couple of months and then all of a sudden your symptoms are back full force and the meds do not work anymore. Babesia can definitely develop drug resistance and also resistance to herbs in my opinion -- that is why you should be taking more than just the artemesia. It is probably ok to take that by itself for a couple of weeks, but longer than that I would be adding in a 2nd med or herb.

Hubby has found that he needs multiple meds to even make a dent in his babesia symptoms.

I think it probably does depend to some extent on which strain of babesia you have as to how aggressive the treatment will need to be.

This is not medical advice, just my opinion based on hubby's symptoms.

Good luck.

Bea Seibert
Posted by Peggy in Maryland (Member # 10480) on :
Thanks, Bea. I'm surprised too. I've read some people saying they herx very badly on only one drop of the Byron White Formulas, but that's never happened to me except on prescription drugs. And on drugs I always suffered horrible side-effects, so it was hard to tell what was a herx and what was a drug reaction.

I do plan to increase the dose, but very gradually because it wasn't pleasant having insomnia, and now a new symptom has kicked in--I feel extremely wired. Horrible feeling.

I've also done a lot of reading here, so I have a list of other herbal stuff I can try at some point. But one thing I've read repeatedly is that although it's possible to develop a resistance to artemisinin, the body doesn't develop a resistance to artemisia annua.

Mine is B. microti. I don't know whether I have any other strains, as that's all they tested. But I must say this bug makes Lyme look like a walk in the park. At least for me. I have hardly left the house in over 7 months, and that was to see a doctor.


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