The best herbs for Lyme disease
In my journey with Lyme disease, I’ve discovered a ton of natural ways to treat Lyme, including by using herbs for Lyme disease!
Herbs are a fantastic tool for wellness and recovery. They support the body’s natural processes instead of covering over symptoms, as many over-the-counter drugs do. They’re also gentle and generally can be used by anyone, even us sensitive Lymies!
It’s easy to incorporate herbs into your Lyme disease protocol since you don’t need a prescription and there are very few (if any) side effects from adding herbs to your Lyme diet.
At the bottom of this page, you’ll also find my recipe for an herbal tea for Lyme disease, which is the tea I use almost every day to help with support and Lyme symptoms as I’m healing.
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Herbs for Lyme disease
There are many herbs that are fantastic for pretty much anyone to take, such as adaptogens (including ashwagandha and astragalus), which help to bring the body back into balance no matter where it’s at.
There are a couple of more specific herbs for Lyme disease that are super helpful for specific Lyme symptoms and problems.
These herbs can be a great part of chronic Lyme disease treatment.
I’ve also included links for you to find good places to buy each herb. It’s important to find somewhere to buy from that you can trust, and that offers high-quality herbs that haven’t used pesticides or herbicides, and that’s why I always buy my herbs from Starwest Botanicals.
Read on to find out which herbs are best for you to include in your Lyme disease herbal protocol!
First off, a little herb lesson for you: Herbs have energetics. This means they can be warming, moistening, bitter, drying, and more.
I’m sure you’ve noticed the heat from eating ginger or cayenne, or the cooling feeling of peppermint. Those are the plant’s energetics!
One thing most people don’t know about herbs is that they work best when they’re bringing your energetics into balance.
What this means is that if you feel cold all the time, and you take an herb that is supposed to be good for nausea, but it’s cooling -peppermint is one such herb- it might not be the best solution for you. It could even make your symptoms worse!
So you can’t just search “what herbs are good for (fill in the blank)” because they might not be good for you personally.
What you need to do is to first be aware of your energetics (also called your constitution) and how you’re feeling at the time, and then look for herbs that can help bring you into balance while also supporting your body to soothe the symptoms you’re feeling.
You can find out exactly what your energetic constitution is here.
If one herb doesn’t work for you, don’t lose hope in all herbs! Just move on and try something different.
The herbs below are fantastic for Lyme symptoms, but that doesn’t mean they’re perfect choices for everyone. I’ve included a little about the energetics of each herb below to help you decide if it’s right for you.
The good thing is that all these herbs are very safe to use, and they won’t harm you if they don’t perfectly match your energetics.
The herb cat’s claw (Uncaria tomentosa) is by far one of the best herbs for Lyme disease.
The active alkaloid constituents of the inner bark of cat’s claw help to support the body’s immune system. Cat’s claw is an immunomodulator, meaning it helps to balance either an over- or under-active immune system, both of which can be a problem for people with Lyme disease.
They either have an immune system that’s going crazy trying to find and destroy invaders, or it can be tricked into ignoring Lyme parasites completely.
It’s best to take cat’s claw with food since the herb is activated by stomach acid. (source)
Cat’s claw is not recommended for pregnant or nursing women. (source)
This herb is bitter and cooling, so it’ll work best for people who regularly feel warm, and the bitter energetics help with digestion.
You can buy cat’s claw here. (Note: This is a link to cat’s claw powder. You’ll need to add it and stir in individually to each cup of tea instead of preparing beforehand. I couldn’t find the whole bark, but you can check your local co-op!)
You can use Pau d’Arco (Handroanthus impetiginosus) to fight against numerous issues faced by people with Lyme disease.
Pau d’Arco is antimicrobial and antiparasitic, so it can help strengthen the body to rid itself of Lyme parasites such as Bartonella.
It’s also antifungal, so it can help with candida, or yeast overgrowth in the gut. This is a problem many people with Lyme have since their normal gut balance is usually off because of the Lyme.
This herb also reduces pain from joint issues and symptoms of arthritis, something many Lymies suffer from.
Related: Organic joint support tea
It can also boost your strength and stimulate the immune system.
Pau d’Arco has not been confirmed safe for pregnant women yet, so it is not recommended for women who are pregnant. (source)
Taking extremely high doses of Pau d’Arco (such as a tea using one cup of the herb) might cause diarrhea and gastrointestinal issues.
Pau d’Arco is bitter, astringent, and cooling. (source)
You can find Pau d’Arco online here. Make sure to buy it cut and sifted (C/S) and not the powder.
Marshmallow root (Althaea officinalis) is a great herb for many different maladies. It can help with a dry cough and irritated throat, skin care, and heart health. (source)
For Lymies, marshmallow root is a good choice because it is an antioxidant that helps to protect the body, and it can help to heal the lining of the gut.
Leaky gut and indigestion is a problem that a lot of people with Lyme have, and using herbs to support gut healing is a major way you can aid the body so that it has more energy to put towards healing from Lyme disease.
Marshmallow root is sweet, cooling, and moistening. (source)
It’s also a slight diuretic, and it helps cling to and rid the body of waste, as well as working to reduce inflammation and pain.
You can buy marshmallow root (C/S) here.
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) has been used for hundreds of years to help with wound healing.
The flower helps with all kinds of blood issues, and it can purify the blood, boost the immune system, and increase circulation. Yarrow is good for anyone with a cold.
Yarrow is also antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and diaphoretic (helps you sweat). This makes yarrow a fantastic herb for chronic Lyme disease treatment, as it helps the body fight off Lyme parasites and get rid of the pathogens.
Yarrow can also help decrease menstrual pains and stomach cramps, but pregnant women should consult a doctor before using yarrow.
This herb is bitter and has a balancing effect on the body. (source)
Buy yarrow flowers here.
Other herbs for Lyme
The four herbs above are my top choices for chronic Lyme disease treatment. There are a couple other herbs that deserve mention as well, and would make great choices as part of your Lyme disease herbal protocol!
Nettle is good for replenishing minerals, as many Lymies are deficient in crucial minerals. If you’re looking for Lyme disease nutritional supplements, stinging nettle is a great herb to add to your diet.
Related: Echinacea root and flower tincture
Ashwagandha is a balancing adaptogenic herb that helps with the anxiety that many people with chronic Lyme experience. It’s also a mood-booster!
These are all fantastic herbs to experiment with for chronic Lyme disease treatment. My favorite way to use herbs regularly is by making a simple tea for Lyme disease!
Tea for Lyme disease
A homemade herbal tea for Lyme disease is incredibly easy to make and safe to incorporate into your daily routine. You can mix all the ingredients ahead of time for quick access, or just get the individual ingredients and make a mixture each time you prepare your tea.
You’ll need cat’s claw, Pau d’Arco, marshmallow root, and yarrow. I also like adding either orange peel or peppermint for the taste. If you’re missing any of the ingredients, don’t sweat it! Each and every one of the ingredients is beneficial for people with Lyme disease.
To make a single cup, just use a pinch of equal parts of each herb. To prep a batch of tea, mix together about a tablespoon of each herb and store in a small glass jar or tin. (This works for cut herbs but not powdered- they’ll just sink to the bottom. You’ll need to add powdered herbs to each cup of tea individually)
It can be tough to measure the Pau d’Arco because of the way the herb is shaped, so you might just need to eyeball it.
Then you’ll just boil water and infuse the herbs with a tea strainer like you would with any other tea.
Let it steep for about 10 minutes then strain.
Compost the herbs, and enjoy your tea!
Herbal tea for Lyme disease
This tea is packed with nutritious herbs that are fantastic for the symptoms faced by people with chronic Lyme disease. Add this herbal tea to your daily routine to aid in immunity and recovery from Lyme disease!
- 1/2 tsp cat's claw
- 1/2 tsp Pau d'Arco
- 1/2 tsp marshmallow root
- 1/2 tsp yarrow
- 1/2 tsp orange peel or peppermint leaf (optional)
- Sweetener (optional)
Heat two cups of water to almost boiling.
Add one pinch or 1/2 teaspoon of each herb to a tea strainer.
Pour over water and let steep for 10 minutes.
Strain, add sweetener to taste if desired, and enjoy!
You can prepare your tea mixture ahead of time by adding about a tablespoon of each herb to a jar. Shake to combine and use a couple pinches each time you make your tea.
These are some of the best Lyme disease herbs to use as part of a natural treatment for chronic Lyme disease. Of course, just drinking herbal tea isn’t enough for most people to completely recover from Lyme.
There is a cure for Lyme disease in humans, and it’s absolutely treatable, but you’ll need to work with a natural practitioner to find what options are best for you.
Do you think you’ll add any of these herbs to your Lyme disease protocol?
Let me know what you’re using to treat Lyme in the comments below!