Interesting Lyme Survivor Video by an Herbalist

topic posted Thu, May 28, 2009 - 1:14 PM by  Megan
Ann shared this link on Herb Digest. I thought it was intriguing, and wanted to share it here.

The video was made by Lady B, who some of you may have heard of through the Susun Weed community. She's an herbalist and multi-time Lyme's disease surviror who shares her experience. My favorite parts were her talking about allying with teasel (vs. just taking teasel), and also when she says that she believes "you can't heal when you're frightened". (I take that to mean overcome by fear, vs. being thrown physically and emotionally by illness, as most of us are.) It's about 8 minutes long.

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  • Very few people have succeeded in seeing any effect on Lyme with teasel root, but since Lady Barbara's website was one of the only mentions of herbal Lyme treatment online for a long time, and Matt Wood was one of the first herbalists to announce that he'd 'figured it out' basically, and, at the time (1999ish) there was no other 'good news' about treating it herbally, people keep thinking it's a magic cure and all this old misinformation keeps resurfacing.

    I feel like this insistence on teasel does some harm to Lyme patients in general as there's some evidence that undertreating creates a harder-to-treat problem in some cases, so wasting time on an ineffective treatment can be really dangerous.

    I watch herbal Lyme threads on Lymenet, the biggest Lyme patient forum out there, and most people who post about teasel basically find that it doesn't do a whole lot except maybe some arthritis symptom relief.

    there are lots of people treating Lyme with herbs (the two most successful protocols are Zhang's Chinese herbalism book on Lyme and Buhner's book called Healing Lyme, with an earlier, more 'proprietary' protocol by a researcher named Lee Cowden also used) but teasel hasn't shown much success compared to any of them.

    There are much better treatments (and if she "had it 8 separate times" she's probably just a remitting-relapsing case like a lot of Lyme patients, and it may not have much to do with teasel. The remitting-relapsing aspect makes it really hard to tell what's helping some patients and makes it really easy to mistake remission for treatment success).
    • Greetings. I watched the video and a few things stood out for me. Lady Barbara does not claim that Teasel is a cure for lyme's. She states that she has had success allying with teasel. She makes it really clear that it was her allying with the plant that helped her.This is a unique approach and one that I appreciate in terms of the importance of the relationship to the plant that is as important as the components of a plant. So while I appreciate girl what you are saying, I do no believe there is anything misleading about her presentation in the video and I wonder how many people are really allying with a plant to promote their healing. That said, the resources that you mention are very important resources as well, I would also add that David Winston has a CD that one can purchase on this topic as well, that I found informative. Remember there are many ways to get to the same place.
      • I can see how you might feel that way, Girl. I too, wondered what might be going on when Lyme's kept coming up for her multiple times. I would also agree that this video would not be the only resource I would use in approaching Lyme's.

        As Linda said, I don't think Lady B presented teasel or her other methods as a cure or a protocol that anyone else should follow. She talked about using antibiotics at one point, and about her process of gathering information. I perceived her sharing her story, out of gratitude that she now feels completely healed and healthy. I think anyone seeking information who would watch this would (hopefully) note that she is an herbalist who has a very deep relationship with her body and her plants, not just downing teasel. I thought there was a lot of depth and nuance in the way she explained her relationship with that plant.

        As I see it, everyone has their own path to health and healing, and I don't personally believe this has to change (for me or others who have this conviction) when there's a lot of collective fear and greater risk of death around a particular disease. It sounded like confronting that fear was a key in turning things around for Lady B.
        • First of all, my name is Mark, not Girl. On Tribe if you see a profile name followed by an ellipsis (...), its probably because it's a longer nickname and you can figure that uout by clicking on their avatar.

          Second of all, Lyme treatment is very elusive and difficult to fathom because people sometimes go into remission all by themselves, or their symptoms subside or come and go as the disease progresses.

          Therer are lots and lots of people online claiming that various nonscientific treatments work. Often the relapse-remission pattern and difficulty of treating Lyme combined with the placebo effect is what's responsible.

          There is absolutely no evidence for teasel in particular. She talks in her website about having taken it with grapefruit seed extract.

          There IS in fact an in-vitro study on GSE, done by lyme-literate researchers, and we more or less know why it works on Lyme bacteria (I don't usually like GSE for most things, but it seems to do a lot for some people with Lyme). GSE is what we call a cyst-buster- in vitro, it causes Lyme 'cysts' to revert back to active spirochetes which your immune system can identify and attack unlike the stealth 'cyst' form. Taking a cyst-buster can make your symptoms come back like she describes in her website, it happens all the time with various anti-cyst or anti-biofilm remedies that Lyme patients try.

          Importantly, GSE also works on other parasites, and for many people with Lyme, addressing other infections, overgrowths of not-normally-pathogenic bacteria, or, often, addressing parasites, seems to be the big turning point. For myself, using GSE and other things to address an amoeba infection caused me to go into Lyme remission for a couple of years early on, which didn't last. I can totally see how my experience with GSE and parasite herbs and drugs could have, at that point in my illness, turned into a longer remission had I had a simpler lifestyle or better genetics than I do (there's a huge genetic component to Lyme treatment successes or failures, having to do with detoxification and immune response).

          I generally don't like GSE. I don't know the science behind GSE. It's not a real herbal product. It's basically an unregulated pharma product derived from citrus. This is a common attitude among herbalists, for good reason.

          I think that for that reason, someone who's an herbalist would want to downplay the effect of the GSE and emphasise the effect of 'a plant ally' that they took at the same time. It just sounds so much more in line with what we believe.

          Tons of other herbalists, of many different approaches, have tried to use teasel as a Lyme treatment and haven't been able to replicate Matt Wood's 'findings'. It just hasn't worked. One herbalist who treats in Maryland (Lyme is very widespread there) claims that it works for about 2% of the patients she's seen use it. I think you'd call that 'not statistically significant' if you were doing pharma science.

          One other theory on this that some of the early Lyme-treating East Coast herbalists have used to explain the lack of efficacy, is that Matthew Wood, in Minnesota, may have been seeing a lot of patients with a different strain of Lyme than was prevalent on the East Coast. (although at this point these disesases have spread so much that I don't think there's really a geographic strain that you can point to in one area by geography alone, but that might have been the case 10 years ago). Europe tends to have slightly different cases with different disease manifestations than we do. In my state, NC, a study last year found something like 118 strains. Sometimes you get strains (this is from a study in Northeast) that primarily cause skin rashes and are really easy to treat. Sometimes there are strains that respond to some drugs differently than other strains do. Adding in another pathogen to the mix, like bartonella or babesia or ehrlichia or worms, can change the symptoms and severity of the disease and response to treatment. some of these weren't as widespread geographically when Matthew Wood wrote his book.
          • also, on her website, updated in the fall of 08 (I just re-read the whole thing), she very much says she's cured .That's a really, really dangerous word to throw around, and holds out really bad false hopes. It's kind of like saying 'a cure for AIDS'. There's incontrovertably solid science that says that no such thing exists. People do go into permanent remission with proper treatment, but a cure doesn't actually exist, you'll always have the bug in your body and it can come out of hiding and start to cause symptoms anytime if you're unlucky.
            • girl mark,
              Sorry if you were offended by the shortened use of your name and thanks for educating us about the protocol on tribe in relation to this. I also appreciate the extent of your knowledge on lyme's and it sounds to me like you are worried that people will have "false hope" and perhaps that certain information will lead them to believe that they can be "cured". While I do appreciate the extent of your wisdom, I respectfully disagree with your conclusion that people are being mislead. There have been plenty of studies that show the power of prayer and belief. There is solid evidence that prayer does bring about change and there are many instances of healing that are not explainable. And believing a plant will support you is one form of relational and intuitive herbalism, that in my experience is quite valid. While I again respect the information you share and trust that it is one part of the picture, I am feeling sad that that your comments do not honor these other pieces. Mathew Wood is a very well respected herbalist and I do trust that since he lives in one of the areas with the highest incidence of lyme's disease in the country that his experience is one to be considered. I also trust that teasel is not for everyone.

              My own experience with this plant is prophylactic and quite postive. On two occasions my partner was bit by a deer tic and the area became quite irriated after he removed the tic. We placed honey as a drawing agent onto the area and he ingested teasel tincture. Both times the irritation quickly subsided. He allied with this plant and felt like it helped him to avoid a lyme infection.

              I hope that others will share their experiences and wisdom as well.

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