Monthly Archives: February 2010

Why You Need Cinnamon in Your Healing Lyme Disease Diet

roman soldier shields

Have you ever heard how a group of Roman soldiers would protect themselves in battle? Several soldiers would huddle close and move together behind their large, heavy shields. Safe from being hit by flying arrows or spears, these soldiers could penetrate and fight the enemy in their own territory.

What can help shield you from the different ways that Lyme disease attacks your body?

Unfortunately, many people with Lyme feel they are losing the battle against their disease
When medications, herbs, or alternative treatments kill the Lyme bacteria, you can actually feel much worse because of the large amounts of Lyme toxins get released. These toxins wander into your joints, brain, and muscles which lead to pain, fatigue, and mental fog. If symptoms continue to get worse or new symptoms keep appearing, you can lose hope of ever healing this disease. If Lyme disease is not stopped, it can disrupt your vital systems.

Lyme disease can mess up your circulation, hormones, and organs
Not only do Lyme toxins aggravate painful symptoms, they can wreak havoc with your blood circulation, hormones, and organs. As a result, you can feel abnormally cold all the time, have debilitating fatigue because your cells are being starved of oxygen, or have heart palpitations or brain fog.

Can cinnamon help to stop how Lyme disease attacks different parts of your body?

Cinnamon helps shield you against the effects of Lyme disease
In Chinese Medicine, cinnamon twigs, also called “gui zhi”, are used in herbal formulas to help shield you against pain and fatigue caused by coldness. Cinnamon twig has slightly different properties from cinnamon bark, which is know as “rou gui”, which is what you use in cooking. Fortunately, cinnamon is used to penetrate and relieve pain in the body.

Cinnamon twig helps to relieve pain
Many people with Lyme disease feel worse in cold weather. One theory is that the Lyme infection makes you colder inside. As a result, cold weather penetrates into your body more easily and creates tightness and discomfort. Cinnamon twigs are used in herbal formulas to relieve pain and tiredness caused by coldness in the shoulders, neck, limbs, muscles and joints. Cinnamon bark also helps get the cold out, too.

These two forms of cinnamon help to increase a low body temperature
Some people with Lyme disease have a very cold average body temperature as low as 95 degrees. By taking a combination of cinnamon twig or bark with other warming herbs like aconite, ginger, and galanga, people with Lyme disease have increased their average body temperatures to normal or near normal levels in just a few weeks.

Cinnamon bark opens up blocked circulation especially in cold hands and feet. Cinnamon helps to warm and open up the blood flow through the small capillaries in your hands and feet. Not only does cinnamon warm you up, it also helps to replenish from fatigue.

Cinnamon helps your cells to feel less fatigued
Having Lyme toxins in your system a long time can decrease the flow of blood through your very small capillaries. As a result, your cells get much less oxygen and you feel easily fatigued. Many people with chronic Lyme disease can only exercise a few minutes before using up the available oxygen in their cells. Cinnamon bark increases blood circulation which helps deliver more oxygen to your cells. With more oxygen, your muscles can work longer before you feel fatigued. Cinnamon can also help your heart also.

It can also stop heart palpitations
Many people with Lyme experience heart palpitations. One kind of palpitation is thought to be caused by a lack of energy in the kidneys and the heart, cinnamon bark combined with the herbs ginseng and cooked rehmannia can help to alleviate it. Another kind of palpitation is thought to be caused by the heart lacking enough warmth, cinnamon twig combined with the herb salvia helps to stop these. Not only does it help your heart, it can also help your brain.

Cinnamon can help your brain cells function better
One study on Alzheimer’s Disease1 shows how cinnamon bark extracts helped to keep neuronal cells in brain tissue samples alive despite depriving them of oxygen and glucose. Inflammation in these brain cells was significantly reduced by these extracts, also. Since Alzheimer’s Disease has many similarities to advanced neurological Lyme disease, cinnamon bark may help to restore brain functioning in Lyme patients. Cinnamon can help with sleep, too.

Cinnamon twig can help you to sleep better
When you can’t sleep because you have too much heat causing sweating at night, cinnamon twig can help. Combining this form of cinnamon with powdered oyster shell and calcified animal bones, helps you to reduce the heat and settle agitation that is keeping you awake. Cinnamon twig also prevents other bacteria from growing inside you.

It also stops nasty germs from growing
People who have taken antibiotics for months or years for Lyme have developed resistant strains of other harmful bacteria. Water extracts of cinnamon twigs have been found to stop the growth of Staphlococcus aureus and Salmonella typhi. It also stops the growth of Asian flu virus (type A) and the ECHO virus2. Taking this herb can help your immune system to limit the growth of dangerous secondary infections. However, cinnamon is not for everyone.

This herb should be avoided by people with certain types of Liver disease
Large amounts of cinnamon may aggravate the liver. People with inflammatory liver disorders are recommended to avoid cinnamon. Consult with a trained herbalist to see if cinnamon and other herbs are safe if you have a liver illness. Both cinnamon twig and bark help shield you in many ways from the damaging effects of Lyme disease.

Cinnamon helps protect you from Lyme disease
Instead of losing the battle against Lyme disease, you can use the different forms of cinnamon to protect you like a group of Roman soldiers gathered underneath their shields. Both forms of this herb can help to protect your heart and brain. They can also help to warm you against cold conditions that are painful or fatiguing.

Using cinnamon twig or bark with the proper combination of other herbs can be an effective treatment strategy to slowing or reversing the damage caused by Lyme disease. Consult with a properly trained herbalist to come up with the right combination of cinnamon and other herbs that can work best for your unique Lyme disease symptoms.

1. Aggarwal, B.B. and Kunnumakkara, A., Molecular Targets And Therapeutic Uses Of Spices: Modern Uses For Ancient Medicine. World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd. Publishers, Hackensack (NJ); 2009

2. Bensky D, Gamble A. Chinese Herbal Medicine: Materia Medica. Revised Edition. Seattle (WA): Eastland Press, Incorporated; 1993.

Next Step: Want to learn more about healing Lyme disease? Click here to find out about our free lecture on healing Lyme disease on Monday March 1st at 6pm in Frederick, MD.

How to Put Out the Fire in Your Burning Bartonella Feet

put out house fire

You hear the wail of sirens signaling the arrival of several fire engines. Down the street, you see firemen carrying hoses up to a house with black smoke billowing out of it. From inside the house, you hear the sounds of breaking glass and the shouts of firemen. Suddenly, the smoke from the house suddenly turns from black to white as firemen spray hundreds of gallons of water on the fire.

How is putting out a house fire similar to eliminating a Bartonella bacteria infection?

People with a Bartonella infection can feel just like they are inside a burning house
People can get this disease from insect bites, coming into contact with infected pet saliva, or being scratched by an infected animal. As a result of tick bites, many people with Lyme disease also get Bartonella. They can have hot, burning, painful sensations in their feet, legs, arms, and/or hands. Other symptoms can include bouts of anxiety, irritability, and/or suicidal depression. Unfortunately, this infection can be difficult to eliminate.

Bartonella can hide in your blood cells
At a recent lecture, a prominent Lyme literate physician gave his opinion that Bartonella can be harder to clear than Lyme disease with antibiotics. Another physician, Dr. James Schaller describes Bartonella on his website:

“Bartonella is a powerful emerging infection with 32 species that causes dozens of psychiatric, neurological, heart, eye, liver problems and promotes: depression, heart attacks, strokes, rage, migraines, agitation, damage to any organ, personality changes, brain fog, ADD, heart valve injury, fatigue, bipolar disorder.”

Research studies show that Bartonella is able to hide inside of red blood cells1. This may be one of the reasons why some researchers find that it is harder to kill in the body.

Bartonella appears to resist many antibiotics
According to a John Hopkins website, six species are known to cause disease in humans. In 2007, the newest species of this bug that infects humans was discovered in sheep. Research studies have reported that antibiotics kill Bartonella more effectively in the lab and not as effectively in patients. One reason is that it is able to develop resistance against certain drugs2. Other Lyme literate physicians use a combination of different drugs to combat Bartonella.

If physicians describe Bartonella as a difficult infection to treat, what else can help you to eliminate it?

An eastern solution for addressing Bartonella
Since Bartonella symptoms can show up as heat in different parts of the body and emotional agitation this implies that this infection has a hot or “Yang” quality. And given that this infection can affect every organ, including the brain, implies that the bacteria and its toxins are able to wander into every part of the body. These qualities can be characterized by something called “fire toxins” in Chinese Medicine. Fortunately, there are ways to help you to clear these fire toxins and eliminate this infection.

A Chinese herbal strategy for putting out the fire of Bartonella
In Chinese herbal medicine, an herb called “houttuynia” is classified as “Clearing Heat and Relieving Toxicity.” This herb has been successfully used to treat Bartonella by a Chinese physician in New York named Dr. Q. Zhang3. This herb has antibacterial and antiviral properties in addition to clearing heat and toxins. Fortunately this herb can be combined with other herbs to help relieve Bartonella symptoms.

Carrier herbs help to target Bartonella symptoms
Patients experience a dramatic reduction of their Bartonella symptoms when houttuynia is combined with other special herbs, called “carrier herbs.” Carrier herbs are like taxis that “carry” other herbs into specific parts of the body. If a patient has burning legs or feet, then an herb called “dipsacus” or Japanese teasel root can carry houttuynia into the lower extremities. Cinnamon Twigs are used to carry houttuynia into the lymph system, the hands, and feet. Kudzu is used to deliver houttuynia into the shoulders and neck. Adding organ protecting herbs also helps to reduce Bartonella symptoms.

Other herbs help to protect your organs against a Bartonella infection
Ginseng and salvia can be used to reduce palpitations and protect the heart against inflammation. Licorice and schissandra are used to protect the liver from infection and damaging toxins. Ligusticum and acorus are used to help clear brain fog and protect against inflammation. Mint and kudzu help to vent rashes out of the skin. When adding protecting herbs to a customized mixture of herbs patients report significant improvements.

Patients report reduced Bartonella symptoms
When patients take 2-4 grams of houttuynia each day combined with carrier and organ protecting herbs, they have reported a dramatic decrease in their burning sensations in their extremities. In as little as one week, some patients have had 90% of their burning symptoms disappear. Other Bartonella patients have also reported feeling less irritible, having more energy, and significantly reduced headaches. Others report less heart palpitations and improved mental clarity. Using the right set of herbs can address your specific symptoms.

The right combination of herbs can help you eliminate Bartonella symptoms
Just like putting out a house fire, using a customized combination herbs can help you to put out burning Bartonella symptoms. Adding carrier herbs and organ protecting herbs also helps you to target painful areas in your body and helps your organs to heal. Consult with a trained Chinese herbalist to help you formulate the best herbs for zapping your Bartonella symptoms.

1. Rolain JM, Novelli S, Ventosilla P, Maguina C, Guerra H, Raoult D. Immunofluorescence detection of Bartonella bacilliformis flagella in vitro and in vivo in human red blood cells as viewed by laser confocal microscopy. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2003 Jun;990:581-4.

2. Biswas S, Raoult D, Rolain JM. Molecular mechanisms of resistance to antibiotics in Bartonella bacilliformis. J Antimicrob Chemother. 2007 Jun;59(6):1065-70.

3. Zhang, Q., and Y Zhang (2006). Lyme Disease and Modern Chinese Medicine. New York, Sino-Med Research Institute.