Monthly Archives: November 2010

Three Herbs for Expelling a Persistent Babesia Infection

trojan horse

For people with recurring Babesia sweats, fatigue, and headaches
by Greg Lee

Remember the story of how the Greeks finally were able to penetrate into the heavily fortified city of Troy? After ten years of unsuccessful attempts to storm the city, they built a Trojan Horse and wheeled it in front of the city gates. The Trojans wheeled it in their city unaware of the Greek warriors hidden inside. As night fell, the stowaway Greeks emerged and opened the gates to admit the rest of the army.

How are warriors hidden inside a Trojan Horse like a Babesia infection?

Just like soldiers inside a Trojan Horse, Babesia hides inside ticks
Babesia is a protozoa that can be transmitted through infected tick saliva1. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also reported cases of infection through blood transfusion and organ transplants. Once inside a human host, it enters red blood cells, which makes it very hard to eliminate.

What are the signs and symptoms of a Babesia infection?

Babesia can create symptoms similar to Lyme disease
Some people do not show any symptoms at all. Babesia is more life threatening for people who have had their spleen removed, are over 50 years old, have an infection like HIV, which compromises their immune system, or are co-infected with Lyme disease. According to Dr. Shoemaker, Babesia microti produces toxins that can produce recurring chronic symptoms2. Symptoms can look similar to Lyme disease, which may include fever, chills, sweats, persistent headaches, fatigue, brain fog, and shortness of breath. Patients may be on drug treatment for a long time.

Babesia can be very hard to get out of your blood cells
Patients may be on drugs like Mepron, Malarone, and/or azithromycin for six weeks or more. Unfortunately, relapsing symptoms may be due to stowaway Babesia organisms hiding in blood cells that re-emerge after drug treatment.

Are there other ways to help eliminate a relapsing Babesia infection?

There are three herbs that help to significantly reduce the fatigue and headache symptoms of Babesia
Babesia has the nickname “Malaria of the Northeastern United States” due to its similarities to malaria, which is another protozoa infection.” However, one expert says that Babesia often requires higher doses of medications than malaria3. Herbs that are effective at treating malaria and other protozoan infections also reduce Babesia symptoms in patients. When these herbs are used in an anti-Babesia herb treatment approach, patients report more energy, greater stamina, and less headaches.

Herb #1: Herba Artemisiae Annuae, Chinese name: Qing Hao4
The properties of this herb are clears heat, treats malaria, cools the blood, clears liver heat, and brightens the eyes. Two derivatives of Qing Hao, artemisinin and artesenuate are also being used to treat Babesia. Artemisinin has been used effectively with other medications by a Lyme literate physician to effectively cure persistent, relapsing Babesia5. Another Lyme physician recommends using artesunate in combination with other anti-Babesia medicines.

Qing Hao is also used to treat “steaming bone disorder” or the feeling that one’s bones are being cooked, tidal fever, unremitting low-grade fever, thirst, soreness and weakness of the low back and knees, irritability, and heat in the palms, soles, and the middle of the chest. Other symptoms this herb is used to treat are warmth at night and chills in the morning, absence of perspiration, heavy limbs, stifling sensation in the chest, and a flushed face. This herb also treats red eyes, dizziness, photophobia, arrhythmia, and jaundice.

Qing Hao is also effective in inhibiting Staphylococcus aureus (staph), Bacillus anthracis (anthrax), Corynebacterium diphtheriae (diphtheria), Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bacillus dysenteriae (dysentery), and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (tuberculosis). This herb is cautioned in patients with diarrhea and coldness in the stomach. Azole antifungals and calcium channel blockers may present significant herb-drug interactions with this herb. In long term studies, this herb had no adverse effects on vital organs.

Herb #2: Folium Artemisia Argyi, Chinese name: Ai Ye6
The properties of this herb are warming, stops bleeding, dispels phlegm, stops cough, relieves wheezing, and treats pain due to cold in the lower abdomen. Used to treat malaria, it has been effective in reducing Babesia symptoms in patients. Ai Ye is also used to stop profuse menstrual bleeding, vaginal bleeding in unstable pregnancy, nosebleeds, coughing up blood, irregular menses, pain during menses, infertility, abdominal coldness and pain, eczema, itching, asthma, allergies, hepatitis, cirrhosis, and burns.

Research shows that it inhibits the growth of other infections: Bacillus anthracis (anthrax), Streptococcus (strep), Staphylococcus aureus (staph), Corynebacterium diphtheriae (diphtheria), pneumonia, and Bacillus dysenteriae (dysentery). There are no documented cautions or contraindications with existing medications at this time. Normal dosages of this herb are 3 to 10 grams. Adverse reactions may occur at doses of 20 to 30 grams.

Herb #3: Peganum or Syrian Rue, Chinese name: Luo Tuo Peng Zi7
The properties of this herb are acrid, bitter, and neutral. It is used to stop coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, soreness and pain of the joints, numbness of the extremities, and itching and rashes of the skin. Normal dosages of this herb are 3 to 6 grams. Adverse reactions may occur at higher doses. Patients are given an alkaloid extract of this herb, called harmine, because it lacks the adverse reactions of Luo Tuo Peng Zi. This extract has been effective in killing an intracellular protozoan infection called Leishmaniasis in hamster experiments8. One patient reported vivid dreams while taking this extract.

How do you know that these herbs are working to kill off your Babesia infection?

Patients report a significant reduction of Babesia symptoms
After taking the herbs listed above with anti-toxin and immune enhancing herbs, several Lyme patients co-infected with Babesia have reported increased energy, stamina and decreased brain fog in as little as a few weeks. Several of these patients were also taking anti-Babesia medications. One patient reported an increase in stamina and breathing capacity, which enabled her to double the length of her exercise time after the first week of taking these herbs. The right combination can help reduce persistent Babesia symptoms.

The right herb combination can help you to expel a stowaway Babesia infection
Just like kicking out stowaway soldiers in a Trojan Horse, the proper combination of herbs helps you to reduce a persistent Babesia infection. Since some of these herbs come with cautions on their use, work with a Lyme literate herbalist to develop a proper, safe, and effective herbal strategy for your condition.

1. Chauvin, Alain.; et al. Babesia and its hosts: adaptation to long-lasting interactions as a way to achieve efficient transmission. Veterinary Research. Vol. 40. No. 2.
2. Shoemaker, Ritchie.
3. Schaller, James. Babesia Update 2009. Tampa, FL: Hope Academic Press. p 15.
4. Chen, John K., and Tina T. Chen. 2004. Chinese Medical Herbology and Pharmacology. City of Industry CA: Art of Medicine Press, Inc., pp. 244 – 246.
5. Krause, Peter. Panel: Genetic and Acquired Determinants of Host Susceptibility and Vulnerable Populations at the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences: A Workshop on the Critical Needs and Gaps in Understanding Prevention, Amelioration, and Resolution of Lyme and Other Tick-borne Diseases: the Short-Term and Long-Term Outcomes. Washington, DC. October 11, 2010
6. Chen, John K., and Tina T. Chen. 2004. Chinese Medical Herbology and Pharmacology. City of Industry CA: Art of Medicine Press, Inc., pp. 600 – 602.
7. Chen, John K. Personal email correspondence on June 2, 2010.
8. Lala, Sanchaita; et al. Harmine: Evaluation of its Antileishmanial Properties in Various Vesicular Delivery Systems. Journal of Drug Targeting. Vol. 12. No. 3., pp. 165 – 175.

Note: This information has not been evaluated by the FDA. It is generic and for general information purposes only, and is not meant to prevent, diagnose, treat or cure any condition, illness, or disease. It is very important that you make no change in your health care plan or  regimen without researching and discussing it in collaboration with your  professional health care team.

Next Step: Want to learn more about healing Lyme disease? Click here to find out about our evening lecture at 6pm on Monday December 6th, “Getting Rid of Lyme Disease” in Frederick, Maryland.