The Rise of Lyme and Other Borrelial Infections
Many parts of New England are considered a hotbed for Lyme disease, and infection rates are steadily rising. When I first began to dig deeply into the research on Lyme disease and common co-infections, I experienced a spike in anxiety. Typically, when this happens to me, I scramble to find another place to direct this energy, and sometimes this tactic yields positive results. In the case of learning about Lyme disease, my anxiety became the catalyst for an exhaustive search on Lyme prevention.
And guess what?
I learned that there’s a BUNCH you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones from Lyme/co-infections.
Note of transparency: Wildwood carries most of the products mentioned below. It was a team effort, deciding on the best-quality products; it’s also what we use on ourselves and our families.
Lyme Disease Prevention Kit
First, know the basics.
I prefer to avoid Permethrin. I use Tickshield Tactical Biting Insect Spray instead. I’ve had good luck with this bug spray, but I also encourage you, if you’re going to use botanical formulations (essential oils) as repellents, to experiment with different oils/combinations. Also, please know that some essential oils are not meant to be applied directly to the skin, and that some people may experience an allergic reaction to a particular botanical. For more info on this, see the EWG’s guide to bug repellents.
I Found an Embedded Tick: Now What?
If you’ve been bitten by a tick, consider the following steps:
- Remove the tick properly, and save it.
- Testing the tick is much easier than “depending” on undependable blood tests. The most affordable and dependable place we know of for testing the tick is a lab in Colorado. Here are the details. You can also bring the tick to Wildwood Medicine, and we will send the tick for you.
- In regards to saving the tick for testing: Secure each tick (dead or alive) in a Ziploc bag. Keep the body intact. Place a slightly dampened cotton ball or piece of paper towel/napkin (1 inch x 1 inch) in the bag with the tick (do not wrap the tick). This will help preserve the tick for identification purposes. If the tick is alive, great! Double-bag it for added security.
- At the site of the bite, apply a few drops of andrographis tincture (Andrographis paniculata).
- Wet a small amount of green clay or bentonite clay with water and apply this paste to the bite. Wrap to hold in place. Green clay is absorbent due to its micro molecules (it literally “drinks” oils, toxic substances, and impurities from your skin). Keep in place for 12-24 hours. There is a decent amount of anecdotal evidence that this may decrease chances of becoming infected.
- After applying green clay/andrographis, take the homeopathic remedy ledum palustre. You can find ledum at most health food stores in 30c potency. That works. If the tick has only just latched on and has not been engorged, take two doses (each dose is 2-4 pellets) within an hour. Do not repeat. If the tick has engorged, take two doses a day, for three days. The initial dose can be as above (the first two doses within an hour), and for the second and third day, you can take one dose in the morning and one at night. When taking homeopathic remedies, try to avoid taking remedy immediately before or after eating. (Advice on using ledum for tick bites comes from here.)
- When you get home, send in your tick for testing. Results are typically back in about 7 days.
- If you test positive for Lyme or a common co-infection, seek out a Lyme-literate practitioner.
- Inform yourself about Lyme before seeing any practitioner. Advocate for yourself to get the best treatment.