It’s no mystery to most of the people reading this email that mold and Lyme are two of the most important root causes of chronic complex illness. So when a mold patient unexpectedly gets a tick bite, the panic button can get hit. This year my office has been receiving more phone calls and emails than I ever remember asking, “I just found a tick on me. What do I do?”
Like many things in life, being prepared with a solution before an event occurs tends to produce the best outcome with the least amount of wear and tear on the nervous system.
1. Have a way of removing the tick efficiently and quickly. The O’Tom Tick Twister is a handy device that can quickly twist it out.
2. Be prepared to send the tick to a lab which can identify Lyme species and coinfections for your region of the US.
- In Colorado, www.ticknology.org will test for multiple species and costs $35.
- On the West Coast, IGenex will test multiple species. However, the cost adds up at $75 per species.
- In Massachusetts, www.tickreport.com costs $50 and the report is produced in 72 hours.
3. Prophylactic Treatment: The current IDSA approved recommendation for a known tick bite is one dose of doxycycline. No one in the Lyme community seriously thinks that is sufficient. If you want to do antibiotics consider at least 21 days of doxycycline. However, many patients prefer not to add more potential GI and mitochondrial issues to their symptoms list and favor herbal approaches. This is why it is so important to have information about the tick that bit you, to make the safest and most effective decision.
4. Herbal Prophylactic Treatments:
- Stephen Buhner, a well-known herbalist, recommends for new tick bites, taking Astragalus at 3,000 mg daily for 30 days and 1,000 mg daily thereafter (indefinitely). He also suggests using a paste made of Andrographis tincture mixed with green clay. The paste applied on the tick bite area may prevent an active infection.
- Alexis Chesney, ND recommends a formula for Deer Tick bites which consists of Cryptolepis sanguinolenta, Houttuynia cordata, Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese Knotweed) and Uncaria tomentosa (Cats Claw).
5. Books: To learn more about methods of preventing tick bites, as well as more extensive herbal treatments, I highly recommend purchasing one or both of these books:
- Preventing Lyme & Other Tick-Borne Diseases: Control Ticks in the Home Landscape; Prevent Infection Using Herbal Protocols; Treat Tick Bites with Natural Remedies by Alexis Chesney ND and Richard Horowitz MD (available on Amazon)
- Healing Lyme: Natural Healing and Prevention of Lyme Borreliosis and its coinfections, 2nd edition Stephen Buhner. (available on Amazon)
6. Of course, prevention of a tick bite is the absolute best way to prevent chronic Lyme. Most people living in tick endemic regions are familiar with light colored clothing treated with permethrin, as well as tucking your pants into your socks and your shirt into your pants.
- Tick checks after a walk in the woods are mandatory for both pets and humans.
- Use of an essential oil repellant such as Cedarcide Tick Shield is also recommended.
7. And for perhaps the easiest solution of all, consider purchasing the natural solution Tick Preparedness Kit by Dr. Chesney.
Have a great summer enjoying the outdoors, but take a little time now to prevent the panic of finding a tick on your body.