This article is intended for customers from all countries other than Germany*
Lyme disease is renowned for having a confusing set of disparate symptoms, especially in its chronic form. One of the most debilitating of these is arthritis. Unfortunately for Lyme patients, arthritis (or pain and aches in the joints) is an extremely generalised symptom suggestive of many different conditions. As Lyme is usually far down the list of potential disorders, misdiagnosis rates surrounding the condition are high.
However, it is still possible to treat Lyme arthritis independently of the disease itself. Ideally, the overriding infection will also be tended to with antibiotics, but for those patients looking to relieve themselves of the chronic pain Lyme arthritis brings, there are a few natural herbs, spices and compounds that might just do the trick. Join us as we take a look at five natural remedies that help relieve pain caused by Lyme arthritis.
A Brief History of Lyme
Lyme was discovered in 1975 in Connecticut, USA. It is a tick-borne illness that spreads exclusively through the bite of ticks. The causative bacteria, present in the tick’s saliva, is Borrelia burgdorferi. In the U.S., the deer tick or black-legged tick is the carrier, while in Europe it’s the castor bean tick. Despite being thought of as a primarily North American disease, Lyme cases are rising each year, with the disorder on the cusp of becoming a certified pandemic. It is present in the majority of countries in Europe, as well as every mainland state the U.S.
Even though it’s presenting in such large numbers, Lyme is still awash with controversy. Most of this controversy centres on the chronic form of the disease, which is still not recognised as legitimate by the majority of medical circles.
Acute Vs. Chronic
Lyme presents in two distinct forms, which are so different that they might as well be separate diseases. Acute Lyme occurs soon after the initial tick bite and manifests as flu-like symptoms. A distinctive bullseye rash, indicative of Lyme, may also appear at the site of the bite. At this stage, Lyme is treated solely with antibiotics. However, if it’s mistaken for the flu and left to clear up on its own, it will evolve into the chronic form of Lyme, which is much harder to treat.
As the infection spreads further and deeper into the body, the range of potential symptoms increases dramatically. Chronic Lyme is extremely challenging to diagnose because of this range of diverse and generalised symptoms, leading to many misdiagnosed cases.
What Causes Lyme Arthritis?
One of the most prevalent and debilitating symptoms of chronic Lyme is pain in the joints, which is sometimes called Lyme arthritis. As the infection continues, the immune system becomes hyperactive when faced with a pathogen it can’t eradicate. The result is chronic inflammation and fatigue.
These are not caused directly by the overriding Lyme infection, but by the body’s response to it. Because of this, these symptoms cannot be cured with antibiotics. They require an anti-inflammatory approach, supported by the use of supplements and nutritional adjustments. Make Well is one company that provides those all natural-supplements.
What Are Some Effective Natural Remedies for Pain Relief?
Fortunately, if you’re suffering from chronic Lyme arthritis, there are a few different natural ingredients that can help ease your pain. Remember to check in with your doctor before taking any supplement, spice or herb on a regular basis. When it comes down to what herb is good for joint pain, here are some of the best, along with some other natural remedies for pain relief.
1. Boswellia serrata (Indian Frankincense)
The active components of Boswellia serrata are Boswellic acids. These have anti-inflammatory and anti-pain (analgesic) properties, and may also help prevent cartilage loss and slow down the autoimmune process. As the autoimmune function is the cause of this particular subset of Lyme symptoms, slowing its aggressive inflammation can help ease symptoms all over the body.
Turmeric continues to be a staple of ancient Chinese medicine. It works by utilising the chemical curcumin, which reduces inflammation by blocking causative cytokines and enzymes. Various clinical trials have demonstrated long-term improvement in pain relief thanks to a turmeric supplement.
Ginger is actually a root, but it has long been promoted for its anti-inflammatory properties, with effects similar to ibuprofen. Ginger is also thought to be anti-cancerial and antioxidant. Numerous active ingredients are present in ginger, including terpenes and oleoresin, as well as volatile oils. This makes it a powerful ingredient in the fight against chronic Lyme arthritis, as well as other symptoms caused by a long-term Lyme infection.
4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids (Fish or Algae Oil)
Omega-3 fatty acids are well known for their health properties. Many nutritional guides recommend upping our intake of these hugely beneficial ingredients. They can also help specifically with inflammation. Omega-3s work by blocking inflammatory cytokines and prostaglandins. Once consumed, they are converted by the body into anti-inflammatory chemicals known as resolvins. The fatty acids EPA and DHA have been extensively studied for arthritis and numerous other arthritic conditions, and have been found to be effective.
5. External (Topical) Applications
Topical application of certain plant-based oils may help to relieve painful joints. Many essential oils and plant extracts show anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving abilities when applied directly on the skin. One possible combination is peppermint, rosemary and eucalyptus oil. Another commonly known option for joint pain is cabbage wraps. These can also easily be prepared and applied at home with normal household equipment.