Lab-based research conducted at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health suggests various essential oils, including garlic, can effectively kill persistent forms of Lyme disease bacterium. While clinical trials are needed to validate the lab-based results, this is good news for anyone who had previously been relying on antibiotics alone to treat this life-threatening, tick-based disease.
Notably, 10 of the 35 essential oils tested showed strong killing activity against dormant and slow-growing "persister" forms of Lyme disease bacterium.1
If you are struggling with Lyme disease, I encourage you to look beyond conventional treatment, which often focuses on the use of long-term antibiotics. You owe it to yourself to investigate essential oils and other natural solutions, which I highlight below.
Essential Oils Shown To Be Effective for Treating Lyme Disease
Interested in the oils’ strong antibacterial properties and many other health benefits, a team of researchers from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health conducted lab tests designed to treat Lyme bacterium with 35 essential oils.
Previously, lead study author Dr. Ying Zhang, professor in the department of molecular microbiology and immunology, and his colleagues identified five essential oils, including oregano, cinnamon bark and citronella, that have higher antipersister activity than the commonly used Lyme antibiotic drug daptomycin.3 Results of the current research revealed:4,5,6
- Ten of the 35 essential oils that were tested showed "strong activity" against persister forms of Lyme disease bacterium
- Essential oils derived from allspice berries, cinnamon bark, cumin seeds, eucalyptus, garlic cloves, myrrh trees and thyme leaves are among those found to effectively combat persister forms of Lyme disease
- Five of these oils were effective against dormant forms of the Lyme bacterium in a concentration of only 1 part per 1,000
- Essential oils from allspice berries, garlic, may chang trees, myrrh trees and spiked ginger lily not only eradicated all Lyme disease bacteria in seven days, but also prevented regrowth in 21 days
About the study outcomes, Zhang stated, "We found that these essential oils were even better at killing the 'persister' forms of Lyme bacteria than standard Lyme antibiotics. At this stage, these essential oils look very promising as candidate treatments for persistent Lyme infection, but ultimately we need properly designed clinical trials.”7
Given the study outcomes, essential oils are certainly worth consideration when it comes to addressing Lyme symptoms. Later in this article, I will share other natural remedies you may want to consider. For now, let’s take a closer look at what causes the disease and how it is most commonly contracted.
What Causes Lyme Disease?
Lyme disease is caused by a spirochete — a corkscrew-shaped bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi. It is primarily transmitted by deer ticks and black-legged ticks found in grassy and wooded areas throughout the U.S. and at least 60 other countries.8
Lyme is sometimes accompanied by a characteristic bullseye rash and may include flu-like symptoms such as: body aches, fatigue, fever, headaches and stiff or swollen joints.
As I have often mentioned, early treatment is vital because it may help you avoid future complications such as chronic joint inflammation (Lyme arthritis), cognitive defects, heart rhythm irregularities and neurological symptoms.
• Most people contract Lyme from the bite of an immature tick — and the bite is often so tiny and painless, you may not realize you’ve been bitten
• An undisturbed tick can feed for several days; the longer it is attached to your body, the greater the chances it will transmit Lyme and other pathogens into your bloodstream
• Lyme, which is known as “The Great Imitator,” is very challenging to diagnose because its symptoms mimic conditions such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, fibromyalgia and multiple sclerosis
• Lyme disease can affect any organ of your body, including your brain and nervous system, muscles and joints and even your heart