Lyme Disease Prevention Part 2: What To Do If You Get Bit. Everything from how to PROPERLY remove a tick to what natural herbs are effective to take (Revised for Feng 2020 Medical Study)
Here's What You Can Do To Prevent Lyme Disease and Other Tick-Born Illnesses From Spreading If You Find A Tick Attached To You.
With Covid-19 concerns still lingering for an undetermined amount of time, optimizing health is on everyone’s mind.
Time outside getting adequate sunshine/vitamin D, fresh air, and exercise are vital to immune function and overall well-being.
As we increase our outdoor activities, it is easy to forget about the need to protect ourselves and our families from a common but serious health threat: Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses.
As discussed in the previous article “Lyme Disease Prevention Part 1: How to Avoid Getting Bit”, there are practical and simple ways to reduce the chances of getting bit and subsequently contracting Lyme disease and other co-infections that can have damaging long-term effects.
So out we go where the ticks are waiting armed with natural tick prevention, preparations and strategies from our first article "Lyme Disease Prevention 1: How To Avoid Getting Bit".
But what do we do if preventative measures for Lyme fail and we suddenly find a tick embedded in our skin?
When Tick Bite Prevention Fails:
How to remove a tick PROPERLY to avoid Lyme and/or any other microbial transmission
If you do get bit, taking proactive measures to quickly address a potential or active infection can be done using proven natural methods, often in conjunction with more conventional approaches.
This is important because there is a much better chance of avoiding acute and chronic Lyme disease if the tick is removed properly.
How To Properly Remove A Tick To Prevent Possible Lyme Disease
PROPER TICK REMOVAL IS CRITICAL!
The most important thing to keep in mind if you find an embedded tick on your skin is to avoid irritating, suffocating, or doing anything to causes the tick to pull its head out of your body.
If it does, it will regurgitate its contents -- including the Lyme-causing bacteria -- back into you.
Proper tick removal:
✅ When removing a tick correctly, you want to use flat tip tweezers.
✅ Firmly grasp the tick at the base of its head as close to the skin as possible.
✅ You want to take the edge of the tweezer and line it up parallel so that it's touching the skin and then gently pull with a gentle, steady force until the tick releases itself.
BAD, WRONG, DON'T DO IT OLD WIVES TALES tick removal:
- DO NOT put alcohol, fingernail polish or vasaline on the tick.
- DO NOT burn the tick with the head of a match.
- DO NOT use sharp pointed tweezers.
- DO NOT grab the tick in the center.
- DO NOT try to pop its bag.
- DO NOT twist or turn the tick.
- DO NOT use an apparatus to try to spin the tick out (like the cotton swab method going around the internet).
- DO NOT do anything that would irritate the tick & cause it to pull away!
- DO NOT put alcohol, fingernail polish or vasaline on the tick.
*The longer you engage with the tick the more likely that it is going to regurgitate its contaminated contents back into your body, and the higher probability you have of contracting an infection.
After removing the tick:
Once you've removed the tick, it is recommended to clean the area with hydrogen peroxide and use a topical product called After Bite, soaked in a cotton ball and applied with a Band-Aid. You can mix the After Bite with bentonite clay which has a detoxifying drawing action.
Testing the tick:
Testing is optional, but highly advised as it can offer peace of mind and inform you if you need to seek treatment from a qualified practitioner.
To get the tick tested, there are websites such as www.tickreport.com that provide accurate and quick results.
For this particular company, there is a basic panel or an expanded panel that tests for a wider array of pathogens.
- Place the tick into a Ziploc bag (alive, the way that it is).
- Fill out the online order form.
- Enter an all the standard identification for yourself
- Record the serial number on the plastic bag itself.
After the mailing process is completed, the lab will issue an identification number and perform an in-depth analysis of the tick (whether it is male or female, if it was partially engorged, etc.).
The results are securely delivered to you via email within 3 business days after the tick arrives at the lab.
It is ideal to send the tick by FedEx overnight for the fastest service in order to receive the results back in 72 hours. This gives you the ability to go on doxycycline within that critical four-day treatment window.
EVEN BEFORE the pathogenic status of the tick is determined through testing, and symptoms are identified effectively within a critical time period after getting bit, proactive preventative measures can be taken.
This approach can help to prevent an active infection and determine a treatment protocol should the tick contain the Lyme disease-causing bacterial spirochete, borrelia burgdorferi, and/or other co-infections.
Natural Supplements To Take After A Tick Bite And Why This Step Is So Important!
Until a Lyme infection is verified by a reliable testing method, a suitable anti-biotic is not likely to be prescribed by your physician because the same antibiotics that are effective against Lyme (Borrelia burgdorferi) do not work against other co-infections such as Babesia. So your physician will not know what antibiotic to prescribe until your test come back to positively identify what infections exist if any.
To complicate the situation further, it takes a week for your body to build the anti-bodies that some test look for. So testing too early may result in a false negative.
Apprehension of not knowing what antibiotics to prescribe and the desire to avoid overuse of antibiotics that render them less effective leave you in limbo as you wait for your Lyme disease test panel to come back.
This is why a proactive naturopathic approach after sustaining a tick bite using proven effective natural herbal supplements is so important.
In recent medical studies these 6 herbs were found to have good activity against Borrelia burgdorferi compared to the control antibiotics doxycycline and cefuroxime that are typically used in treating an acute Lyme infection.
Cryptolepis (Cryptolepis Sanguinolenta)
Japanese Knotweed (Polygonum Cuspidatum)
Sweet Wormwood (Artemisia Annua)
Black Walnut (Juglans Nigra)
Cat's Claw (Uncaria Tomentosa)
Among the herbs tested against the Lyme disease bacteria, B. burgdorferi, Cryptolepis sanguinolenta stood out as clearly more effective at eradicating Lyme bacteria in this study.
✅ In fact "compared to the control antibiotics doxycycline and cefuroxime"...0.5% Cryptolepis sanguinolenta extract still has strong activity and could almost eradicate the stationary phase B. burgdorferi cells."
✅ "...0.25% Cryptolepis sanguinolenta could eradicate or dissolve all the B. burgdorferi cells including aggregated forms as we found rare live and even dead cells with SYBR Green I/PI microscope observation."
✅ "By contrast, the clinically used antibiotics doxycycline and cefuroxime at clinically relevant concentration (5 μg/ml) could not sterilize the B. burgdorferi stationary phase culture, since spirochetes were visible after 21-day subculture." (Feng 2020)
Feng, J., Leone, J., Schweig, S., & Zhang, Y. (2020). Evaluation of Natural and Botanical Medicines for Activity Against Growing and Non-growing Forms of B. burgdorferi. Frontiers in medicine, 7, 6. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmed.2020.00006
Additionally, you want to watch for visual signs of an active infection which include expanding of the redness around the bite and/or a classic bull’s eye or other forms of a rash, and any sort of heat in the area itself.
If you develop systemic symptoms such as fever, stiff neck, muscle or joint aches, fatigue, or headaches, or if you receive positive results back from your tick analysis, it is advised to see a medical doctor to prescribe antibiotics.
It is important to seek care from a Lyme Literate Doctor who can create an individualized herbal protocol that complements and enhances traditional methods of treating tick-borne infections.
Using evidence-based, clinically effective, pharmaceutical-grade, anti-pathogenic herbs verified for potency and purity can greatly improve your chances of addressing Lyme disease and co-infections.
Above all, try to remain calm and not panic. The hormone cortisol, which triggers the stress response, hinders your immune system's ability to function properly and fight infection.
For questions about Lyme Disease and scheduling in-person or virtual appointments with a Lyme-Literate Physician, lab testing, and recommended supplements, please visit our intake form page or call 860.228.1287.
The ideas and recommendations in this article are for informational purposes only. The contents are not intended to replace the advice of the reader’s own healthcare professional or physician. The treatments described in this article may have known and unknown side effects and health hazards. Each reader is solely responsible for his or her own healthcare choices and decisions. The author advises the reader to discuss these ideas with a healthcare professional or physician before trying them. The author does not accept any responsibility for any positive or adverse effects a person claims to experience, directly or indirectly, from the ideas and contents of this article.