A holistic treatment approach is needed to fight Lyme disease, which is a complex multi-symptom disease. A right diet, state of mind, quality of sleep, yoga, meditation and Ayurveda can all help cure this disease.

Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium named Borrelia that is spread by ticks. It was diagnosed for the first time in 1975; now 300,000 people are estimated to be affected by it in U.S. Lyme disease, which is difficult to diagnose, is multisystemic, including orthopedic, neurological, rheumatological, psychiatric and cardiac-related issues. Common symptoms are joint and muscle pain, fatigue, sleep disorders, memory problems, lack of focus, anxiety, restlessness, ringing in the ears, vertigo, light and sound sensitivity, numbness, weakness, poor digestion, tingling in different parts of the body, and night sweats.

A single tick bite can have many pathogens and cause other co-infections. Antibiotics are the primary treatment but some patients do not respond well to antibiotics, making treatment difficult. Most medical authorities also advise against long-term antibiotic treatment for Lyme disease. If Lyme disease is not diagnosed and treated early, the condition worsens and treatment becomes difficult. In this advanced stage of the disease, antibiotics don’t help much.

Yoga, Ayurveda and a holistic approach can be used to identify specific symptoms and suggest the appropriate treatment. As per Ayurveda, Lyme disease is caused by external toxins. Due to this, Ayurveda treatments are generally focused on detoxification.

Healthy Diet and Lifestyle

When antibiotics are taken over a long period of time, they affect the digestive tract. Care should be taken to replace some good bacteria lost during the treatment. The gut is the largest immunological reservoir and its health should be maintained. Fermented and cultured foods are useful to keep the gut healthy.

Eat a balanced diet high in antioxidants and probiotics. Immunity boosters like colostrum and maitake mushroom can also help. Ginger and cinnamon in diet will help improve blood circulation. Garlic in diet helps improve immunity. Use turmeric in the diet with other spices to reduce inflammation.

Lowering or stopping inflammatory diet of wheat, rice, legumes and nuts also helps. Try anti-inflammatory diet with specific focus on gut healing and liver support. In general, clean up the diet to avoid sugar, fried and junk foods.

Start a healthy vegetarian discipline, and avoid refined, processed and meat-based foods. Increase intake of dark colored vegetables like beetroots, carrots, green leaves and kale.

You can detox through simple self-care activities like sauna, massage, swimming and light exercises. Sesame oil is a good warming massage oil to ease musculoskeletal pain. Gentle yoga and breathing exercises like alternate nostril breathing (anulom vilom) are helpful in improving energy levels and removing toxins.

Healthy Mind

The state of mind, trust and confidence are very important for any treatment. You must learn to stay happy and raise the state of consciousness to feel love, acceptance and courage to accelerate the healing process.

Think positive and constantly tell the body that it is healing and progressing towards a complete recovery. It is also useful to maintain a daily journal to write positive intentions, goals and reminders for things you are grateful for in life. Reiterating these thoughts everyday helps develop positive thinking.

Keep stress away from your mind. Planned relaxation time or white spaces in the daily calendar helps with getting “you” time.

When stress is increasing and there is more acidity in the body, try getting more alkaline content in food and drink to balance it.

Engaging in a spiritual practice like spending time with nature, meditation, OM chanting or even a religious practice not only keeps the mind away from the suffering for some time, but also helps develop a positive attitude towards life. During meditation, try to focus on the areas where there is pain and retrain the subconscious mind to communicate with the body with positive encouraging thoughts.

Sound Sleep

The quality of sleep plays an essential role in strengthening immunity. Practicing yoga nidra/sleep meditation helps cure sleep related disorders. Adequate sleep cycle everyday and meditation are important to control inflammation. Yoga nidra helps the body heal itself, regulate blood pressure, balance blood sugar levels, improve focus and stabilize emotions.

Create a daily sleep timetable and abide by it. Sleeping and waking up at the same time everyday is important for overall health. Ensure that the sleep area is clean, organized, dark, quiet and comfortable. Despite changes in season, don’t let it affect your sleep cycle. Sleeping early and waking up with the sunrise helps optimal alignment with circadian rhythms.

Home Remedies and Ayurveda

It is advised to consult an Ayurvedic practitioner before starting any treatment. Each case of Lyme disease is unique and complex; a tailored treatment is needed.

Panchakarmais a traditional detoxification therapy that works on a deeper level to restore, purify and optimize the functioning of cells and tissues. It helps reduce inflammation, strengthen muscles and remove toxins from the body.

Boiling a banana peel in water and drinking it like tea in the evening will help you get good sleep and cure sleep disorders. Tart cherry juice and kiwis are also known to help with sleep disorders.

Try immune-augmentative and antimicrobial herbal Ayurveda medications like giloy ghanvati, chandraprabha-vati, punarnavadi-gugguluor gandhak-rasayan. Just having a tablet of giloy ghanvati in the morning and evening alone will be helpful in improving immunity.

For problems related to the heart due to Lyme disease, you can try hridyamrit vati, amalaki rasayanor arjunarishta.

Use one tablespoon of powder made from equal parts of dried ginger,methi(fenugreek seeds) and turmeric everyday with warm water for any joint pains. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral. It even helps reduce platelet aggregation.

One teaspoon of guduchipowder, twice daily, is helpful for arthritis and inflammation symptoms; it also enhances the immune system.

When symptoms are related to the nervous system, ekang-veer-ras, nirgundior kaishor-guggulucould be taken.

If symptoms and side effects of medicines cause constipation, try triphalapowder or amlajuice occasionally.

A combination of neemand ashwagandhaare good detoxification and strength building medicines that can be taken with other Ayurveda treatments. Ashwagandha lowers the stress hormones in the body, reduces fatigue and improves sleep.

To remove long-term symptoms of the disease and cure autoimmune problems, try tulsi ghan vati and giloy ghanvati tablets.

One More Thing

Treatment of Lyme disease, especially when it has caused long-term suffering, is a complicated and frustrating experience. Generally, it is said a four-week antibiotic course makes people symptom-free; however, it is difficult to know if Lyme disease is fully erased from the system. It goes dormant but can show up in some form later in life. It is important to be patient, trust the treatment and not get ‘ticked off!”

Himanshu Bharadwaj, a designer by profession, teaches yoga, meditation and holistic cures. He also conducts meditation sessions for stress relief and creativity enhancement. Connect at YourCommunityYoga.com/Himanshu or  Meetup.com/Yoga-Meditation-CT.