Sunday, May 4, 2014

Working with Essential Oils

I attribute a great deal of my success of getting Borrelia under control to the power of essential oils. In fact oils (along with hyperthermia) where the only methods I experienced that caused immediate reduction of symptoms. Sometimes I could feel improvements within a week of e.g. applying a new oil mix.

I had heard of essential oils prior to Lyme but I had never understood their power and always associated them with aromatherapy and more emotional healing techniques rather than hard core antimicrobials.

How do Essential Oils Work?

Plants naturally produce antimicrobial substances to defend themselves against environmental stressors such as fungus or bacteria.  Since the dawn of time humans have developed various ways to extract those antimicrobial substances from herbs and use them for medicinal purposes. To remove bioactive ingredients one can make tea from leaves, roots or bark (infusion), grind up the dried plant into a powder for consumption or soak the plant in alcohol or glycerin or to make an extract. In some cases it is possible to derive essential oils from the plant through a distillation process.

Essential oils distilled from plants and herbs have typically the highest potency above all other extraction methods. One can think of oils as the essence of the plant. Oils also have the highest energy density compared to other forms of food such as fruit or meat.

Cinnamon Tree Leaf
The other interesting aspect of essential oil is its molecular size, which translates directly into the aroma and volatility of the oil. If you put a few drops of pure clove oil on a piece of white cloth the aroma will immediately fill the room. After a few minutes you will observe that the stain on the cloth has disappeared. The oil has fully evaporated into the surrounding air.  You may be able to smell it for a long time. It has been said that essential oils – because of their small molecular size – are able to cross the brain blood barrier (I have not come across any academic references though confirming this).  This makes it very interesting for treating Neuro Lyme, as essential oils may be able to get to places that standard antibiotics can’t reach.

Essential Oil Vendors

The top vendors in the US for essential oils are the multilevel marketing companies Young Living and Doterra. However, there are many other companies that sell essential oils, often for a much better price. It is absolutely critical to get high quality distilled oils only, as those oils will have the highest impact. So be aware when evaluating oil price and quality. Recently there have been have new players on the market producing ready made oil mixes suited for Lyme, claiming to use high quality oils. The main vendors are.

Young Living – The market leader in essential oils in the US; they have been around for a long time. Oils are ethically harvested, the quality is extremely high, but so are their prices. Unfortunately Young Living employs a multilevel marketing approach, which I don’t prefer. However, I did get most of my oils for treating Lyme and co-infections from Young Living and the quality is excellent.

Doterra – High quality oils, multilevel marketing structure, but a bit cheaper than Young Living. They are very active positioning their oils for antimicrobial applications. One of their distributors, Faithful Wellness has some elaborate Lyme protocols on their website.

Well Scent – Lyme specific oil blends by Stacy Shuman, who is a Lyme sufferer as well and has been formulating her oils using only organic, wild harvested ingredients. Great company, I have used their oils before, they also have a good blend for dental purposes.

Well Scent Lyme Blend "Balance"

Tickslayer – A new Lyme blend by Perry Louis Fields (the Tickslayer), it looks pretty good on paper, but I have not tried her products yet.

Aromapure – Good quality oils and selection at excellent prices. However, not sure how much of it is organic and tested for contamination. I have used their Cinnamon leave oil, which is generally a bit harder to find.

Key Oils for Lyme

The winning combination for me was a daily rotation protocol that I have been taking for more than a year. Rotation I consisted of Clove, Eucalyptus, Cinnamon, Cypress and Rosemary oil (I used the Young Living mix “Thieves” plus their Cypress oil) and rotation II had Hyssop, Mountain Savory, Frankincense, Oregano, Thyme and a couple other oils (I used Young Living Immupower plus Thyme Oil). Later on I added Melaleuca Alternifolia (tea tree oil) into the mix, which I wold use externally only.

Each of the oil provides a different mechanism of action in the body:

Clove – Strong antimicrobial activity effective against many different microbes. You may recall the smell of clove oil from your dentist office. It is particularly effective against borrelia and bartonella coinfections (See Schaller’s book “The Diagnosis, Treatment and Prevention of Bartonella” where he talks about clove oil as one of the main herbal remedies for bartonella). Clove oil has an ORAC value of over 1 million, which is extremely high. ORAC or Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity is a measure of free radical inhibition. Clove truly is the #1 oil for Lyme and some co-infectants.

Clove Oil

Cinnamon – also a strong antimicrobial, very effective for borrelia. I used Cinnamon bark oil for the first year and later on started experimenting with cinnamon leave oil. Supposedly leaf oil is even stronger, but I can’t verify that. By the time I got to leave oil Lyme was mostly gone. The site talks quite a bit about Lyme experiences with cinnamon leaf oil.

Oregano, Thyme, Marjoram – all of them are strong antimicrobials in the same family, effective against fungal and bacterial infections. Its recommended to identify the best suited from this family via muscle testing.

Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Trea Oil) – works well dissolving biofilms (see Robert Tisserand's article) and is also a strong antimicrobial. I used tea tree oil later on in my protocol (externally only) and felt some good improvements from it. It also seems to act somewhat complementary to clove oil, so whatever clove oil can't catch tea tree oil seems to be able to finish off.

Frankincense and Myrrh – great anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, immune-stimulant and muscle relaxant. Frankincense helped me quite a bit with tendon and muscle inflammation as well as joint pain. I used it mostly externally but it can be taken internally too, although its a bit hard on the stomach. Often it is better to ingest as Boswellia capsules. Myrrh also strengthens the immune system, is very good as a mouth wash for sores and also works well for Candida.

A few more - Rose, Geranium, Lavender and Rosemary oils act as a quorum sensing disruptors, which means they inhibits communication between borrelia themselves and other bacteria, making it harder to coordinate when to become active again and start the next reproduction and expansion wave. Eucalyptus has also some of these quorum sensing properties as well as Lemon. Lemon oil has also strong antimicrobial properties and stimulates the Lymphatic system. Some further info on the use of oils for quorum sensing can be found in PubMed.

The best way to find the right oil combination for treatment is to use energetic testing methods such as Klinghardt ART testing or any bioenergetic or bioresonance testing method. If you don't have access to testing methods I would recommend starting with a rotation protocol that contains most of the listed oils.

Oils for Coinfectant Bartonella

According to Dr. Schaller the key oil for Bartonella is clove oil. Schaller claims if clove oil is applied in high doses it will be effective for killing bartonella. Since clove oil is also one the major oils for Lyme, taking the rotation protocol should fight both, Lyme and Bartonella.

Oil Applications and Frequency

You can take essential oils either topically or orally. Initially I took them both, orally and topically and later on I just continued topically.

Oral Use:
To take oils orally it is best to use veggie capsules. Each day I took 3-4 veggie capsules of essential oils diluted with olive oil, alternating between combination I and II. Initially I diluted oils 1:4 with Olive oil and filled the mix in a little bottle that I carried with me all the time. Whenever I had food I would fill a veggie cap with oil, and eat it with food. Don’t try to make veggie capsules with oil and store them because they dissolve after a while and you have a mess at hand. The oil mix can be a little bit hard on the stomach, so I always took it with food. Later on I got more aggressive and mixed my oils 1:3 to increase effectiveness. After about 1 year or so I noticed that the oils were getting a bit hard on the liver or gallbladder (I couldn’t quite tell) and from that point onward I continued topically only.

My oral oil protocol looked like this:
  • Morning: 1 capsule of rotation I with food
  • Lunch: 1 capsule of rotation II with food
  • Evening: 1 capsule of rotation I with food
The next day I started the same protocol but with rotation II.  And so on.

Topical use:
To use oils topically I used the same mix as the oral one (dilution of 1:4 with olive oil) and applied it on my entire body (except on the head) twice a day, morning and evening. The smell is pretty strong and you have to get used to it while you sleep. Also during the day you emanate a strong herbal aroma and people around you will notice. There may be people  who are really sensitive to the smell and have a hard time tolerating it, forcing you to reduce applications to nighttime only. If that’s the case try applying the oils at least to the bottom of your feet during the day. You get best the absorption on your feet and they are the most important area to put on essential oils.

I would not recommend using undiluted oils on your skin or in capsules. This could cause some serious irritation. The only time I use pure oils is after brushing my teeth, I take 1-2 drops in my mouth along with a bit of water and then squish and rinse. In my opinion that’s the best dental rinse you can get. Also be careful not to get any oils into your eyes; that could cause some major issues.

In retrospect I believe that applying oils topically on the skin may be even more effective than taking them internally in capsules; in fact it may even be enough to heal Lyme. I know of one case where just consistent topical application over 9 month was able to cure Lyme completely (w/o any other antibiotics or antimicrobials but in combination with detox agents and other herbs). It actually makes sense. When comparing the amount of oil I would use in 3 veggie capsules to the amount I would apply all over my body, it becomes clear that one can use way more oil on the skin than one is ever able to consume. Plus the oils goes right where they belong, into the skin, muscles, tendons and joints.

Herxheimer Effect

I have been lucky because the Herxheimer effects that I experienced were not as strong as with many other people. I attribute that to my liver working fairly well, probably as a result of all the liver cleanses I did. However, I did experience some herxing from applying essential oils, both internally and externally. If that is he case I would recommend taking a break for a couple days, doing a lot of detox in the form of oral Bentonite clay, activated charcoal and chlorella and then slowly starting up again.