Townsend Letter Alternative Medicine Magazine



  FREE e-Edition


 EDTA Chelation Therapy


 E-mail List

From the Townsend Letter
July 2015

Multifactorial Approaches to Lyme Infection
by Dan Kenner, PhD, LAc
Search this site

Page 1, 2

Dietary compliance is of utmost importance. Diet should be fully organic, grass-fed meats, free-range poultry, wild fish, no processed foods, no GMOs, sugar limited to fresh fruit, no dried fruit, and often limited grains, gluten, and dairy. In this process, it is often necessary to support special nutritional needs. There are several homeopathic products for this purpose along with warming Chinese herbs and warming foods. Nutritional supplements such as EFAs, trace minerals, B vitamins, vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, R-lipoic acid, and transfer factors are sometimes needed. Some nutrients are necessary to target specific problems such as zinc, biotin, manganese, magnesium, B-6, P5P, arachidonic acid, L-methionine, lithium, and special B vitamin preparation. Mitochondrial resuscitation support can be invaluable.
Detoxification should be initiated very gently at first. It is also important to reduce inflammation at this time with homeopathic immune modulators. Proteolytic enzymes and cytokine modulators are also important in reducing inflammation.
Corson uses both allopathic and nonallopathic antimicrobials. Nonallopathic antimicrobials can be single botanicals or herbal mixtures and play a large role in reducing pathogenic microbe populations.
Spagyric combination homeopathics regulate organ function, restore the regulatory set points of metabolism, hormones, the immune system, and the extracellular matrix. Immunobiological medications are useful for specific targeted activities for disinfection and other vital functions such as detoxification support and tissue drainage.
The combination of nourishing and strengthening the patient, detoxification, disinfection, and drainage are essential features of any of Corson's treatment plans. But another necessary component is troubleshooting. There are two main categories of troubleshooting: nonresponsiveness and Herxheimer reactions. Both situations are discouraging for the patient and can affect compliance with the treatment plan. The first thing to do when patients are not getting better, however, is check for compliance. For recalcitrant patients, look again and again for unrecognized infections, a hypercoagulation state, biotoxin illness from mold exposure, methylation faults, heavy metal toxicity, and occult dental infections.
Hypercoagulation can be a problem for anyone, but a genetic abnormality found in 1 out of 5 people makes their blood more "sticky." This is exacerbated with acute and chronically upregulated systemic inflammation, exacerbated with Herxheimer reactions, with the vasculitis caused by infections and with any febrile illness. Treat with fibrinolytic enzymes or heparin. Note: According to Corson, heavy metals and mold toxins worsen hypercoagulable symptoms exponentially. Herxheimer reactions almost always require an increase in enzymes.
Biotoxin illness is another reason patients may not be getting better. To quote Corson, "Mold! Mold! Mold! Mold is everywhere!"
It is necessary to ask about mold once, twice, 3 … 10 times, because it is an ubiquitous yet often hidden problem; ask about water intrusion, leaky pipes, musty smells, and so on. One in four people have a genetic fault that predisposes them to the chronic inflammatory state caused by exposure to molds and their toxins. The innate immune system doesn't recognize and "present" these biotoxins to the cellular immune system for antibody production and subsequent elimination.
Methylation is required in the synthesis and repair of RNA, DNA, and proteins; in immune system function; neurotransmitter production; intestinal barrier integrity; and removal of wastes. Methylation plays a key role in the ability of our immune system to recognize foreign bodies or antigens to which it needs to respond. Whenever there is an assault on the immune system, the body must synthesize new T cells (which fight viruses, parasites, and control functioning of B cells). Unless methylation is operative, the immune system may react when it's not needed, creating autoimmune disorders, or fail to respond to actual threats when it is needed. Methylation is also directly related to substances in your body that affect your mood and neurotransmitter levels of both serotonin and dopamine. In addition to its direct role as a neurotransmitter, dopamine is involved in assuring your cell membranes are fluid and have mobility. This methylation of phospholipids in the cell membranes has been related to ADD/ADHD. Membrane fluidity is also important for a variety of functions including proper signaling of the immune system as well as protecting nerves from damage. A number of serious neurological conditions cite reduced membrane fluidity as part of the disease process involved in modulation of NMDA (glutamate) receptors, acting to control excitotoxin damage.
Herxheimer reactions are always an emotional challenge for patients. They require reassurance and patients suffering from them may need help with motivation to continue compliance with the treatment regimen. Drainage remedies can be useful for symptomatic relief. Proteolytic enzymes can relieve the intensity of the symptoms by reducing inflammation. Fibrinolytic enzymes that dissolve excess soluble fibrin are an essential part of the treatment of all Herxheimer reactions. All of Corson's patients are treated with fibrinolytic enzymes at some point during their care. Never forget the chelate heavy metals when patients are having Herxheimer reactions, as killing off of infection often causes the release of toxic heavy metals from biofilm communities. Sequestration of toxic bile can relieve many symptoms of the reaction. Restorative fats, trace minerals, and correcting methylation problems can help relieve the "healing crisis." Corson warns other practitioners to be prepared to handle very toxic downloads when breaking up fibrotic debris by having proper drainage medicines, enzymes, and bile binders on board.
Patient protocols may include support for the hypothalamic pituitary axis, thyroid, adrenal, and gonadal systems that can be botanical or homeopathic. Methylation reactions and liver detoxification is supported as needed. Additional etiologies for patient symptoms are structural problems, which are often relieved by cranial osteopathy or other bodywork. Emotional therapy may be required. Spiritual concerns may benefit from participation in orthodox religions or personal cultivation. Corson recommends Falun Dafa, a life cultivation practice of both mind and body, as the best path to spiritual perfection.

Essential Oils for Disinfection
Another group of doctors who treat infections without antibiotics are practitioners of French phytotherapy, based on terrain models such as the Five Elements of acupuncture and the neuroendocrine system. In addition to tisanes and tinctures, pharmaceutical-grade essential oils are integrated into the treatment plan.
Jean Valnet, MD, was impressed with the effect of essential oils in treating infections from battle wounds and even gangrene when he was chief physician at the Gulf of Tonkin Hospital in Vietnam in the early 1950s. When he returned to France, he was determined to develop a clinical science of phytotherapy (botanical medicine) and incorporate the power of essential oils in primary care. The research he and his colleagues initiated uncovered several unique phenomena:

  • A microbicidal effect is produced despite the fact that the concentration in vivo is far too low to kill microorganisms by direct contact.
  • The most active essential oils are not always those reputed to have antiseptic properties or those that contain antiseptic active principles.
  • A single type of microbe possesses no specific sensitivity to a particular essential oil and vice versa. There is no phenomenon of acquired resistance of microorganisms to essential oils. For a given microbe isolated at a given moment, the essence will retain all its efficacy.
  • One of the proposed mechanisms of the disinfection properties of essential oils is the ability to dissolve biofilms.
  • The same type of microbe appearing in different tests in contact with essential oils is affected differently in each aromatogram. The sensitivity of the microbe to essential oils is thus a function of the host organism; that is, a function of the terrain. In other words, essential oils that were effective against a pathogenic microbe in a petri dish were not necessarily effective in patients infected with the same microbe.

They realized that it was necessary to match the properties of an essential oil with the global physiological activity. They made clinical observations about the effects of essential oils as well as other plant extracts to determine how to treat the terrain. Doctors who practiced acupuncture classified plant medicines according to the Five Elements of Chinese Medicine and other groups of doctors used the neuroendocrine model.
For example:
Oil of thyme (Thymus vulgaris) has these various properties:
Immune: anti-infectious (ENT, pulmonary, intestinal, pharyngeal, urinary, genital, cutaneous), antifungal, antibacterial (gram+, gram−), antiviral, antiherpetic, wide spectrum antihelminthic, vermifuge; immune stimulant; antioxidant, anti-inflammatory; febrifuge;
Pulmonary: mucolytic, expectorant, antitussive; thyme oil is the great mucous membrane cleanser, whether they are respiratory or digestive membranes;
Digestive: neurotropic digestive carminative, eupeptic, choleretic, antigastritic; ANS: parasympatholytic (strong vagolytic)
Endocrine: adrenal cortex stimulant;
Gonad: binds to estrogen, progesterone receptors;
Neuro: analgesic;
Neuromuscular: spasmolytic;
Renal: volumetric diuretic;
Use: dysmenorrhea, paralytic fear, spasmophilia, hypotension, infections, digestive disorders, rheumatic disorders;
Contraindications: Pregnancy, glaucoma, hyposecretory states.

Oil of clove
(Syzygium aromatica):
GI: eupeptic (stimulates all secretions), digestive, carminative, antiulcerative, choleretic, balances intestinal flora;
Metabolic: hypoglycemic;
Dental: all infectious maladies of teeth, pulp, gingiva;
ID: (tisane, too) anti-infectious (genital, urinary, gastric [H. pylori], intestinal, ENT, respiratory, mouth), antibacterial, antiviral (esp. herpes), antifungal, antiparasitic (protozoa, trypanosomes);
GU: antigonorrheal;
Neuro: antispasmodic (Ca-channel blocker), increases alpha-brain waves; antialgic, antineuralgic, local anesthetic
Immune: anti-inflammatory (inhibits synthesis of prostaglandins and chemotaxis of leukocytes), antiallergic (reduces histamine release from mast cells); ANS: sympatholytic, parasympathomimetic;
Endocrine: central: oxytocic;
Use: dysbiosis, digestive disorders, chronic cough (dry), inflammatory disorders, dental disorders, osteoarticular and rheumatic disorders, emotional overactivity, spasmophilia, learning disorders, autistic children, headaches, sexual frigidity, impotence;
Contraindications: pregnancy (oxytocinlike). Note: Avoid in bath; never use undiluted on skin or mucosa.
Endocrine phytoaromatherapy eventually evolved into a system of medicine called endobiogeny. Endobiogeny is the study of the internal networks and pathways within the body and in relationship with its environment, stressful influences, and so on, from the standpoint of the neuroendocrine system as the manager of human life. It combines an integrative understanding of the structures and functions of the body, a rational approach to understanding physiology, an empirical assessment of history and symptoms, and utilization of a dynamic, integrative metabolic assessment of network management of the organism called the biology of functions, which is based on calculations of several blood test values. (See

Essential Oils and Lyme
A pharmacist named Bernard Christophe in Strasbourg developed a natural antimicrobial compound for Lyme treatment containing essential oils from aromatic plants and concentrated extract of propolis. Even in France, treatment with essential oils is still too little known to doctors. Christophe's product contained more than 170 molecules. It was very successful as a treatment for Lyme, sometimes even as a stand-alone treatment. Although it was labeled for topical use, many Lyme patients used it internally. It was eventually taken off the market in France, supposedly because it contained oil of sage, which contains thujone. Even though the quantity of thujone was below the allowance made by the health authorities it was still removed from the market. There was a public outcry but the authorities refused to relent.
In 15 years of the marketing of this product, there had never been a case of a toxic reaction, even in subjects who took the product for years without interruption and sometimes at doses higher than recommended. Nonetheless AFSSAPS (Agence française de sécurité sanitaire des produits de santé; French Department of Health Product Safety) took it off the market.
According to Christophe: "In the case of aromatherapy, known as essential oils, they also have several special properties: they easily cross the membranes of various tissues and organs and contain several active bactericidal or bacteriostatic substances. In the case of Lyme it appears that Borrelia is unable to adapt to the multiple substances in a single essential oil. This is the explanation of the fundamental superiority of essential oils over antibiotics."
In addition, they always recommended the product to pregnant women and young children at doses of 1 to 2 drops three times daily. No cases of poisoning occurred in 40 years of work and 15 years of marketing the product.

Another type of medication from France is phytomicrospheres. Phytomicrospheres are made using a special plant fiber that acts as a carrier to bring herbal constituents into the bloodstream unattenuated. Nothing is lost from the extraction process. The microspheres contain no excipients and they transport the phytochemicals to the serum without degradation from the digestive tract.
Iderne Pharmaceuticals developed the microspheres process, which has been designated an ethical medical modality that will replace the use of tinctures in phytotherapy practice by the European Union. Iderne Pharmaceuticals has produced a number of compounds, including one that is designated as a treatment for diabetes by the European Union. Stiruba, a microsphere extraction of the herb Simarouba amara, is a powerful antiparasitic and has proved helpful for some cases of Babesia. Several phytomicrospheres and essential oils products will be available in the US through Ormed and BioResource later in 2015.

Does it work? is the question that most of us ask about any supposed treatment or remedy, but I think that's the wrong question. Practically every nutrient or remedy that you have seen or heard about anecdotally has worked for someone. The real question is, what works for whom, and why? Obviously there is no single cure for everyone, but the complexity of Lyme infection requires a diverse approach and individual investigation and experimentation. Hopefully new scientific models will emerge and develop from traditional sources of whole-system thought. Meanwhile we can learn from these traditional European models of whole-system therapeutics.

German Biological Medicine
Reckeweg HH. Homotoxicology. 3rd ed. Albuquerque, NM: Menaco; 1989.
Stoodley P, Sauer K, Davies D, Costerton J. Biofilms as complex differentiated communities. Ann Rev Microbiol. 2002;56:187–209. Epub 2002 Jan 30.
Shishodia S et al. The guggul for chronic diseases: ancient medicine, modern targets. Anticancer Res. 2008;Nov–Dec;28(6A):3647–3664.

Mold Resources
Ritchie Shoemaker, MD.
Public Health Alert.
Gordon Medical Associates. Biotoxin Illness [DVD]. Oct. 22–23, 2011. Available at
May Dooley.,

Essential Oils and the Terrain
Kenner D, Requena Y. Botanical Medicine: A European Professional Perspective. Brookline, MA: Paradigm Publications; 1996.
Duraffourd C, Lapraz JC. Traité de phytothérapie clinique. Masson: Paris; 2002.


Dan KennerDan Kenner, PhD, LAc, is a writer and consultant in integrative medicine with over 35 years of clinical experience in both Oriental and naturopathic medicine. In addition to authoring numerous articles, he is author of The Whole-Body Workbook for Cancer (New Harbinger; 2009), Acupuncture Core Therapy (Paradigm; 2008), AHCC – The Japanese Medicinal Mushroom Immune Enhancer (Woodland; 2001), The Science of AHCC (Basic Health Publications; 2009), and Botanical Medicine: A European Professional Perspective (Paradigm; 1996). He is author of The Science of Natural Cancer Therapy (Éditions Trédaniel ; 2015 [in French]). He is licensed to practice Oriental medicine in both Japan and the US. Dr. Kenner has constructed a website with alternative health-care research and information at He is also on the board of governors of the National Health Federation (

Page 1, 2

Consult your doctor before using any of the treatments found within this site.

Subscriptions are available for Townsend Letter, the Examiner of Alternative Medicine
magazine, which is published 10 times each year. Search our pre-2001 archives for further information. Older issues of the printed magazine are also indexed for your convenience.
1983-2001 indices ; recent indices. Once you find the magazines you'd like to order, please
use our convenient form, e-mail, or call 360.385.6021.


Fax: 360.385.0699

Who are we? | New articles | Featured topics | e-Edition |
Tables of contents
| Subscriptions | Contact us | Links | Classifieds | Advertise |
Alternative Medicine Conference Calendar | Search site | Archives |
EDTA Chelation Therapy | Home

© 1983-2015 Townsend Letter
All rights reserved.
Website by Sandy Hershelman Designs