Sunday, October 25, 2009

Teasel for Lyme Disease

Teasel basal rosette--first year plant

First of all, my apologies for not blogging much this past week. I was under the weather as they say, dealing with various physical problems. And I was busy researching Lyme disease, as Joaz, our Amish friend and farmer, had been diagnosed a few weeks ago as having Lyme. He'd been ill for 2 weeks, going on the third week, which is quite a long time for a very active, usually healthy young man. He had all the usual symptoms for early Lyme, headaches, fatigue, bright lights hurt his eyes, fever and chills, muscle and joint pain, swollen glands, etc. And Fred and I were worried and praying for him and his family.

Lyme disease is rising in the US, and it can be a devasting disease. Google Lyme Disease to find out more than you'd ever want to know about Lyme. In fact, you can read up on it here, but there is lots of information out on the web about it. A few years ago, I had a tick bite and it had gotten infected--the bite was on my back and while I was aware of it itching, I couldn't see the damn thing and so didn't connect it with a tick bite. Anyway, a quick search around the web for info on Lyme disease and I called my allopath MD for an appointment. While I normally avoid antibiotics (not to mention doctors), this time I thought I'd better get right on it; my doctor agreed and I did a course of some sort of expensive antibiotic that did the trick. I did NOT want to have to deal with lyme disease. Fortunately for me, the antibiotic therapy worked. Other folks are not so lucky, or they don't have the rash and the lyme gets diagnosed as something else or it goes untreated and all hell breaks lose.

So, Joaz and Lydia and their kids believe in natural health, herbs, and use naturopathic doctors, chiropractors, massage, etc. and avoid the general allopathic medical world as much as they can. Since Fred, Michael and I do pretty much the same, that makes sense to me. But in this case, for lyme disease, I told them my story with lyme and what I did and suggested that a course of antibiotics might be a good idea.

I don't know if they did that (I don't think so but I didn't ask) but yesterday when Fred and I were there for our normal Saturday morning visit, Joaz was feeling much, much better. He looked better, more energetic and almost his normal self. Thank you, Lord! I gave them some materials on herbs and alternative therapies for lyme, with a list of herbs that some herbalists had recommended. I'll be bringing a few that I have on hand for them next week.

We discussed teasel root tincture for lyme. I am most emphatically not a doctor, nor even a certified herbalist--just an ol' wild food/medicine forager, but I feel OK about mentioning various herbs/plants to people as perhaps being helpful, and if they are interested, I can mostly find the plant and make some sort of simple preparation for them. I had not known teasel until this summer when I noticed this interesting plant growing down by the pond, and what seemed to be the basal rosette of it growing on our hillside, which, upon on a closer inspection and checking all my herbal books and using google, etc., turned out to be the mysterious teasel himself.

Yesterday afternoon was so glorious, I couldn't stay inside, so I went out to see if I could get some teasel roots for Joaz. I found the old dried plants from this summer, and then, to my delight, I saw the basal rosettes just across the road on the hillside. Perfect! Ok, it IS on a hill and it won't be easy digging out the roots, but certainly I could get some. Eureka!

While I was there, I saw some young mulleins starting, so I sat by them for a while too, asking for their help and feeling so grateful to live in this place where so many herb friends grow and thrive. Then I took some leaves and dug up some roots as well. Also harvested some black walnuts, to use the hulls for a decoction for diarrhea and a few other things. It was a short, but blessed, foraging trip.

You can find out more about using teasel for lyme disease at Lady Barbara's website. Clicking here will tell you how she used teasel root tincture to cure her nasty case of lyme. Or do a google search on teasel root for lyme disease and you'll get all the same links I did. To dig the roots, you want to find the basal rosette (pictured at the top). You'll find them near the older, dried teasels of the summer or close nearby. Dig roots in the spring or fall.

Happy foraging!


Anonymous said...

don't forget to put some black walnuts, hulls and all under chairs and such, in a pie pan or some such, it will get rid of any fleas that have found refuge in your house.
I am so sad I wasn't able to get outside and get any sumac this year. I will miss my sumac tea this winter.

Patricia said...

Hey Charli,

I went out on a long hike with my brother yesterday and found a nice patch of little sumacs. I'll include a few of those in the box I'll be sending you.