Integrative Medicine Blog

Herb of the Month: Chinese Healing Herbs and Tick-Borne Disease

Rebecca Rice L.Ac., MSAOM Monday, May 09, 2016
Istock isatis plant

Chinese herbal protocols to address the symptoms of Tick-Borne Diseases.

There are a number of different herbal protocols to address Tick-Borne Diseases at multiple stages and with its varying symptoms. Chinese herbal medicine is no stranger to Lyme and other tick-borne illnesses. Many Chinese herbs contain broad spectrum antibiotic and antiviral properties as well as other constituents that diminish the pathogenic load in the body.

One such plant bears parts that address such issues, known as ‘damp heat’ in Chinese medicine. The 2 parts of the Isatis plant, its roots and leaves are effective for acute Lyme and other tick-borne infections. The root, known as ‘ban lan gen’ in Chinese is used for such conditions with high fevers, encephalitis, rashes, and hepatitis. Ban lan gen has antiviral and antibacterial properties and also improves the immune system.

The leaves of the isatis plant are used as a blue textiles dye. More importantly, the leaves, known as ‘da qing ye’,are used to address flu symptoms: high fever, headache, and brain inflammation. These flu-like symptoms can be a sign of more serious infection. Like the isatis root, isatis leaves address bacteria like Staphyloccocus a., Streptococcus pneumoniae, salmonella, E. coli and shigella. Isatis leaves protect the internal organs from damage by endotoxins.