by Barbara Hall “Lady B”
The prospect of using Teasel Root as a great ally for folks particularly with chronic Lyme Disease comes from Matthew Wood’s splendid book, “The Book of Herbal Wisdom” which I HIGHLY recommend to the class just in general, but he’s also got an entire chapter just on Teasel Root in it.
Matthew has a great sense of ALL the things that plants are - energetically, chemically, what they BRING OUT, what they have to SHOW us. He pulls from all KINDS of traditions and weaves things together with personal stories of how he’s used various plants to treat all kinds of things.
With Teasel, Dipsacus sylvestris, he first learns about the Chinese Dipsacus japonica whose Chinese name means “Restore What Is Broken”, although it appears that the wild Teasel, Dipsacus sylvestris is the MOST effective for Lyme.
He says “Teasel is excellent for chronic inflammation of the muscles, with limitation of movement and great pain....Teasel is well indicated in chronic cases where a person becomes arthritic, the muscles all over are stiff and sore and they are eventually incapacitated.”
The late William LeSassier, Matt’s friend and teacher said: “It is for people who had a use, but lost it. They stepped off the path.”
But why SPECIFICALLY for Lyme? Matt writes: “After entering the body through a tick bite, the spirochetes burrow into the muscles where they settle down to live. Here they produce chronic inflammation and pain, with destruction of muscles and joints. People become like the broken-down ‘tertiary syphilitics’ described in old medical text books”
Matt describes the progress of five clients, all somewhat different, who experience incredible healing from taking Teasel. One that got my attention described her symptoms as getting better ‘from the top down’. (mine went in reverse order, remember?) Some of the clients described from mild to fierce aggravation of symptoms as the healing took place.
What we've most seen is that Teasel appears to COAX THE BEASTS OUT OF HIDING so that your immune system (ideally) or some other 'killing agent' (if your immune system is just too trashed to do it) can clobber them once they're invited back into the blood stream.
This is where you need to listen to yourself. The doses Matt recommends are truly TINY, but if they aggravate your symptoms, do back down to a level you can deal with. This is likely to happen if you're on 5 different 'killing agents' or IV abx. My symptoms were merely ‘revisited’ over a few days’ time. As I worked my way up to the 9 DROPS a day, my body just didn’t want that much and I listened. I leveled off at 2 drops just 2x a day and STAYED there for 6 or 7 weeks. In hindsight, (which we KNOW is 20/20 with clean lenses) I now see that the 2 drops 2x a day kept me BELOW my Herx level. What I was using for MY 'killing agent' was GrapeFruitSeed tablets and I've always been honest about that, although with all the horrendous controversy swirling around about GFS being adulterated with all kinds of horrifying things, every time I mention it, someone takes a swing at me. It's just what I did.
When I've seen folks in person, I've had them Self-Test with the Teasel. Sometimes, even though we both KNOW they have Lyme, they test negative. I have seen this most often with folks currently on their first round of doxy with a new bite. When they’re DONE with the doxy, I have them test again and often NOW they test positive. Matt has seen folks do splendidly taking Teasel at the same time as abx (antibiotics). He does suggest, however, that due to its profoundly subtle nature, that you take it at a different TIME of day from anything else you may be taking. I totally agree with that.
Although you’ll often see Teasel recommended for the joint/muscle pain OF Lyme, it completely addressed the actual disease that for me was manifesting as extremely severe neurological symptoms, with the help of St John’s wort to heal my actual nerve DAMAGE (see the damage page for more)
Here I’d like to explain my sense of the difference between a HERX and a flare-up. The classic Herxheimer response happens when SO many spirochetes have been clobbered suddenly that your liver, kidneys and lymph glands just can’t HANDLE it. Lots of folks think this shows that something is working. Fact is, this is BAD for your body and needs to be avoided. One is experiencing a herx when the word HORRIBLE becomes the most important one in your vocabulary.
By contrast, depending on where in your body the spirochetes are hiding out, taking Teasel can cause a return of previous symptoms because it’s ‘calling out’ the spirochetes exactly THERE. Again, adjust your dosage to where you can stay comfortable/functional.
Teasel may be taken in water, or under or ON the tongue. Tasting the bitterness can be part of the healing response. Just try not to take at exactly the same time as anything else to let it do its job. BACK DOWN on the dosage if you feel things becoming overly stirred up or symptoms aggravated. It is totally ok to skip a dose or an entire day until you catch up with yourself. In the event that Lyme or co-infections are affecting your heart, be sure to have competent medical care monitoring any flare-ups.
DAY ONE 1 single drop! DAY SIX 2 / 2 / 2
DAY TWO 1 drop, 1 drop DAY SEVEN 3 / 2 / 2
DAY THREE 1 drop/ 1 / 1 DAY EIGHT 3 / 3 / 2
DAY FOUR 2 drops/ 1 / 1 DAY NINE 3 / 3 / 3
DAY FIVE 2 / 2 / 1 and just continue at 3 drops 3x a day....or less
There is rarely any need to exceed 9 drops per day, and it’s ok to take less but recommended time to stay on Teasel is 6 weeks to 3+months
*Use of Teasel for treating Lyme is not evaluated by the FDA and no claims are being made to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Yes, although other herbalists recommend far higher doses, Matthew and I have just not seen that as being necessary.
I chose to take GrapeFruitSeed WITH (but at different times of the day from) the Teasel. Matt and I talked about this. He mused about how something truly, shudderingly bitter could set off a distinct reaction in the body which COULD be a valid part of the healing. (and good Teasel Root tincture is GOOD and bitter!) Other herbs that might well do a similar thing for truly resistant cases would be Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) Blue Vervain (Verbena hastata), or Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) I talk more about them on the damage page.
Email me ladyb AT ladybarbara DOT net for sources of Teasel Root tincture or to order it from me.
Also, any of you who have taken it, I’d SURE like to hear your feedback. The more, the better.
There is a Facebook group called “The TeaselLymer’s Garden”
where we've got nearly 500 members and we've got some interesting conversations going. You do not have to ‘friend’ me personally to join.
Am I promising that what I did will ~cure~ every case of Lyme?
Oh come now, we know better than that.
Line up 100 Lymers and you have 100 different stories/patterns.
But both Matthew and I continue to see truly ENCOURAGING results with Teasel.
The teasels who enjoyed the gardens where I used to live grew to over TEN FEET TALL! I guess they’re as fond of me as I am of them. [photo 8/2011]
And what's the very BEST you can do? LEARN TO MAKE YOUR OWN TEASEL ROOT TINCTURE AND SHARE WITH FAMILY, FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS