The best defense against Lyme Disease could be the world’s most invasive weed, study finds
Japanese knotweed is more effective than antibiotics at treating Lyme Disease, a new study finds.
This is great news since antibiotics don’t work for 1 in 5 people diagnosed with Lyme.
Lyme Disease, spread by ticks, is a growing problem in the United States and Europe, where it infects hundreds of thousands of new people each year.
If left untreated, Lyme can lead to severe headaches, joint pain and swelling, facial paralysis, meningitis and heart palpitations.
Twenty percent of those treated with antibiotics still develop long-term fatigue, joint pain and memory problems, the study found.
Looking to nature for a more effective remedy, researchers from Johns Hopkins University tested 14 plant extracts against the bacteria that causes Lyme.
Of those, they found two more effective than antibiotics at killing the bacteria – Ghanaian quinine and Japanese Knotweed.
Ghanaian quinine is a shrub containing a chemical that is used to treat malaria, hepatitis and tuberculosis in West Africa.
Japanese knotweed, a traditional Asian herbal medicine, contains high concentrations of the plant chemical resveratrol, which has anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory and anti-aging effects, and protects the nervous system and heart.
Both plant medicines wiped out the Lyme-causing bacteria after just 7 days of use, compared to 30-day rounds of antibiotics.
Other successful plant extracts included black walnut, cat’s claw, sweet wormwood, Mediterranean rockrose and Chinese skullcap.
“These findings are exciting as they offer opportunities for improved treatment of persistent Lyme disease, which is not helped by the current standard treatment,” said study author Dr. Ying Zhang.