Energy Boosting Herbs and Supplements to Combat Lyme Disease Fatigue
Crushing, chronic fatigue is easily one of the most debilitating symptoms experienced by many patients with Lyme disease. It can manifest so severely that it causes serious limitations in literally every aspect of a person’s life, thereby decreasing their quality of life to a major degree. For me, it was so severe that, for years on end, I found it difficult to find the strength to even make it to the bathroom to take a detox bath –much less make healthy meals, prepare my herbal protocols, attend to the spiritual and mental aspects of healing, exercise and do the plethora of other things my protocol required.
So, it became clear that in order to execute the necessary tasks to heal, finding a way to effectively combat fatigue was of the utmost importance. As a result, I began a long and often frustrating journey of experimenting with different ways to reduce fatigue –from taking stimulants like large amounts of caffeine (which quickly led to adrenal burnout), to more natural methods like herbs and supplements which didn’t over-stimulate my nervous system or cause burnout.
Some of the things I tried, primarily pharmaceutical stimulants and caffeine, caused me to feel “wired” and catapulted me into what I refer to as the “stun-gun” state. These stimulants certainly woke me up, but all I could do was stare off because my body and brain felt as if they were buzzing. Natural alternatives, on the other hand, seemed to provide a “cleaner” type of energy, as they did not over-stimulate my central nervous system. The following is a list of the herbs and supplements that I found most beneficial:
· Spirulina: Spirulina helps boost energy due to the fact that it is rich in protein and antioxidants, and is packed with essential amino acids and minerals. In patients with Lyme disease who suffer from chronic fatigue, Candida overgrowth is often a contributing factor. Spirulina may help to eliminate Candida by promoting healthy bacterial floral growth in the gut, which helps to prevent further candida overgrowth.  Spirulina is also a potent detox agent, so many find it best to start with a small dose and work their way up to larger doses depending on how their bodies react. Furthermore, if you wish to give spirulina a try, it is important to purchase organic spirulina from reputable sources, as spirulina grown in certain environments may contain heavy metals. 
· Eleutherococcus (Siberian Ginseng): Eleutherococcus, also commonly referred to as eleuthero, really helped me with fatigue and brain fog. For cases of extreme chronic fatigue, herbalist and author Stephen Harrod Buhner suggests taking doses of eleuthero that are much higher than the standard American recommended doses. I highly recommend exploring his dosing guidelines before using eleuthero for fatigue, as I can personally attest to the fact that an effective dose for chronic and severe fatigue tends to be much higher than the average recommended doses. You can delve into Stephen Harrod Buhner’s research on using this and other herbs for chronic fatigue in his book, Healing Lyme: Natural Healing of Lyme Borreliosis and the Coinfections Chlamydia and Spotted Fever Rickettsioses. 
· Rhodiola: Rhodiola is a mental and physical stimulant specific that can be useful for supporting the body in cases of chronic fatigue that result from long-term illness –making it a great candidate for those who suffer from chronic fatigue due to nervous exhaustion, suppressed immune function, and cognitive difficulties caused by chronic Lyme disease.  Rhodiola is also known to increase the odds of recovery from chronic illness, as it is an adaptogenic stimulant that helps the body adapt and rise to the occasion when intense stress is placed on it for an extended period of time.
· Maca: Maca supports the restoration of exhausted adrenal glands, thereby helping to combat fatigue from adrenal burnout due to intense stress placed on the body from illnesses like Lyme disease. 
· Deer Antler Extract: Deer antler is known to support energy and stamina, as well as enhance mental clarity. It does this by aiding in the production of healthy red blood cells, which then helps the body to deliver more oxygen to the organs –which is essential for healthy, sustained energy. While the idea of taking deer antler extract may seem a little odd, it is easily one of the most powerful methods for combatting fatigue that I have ever tried. When taking it, it gave me just the right amount of energy to meet the daily demands of my protocol –including taking all of my herbs and supplements, detoxing, gentle exercise, and meditation– without the crash and adrenal burnout caused by harsh nervous system stimulants.
· Vitamin D and B12: Finally, make sure your levels of these two vitamins are adequate. Being deficient in either can lead to serious fatigue.
The above are but a few of the many herbs and supplements that many people have found beneficial for combatting fatigue. There are a plethora of other natural methods, aside from herbs and supplements, that people have found helpful for boosting their energy levels, such as yoga, breathing exercises, and meditation. However, asking those who are already bed bound to get out of bed and do yoga or concentrate on meditating without falling asleep is often unrealistic and absolutely understandable. Many have to first supplement with energy boosting herbs and supplements in order to get to a place where they can do such things.
In essence, the answer to taking your power back from the crushing fatigue caused by Lyme disease and related conditions is out there. Sometimes, it just takes patient endurance to find the one that is perfect for your particular case. If you are suffering from crushing fatigue and feel that you have tried everything but nothing works, don’t lose hope. With that in mind, please remember to always consult with a healthcare professional before adding any new herbs or supplements to your protocol. It is crucial to make sure that whatever you add to your daily health regimen does not interact with any other treatments that you are currently doing.
1. Landsman, J. “The health benefits of spirulina should not be ignored.” NaturalHealth365. March 24, 2013. Accessed from: http://www.naturalhealth365.com/spirulina_benefits.html/. May 11, 2016
2. Mercola, J. “Ignored Since the 1950s – Is Spirulina Now a ‘Miracle’ High-Protein Super Food?” Mercola.com. July 1, 2011. Accessed May 12, 2016 from: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/07/01/spirulina-the-amazing-super-food-youve-never-heard-of.aspx.
3. Buhner, Stephen H. Healing Lyme: Natural Healing of Lyme Borreliosis and the Coinfections Chlamydia and Spotted Fever Rickettsioses. Silver City, NM: Raven Press, 2015.
4. Buhner, Stephen H. Healing Lyme Disease Coinfections: Complementary and Holistic Treatments for Bartonella and Mycoplasma. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 2013.
5. Riggins, K. “Maca Root & Adrenal Fatigue.” Livestrong.com. February 3, 2015. Accessed May 14, 2016 from: http://www.livestrong.com/article/417693-maca-root-adrenal-fatigue/.
Shelley M. White is trained in herbalism and nutrition, and is the author of ‘Cannabis for Lyme Disease and Related Conditions: Scientific Basis and Anecdotal Evidence for Medicinal Use’ (visit www.cannabisforlyme.com to learn more). She has written for various websites, including Collective Evolution, Mind Body Green, Natural News, The Mind Unleashed, and the Examiner. Her work has also appeared in print publications, such as ‘The Townsend Letter’, ‘SKUNK Magazine’, and ‘Public Health Alert’.