Clove is a spice that’s used in cooking but which also has powerful medicinal properties, especially clove essential oil. Clove typically isn’t one of those natural remedies that people with Lyme disease include as part of their protocols, perhaps because it hasn’t been widely used among Lyme-literate practitioners, or researched specifically for its benefits in Lyme, so its potential as a supportive remedy remains largely unknown.
Essential Oils for Lyme Disease
However, of late I’ve met a few holistic-minded healthcare practitioners that are using clove and other essential oils for Lyme as part of their patients’ treatment regimens, with good preliminary outcomes. While there are no studies to show that clove is effective against Borrelia or the common co-infections, there is evidence that clove has powerful anti-parasitic and anti-fungal properties.
For instance, one study published in 2012 revealed clove to inhibit biofilm synthesis in Candida albicans, a common fungal condition in those with Lyme disease. Another study, the results of which were published in 2011 in, showed clove to have anti-fungal effects against a variety of mold and fungi, including: Fusarium moniliforme, Fusarium oxysporum, Aspergillus sp., Mucor sp., Trichophyton rubrum and Microsporum gypseum. Other studies confirm this, and demonstrate clove to be one of the most potent anti-fungal essential oils there is.
This research, along with some doctors’ experiences with their patients suggest that clove may be an effective remedy against common fungal conditions that plague those with chronic Lyme disease, especially mold and Candida overgrowth.
What’s more, clove is a powerful anti-parasitic, and according to Ann Louse Gittelman, in her book, Guess What Came to Dinner? it has been found to eliminate over 100 types of protozoa when taken along with artemisia and black walnut, two other powerful anti-parasitic remedies. Parasites are another common Lyme disease co-condition, just as mold and Candida, and according to some Lyme-literate doctors, must also be eliminated from the body in order for to effectively recover from Lyme.
Dietrich Klinghardt, MD, PhD, writes in my 2016 book, New Paradigms in Lyme Disease Treatment: 10 Top Doctors Reveal Healing Strategies that Work, that he treats parasites first in his patients, because he finds that parasites harbor smaller organisms, including Lyme microbes like Borrelia. This means that in order for the Lyme infections to be completely eliminated, any parasites in the body must be treated first. According to Dr. Klinghardt, treating parasites first also dramatically shortens amount required for Lyme disease treatment.
If you don’t think you have parasites, I urge you to get tested with a reputable lab such as Parasitology, Inc. to be sure. I’ve interviewed a number of parasite experts, and the consensus seems to be that most of us are harboring infections that could be contributing to Lyme or other chronic health conditions. Parasites are not a third-world phenomenon; they are ubiquitous in our soil, food and water, and we are all exposed to them. Parasites can cause symptoms similar to those of Lyme, so it’s a good idea to get tested to find out whether they are factor in your battle with Lyme.
What I like about clove as an anti-parasitic remedy is that it provides a nice combination of being both powerful and yet safe and effective for the body. Parasites can be tenacious and herbal remedies aren’t always sufficient to eliminate them, while pharmaceutical drugs can be too harsh, so essential oils may provide the best of both worlds.
Finally, clove may be a beneficial supportive supplement for those with Lyme disease because studies show that it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These studies have been published in medical databases such as PubMed. Typically, Lyme disease symptoms and damage to the body are caused largely by inflammation, so anything that helps to scavenge free radicals that cause DNA damage and which reduces inflammation is sure to be helpful. Further, clove is an anti-coagulant, and so may help to increase blood flow to the tissues, and thereby cause nutrients and antimicrobial treatments to more effectively reach the cells. Heparin is an anticoagulant commonly given to people with Lyme disease due to manage hyper coagulation; clove may provide a safer, milder alternative for some.
Clove has also been found to have antibacterial properties. However, its antimicrobial properties are very powerful and I’ve found that it can cause strong Herxheimer reactions, so I encourage you to use it with caution, and consult with your Lyme-literate doctor to determine whether it’s appropriate for you. The good news is, it’s a powerful, multi-faceted and effective remedy that may prove to be a useful adjunct support for many in the battle against Lyme, and I personally have benefited from it in my own healing journey.
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This article was first published on ProHealth.com on September 5, 2017 and was updated on December 19, 2019.
Connie Strasheim is the author of multiple wellness books, including three on Lyme disease. She is also a medical copywriter, editor and healing prayer minister. Her passion is to help people with complex chronic illnesses find freedom from disease and soul-spirit sickness using whole body medicine and prayer, and she collaborates with some of the world’s best integrative doctors to do this. In addition to Lyme disease, Connie’s books focus on cancer, nutrition, detoxification and spiritual healing. You can learn more about her work at: ConnieStrasheim.
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