A post by Dara Weaver
The recent warmer winter weather has created a perfect storm for the increase in Lyme disease in Michigan this year, and Yahoo news recently confirmed my concern.
Lyme disease is a tick-borne bacterial infection that can begin with flu-like symptoms, and if left untreated, can cause long-term chronic health issues that can become disabling. (more information on Lyme disease)
Ticks and tick bites are becoming more of an issue, even in urban areas in Michigan.
This spring for the first time one of my kids got a tick bite right in our backyard….. in town. This was the first tick I have ever seen for myself in Michigan, and it motivated me to start looking into the prevention of Lyme disease, as well as its cure!
Here are some of the protocols for prevention that I have discovered.
- If you know that you or the kids are going to be playing in woods or overgrown grasses, wear long pants, socks, and shoes. Ticks hang out in brush and long grass, waiting for a host to come walking through, then climb or drop onto a person or animal in hopes of finding a meal.
- When you or the kids come in from spending time in nature, check for ticks underneath clothing on the skin- try to catch them before they bite. If a bite does occur, save the tick and tape it to a piece of paper, or seal it in a Ziploc bag and place in the freezer. If symptoms of illness begin, it is much easier to test the tick for Lyme than it is to get a positive Lyme diagnosis for a person, since blood tests often have up to a 50% false negative rate.
- Cedar, Lavender, Oregano, and Thieves essential oils may be effective in repelling ticks. Mix several drops of essential oil in a spray bottle of water, shake, and apply as a natural repellant (you can add a couple of tablespoons of vodka to help disperse
the oil into the water, if desired).
- For a preventative repellant, use a water bottle that has never been used for anything but water, and add 5 pellets of Ledum Palustre and 5 pellets of Hypericum Perforatum, homeopathic remedies, (30C potency or 200C potency, just be sure they are both the same potency) and shake to dissolve. Spray skin and clothing as a repellant.
Immediate Bite Treatments
Direct application of an essential oil (Cedar, Lavender, Oregano, and Thieves) to a tick bite, even while the tick is attached, may cause the tick to disengage, and will flood the bite with antimicrobial properties immediately, hopefully killing any bacteria at the site of the bite within minutes of the tick’s removal. I carry a couple essential oils in my natural first aid kit so that I can treat bites immediately when they happen.
Homeopathy is a modality that falls under the umbrella of Herbal Medicine, but works from a completely different premise. (After studying it carefully, my husband and I have concluded that it is, in fact, very much scientific, and something that we are comfortable with as Christians and students of Alternative Medicine.)
After a tick bite, take one dose of Ledum Palustre 200C, and the next day take one dose of Hypericum Perforatum 200C. (Ledum and Hypericum can be purchased in the 200C potency from Lucky Vitamin.)
You can use essential oils and homeopathy both, but not within a close time frame. I personally like to use essential oil first, and then follow up the next day with the homeopathic protocol.
And of course, always call your health care provider for help and information.
Dara Weaver is a Certified Nutritionist and amateur herbalist who lives with her family in West Michigan. They were diagnosed with Lyme disease in 2010 and have recently started a natural herbal product company at Elysium Naturals, offering natural first aid kits as well as tinctures and oils.
Are you taking precautions to avoid tick bites this year?
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This blog is for educational purposes only. The information provided by Donielle, or any contributor, is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition. If you are seeking medical advice, please search out a qualified health practitioner.