Of bacterial origin, since due to a bacterium of the complex Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato transmitted to humans by infected tick bite, the Lyme borreliosis, or Lyme disease, is usually treated with antibiotics.
Unfortunately, and without us yet knowing very well why, the antibiotics are not 100% effective in all affected patients, as some continue to have symptoms after treatment.
Also researchers from the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (United States) set out to find more effective solutions, by turning to nature. They tested the antibiotic efficacy of two natural substances: Japanese knotweed and quinine from Ghana, extracted from the plant Cryptolepis Saguinolenta. Both are known to have health benefits, the first would act against bacteria (malaria, tuberculosis, hepatitis) and the second would protect the nervous system and the heart.
Note that other plants have been tested by researchers, such as black walnut (Juglans nigra) and the cat’s claw (Uncaria Tomentosa, also called liana of Peru).
Thanks to experiments bringing these plants into contact with bacteria causing Lyme borreliosis, scientists found that a single seven-day treatment with just 1% Japanese knotweed was enough to eradicate the bacteria. In all, “7 extracts of 1% natural products were found to have good activity against stationary culture of B. burgdorferi compared to the control antibiotics doxycycline and cefuroxime. These active plants include Cryptolepis sanguinolenta, Juglans nigra (black walnut), Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed), Artemisia annua (annual wormwood or Chinese wormwood), Uncaria tomentosa (cat’s claw), Cistus incanus and Scutellaria baicalensis (Baikal skullcap) ”, list the scientists in their study, published on February 21 in the journal Frontiers in Medicine. On the other hand, other plants tested such as grapefruit seed extract and stevia were ineffective against the bacteria involved in Lyme disease.
“This study provides the first convincing evidence that some of the plants used by patients such as Cryptolepis, black walnut, annual sagebrush, cat’s claw and Japanese knotweed have potent activity against Lyme disease bacteria, in particular the persistent dormant forms, which are not not eradicated by antibiotics current [prescrits contre] lyme disease”, Commented Dr. Ying Zhang, co-author of the study. “These results are exciting because they offer the potential to improve the treatment of persistent Lyme disease, which is not cured by the current standard treatment.”, He added, specifying that animal experiments and clinical trials will be necessary to confirm these results and lead to new treatments.