…and what I do about them.
After dealing with my own tick-borne stealth infections the last 2 years, watching close friends manage this as well, and working with clients in this way, I am serious about ticks. I don’t allow this to prevent me from enjoying my family’s time in nature nor do I allow fear to creep in surrounding ticks. Information empowers me, so I research everything from all perspectives.
The first key here is prevention. Wearing light colored clothing helps see ticks and deters them as well. Tucking your pants into your socks and into your shoes provides a barrier as does long sleeves. It’s hot, I get it, but investing in a few pieces of long sleeves and pants made with cooling fabric is worth it! I love the Bugs Be Gone spray I make (it will stock later in May!) for prevention as well. I choose to not use chemical insect repellants on my or my family’s bodies for a number of reasons, but it simply has not been proven effective enough for me to risk the chemical exposure. We always strip down outside, do an inspection or 2, shower off and then, inspect again. An herbal preventative is taking Astragalus root tincture daily or adding it to your broths and infusions to drink daily.
If a tick does attach, we’ve learned how to properly detach them using our fingers. This is the most effective way! The next best is with fine tipped tweezer. Pull it straight out with fingernails firmly at the base of the tick where it is touching the skin, so that you can be sure to remove the tick’s head. Do not twist or apply essential oils or nail polish remover to the tick. Simply pull it firmly and straight out.
Upon removing, I apply andrographis tincture. I am currently growing a small plant and will have more when we move and re-establish our gardens. For now, I can find HerbPharm at my are health food store and have also ordered from Woodland Essence. I learned about andrographis from Stephen Buhner who has an excellent Lyme protocol and in depth insight in his book, Healing Lyme. I literally keep a bottle of this tincture in my van and in my at home first aid kit. I also begin internal use for the next 28 days at minimum. Once I am home and have access to my full supplies, I use andrographis and plantain tincture to wet activates charcoal or bentonite clay and make a poultice directly on the wound. I change frequently the first few days and continuing apply it for at least a week if there are no other signs of infection.
You also must research the signs of transmission of these various tick borne illnesses . Mainstream conventional medicine is still very dismissive of tick concerns. In Mississippi, our state health department and officials don’t even acknowledge Lyme in our state despite the fact that plenty of people have tested positive for it and know where the tick incident occurred. It is really mind-blowing, but as always, do your own research and be your own advocate. The standard bulls eye rash doesn’t even occur in most instances.Signs include lethargy, swollen lymph nodes and painful joints, fever, body aches, and just not feeling we’ll among other things. Sometimes, you may have all of these or just one, but it is important to pay attention and be proactive. These tick borne illnesses are best tackled early! I also save ticks and send them off to Tick Report It is much more effectice and cost efficient than most lab tests the doctor will run (if they’ll even run them at all!). This report sends you a dna analysis of what the tick is carrying. So you don’t get a diagnosis of transmission, but it is good to know what the potential is and you can target labs and medicines with that information if you need to do so. I would not hesitate to do a full 28 day course of the right antibiotics if signs of infection are present. Again, you’ll have to advocate for yourself with most prescribing practitioners on this treatment. I don’t recommend the use of antibiotics much, so you must know I am serious.
While I know the shop is closed now, I will have all of these herbs available soon. If you can’t wait, there are many fabulous apothecaries to support and you will also likely luck up at your nearby health food store or natural grocery.