Lyme Disease

Posted to Subscribers on 21 April 2013

Dear Subscribers,

Once in a while, there is some really good news! Ron Paul has launched his Institute for Peace and Prosperity with a stellar board consisting of seasoned people with principles:

Hats off to him and his team. Let's all support this project and make it go viral!

On a totally different note, a friend returned my copy of the film "Under Our Skin" and I watched it again. Sometimes, we see a bit more the second or third time or just after a lapse of some months or years. This is a film I urged people to watch when it first came out. It is about Lyme disease, a very difficult disease that lacks political and medical understanding. My comments are not directly related to the film content, but it behooves each of us to watch the film.

Here is the short version of the history of Lyme. There was a bioweapons laboratory on Plum Island, a small island off the tip of Long Island. There were two ferries shuttling employees to Plum Island: one from Orient Point, Long Island, and the other from Old Saybrook across the Connecticut River from Lyme, Connecticut. The work on Plum Island is the subject of many investigations by concerned citizens and journalists. The facility was opened in 1954 as a research laboratory for highly infectious animal diseases and was operated by the Department of Agriculture until 2003 when it came under the jurisdiction of the Department of Homeland Security.

There is a heap of material online about Lab 257 with some balanced viewpoints as well as considerable finger pointing. At minimum, standard security procedures for handling infectious biological materials were substandard. I leave it to the Lords of Karma to decide what the rest of the story is. At the time the film was produced (2008), it was estimated that there were 420,000 new cases of Lyme disease annually. Officially, the figure is much lower, but there are so few doctors checking for Lyme that the most conservative estimate of the actual incidence in the U.S. is at least 12 times higher than the CDC numbers. There are those who believe that the epidemic is global and the infection rate might be reaching some sort of saturation point. To understand this concept, one can read up on the history of AIDS to grasp a somewhat esoteric concept of just how many victims there will be before a disease loses its sting. We actually all understand this because even though the Black Death decimated the world population, there were survivors, and there are many hemophiliacs and gay men who never contracted AIDS, and many people who survive typhoid and cholera epidemics.

The spirochete that causes Lyme disease is a relative of the syphilis spirochete. Some researchers like to emphasize how distant the relationship is and others note the close similarities. Technically, a spirochete is regarded as a bacterium even though it looks like a parasite. It gets its name from spiral because of the corkscrew like appearance. Spirochetes are microscopic. They are thin and coiled — and when viewed in live blood are usually highly active and wiggly. The "screw" allows the spirochete to burrow through tissues so they do not respect walls such as stomachs, arteries, and other barriers that normally prevent organisms from moving outside the basic habitat. Because of the mobility, spirochetes may appear in almost any tissue and yet they could elude efforts to find them since they can move around.

The best example of this was what I reported some months ago with respect to oral spirochetes. There are at least 60 known oral spirochetes and each has a specific habitat. Nature might be this way: look in your garden and ask why plants prefer one location over another. Here is a link that I have not sent before:

So, problem number one is that many tests for Lyme disease are inconclusive. Problem number two is that there are countless co-infections associated with Lyme syndrome. There are probably a number of competing theories, but the most prevalent one is that the tick injects both the spirochetes and other microorganisms that cause such conditions as Babesia, Ehrlichia, Bartonella, and a slew of other pathogens that understandably produce a wide array of symptoms, basically everything from arthritis to Alzheimer's disease. It is therefore easy to understand that the presenting symptoms can be mistaken for a somewhat less complicated disease, but most of the manifestations of Lyme are both chronic and cyclical.

Problem number three is discussed in the film, a film that won many awards and certainly deserved an Oscar. This is that the disease is so difficult to treat that if taken seriously, it would bankrupt insurance companies. When AIDS was claiming its first victims, I consulted with a couple of insurance companies, expecting that they were concerned that they would go belly up. Much to my surprise, they are so heavily invested in the stocks of the companies purporting to provide the solutions that they were confident of survival.

This is a Catch-22 because it means that pharmaceutical companies and hospitals profit on illness so insurance companies insulate themselves from catastrophic losses either by denying claims or profiting on the cure. If people die young, as is frequently the case with AIDS as well as Lyme disease, you would think that life insurance actuaries would be losing a lot of sleep. Problem number four is that the original guidelines for Lyme treatment as set forth by The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) were absurd. This issue is also covered in "Under Our Skin" since many members of the panel had egregious conflicts of interest, such as grants to develop vaccines for Lyme. In short, the patient is left with the short end of the stick and is often wracked with pain while the academicians and profiteers delay and deny the help that is needed.

So, what is Lyme disease?

As noted, there is controversy and finger pointing, but there are books on the subject and even Wikipedia corroborates the main issue which is that secret bioweapons research was conducted on Plum Island, at least until 1969.

It's a hair raising story; it is also a situation in which the truth may be stranger than fiction. The story is full of the stuff for which screenplays are written. In fact, Plum Island is mentioned in "Silence of the Lambs", but whether this would make a great whodunit or third rate account of government laxity and bungling is anyone's guess. You decide. Meanwhile, there are allegations that Plum Island is also the source of West Nile Virus. As one would expect, the northeastern part of the U.S. is heavily infected with the spirochete but the disease has spread worldwide.


Way back, I read that 275,000 children in the U.S. under the age of 5 had arthritis. This was shocking and appeared around the same time that Diet for a Small Planet and Diet for a New America were hot. I fell for the idea that the joint pain was due to degradation of our food. That is, until I began researching frankincense. I wanted to compare all the different ethnobotanical uses of frankincense and the stunning research on Boswellia serrata that began to come out of Germany. In Ayurveda, this Indian frankincense is used mainly for joint pain, but its cousins in Somalia and Ethiopia are parasiticides; and the brain tumors that were regressing in Germany looked to me like parasite infections rather than tumors. Then came the outbreak of chikungunya in France that quickly spread to Switzerland and Italy and probably beyond. These patients also suffered from severe joint pain. Okay, you don't need to know the whole story, but I love looking for the dots and collecting enough for the bigger picture to emerge.

There is no doubt in my mind that both spirochetes and filarial infections have been used for hundreds of years in warfare. Islands and whole continents have been decimated by microscopic organisms so while it is entirely understandable that militaries would want to study these diseases with the purpose of protecting their troops from whatever the enemy might be doing, it is also easy to see that if you have live organisms in laboratories that sooner or later something escapes. One cannot perform 30,000 tests a year without an occasional accident.

In any event, because spirochetes have been around for a long time, there is a lot of ethnobotanical material on treatment. The same is true of malaria and its cousin, Babesia. Over the next months, I am going to be posting historic material on the herbs that have been used for "similar" infections. Some of these treatments will go back thousands of years.

This is all part of my attempt to redirect some of my time and energy. Your links, support, and blessings are most welcome.

Many blessings,


Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2013

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