Everyone is at risk for Lyme disease, including newborns. "Of the 5,000 children I've treated, 240 have been born with the disease," says the world's leading Lyme pediatric specialist Charles Ray Jones, M.D., medical director of the Pediatric/Adolescent Medicine and Lyme Disease clinic in New Haven, Connecticut.
Two years ago, another Lyme disease expert, Dan Kinderleher, M.D., stated on the Today Show that the then existing 1.8 million cases cited by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP) in Atlanta, Georgia had been under-reported by at least ten times. In the United States, therefore, in actuality over 18 million Lyme disease patients now exist.
"The CDCP criteria was developed only for surveillance; it was never meant for diagnosis," explains Dr. Jones. "Lyme is a clinical diagnosis.The test evidence may be used to support a clinical diagnosis, but it doesn't prove one has Lyme. About 50 percent of patients I've seen have been seronegative for Lyme but meet all the clinical criteria."1
A renowned authority in the field of integrative medicine, W. Lee Cowden, M.D., of Ft. Worth, Texas, says, "There are very few symptoms where you shouldn't consider Lyme, especially given that a quarter of the U.S. population may be affected. More than 50 percent of ill people may have Lyme contributing to their condition."2 (Please see our interview with Dr. Cowden which appears later in this Medical Journalist Report of Innovative Biologics.)
Marcus A. Cohen, New York Observer columnist for the Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients, writes: ". . . for every case [of Lyme disease] reported, ten meeting the CDCP case definition aren't recorded. An unknown number of cases not meeting the CDCP surveilance criteria go unreported. Probable bottom line on the number of Americans who actually contract Lyme: 250,000 to 300,000 per year. "3
Suffering from Lyme disease herself, Jo Anne Whitaker, M.D., F.A.A.P., President and Director of Research at Bowen Research & Training Institute, Inc. in Palm Harbor, Florida, has developed a blood test useful in evaluating treatment by comparing pre and post serial dilution results. Dr. Whitaker affirms: "We have now tested over 3,500 [blood] specimens, with 500 of these [specimens] from very sick children. They come from a wide geographical distribution and all are positive for cell-wall-deficient Lyme disease.
"The primary question is 'why are there no negatives?'" Dr. Whitaker goes on to ask, "Does everyone have it?.....Since 1999, all blood cultures have been positive with Bb, there were no negatives. We believe this indicates the magnitude of the problem. We believe the problem is not only endemic but may also be reaching epidemic proportions. Early diagnosis is mandatory so that treatment can begin immediately to provide opportunity for cure and prevent chronic Lyme disease."4
Lyme Disease Recognition and Transmission
While the modern concept of Lyme disease is said to have been first described as a mysterious outbreak of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis occurring near the town of Lyme, Connecticut in 1977, a semblance of it was originally identified in Germany in 1883, in the town of Breslau.5 One of the main carriers or etiologic vectors of Ld was discovered in 1982 by entymologist William "Willy" Burgdorfer, Ph.D., M.D. (hon.). Dr. Burgdorfer isolated spirochetes from the mid-guts of one of the Ixodes ticks (see Photograph 1). The proven Lyme vectors include various deer tick species such as Ixodoes dammini and Ixodes scapularis, Lone Star ticks (Ammblyoma americanum), western black-legged ticks (Ixodes pacificus), dog ticks also known as wood ticks (Dermacentor variabilis), and others. Note that ticks are not insects; as adults, they are bloodsucking, 8-legged arachnids (arthropods) along with spiders, scorpions, chiggers, and mites.
Providing an excellent internet report on personal experiences with fighting off his own Ld infection, Scott Taylor, D.V.M., writes: "There is a tremendous misunderstanding regarding the Lyme disease tick vector. Critical information is not being reported by health officials to the public and medical community. The widespread distribution of these tick vectors greatly increases the prevalence of Lyme disease well beyond that of official reports. The public needs to understand the potential danger of all tick bites, not only that from the deer tick."
Description of the Organism Causing Lyme Borreliosis
Dr. Burgdorfer had demonstrated that the spirochetes, Borrelia burgdorferi, reacted with immune serum from patients that had been diagnosed with Lyme disease. Resembling the syphilis spirochete, Treponema pallidum, the Ld spirochete was given the name Borrelia burgdorferi after its finder (see Photograph 2). Since the organism's discovery by Dr. Burgdorfer, about 100 American and 300 worldwide strains of Borrelia have been uncovered.
Even though the transmission of Bb organism can occur through the bite of the above-reported tick, Lyme disease authorities now recognize that the spirochete is vectored by fleas, mosquitoes, mites, through human sexual contacts, congenital transfer, and as a food infection.
The Bb organism is pleomorphic (changes shape) from a spiral to a filament to a cyst, to a granule, to a hooked rod, or the bacteria assumes an elbow appearance. All of these pleomorphics are described by the Lister Institute as "L-forms" and show under the microscope as cell-wall deficient (see Photograph 3). They produce no antibody response since a cell wall is lacking to which an infected person's immune system may respond. With no cell wall, Bb microorganisms can hide within body tissues, thus protecting themselves from any adverse immunological reaction to their well-being. Diagnostic tests for Ld that seek antibody responses therefore produce inaccurate readings or are outright failures. The illness is exceedingly difficult to detect, and it perseveres in its pandemic spread. Lyme disease continues to imitate, manifest, and be misdiagnosed in no less than 368 illnesses, a listing of which is available at the website of one of our Ld information assets, Bionatus Laboratories (www.samento.com.ec), which is cited at the end of this article (see the Resources section).
Inadequate Standard Lyme Disease Treatment
A vaccine that had been manufactured for Lyme disease is now removed from the market because evidence indicated that 30 percent of Ld patients who possess a certain gene were developing autoimmune arthritic disease from it. There is no known cure for this condition; plus, previously undiagnosed Lyme disease patients frequently become reactivated with Ld symptoms when they are vaccinated. Currently lawsuits against the vaccine manufacturer are in the courts.6
The present standard approach to Ld therapy includes conventional antibiotics such as the oral administration of doxycycline, minocycline, tetracycline or amoxicillin for patients diagnosed early. Parenteral therapy by intravenous (IV) administration is used for those with neurologic involvement, severe arthritis, or any life-threatening manifesation such as complete heart block. Such treatment tends to be effective for acute conditions; however, therapy for chronic Lyme disease is currently inadequate and this truism causes it to be controversial.
Added to the usual antibiotics mentioned above, the Borrelia organism is additionally sensitive to clarithromycin (Biaxin®), metronidazole (Flagyl®), either of the two brandnamed products containing co-trimoxazole sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim (Bactrim® or Septra®), and azithromycin (Zinthromycin®). Any of the cited antimicrobials must be administered for a minimum of two months. Such prolonged antibiotic usage does destroy the patient's intestinal flora which usually manifests with severe candidiasis or other opportunistic infections.
The usual conventional antibiotic treatment gets prescribed for only two-to-three weeks, and it is completely inadequate. Such poor therapy invariably sees patients deteriorate with chronic symptoms of borreliosis including arthralgias, fatigue, and paresthesias. Also such insufficent treatment allows for Lyme disease relapses. Not knowing this, Lyme-illiterate physicians often join the therapy's controversy. Their figuring is that the disease does not exist or that no treatment works. The drug treatment they had employed was inadequate, and there is a failure in not seeking other natural and nontoxic alternatives.
Andrew Wright, M.B., Ch.B., Treats Himself for
Lower Extremity Neuropathy Caused by Lyme Disease
Speaking with us from the country town of Bolton in the Manchester region of Great Britain, 45-year-old physician and surgeon, Andrew Wright, M.B., Ch.B, began using a nontoxic herbal remedy for his patients who were suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome, Lyme disease, and allied conditions. Two years ago, Dr. Wright was introduced to a particular product derived from cat's claw (Una de Gato) which grows deep in the jungles of Peru.
"I discovered then and do find now that my patients respond very well to that particular rare herbal chemotype with the botanical name of Uncaria tomentosa. Patients frequently react strongly to the herb, and it has become my first line of therapy. It is quickly effective, has a cheap cost, and other remedies can be added readily if required," says Dr. Wright. "I'm really pleased with the product, particularly since it has done away with my own health problem of bilateral lower extremity neuropathy."
Back in 1979 I began experiencing sensations of pin and needles in my feet, spontaneous muscle-twitching, cognitive problems with energy slumps, and more. As a teenager and into adulthood I never knew what was wrong with me and no doctor could make the diagnosis. Then as a health professional, I consulted colleagues from any of the pertinent specialties concerned with neuropathies." Dr. Wright explains. "My eventual diagnosis was Lyme disease which fifteen years ago just became recognized as sweeping through Europe. "
Some months back, because my patients were benefiting from taking capsules or drops of this cat's claw chemotype, brand-named TOA-Free Cats Claw, Samento®, I started to take it too. Such a particular chemotype of cat's claw is devoid of those chemical antagonists called Tetracyclic Oxindole Alkaloids [TOAs] which act adversely upon the human central nervous system. Absent TOAs in this commercial therapeutic agent predisposed me to using that certain brand of the herb and good things have happened for me," Dr. Wright assures us. "By self-administering Samento®, the Borrelia organisms are gone from my body, and this has now eliminated my neuropathy symptoms, discontinued my mood swings, and generally recovered my normal functions. If I forget to drink drops of the herb in purified water, I feel unpleasant differences in well-being within a few days.
"I've been taking Samento® faithfully and fully intend to continue with the drops indefinitely. My lower extremity neuropathy stays away as long as I swallow these drops; it comes back when I fail to take them," states Dr. Andrew Wright.
Mechanism of Action of TOA-FreeCat's Claw
Cat's claw is represented by two species of the genus Uncaria of the family Rubiaceae indigenous to tropical South America. Uncaria tomentosa DC as well as the species U. guianensis are high-climbing, twining woody vines found in Amazonia (see Photograph 4). A bark decoction of U. tomentosa from Peru, the center of the plant's range, finds use for the treatment of inflammations, rheumatism, gastric ulcers, tumors, intestinal disorders, and certain skin disorders.7
The two chemical types of U. tomentosa differ greatly in their alkaloid content and therapeutic utility. One chemotype contains primarily the pentacyclic (5-ring) oxindole alkaloids which have immunomodulating properties. The second chemotype comprises primarily Tetracyclic (4-ring) Oxindole Alkaloids (TOAs), and these are undesirable components. Not only do the TOAs act adversely on the central nervous system, but they also antagonize any immunostimulating effect of the pentacyclic alkaloids.8
What makes Samento® exceedingly valuable as an antimicrobial therapeutic agent is that it is highly immunomodulating by being TOA-free. 9
Samento® also contains quinovic acid glycosides and some novel triterpenes which are applied by Amazonian tribes for the treatment of digestive disorders such as gastritis, colitis, ulcers, diverticulitis, leaky bowel, and hemorrhoids. As shown in laboratory studies, the herb's alkaloids activate immune system cells and work well against various viruses. Many of the herb's compounds also counteract inflammation, lower blood pressure, relax and dilate peripheral blood vessels, slow arrhythmic heart rate, and lower elevated cholesterol. From its immunomodulating effect, U. tomentosa has attracted attention among medical scientists for possible usefulness against cancer and/or symptoms produced by infection with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).10,11
The chemistry of cat's claw has been well-studied over the past twenty-five years, along with pharmacological reports of specific fractions from the root and stem bark of both Amazonian species. The herb's crude drug components are among the most widely used and best known folk medicines in South America, particularly among natives in the upper Amazon basin.12 The local natives harvest the herb's leaves for brewing into tea, gather bark of the root plus stem for personal use, and sell it as a cash crop (see Photograph 5). They gather their cat's claw as a saleable commodity for purification, packaging, and distribution as Samento® by Nutramedix, LLC of Jupiter, Florida.
Cat's claw climbs as high as 100 feet up the exterior sides of trees with the help of its hooks that resemble the claws of a cat. If the stem is cut, drinkable water exudes from it (see Photograph 6).
The medicinal components are present within its inner bark (see Photograph 7). Known for over a century, the remedial qualities of cat's claw were identified in 1974 by Austrian researchers. Other names which identify this herb are: life-giving vine of Peru, samento, uncaria, and Uaa de gato.
As a final caution about ingesting either of the two cat's claw species as capsules or drops and possibly as brewed tea, they should be avoided by women who are trying to conceive. Also pregnant women should not take them because the safety and mode of action have not been adequately studied for such women. Yet, the ingestion of cat's claw products appears to protect against cellular mutations as occur in cancer.13,14,15
Four Doctors Discuss their Experiences with Using Samento®
"Since the fall of 2002, I have used Samento® for the quick symptomatic improvement of patients, often within a few weeks, because spirochetes in their blood seen under dark field microscopy get progressively less in number until none exist any longer," states Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) expert W. Lee Cowden, M.D., of Fort Worth, Texas. "Over a relatively short period, my patients' symptoms disappear from their ingestion of this herbal remedy taken usually in conjunction with digestive enzymes 30 to 60 minutes before meals and detoxification remedies to prevent the microbe die-off healing [Herxheimer] reaction."
"I know that the Samento® antimicrobial properties are derived from its containing quinalone components and the pentacyclic oxindole alkaloids (POAs). The POAs effect is to boost non-specific and cellular immunity. Furthermore, the particular chemotype of cat's claw in this commercial product, unlike others sold, does not contain the chemical antagonists identified as tetracyclic oxindole alkaloids (TOAs) which act adversely on a person's central nervous system," Dr. Cowden says. "TOAs tend to inhibit the beneficial effect of POAs. Because the TOAs are absent, the patient experiences a powerful immune system modification from Samento®. Pathological microbes as occur in Lyme disease are effectively combatted.
"I could offer hundreds of successful case histories in which Samento® was my treatment of choice. One is that of C. F., a 19-year-old woman who has now been free of Lyme disease for 18 months. She consulted me in January 2003 after being victimized by Borrelia burgdorferi for 14 years so severely that she had isolated herself indoors with home-schooling for more than half-a-decade," says Dr. Cowden. "She had to walk with support from a four-legged rolling walker and she could only study for two hours daily before exhaustion set in. She took Samento® for eight weeks which kicked in and allowed her to ambulate without aid from the walker. She went on a first date with her boyfriend and finally did not experience asthma attacks, fibromyalgia symptoms, brain fog, peripheral neuropathy, and gastrointestinal effects of the organism. This Bb infection had caused "leaky gut" and severe allergic reactions including frequent anaphylactic shock reactions with hospitalizations."
By the fifth month of Samento® ingestion, She went off to college without symptoms, and is now actively dating and enjoying her college life. The herbal remedy is allowing her to live a normal life, whereas before her future had looked bleak," affirms Dr. W. Lee Cowden. "This is just one positive experience among many that make my medical practice very satisfying by my use of Samento®."
"I have had numerous positive experiences with patients using Samento® as part of my dental treatment plan for individual patients. Those coming to me with jawbone cavitations, for example, remain untreated until I see that their pathogens are eliminated. Pathologic organisms, especially certain cell-wall-deficient bacteria which cause Lyme disease, travel through the body to areas of lowest resistance and colonize. Jawbone cavitations allow such bacteria to feel most at home," says biological dentist Douglas J. Phillips, Jr., D.D.S., of West Palm Beach, Florida. "When I apply Samento® great amounts of cell-wall-deficient organisms get cut down markedly. I can cause them to be reduced into measurements of low nanograms of existence."
A 50-year-old restaurant builder from Toronto, Ontario Canada had been suffering with cavitation pain from an infected root canal. He had tried ignoring it for months, and finally phoned me for an appointment. But he could not leave his business for another week; therefore, to assuage his pain, I mailed him a bottle of 30 capsules of Samento® to take three at each meal. The man telephoned me within two days to say that the jaw pain was completely gone. He added, 'Other pains in my limbs are gone too and I'm sleeping through the night. I'm not suffering anymore,' " paraphrases Dr. Phillips. "Those thirty capsules lasted him until he arrived at my office a week later and I could perform biological dentistry on his jawbone cavitation.
"Miraculous case histories involving Samento® such as had occurred with the restaurant builder are repeated in my office week after week. This herbal remedy works readily against Lyme disease but new discoveries about Ld indicate that additional, associated tick-borne co-infections include Babesiosis, Ehrlichiosis, Bartonella, Coxiella and various virsues. Samento® is applicable for all of them," confirms Dr. Phillips. "It lowers the body's bacterial count and makes my patient feel really well. This is one treatment that is useful across the board for a whole lot of the pathogens."
Health care teacher and naturopath Zenia Richler, N.D., of Springfield, Missouri, finds that Samento® gives people, including herself, a psychological lift along with the feeling of well-being. "When I take it I feel happier, plus it build's core strength for my patients. They heal faster because of a lift to the immune system," declares Dr. Richler. "Quite simply, I love the stuff, particularly in its dropper form.
"In using Samento® to treat Lyme disease, my distinct impression is that the patients get better twice as fast. I need to use less homeopathic remedies as my 'series therapy' when this herb is part of my treatment program. This is information I give to health professionals who attend courses I co-conduct at my teaching institution, the Academy of Bioenergetics, School of Natural Healing in Springfield," says Dr. Zenia Richler.
David A. Jernigan, D.C., of Wichita, Kansas, co-author with his wife and practice partner, Sara Jernigan, D.C., of the self-published book, Beating Lyme Disease: Using Alternative Medicine & God–Designed Living,16 employs the ingredients of Samento® extensively. Dr. Jernigan states, "My partner in practice and I use Samento® for patients with any number of infections. We're very impressed by results we achieve. The Bio-Resonance Scanning technique my wife and I have developed shows that the herb is nontoxic, active, highly energetic, and synergetic with other remedies. Any person with an invasion by Borrelia has high levels of neurotoxins in the brain and nervous system. The neurotoxins produced by Bb are possibly the most debilitating bacterial poisons known to man. Even after Bb spirochetes are eliminated from the body, the neurotoxins can continue to cause a myriad of devastating symptoms. In my practice, I use the botanical Silphex!" in conjunction with Samento® to successfully neutralize these neurotoxins."
For additional information about Samento, contact this herbal therapy's exclusive producer, Nutramedix, LLC, Suite 301, 900 East Indiantown Road, Jupiter, Florida USA 33477; Tel. (800) 730-3130 or (561) 745-2917; FAX (561) 745-3017; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: www.nutramedix.com.
For comprehensive scientific information about Samento® and Lyme disease visit the Science Library of Bionatus Laboratories in Ecuador at, www.samento.com.ec where Samento is approved as a medicine.
To acquire a great deal of information about the action of Samento, log on to http://www.samento.com.ec/sciencelib/sammain.html.
To acquire large amounts of information about Lyme disease itself, log on to http://www.samento.com.ec/sciencelib/medmain.htmlNutramedix also provides Samento® for distribution by Allergy Research Group under the name Prima Una de Gato.
To acquire this branded product, contact the assigned distributor, Allergy Research Group, 30806 Santana Street, Hayward, California 94544 U.S.A.; Tel. (800) 545-9960; website: www.allergyresearchgroup.com
1.Goldberg, B. & Trivieri, Jr., L. Chronic Fatigue, Fibromyalgia & LymeDisease, 2nd Edition. (Berkeley, California: Celestial Arts, 2004), P. 389.
3.Cohen, M.A. "Lyme disease: the ABCs," Townsend Letter for Doctors & Patients, 250:50-52, May 2004.
4.Whitaker, J.A. "New test for identifying the morphing menace: Quantitative-RapidIdentification of Borrelia burgdorferi (Q-RIBb)," NutraNews/New Thinking, NewDiscoveries in Nutraceutical Research, October 2003, pp 8-11.
5.Vanderhoof-Forschner, K. Everything You Need to Know About Lyme Disease and Other Tick-Borne Disorders, 2nd edition. (Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2003), p.39.
6.Fearn, D.W. Lyme Disease and Associated Diseases: The Basics. (Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania: Lyme Disease Association of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Inc., 2003), p. 9.
7.Duke, J.A. & Vasquez, R. Amazonian Ethnobotanical Dictionary. (Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 1994), p. 172.
8.Reinhard, K.H. Zeitschrift für Phytotherapie 18:112-121, 1997.
9.Laus, G. & Keplinger, K. Zeitschrift für Phytotherapie 18:122-126, 1997.
10. Graedon, J. & Graedon, T. The People's Pharmacy: Guide to Home and Herbal Remedies. (New York: St. Martin's Presss, 1999), p. 278.
11. Castleman, M. The New Healing Herbs: The Classic Guide to Nature's Best Medicines. (Emmaus, Pennsylvania: Rodale, Inc., 2001), pp. 116-118.
12.Foster, F. & Tyler, V.E. Tyler's Honest Herbal: A Sensible Guide to the Use of Herbs and Related Remedies, Fourth Edition. (London: The Horworth Herbal Press, 1999), p. 98.
13.Ody, P. Natural Health Complete Guide to Medicinal Herbs. (London: Dorling Kindersley, Second American Edition 2000), p. 146.
14.Op. cit. Graedon & Graedon, p. 279.
15.Op. cit. Ody, p. 146.
16.Jernigan, D.A. & Jernigan, S.K. Beating Lyme Disease: Using Alternative Medicine & God-Designed Living. (Benton, Kansas: Somerleyton Press, 2003).