Herbs serve as a primary therapy or a complement to many other healing tools. There are thousands of positive treatment outcomes, rich history of use, and supportive clinical and laboratory studies. In the last couple of years, Johns Hopkins University released two studies showing the antimicrobial properties of herbs against borrelia and babesia in vitro (outside of a living organism). Plus, herbs have a low potential for side effects, are easy to take, and have a low relative cost. The benefits of herbs are far-reaching and include:

  1. Providing antimicrobial properties against bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and fungi
  2. Normalizing immune system communications
  3. Boosting immune system functions
  4. Reducing inflammation
  5. Restoring homeostasis or balance in the body
  6. Protecting at the cellular and mitochondrial levels
  7. Providing essential nutrients to the cells
  8. Delivering antioxidant powers

But which herbs are the best options to support the body’s natural healing abilities? The following are my top picks to jumpstart recovery, reduce symptoms, and improve your health.

cats claw bark

Cat’s Claw

Native to the Amazon, cat’s claw is a staple among Lyme disease protocols due to its antimicrobial qualities. It contains immune-modulating properties to dampen an overactive immune system, reduces inflammation, and has historical use in alleviating the pain associated with arthritis.

andrographic white flower on green leaves


Andrographis originates from India and contains antibacterial, antiviral, and antiparasitic properties to combat a variety of microbes. The herb has immune-enhancing, cardioprotective, and liver-protective qualities. It’s often a staple among natural Lyme protocols as well.

red berberine berries hanging from stem


Berberine is an herb with potent antimicrobial qualities, and it assists in restoring balance to the gut flora.

group of garlic bulbs


Since the beginning of time, garlic has been used for medicinal purposes. Its active ingredient is called allicin, and it has antiprotozoal, antiviral, and antifungal properties. It also helps to support the immune system and balance the flora of the microbiome.

orange reishi mushrooms growing on bark

Reishi Mushroom

Reishi, a medicinal mushroom, has adaptogenic qualities and is antimicrobial and immune-modulating. The herb reduces inflammatory cytokines and supports the immune system’s ability to combat pathogens. Reishi also supports the liver and heart.

purple chinese skullcap flowers

Chinese Skullcap

As a multi-purpose herb, Chinese skullcap has antimicrobial properties, decreases cytokines, and supports immunity. It works synergistically with other herbal remedies to enhance their effectiveness. It also has naturally-occurring melatonin, which may help to induce sleep.

Herbal Therapy — Dr. Rawls’ Summary
Cost: 1.5 out of 5 dollar signs
Efficacy: 5 stars
Safety: 5 stars
Ways to Administer: Oral, topical
Bottom Line: Because herbs have a low potential for side effects, are easy to take, and have a low relative cost, I consider herbs to be the gold-standard treatment for the majority of people.

Dr. Bill Rawls portraitWant to review more Lyme disease treatments? From antibiotics to herbal therapy, ozone, and more, find out what Dr. Rawls has to say about the efficacy and safety of popular treatments in his Lyme Disease Treatment Guide.

Dr. Rawls is a physician who overcame Lyme disease through natural herbal therapy. You can learn more about Lyme disease in Dr. Rawls’ new best selling book, Unlocking Lyme.
You can also learn about Dr. Rawls’ personal journey in overcoming Lyme disease and fibromyalgia in his popular blog post, My Chronic Lyme Journey.

1. Feng J, Leone J, Schweig S, Zhang Y. Evaluation of Natural and Botanical Medicines for Activity Against Growing and Non-growing Forms of B. burgdorferi. Front Med (Lausanne). 2020 Feb 21;7:6. doi: 10.3389/fmed.2020.00006
2. Feng J, Zhang S, Shi W, Zubcevik N, Miklossy J, Zhang Y. Selective Essential Oils from Spice or Culinary Herbs Have High Activity against Stationary Phase and Biofilm Borrelia burgdorferi. Front Med (Lausanne). 2017 Oct 11;4:169. doi: 10.3389/fmed.2017.00169
3. Zhang Y, Alvarez-Manzo H, Leone J, Schweig S, Zhang Y. Botanical Medicines Cryptolepis sanguinolenta, Artemisia annua, Scutellaria baicalensis, Polygonum cuspidatum, and Alchornea cordifolia Demonstrate Inhibitory Activity Against Babesia duncani. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2021;11:624745. Published 2021 Mar 8. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2021.624745