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Essential oils from herbs may help treat Lyme disease

ANI  |  Washington D.C. [USA] 

Oils from and several other common herbs and show strong activity against the bacterium that causes disease.

According to a study by researchers at Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, these oils may be especially useful in alleviating symptoms that persist despite standard antibiotic treatment.

The study, published in the Journal of Antibiotics, included lab-dish tests of 35 essential oils that are pressed from plants or their fruits and contain the plant's fragrance, or essence.'

The researchers found that 10 of these, including oils from cinnamon bark, cloves, myrrh trees, cumin seeds, thyme leaves, and allspice berries showed strong killing activity against dormant and slow-growing 'persister' forms of the disease bacterium.

"We found that these essential oils were even better at killing the 'persister' forms of Lyme bacteria than standard Lyme antibiotics," said study's

Standard treatment with doxycycline or an alternative antibiotic for a few weeks usually clears the and resolves symptoms. However, about 10 to 20 per cent of patients report persistent symptoms including and joint pain, often termed 'persistent Lyme infection' or 'post-treatment syndrome' (PTLDS) that in some cases can last for months or years.

The cause of this lingering isn't known. But it is known that cultures of Lyme disease bacteria, Borrelia burgdorferi, can enter a stationary phase in which many of the cells divide slowly or not at all. The slow-dividing or dormant cells are 'persister' cells, which can form naturally under or stress conditions, and are more resistant to

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, December 04 2018. 10:18 IST
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