Herbs and supplements on board

An Integrated Approach to Lyme Disease: Blending Western and Eastern Treatments

The human body is a complex organization of systems that work together in a beautiful harmony that is nothing short of miraculous. In the symphony of life, every individual is its own unique instrument with its own vibration, story and song.

Western medicine tends to focus on a pragmatic, one-size-fits all approach to healing. This isn’t necessarily wrong and there is a wisdom to following orderly methodologies that are backed by medical research. Such research and methodologies often focus on pharmaceutical treatments or what is commonly coined as “Big Pharma”. Undoubtedly, we are fortunate to live in a day and age where medical research, pharmaceutical products and surgical options are plentiful. 

However, when faced with illnesses that do not fit the paradigm of the standard medical narrative, what do you do? When tried-and-true methodologies seem to fail and you are left with more questions than answers, who do you turn to for answers?

Dr. Robin Ridinger is double-board certified in Integrative Holistic Medicine and Family Medicine. With over 25 years of medical experience treating complex, chronic illness, she is passionate about using a personalized approach to finding root causes to each person’s illness.

Is your life impacted by chronic illness such as Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue or other autoimmune disease? Call Dr. Robin Ridinger in Leesburg, Virginia today for a consultation. 

Compassionate Care Begins with a Listening Ear

One of the most challenging things chronically ill patients face is the struggle of feeling unheard. When their story, their song and own body’s response to tried-and-true treatments contradict the popular narrative, patients may feel discounted and even discredited. How many patients have been told by other medical professionals that their symptoms are psychosomatic or been accused of malingering? How many more have felt the crushing weight of being told again and again, “we do not know”?

Dr. Robin Ridinger believes in the power of kindness and is committed to listening intently to her patients’ full narrative. Often her patients have tried multiple avenues only to be frustrated by what seems to be dead ends. Dr. Robin takes the whole story into account and incorporates a variety of methods to develop a personalized treatment plan. 

She may order a diversified range of testing, such as:

  • Traditional comprehensive or highly detailed bloodwork
  • Food sensitivity testing
  • Functional nutritional testing
  • Hormonal testing
  • Epigenic testing
  • Sleep Diagnostics

When East Meets West in Integrative Care

Because the body is a network of systems and individual stories are equally as complex, it is rare that treatment involves simply one thing. Dr. Ridinger takes the whole person into account and may integrate a variety of measures into an individualized treatment plan. While medications such as antibiotics may be appropriate for complex illness, such as Lyme disease, her toolbox is full of a wide array of treatments and modalities. Once Dr. Ridinger explores root causes and the body’s multifaceted response to disease, she may incorporate methodologies from both Eastern and Western medicine to strategically bring the whole body back into order.

While there are many Western medical experts who are only comfortable staying within the confines of their own pragmatic ways, it is important to understand that the very roots of today’s modern medicine stem from thousands of years of practices. Medical therapies such herbalism, homeopathy and acupuncture are oftentimes labeled as alternative medicine perhaps even characterized as unorthodox. This however is a misnomer as research does indeed support their merit in evidence-based treatment.

What Does this Mean for Lyme Disease Treatment?

Lyme is a disease of toxicity created largely by endotoxins from Borreliosis and other pathogens. Ticks carry a plethora of micro-organisms that live, breed and die inside the body, wreaking havoc on a number of body systems. The total load of parasites, bacteria, viruses and other microbes create an incredible burden on the human host. The endotoxins released when the cells disintegrate are equally as burdensome. The pathways of elimination must be strengthened for healing and harmony to be restored.

Antimicrobial herbs and techniques are often used to reduce the total load of parasites, bacteria, viruses and microbes. Different herbs are specifically helpful in eliminating eggs, spore forms and breaking down biofilm of hidden colonies that may be resistant to antibiotics.

Bacteria such as Borrrelia burgdorferi is very smart, able to adapt and change forms, giving Lyme disease a competitive edge against antibiotics. Antibiotics may eliminate the bacteria responsible for Lyme in many patients, especially when addressed early on. However, for many others the bacteria may lie dormant until dips in autoimmunity occur, resistance becomes low and the disease flares up again. When the immune system is seemingly overloaded and traditional modern medicine is falling short, these ancient paths to healing can offer hope and healing when applied through capable hands of an expert like Dr. Ridinger.

Is Lyme the Only One?

Though Lyme is a classic example of this type of disease cycle, certainly there are other bacterial and viral diseases follow similar course. Epstein-Barr virus, which is responsible for mononucleosis, “the kissing disease” is another example. Unfortunately, when patients present with symptoms of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia, many doctors do not successfully uncover the root of disease, especially if it is not easily revealed. That is why doctors like Robin Ridinger are rare gems in the medical community.

Introduction to Alternative Medical Treatment for Lyme and Other Chronic Disease

Three of the most well-known alternative medical treatments based in Eastern medicine are acupuncture, essential oils and herbal remedies. It is arguable that most of the funding for research and marketing revolves around “Big Pharma” and name-brand medications. However, there is a rise in research that supports the application of alternative medicine as authentic evidence-based treatment options.


Acupuncture is a non-invasive form of medical treatment used by millions of people to promote natural healing. This safe, painless procedure is based on the philosophy that all vital energy flows throughout the body along specific pathways called meridians, providing nourishment to every cell, organ, tissue, gland and muscle in the body. When this flow is disrupted, the body becomes weakened, making it susceptible to illness, pain and disease. When used in conjunction with diet and herbal remedies, acupuncture can promote detoxification and rejuvenation.

Essential Oils 

Essential oils are powerful plant-based derivatives used as herbal remedies for a variety of purposes. In recent years, their popularity has grown enormously. Clinical trial studies offer hope that many essential oils successfully kill persistent forms of Lyme bacteria, perhaps even better than traditional antibiotic treatment. Oils derived specifically from garlic bulbs, allspice berries, myrrh trees, spiked ginger lily blossoms and may chang fruit have proven effective in certain studies giving rise to their credibility in treating Lyme.

Due to their potency, it is not recommended for use with children, especially under the age of three years old. Many proponents of essential oils recommend use through a diffuser and dissuade use via ingestion or direct contact with skin. As a precaution we recommend that essential oils be discussed with your healthcare provider and prudence be exercised as well when considering quality of oils to be used. 

Read on to learn more above proven herbal remedies!

Proven Herbal Treatment with Antimicrobial Benefits

"5 Herbs That Are An Effective Treatment for Lyme Disease Infographic

In a 2020 study by Jie, Jacob, Sunjya and Ying, Evaluation of Natural and Botanical Medicines for Activity Against Growing and Non-growing Forms of B. burgdorferi, effectiveness of herbs was explored in the treatment of Lyme disease. Some of the most effective herbs include the following:

Japanese Knotweed This popular treatment has a naturally occurring constituent known as Resveratrol, a potent antioxidant found in red wine. It has anti-inflammatory, neuroprotective and cardioprotective properties. The neuroprotective factor can be helpful in treating brain fog, a common complication of Lyme disease.

Cats Claw is known for its neuroprotective, anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties and DNA repair. Individuals who suffer from chronic Lyme disease or other chronic illness are often susceptible to viruses and co-infections. Cat Claw’s antiviral properties have proven helpful to those who carry the Epstein Barr virus (mononucleosis), whether or not they also carry the bacteria responsible for Lyme. 

Cryptolepsis has been used in traditional medicine for treatment of malaria, TB, hepatitis and Lyme. It is hailed for its anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antiparasitic, anti-amoebic and antibacterial properties. It is also helpful in combatting strep throat.

Artemesia (Sweet Wormwood) has been used for over 2000 years. In 2015 it was recognized by the Nobel Prize for its role in treating malaria. It is also known for reducing short term memory impairment when combined with IV ceftriaxone in patients with Lyme disease.

Chinese Skull Cap has neuroprotective, antioxidant and anti-excitatory properties. It works well for individuals with neurological symptoms such as brain fog due to its ability to decrease neuroinflammation. Note that it should not be mistaken for its cousin, Skullcap leteriflora, which is commonly used for sleep support.

These are only a few of the many herbal options that can aid in fighting Lyme disease or other viral and bacterial diseases that may be responsible for chronic disease.

Call Today for a Consultation

If you are suffering from the effects of chronic inflammation, overloaded autoimmune system, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia or suspect you may have chronic Lyme disease, there has never been a better time to reach out to Dr. Ridinger. Her dedication to compassionate care in correctly identifying underlying conditions and creating individualized holistic care is unsurpassed. 

Ready for answers? Call Dr. Robin Ridinger today!