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(Updated March 2023: Because many stevia (and monkfruit) products contain erythritol for bulk, please read about the connection between erythritol and cardiovascular concerns. If using stevia, look for 100% pure stevia containing no fillers.)
Stiffness, pain and swelling in your joints, a pounding headache, dragging fatigue, fever, depression and of course, that tell-tale, bulls-eye like rash are all signs that you have Lyme Disease.
The problem is that you may not even realize you have it as even by CDC estimates, up to 30 percent of people suffering from the disease never develop the rash and those that do may not notice it.
Even worse, since the symptoms of the disease mimic the flu (and yes, deer ticks can survive in very cold winter weather) as well as a number of other conditions, Lyme disease can be very difficult for even doctors to diagnose.
And, current tests for the disease don’t make matters any easier, especially since the common Elisa test, used in most doctors’ offices to check for the infectious disease, misses 35 percent of culture-proven Lyme disease. Some studies also indicate that up to 50 percent of the patients tested for Lyme disease receive false negative results.
The disease, transmitted by the bite of a tick and caused by spiral-shaped bacteria, called Borrelia Burgdorferi, is typically treated using a two to four week course of antibiotics.
Yet, these short treatment courses have resulted in upwards of a 40 percent relapse rate, especially if treatment is delayed, a scary statistic considering that the CDC calls Lyme Disease the fastest growing vector-borne, infectious disease in the United States, with 34 new cases of the disease reported every single hour.
Fortunately, scientists are providing new hope for defeating this disease from a surprising source.
200 Times sweeter than sugar
Stevia, a natural sweetener two hundred times sweeter than sugar has now been shown to not only combat Lyme disease, but do it better than traditional antibiotics.
In fact, University of New Haven researchers found that exposing B. Burgdorferi, that bacteria that causes Lyme disease, to stevia leaf extract wiped out the disease in its different forms. Those different forms include B. Burgdorferi spirochetes, spheroplast (L-form), round bodies and even the notoriously hard-to-kill biofilm forms.
Many researchers call Lyme’s “biofilm” form its most elusive since it’s the form the bacteria use to hide themselves for protection against antibiotics. But the study found that liquid stevia actually killed all forms of the Lyme germ, including this biofilm form.
Although this was a lab study, using Lyme disease in petri dishes and not conducted on humans, further studies by the researchers have repeatedly confirmed the power of liquid stevia to obliterate the tick-borne disease.
And, since stevia is a safe, natural herb used by millions the world over as a sugar substitute, there are no negatives to incorporating it into your daily diet. It’s an herbal plant that belongs to the Asteraceae family so it’s related to ragweed, chrysanthemums and marigolds.
Green leaf stevia is the least processed of the stevia types. The leaves are basically just dried and ground into powder form. This is the type of stevia that’s been used in South America and Japan for centuries as a natural sweetener and health remedy.
You can also buy whole leaf stevia extracted using alcohol as this was the type of stevia used in the study.
There are some types to avoid so be aware. The powdery, over-processed stevia sold in most stores no longer contain the health benefits of true stevia and were completely ineffective against Lyme disease.
With the amazing power of stevia to fight Lyme disease, adding it to your diet to replace your other sweetener options could offer you protection against the disease that will strike another 300,000 people this year alone.
- Lyme Disease Symptom Checklist — LymeDisease.org
- Signs and Symptoms of Untreated Lyme Disease — Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- About Lyme — ILADS
- Effectiveness of Stevia Rebaudiana Whole Leaf Extract Against the Various Morphological Forms of Borrelia Burgdorferi in Vitro — European Journal of Microbiology & Immunology
- University of New Haven professor studying whether stevia can kill Lyme disease bacteria — New Haven Register