Gu Syndrome and Chinese Herbal Treatments for Lyme

Gu is a traditional Chinese diagnosis defined as: a syndrome containing the presence of particularly vicious parasites, or a super-infection of many different parasites that have combined their toxic potential to gradually putrefy the individual’s body and mind. From a modern Western perspective, this definition of Gu syndrome points to aggressive afflictions [namely including helminthic, protozoan, fungal, spirochetal (Lyme) or viral] that have become systemic in an immune compromised individual.
In modern Western medical terms, the Gu approach can be utilized for many different degenerative chronic infections, such as those caused by HIV and Lyme disease. In addition, this approach is useful in other difficult chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and GI disorders like IBS. The herbal principles that underlie the treatment of Gu syndrome are valuable tools in the treatment of chronic disease. Gu has been associated not only with chronic parasitism or infection, but also the broader category of “Chronic Inflammatory Diseases”.
According to Traditional Chinese Medicine theory, individuals with chronic inflammatory diseases that belong to the category of Gu syndrome need to be treated for a period of 1.5 to 5 years. Since this class of disorders involves living pathogens that have the ability to adapt, it is recommended that regular change occur in the details of the prescription. It is best to make modifications to a Gu prescription regimen every 4-6 weeks. Frequent alteration of remedies is a traditional component of Gu treatment. One can do this by leaving the herb categories intact, but rotating at least one herb in each category. In this way, the general direction of the therapeutic approach never changes, yet the formula is different enough each time to stay ahead of the microorganism’s attempts to adapt. Knowledge of individual herb qualities will play a role in your doctor’s selection of what gets rotated in and what gets rotated out.
If chronic inflammatory disease or infection is a concern of yours, please contact our office to discuss your care with one of our naturopathic doctors.