Lymes Herbs to Fight Babesia duncani

Five herbal medicines potent against Babesia duncani in test tube

Five herbal medicines had potent activity compared to commonly-used antibiotics in test tubes against Babesia duncani.

B. duncani is a malaria-like parasite carried by ticks which causes the disease babesiosis.

Published in the journal Frontiers in Cellular and Infection Microbiology, the laboratory study was funded in part by the Bay Area Lyme Foundation.

Collaborating researchers were from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, California Center for Functional Medicine, and FOCUS Health Group, Naturopathic.

“Due to limited therapeutics and a rise in treatment resistance, current treatment options for this disease are inadequate. Many patients rely on herbal therapies for which there is only anecdotal evidence of efficacy,” Schweig said.

Testing 46 herbs

Researchers tested a panel of 46 herbal medicine extracts against B. duncani compared to the commonly used medications quinine and clindamycin. Both are currently used to treat active babesiosis, a common co-infection with Lyme disease.

According to this study, the five herbal medicines that demonstrated inhibitory activity against B. duncani are:

  • Cryptolepis sanguinolenta
  • Artemisia annua (Sweet wormwood)
  • Scutellaria baicalensis (Chinese skullcap)
  • Alchornea cordifolia (African Christmas bush)
  • Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)


While each of these botanical medicines are already in clinical use, it is important for future studies to evaluate further.