Lyme disease and chronic illnesses are completely reversible, thanks to...

The Incredible Healing Action of One Simple Herb

Dr. Robert Jay Rowen’s  SECOND OPINION
Vol. XIII, No. 12, December 2003

Larry Powers won the Mr. America competition in 1962 with a huge Hulk-type frame.  But 13 years ago, Larry developed all the signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and the diagnosis confirmed it.

Larry received the usual medicines and recently had completed eight years of Sinemet, only to experience gradual worsening, typical of PD’s progressive course. He was spending a fair amount of time in a wheelchair and, at one point, needed assistance to eat.  Then he heard about Lyme and it’s connection to Parkinson’s.

Knowing the available tests might convince everyone (but him) that he was negative, even while he might be positive, Larry decided to treat himself without testing.  Since he couldn’t get antibiotics without a prescription, he decided to try a new variety of a herb he had heard about.  Within three weeks, he was out of his wheelchair and fishing for 100–pound tarpon by his Florida home.

It’s an amazing story, but it’s only one of many I’ve discovered in the last several months demonstrating the power of this one single herb.  And if you suffer from any chronic disease, this herb just might be your answer.  Before I tell you what this herb is, though, I need to tell you how you can avoid the problem Larry feared: a false negative test result.  It’s now possible to diagnose Lyme disease with 100 percent accuracy.

Fortunately, Joanne Whitaker, whom I mentioned last month, has solved the problem of false negatives.  Not only has Dr. Whitaker faced her own long-standing chronic Lyme disease from childhood, but she’s also a specialist in infectious diseases, hematology/oncology, and has many medical certifications.

Dr. Whitaker has developed what appears to be the most reliable test ever for Lyme disease.  Her lab actually tests for the presence of the bug itself, not just the antibodies.  And, resting my concerns, she told me that her methods also detect the cell wall deficient (CWD) form.  Her test is called Q-RIBb for quantitative rapid identification of Bb (the abbreviation of Lyme disease’s scientific name).  The test simply uses an antibody to Lyme derived from animals that’s modified to carry a fluorescent molecule.  The antibodies will attach to both the spirochete form and the CWD form and, under the right color, will light up under a microscope.  With this test, Dr. Whitaker not only can detect Lyme directly, but she can do it in only 20 minutes and she can tell you how bad the infection is by the number of bugs present.

Dr. Linda Mattman (also discussed last month) confirmed that Dr. Whitaker’s test is virtually 100 percent sensitive.  That means it will rarely, if ever, miss a diagnosis.  Dr. Mattman checked Dr. Whitaker’s work by simultaneously culturing the samples and found a 100 percent correlation between her lab’s detection and Dr. Whitaker’s test.

Furthermore, Dr. Whitaker’s lab also checks for two co-infections associated with tick bites.  Babesia is a protozoa, like malaria organism, and infects the red blood cells.  Erlichia is a bacteria, fortunately treatable through conventional antibiotics, including the type that treats Bb.  It appears that babesia can be eliminated with our old friend artemisinin (100 mg three times daily).  After all artemisinin was developed as an antimalarial. (You first read about artemisinin in the April 2002 issue of Second Opinion.)

For years, I’ve treated chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, knowing they are both caused by an infection, but not knowing what type of infection.  Oxidation therapies, diet improvement, detoxification, nutritional supplements, and the MIHR injectable homeopathics provided dramatic relief to most.  However, a recently released preliminary study on a South American herb gives even more help.

Lee Cowden, MD is a Fort Worth cardiologist and one of the most respected names in bioenergetic medicine.  He led a small study over 10 weeks on the use of a special type of cat’s claw, along with diet, detoxification, and nutrition.  His group followed 28 people with documented Lyme disease through conventional antibody testing by Western blot with Igenix Labs.  All were ill and “disabled, unemployed, and flat broke from the disease.” All of them had “failed conventional therapy.”

Fourteen of the participants were left as controls, following their regular regime. Of the 14 that were treated, one had to drop out due to an ovarian tumor.  Participants were asked to rate their symptoms at the start and at the end of the study on a sliding scale of 1-10, according to published conventional medicine standards.  All 13 remaining got better with an average improvement of 70 percent.  Cowden added that those who stopped therapy at the end of the study did worsen, but didn’t go back to the debilitating baseline. The worst relapse was still 35 percent better than at the start.

Dr. Cowden described to me some specific cases.

One of the participants was 47 and had visited the Mayo Clinic twice, but was sent home with 30 pounds of weight loss and no hope.  There were peripheral nervous system complaints; severe muscle and joint pain; brain fog; inability to remember, focus, concentrate; and alterations in mood.  Within six to eight weeks, symptoms were 80 percent improved. Oxycontin (a very strong narcotic) use was cut 80 percent and the subject gained back 30 pounds during the study.

Another case involved a 17–year–old female who had suffered from Lyme disease since age three.  She was home schooled because she was too weak to attend public schools.  She needed help with self care, including dressing, and she used a walker. By the sixth week of the program, she had gone out on her first date, and is currently attending college–on her own!

And here’s the case that encouraged Dr. Cowden to conduct the study: He heard the story of a 17–year–old male who had gone from an A student to failing in just a few months. Symptoms first began as emotional changes, followed by flu-like symptoms, achiness, and fatigue.  He was on two antibiotics and herbs without improvement when the Samento (the specific cat’s claw product) was suggested by his grandmother.  He quickly recovered. His neurologist declared it was a “spontaneous remission,” having nothing to do with the samento, and dared the grandmother to accomplish the same with his other patients.  He sent her 58 of his worst and non-improving patients over the next few months.  The average improvement under her care was 35 percent.

Cowden’s full program consists of a diet appropriate for the blood type (according to Dr. D’Adamo), dry brush message daily for detoxification, laughter, positive affirmations, magnesium, enzymes and pH balancing – all in the first two weeks. There was a significant improvement with just that.  The samento was withheld until the third week, when the subjects were deemed strong enough to withstand the possible Herxheimer (die-off) reaction.

The product name is Prima Uña de Gato (Samento). It’s a form of cat’s claw from the Peruvian jungle that’s superior to typical forms.  The beneficial effects of most cat’s claw preparations are blunted by the content of TOA (tetracyclic oxindole alkaloids), which inhibit the real active agents, called POA (pentacyclic oxindole alkaloids).  The latter, more favorable compounds are known to modulate and up-regulate the immune system. Many commercially available cat’s claw preparations contain up to 80 percent TOA. As little as one percent TOA can reduce POA effectiveness up to 80 percent.

In addition, the specific species of TOA-free cat’s claw contains considerable quantities of quinovic acid glycosides. These compounds are what the latest generation of quinolone antibiotics (such as Cipro) are based on. The natural compounds provide safe and significant direct antimicrobial effects on Lyme disease.

Treatment with TOA-free cat’s claw isn’t an overnight sensation.  It can take a long treatment process because of the variety of forms of Bb, the long length of time it can exist in your body in the CWD form, and because it can hide out in cells into which it has burrowed.  It’s only when they emerge that they are susceptible to your white cells, and in the mature spirochete form that they are sensitive to attack by antibiotics or the immune system, as well as the improved cat’s claw. The organism can lie dormant for months or years after infection.

In fact, a 1998 Swiss study showed that only 12.5 percent of Bb positive patients had symptoms. Conventional medicine has grown up thinking bacterial infections can be cured in 10-60 days.  If the antibiotics don’t cure you, what remains “can’t be Lyme.”

I know of only three companies currently marketing the improved cat’s claw.  Allergy Research Group/Nutricology, which also distributes artemisinin, can be reached at 800-545-9960 or Ask for Prima Una de Gato.  Nutramedix’s product is called Samento Plus, and is available by calling 561-745-2917 or on the web site: also carries the product or 800-896-1484).

I don’t recommend any other commercially available cat’s claw at this time because of the likelihood of TOA content.  Please, please see an open-minded integrative physician if you think Bb infection could be present in you. Bring the doctor a copy of this article.  Testing is paramount for diagnosis and follow up.

Dr. Whitaker’s lab can be reached on the internet at or at 727-937-9077. A comprehensive strategy to detoxify, replenish nutrition, and strengthen mental/spiritual well being is absolutely essential.  Please, do not rely on TOA-free cat’s claw alone for this monster bacteria! Removal of mercury fillings and treatment for heavy metals may be required for best results.

I must close by admitting the presence of Bb does not necessarily guarantee that the bug is the cause of your particular problem.  It’s entirely possible that Bb could be an opportunist, taking advantage of already weakened or damaged tissues.  However, if Bb is there, you can be sure it’s not present to aid and comfort your body. It must be eliminated. In the last six months of operations, Dr. Mattman’s lab found only two negative specimens out of 400 patients. “One was a man from Germany. The other was a dog.”

ALS, MS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, chronic fatigue, autoimmune disease, and almost every other chronic disease are simply named for their symptoms (or discoverer) rather than their cause. They do not have to be a death sentence or spell life long chronic suffering.  Now you know the cause, or at the very least, a major aggravating factor, how to get diagnosed, and how to cure your illness. Now is the time to run to reclaim your health!