Ledum (archived page)(No longer recommended.)
Please note: I have seriously considered taking this page down entirely. Although I was likely the one to introduce it to the conversation, there is far too much discussion (and experimentation) with homeopathic Ledum than is warranted, in my opinion. In short, I no longer believe it works as well as purported. Moreover, Dr. Tobin’s own advice below (for animals) I believe is FAR too strong for humans — yet, this is the dosage level that most people, trying Ledum, will begin with. Even Michael Quinn, from Hahnemann Labs, reflects such in his quote, in the body, below.
I keep the page up, simply as an archive of previous conversation — and perhaps to now prominently give this discussion that I am no longer a fan. In short, as you may read, when working with homeopathy (which I do still value), you may go UP in dosage daily, until you find something that works best, but you may only go DOWN in dosage after it dissipates from the tissues — on the order of WEEKS. Most people, following Dr. Tobin’s advice below, experiment with a 1M dosage — incredibly strong. The one that worked best for me (and I’m still not sure it had any lyme-related benefit) was 30c — hundreds of times less strong. For my most current advice, please see my recommendations here.
Read the below with a very cautious eye.
–Archive version: Originally posted in 1996 (now dated, put posted unchanged)
Ledum Homeopathic Treatment discussion:
Several months ago, I came across some arresting information about a potential homeopathic treatment for Lyme called Ledum (pronounced with a long “e”, i.e., Leedum). Although the original source that I read was not primarily emphasizing humans, but animals (as this was a treatment of a homeopathic veterinarian doc), it still had some significant implications for human treatment.
What the Doc had written was consistent with my understanding of lyme, and it was then worth investigating this treatment for myself, which I did. In short, while the Ledum was not a “magic bullet”, it was a significant benefit, and went a significant way to cure some of my symptoms. I highly recommend that this area of potential treatment be investigated by anyone with lyme symptoms.
I am printing below first the letter from Dr. Tobin, and then after it, a discussion of my own experience with the Ledum.
Understand, though, as you read through this information, that homeopathic treatments are very patient-specific. In other words, what may work spectacularly for one, may do nothing at all for another. Ah, lyme. Even so, for the numbers that it may help, it’s worth reviewing. In the end, if you’re considering this or other homeopathic treatments, a homeopathic doc wouldn’t hurt to help pinpoint and resolve the individual condition..
Lyme Disease and Homeopathy
by Stephen Tobin, DVM
As a holistic veterinarian, I have treated several hundred cases of Lyme disease in the past five years. After trying various homeopathic preparations with only limited success, I found that Ledum in a 1M potency is about as close as you can get to a specific cure. I have use it in dogs, cats, and horses, and it does not seem to matter whether it is a recent infection, a year old, treated or untreated — they all respond curatively, I have not had a single case that did not improve. The conventional treatment for Lyme Disease is a course of antibiotics, usually amoxicillin or doxycycline. This works quite well in most cases of recent infection, but hardly at all in long-standing cases.
Homeopathic Treatment Effective
While I do not treat human beings, some of my clients with animals suffering from Lyme disease have taken Ledum 1M for their own lyme disease infections, after seeing the positive result with their animals. The feedback I have gotten is all positive. I have told numerous naturopaths and homeopathic MDs about Ledum. One homeopathic MD runs titers on all his Lyme disease patients, both before and after treatment with Ledum, and has found that there is a consistent decline in the titer after Ledum. I myself seldom run titers, which is a measure of antibody levels, as the disease is so easily recognizable. Usually the dog has been limping for one or two days on one of the front legs, followed by an aversion to moving at all, as all the joints now hurt. There is usually fever and loss of appetite. For treatment, I give one pellet of Ledum 1M three times a day for three days. All signs of the disease are gone by the end of three days, often even by the end of the first day.
Homeopathy for Prevention
I have been using Borrelia burgdorferi 60x nosode, a homeopathic preparation, as a preventative for Lyme disease in dogs. I give one oral dose daily for one week, then one dose a week for one month, then one dose every six months. In the past four years, I have had only two dogs our of over five hundred on this regimen contract Lyme disease; both cases readily cleared with Ledum.
Webmaster’s note: While I include the above information for the purposes of complete information, Bb 60x nosode is a preparation that includes live spirochete fragments. Besides the fact that this is unavailable except to licensed professionals, it is very important to understand that the taking of this preparation can be very dangerous to anyone with a lyme condition (and very possibly anyone). The introduction into a system of more spirochetes has the very strong possibility of flaring an underlying condition. (Also note that the Bb nosode is a very different product from the homeopathic preparation, Ledum, which carries no known risk.)
Lyme Vaccine Ineffective
While there is a canine vaccine for Lyme disease, I haven’t found it very effective. One vet who uses it extensively told me she feels it provides protection for about a third of the dogs receiving it. I have seen a number of Lyme disease cases in dogs starting five to six weeks after vaccination (these also resolve with Ledum.)
My own experiences:
After about a two month trial now, I have found the Ledum to be helpful, although, as I had stated earlier, not a magic-bullet cure. There are implications with the dosage strengths, and I probably mis-took it initially. Even so the effects were almost instantaneous (15 minutes) at times, and the cost is relatively cheap (about $8.50, more or less).
The whole issue has caused me to need to begin to understand the entire healing “science” of homeopathy — something I’d not at all ever investigated before. There are some significant things to consider: It’s not a “left field” science (although many today might believe so) — one of the five major traditional teaching hospitals in Philadelphia was founded on the principle of (and bears the name of the man – Hahnemann – who pioneered much of..) homeopathy. It seems that there are two “schools” of thought regarding medical healing: One is to give a treatment that will go to work against whatever is the problem. Antibiotics or antibacterials are classic examples. Homeopathy, on the other hand, works on the principle that similar cures, and treatment consists of giving something like the condition with the purpose of inspiring the body’s own defense/repair mechanisms to respond, curing the original condition. Yes, all too confusing yet to me, too, but there you have it. Different, certainly; but not necessarily unsound.
It seems that dosage strengths are also critical …to match most precisely the level of infection. Furthermore, taking too high of a dose will tend to render the less strong ones less effective. (This was the case for me.) One philosophy is to begin with a low dosage, and gradually work your way to the stronger ones. On this principle, this is wise advice.
In my case, I went to the local health food store and the local homeopathic pharmacy (we have one, amazingly enough – the local health food stores can help with this recommendation, sometimes.). Anyway, neither one had the 1M potency that Dr. Tobin had discussed. Only the much weaker 30c (or 30k). So I bought that one. Within ten minutes of taking it, I got hot (body temperature-wise). Now, one of the effects of the lyme for me is a lower metabolism and body temperature. So this was an interesting experience. Also, I occassionally had the reaction within minutes of taking the Ledum (30c) of a kind of like “waking up” — a “Where am I? And how did I get here?” type of reaction. This was significant to me in that the Ledum, in these cases, had a noticeable affect of restoring brain function.
As for doses (and the mistakes I made): I first started out with the 30c because I couldn’t find the 1M. I then called Dolisos (below) to mail order the 1M, but they were out of it. I ordered the 10M instead. Mistake. Too strong isn’t necessarily better. (It doesn’t harm you, but it doesn’t do any good.) Further, taking a strong dose will require you to wait a few weeks before the weaker ones will be effective. Oh well. Finally, I took the 1M, and had some positive effects from it. Even so, not so significant as the 30c for me, but this might perhaps have been because of the effects of taking the 10M. If I had it to do over again, this is how I’d pursue it (and I’ve heard that some good docs are prescribing it this way): Start with a low dose. (30c or even lower) Gradually “work” your way up the stronger doses – up through 200k, and then eventually the 1M. If you find a dose that particularly seems to work for you, “camp” there for awhile.
Here’s one other good piece of news with homeopathic treatments: It’s largely understood that whatever the homeopathic treatment, it will either work or not work within three days. This is good news in a community that commonly spends large amounts on treatments or supplements that will also commonly require several months to begin to work. And at $8.50, it’s affordable to most everyone. (And the price is the same regardless of the strength.) Below are listed some sources for Ledum as they were recommended to me:
- First of all, inquire of your local health food store is there is a homeopathic pharmacy in your area. The health food store themselves will also commonly carry a 30c strength. (Not a bad way to start.)
Mail order companies include:
- Dolisos, located in Nevada. (1-800-Dolisos)
- Hahnemann Laboratories, Inc., 1940 Fourth St., San Rafael, CA 94901, (888) 427-6422.
Webmaster’s note: I recently got the following email from Michael Quinn of Hahnemann Labs. What he says contains a great deal of wisdom concerning Ledum and homeopathics in general, so I thought I’d include the entire comment here for your reading.
“Thank you for listing us. We now have a web site with secure online ordering at www.Hahnemannlabs.com Our Ledum 1M is $14.95 for a 1g vial. Please caution that taking too often could exacerbate symptoms or even produce new symptoms. A 1M is a sharp tool, and must be handled with respect and care. We generally require a practition’s prescription in order to sell 200c, 1M, and 10M potencies. The uneven response to Ledum 1M is probably due to the fundamental nature of homeopathic medicines, which is that they are patient specific more often than disease specific. There is such a great need for help in Lyme Disease that we will sell a 1M to the public with the caution that they should not repeat it after the first three days without consulting with a homeopathic practitioner.”
–Michael Quinn, President and Chief Pharmacist of Hahnemann Laboratories, Inc.
- Merz Apothecary, Chicago. Boiron Ledum single dose 200 pellets for $4.35 to $6.95
depending on strength. 1-800-252-0275
- www.1health.com Search Ledum. 250 pellets, $5.00
(Just for comparison’s sake, I’m told that Dr. Tobin makes his own Ledum, $15 per dose, and sells only to licensed MD’s and Vets.)
As you can see, much of this list gives you the idea that it’s probably also readily available in your neighborhood. If I’ve missed any distributors that you believe would be helpful here, contact me.
In case you missed it in the note at the top of the page, I am no longer a fan of self-administered Ledum, or homeopathy, and regret ever posting this page (remaining here, simply in archives.) This is not to say that I don’t believe in the benefits of homeopathy. In fact, to the contrary: I’ve come to even more believe in the potential of this science. HOWEVER, in that process, it’s become clear to me that this type of treatment REALLY needs a trained eye. Practitioners study for years and decades to be able to treat effectively. Would you imagine for a moment that any part of that was unnecessary? The trained people are in a realm beyond us untrained people. Please seek one of them out if you are interested in this science.
And, if there’s any such practitioner who treats humans, who is interested to be listed here, please simply contact us.