Cryptolepis uses include support for Lyme disease treatment protocols, anti-fungal support, and support for colds and fever.
The increasing use of medicinal plants has continued to attract more clinical research on the ways in which all-natural herbs can support treatment for a range of conditions including cancer, infections, and inflammation. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 1,000 herbal medicines have been approved for preventive, wellness, and treatment support benefits.
For its part, the Association for African Medicinal Plants (AAMPS), launched in 2005, focuses exclusively on herbal medicines and has helped to foster the commercial cultivation of herbal medicines. Today, the organization has compiled research about more than 50 herbal plants with therapeutic value, including Cryptolepis sanguinolenta.
Here, I’ll review common Cryptolepis uses and potential benefits.
Common Cryptolepis Uses
Since the first infection was reported, Lyme disease has become more and more common. If you yourself have never had Lyme disease, chances are you know someone who has. Unfortunately, the causative bacteria continue to mutate and become intolerant to chemically engineered antibiotics, hence requiring longer use of antibiotics.
Over the years, doctors have treated Lyme disease using antibiotics such as Cefuroxime, Amoxicillin, and doxycycline. The Centers for Disease Control has warned about the overuse of antibiotics, which has resulted in resistance among many infections, including Lyme disease. The loss of antibiotic effect may undermine the body’s ability to fight infections, leaving people vulnerable to other health conditions.
However, with the increase in antibiotic resistance, the focus is shifting to herbal therapies. Clinical studies have shown that Cryptolepis sanguinolenta may have antibacterial effects against Borrelia burgdorferi, which causes Lyme disease. Cryptolepis uses include support for treatment for Lyme disease. The herb may also relieve the symptoms associated with the disease.
Some of the symptoms associated with Lyme disease include:
The herb contains Neocryptolepine as the main bioactive compound that inhibits the growth of both Gram +ve and Gram -ve bacteria. The herb also contains Biscryptolepine that has shown anti-inflammatory properties. These bioactive compounds also inhibit Cox-2 to help relieve pain.
The Science Behind Cryptolepis
According to a 2020 study published in Frontiers in Medicine, new data shows seven herbal medicines are highly active in test tubes against Borrelia burgdorferi (B. burgdorferi), the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. Of the seven, only Cryptolepis sanguinolenta extract caused complete eradication of B. burgdorferi. The implications of this study are far reaching, as they show that Cryptolepis sanguinolenta has the potential to improve treatment of persistent Lyme disease.
According to the study, the seven herbal medicines that have the potential ability to kill B. burgdorferi in test tubes include Cryptolepis sanguinolenta, Cistus incanus, Juglans nigra (Black walnut), Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed), Artemisia annua (Sweet wormwood), Uncaria tomentosa (Cat’s claw), and Scutellaria baicalensis (Chinese skullcap).
In the study, only Cryptolepis sanguinolenta extract caused complete eradication of B. burgdorferi. Cryptolepis uses have traditionally included support for treatment of malaria and the tick-borne infection Babesia. The implications of this study are far reaching, as they show that Cryptolepis sanguinolenta has the potential to improve treatment of persistent Lyme disease and suggest the need for additional laboratory and clinical studies regarding the extract’s active constituents and ability to effectively eradicate B. burgdorferi in vitro and in vivo.
The results revealed that Cryptolepis sanguinolenta extract showed strong activity against both growing B. burgdorferi and non-growing stationary phase B. burgdorferi.
Other Cryptolepis Uses
Beyond supporting treatment for Lyme disease, Cryptolepis has shown anti-fungal properties against a wide range of fungi. The alkaloids of the herb also exhibit antimalarial properties, offering a viable alternative to drugs such as quinine.
Other Cryptolepis uses include support for treatment of:
- Common colds
Try Cryptolepis Today
Cryptolepis sanguinolenta offers a wide range of benefits. We encourage you to learn as much as you can about this wonderful plant by visiting the NIH website and reviewing the Cryptolepis FAQ and our Lyme disease resources.