If you’re constantly hungry and tired, or have several other health concerns, you may want to do a parasite cleanse. Learn more about parasitic infections, their causes and symptoms, and recommendations for how to do a parasite cleanse—without the need for medications.
When you think of the term ‘parasites,’ what comes to mind? If you’re like most people, you think of microscopic, disease-carrying organisms in developing countries.
The disease-carrying part is certainly true. Parasites can indeed be the cause of several horror-movie-title-sounding diseases: cryptosporidiosis, toxoplasmosis, trichomoniasis, to name a few.
However, parasites aren’t always microscopic. Malaria-causing mosquitoes are certainly visible to the naked eye. So, too, are deer ticks that carry Lyme disease. (Blood suckers are known as ectoparasites.)
Also nightmarishly obvious are tapeworms that can grow up to five times the length of an NBA center.
And if 35-foot worms don’t keep you up at night, perhaps the following statistic will make you toss and turn….
The vast majority of people have parasites. And not just the vast majority of people in poor, tropical or subtropical countries…. But also right here in the U.S.
That’s right. It doesn’t require a trip around the world to a steamy jungle in order to become infected by opportunistic organisms; you can become infected at home.
The scary reality is that all it takes is eating one undercooked hamburger or a bad piece of sushi to become infected.
Another simple way you can become infected is by not washing your hands and coming in contact with feces.
What is a parasite?
In a word, it’s a freeloader. It’s any organism that lives on your skin, as in the case of a tick or mosquito. Or, it can live in a host organism, i.e. your body; especially your intestines. It’s here where worms or single-celled protozoas feast buffet-style on the food you eat.
The reason why these organisms are cause for concern is that they can cause extensive damage to your body’s tissues.
However, keep in mind that similar to there being helpful bacteria, certain parasites can actually be good for your health.
In fact, if you have an autoimmune disease, certain opportunistic organisms may be good for you.
For example, worms (the type of parasites known as helminths) can turn off certain cells that play a role in the body’s inflammatory response.
That’s a good thing for people with autoimmune disease, as inflammation is otherwise left unchecked. Currently, there are therapies using live parasitic worms to treat autoimmune disease.
But for many people, there’s a whole host of problems these organisms can cause (pardon the pun).
How do you know if you have an infection?
The only way to know for sure is to get confirmation from your doctor (or functional medicine doctor). Your doctor can confirm the presence of an infection by one of three conventional ways:
- Stool test – If your poop contains parasitic eggs, you have an infection.
- “Say Cheese” – If you have symptoms (see below) and the doctor doesn’t detect eggs in your poop, a camera will take a picture of your intestines. The camera can either go up your rear end (colonoscopy) or through your mouth (endoscopy). Either way, don’t worry, the camera is tiny.
- Blood test – A blood test can reveal exactly what type of infection you have.
- X-rays – A last resort, this method can be used to detect worms, not single-cell organisms that cause severe diarrhea; CT scans may also be used.
Once your infection is confirmed, you can do a natural parasite cleanse—if you don’t want to be treated with pharmaceutical anti-parasitic drugs.
Keep reading for information on how to do a parasite cleanse. But before we discuss natural ways to rid your body of these potentially health-harming freeloaders, let’s review common signs that you may have an infection.
Symptoms of infection
If you just came back from a developing country and have diarrhea, this is usually an indication of infection.
For most people, other signs of digestive upset are present. This includes constant bloating, gas, or hunger, despite having just eaten. Because the opportunistic critters can cause bowel obstruction, chronic constipation is also a symptom.
Chronic fatigue is another common symptom. This makes sense. Think about it. The worms are eating all your food; the nutrients aren’t providing you with energy, they’re fueling the worms!
In addition to digestive problems and low energy, your mood can be negatively affected. You may feel anxious and irritable.
Also, your skin may be excessively dry, itchy or have rashes. The skin is a window into the state of someone’s health. If you have frequent or persistent skin conditions such as eczema or hives, it may be an indication you have an infection.
Another few common symptoms include yeast infections, muscle or joint pain as well as an itchy rectum or vagina.
How to do a parasite cleanse — without drugs
There are a few things you’ll need to do in order to clear the infection:
- Take herbs that neutralize the organisms
- Detox your body
- Modify your diet
- Take probiotics
- Take digestive enzymes
According to Candida Specialists, a natural Candida intervention medical group, there’s something you should do before starting an herbal parasite cleanse: get your colon cleaned.
Unfortunately, just taking a shower won’t do. Instead, Candida Specialists suggests their particular type of colon cleanse. Candida Specialists sells a powder that supposedly cleanses parasites from the colon.
The powder releases oxygen in the intestinal tract for up to 18 hours. The oxygen detoxifies the waste buildup.
An alternative to the powder is colon hydrotherapy (colonic irrigation). This is a three-step process. The first, like the powder is removing the build-up of toxins. Next comes parasite removal, followed by stagnant fecal flushing.
Herbs for An Intestinal Parasite Cleanse
The herbal ingredients that have the backing of research studies to aid in parasitic removal are:
- Black Walnut: Native American tribes used it to cleanse their dogs of intestinal parasites.
- Wormwood: How ironic: wormwood for worms! One of the best natural antibiotics, wormwood contains compounds that treat even the most drug-resistant strains of malaria. Research shows they also treat schistosomiasis.
- Oregano oil: Oregano oil can not only kill parasites, it boosts your immune system by strengthening your intestinal tract lining. More than 70% of your immune cells are in your intestinal tract.
- Grapefruit seed extract: GSE is a potent antimicrobial with broad applications, including killing parasites.
- Pau D’Arco: In lab tests, this South American plant was shown to kill parasitic organisms. Naturopathic doctors typically suggest it for candida.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: Is there any condition ACV isn’t useful for? In at least one study, acetic acid, the main compound in ACV, successfully killed parasitic eggs in 60 minutes.
- Garlic: Works on both vampires and worms! Its main compound, allicin is especially lethal pinworms and hookworms.
- Oregon Grape Root: Take this with you as a preventative if you’re travelling to a foreign country. If you get food poisoning, you’ll be glad to have it. The compound in OGR, berberine, contains properties that are lethal to both worms and single-cell parasites.
These certainly aren’t the only herbal ingredients if you want to do a parasite cleanse. But they are without doubt some of the most popular.
In addition, there are formulas with all-herbal ingredients you can take. But keep in mind, in order to successfully get rid of the organisms, you need to take the herbs for a long time. It’s best if you do so under the direction of a health professional.
Parasite Cleanse Diet
First, let’s get the most obvious things out of the way….
Just as with a Candida cleanse (candida is a fungus), to get rid of parasites, you need to eliminate all sources of sugar from your diet.
And not just obvious junk food sources like soda. You need to also avoid eating starches that easily metabolize into sugar. Think: rice, bread and baked goods.
If you want to eat the best way possible to starve the organisms, start following a Paleo or Ketogenic diet. These diets avoid unhealthy sources of carbs that serve as a smorgasboard for parasites.
Also try to avoid anything with wheat, gluten, and most sources of dairy. And sorry, no alcohol, not even low carb wine.
In addition to eliminating foods that feed parasites, you should also start eating foods that encourage their removal. Pumpkin seeds, areca nuts and raw veggies are beneficial. The one thing with natural sugar you can eat are low-sugar fruits such as apples and berries.
As for meat, cut down on it. If you have an infection, your colon is already clogged enough as it is. Eating lots of meat will only make matters worse. And by all means, definitely do not eat raw or undercooked meat.
Parasite Cleanse Home Remedies
Certain supplement brands sell probiotics, specifically formulated for parasites. One example is Renew Life’s PARA Smart Microbial Cleanse.
The product promises to get rid of pathogens from the bloodstream‚ lymph fluid‚ as well as from internal organs. It includes several of the herbal ingredients above.
And if you want to know which specific strains of probiotics are beneficial for certain infections, read this article on PubMed.
As for doing an apple cider vinegar parasite cleanse, while ACV may be beneficial for your health, overall, there’s no research that suggests it can kill internal parasitic infections. That doesn’t imply you shouldn’t use ACV.
Just don’t think that drinking a teaspoon a day of it can neutralize the infection.
Another supporting supplement to consider taking is a digestive enzyme complex. Digestive enzymes help break down food into nutrients, which your cells then use for energy.
Parasitic organisms not only steal your food, they also weaken enzyme function. To strengthen your digestive enzymes, you may want to take a formula.
Here’s one more suggestion for a home parasite cleanse: diatomaceous earth (DE). If your home is infested by tiny critters, a DE bomb can wipe them out. DE can also kill parasites in your gut. Made from hard-shelled algae, DE is a potent intestinal worm killer.
DE contains silica. Silica is an essential trace mineral for your hair and nails. If you have skin health issues, small amounts of silica can go a long way.
To use DE, make sure it’s food grade. Take 1 TBSP a day with water. Because the life cycle of parasites is several weeks, use DE and any other of the above recommendations for at least 90 days.
How To Do A Parasite Cleanse Without Side Effects
If you detox to quickly, those stored up toxins get released into your bloodstream. Consequently, you may feel like you have the flu.
To avoid detoxing too quickly, again, it’s best to work with a health professional. This is especially true if you have an underlying health condition. Especially an autoimmune disease or compromised immune system.