“Worms have been living inside the human body since Homo sapiens have been around. About half the world’s population (over 3 billion people) are in infected with at least one of the three worms forming what Columbia University parasitologist Dickson Despommier calls the “unholy trinity”—large roundworm, hookworm and whipworm.” From the February 2009 issue of Scientific American (Worms “N” Us).
How many humans have PARASITES — the organisms that live in and feed off of their human host? No one knows for sure, but suffice it to say that the number is probably far greater than we think. I have seen peer-reviewed studies suggesting that the majority (over 50%) of all Americans are carrying some sort of parasite at any given moment.
When it comes to giving out advice on dealing with these parasites, you find every end of the spectrum, from the late Hulda Clark (The Cure for All Diseases) who believed that virtually all disease could be tied back to occult (hidden) parasites, to Mark Crislip of Science Based Medicine who wrote, “I get a sinking feeling when I see that diagnosis [parasites] on the schedule, as it rarely means a real parasite. The great Pacific NW is mostly parasite free, so either it is a traveler or someone with delusions of parasitism.” Who can we trust? As is usually the case, the truth lies somewhere in the middle.
SIGNS YOU MIGHT HAVE PARASITES
There are numerous signs and symptoms of parasitosis (the condition of having parasites). However, many of them are fairly vague and seen in wide numbers of other chronic health problems. Just remember that the more symptoms (particularly “unexplained” symptoms) , the greater chance that those symptoms have something to to with parasites. Some of the more common signs and symptoms include….
- IBS-LIKE SYMPTOMS: People with IBS tend to bounce back and forth between diarrhea and
- CONSTIPATION. They also tend to have lots of bloating, foul-smelling gas, abdominal pain, and even blood in the stool. This also happens to describe people who have parasites.
- SKIN CONDITIONS: SKIN CONDITIONS can be in the form of unexplained rashes, eczema, hives, rosacea, etc, etc. Itching is another common sign of parasites — particularly around the nether regions such as the rectum / anus (now you know why your dog periodically drags his hind end along the ground in a semi-sitting position). Be aware that you get some of these same symptoms with Candida.
- ALLERGIES: People with parasites often have all sorts of ALLERGIES and sensitivities — particularly to foods. This is thought to be brought on by the toxins they release, as much as it is the parasites themselves.
- UNEXPLAINED JOINT PAIN: Although there are a million and one reasons people can get joint pain, they always come back to to having either some sort of mechanical dysfunction (not likely in cases of “ALL-OVER” pain) or SYSTEMIC INFLAMMATION.
- YOU ARE WORN OUT AND DEPRESSED: If you are exhausted, fatigued, chronically tired, or mentally washed out (“brain fog”), you may have parasites.
- YOU HAVE ANEMIA: This is what happens when worms suck your blood, and particularly true with Iron-Deficiency Anemia — the most common form of ANEMIA in America.
- SEXUAL DYSFUNCTION / FEMALE PROBLEMS: This covers a lot of territory.
- SUGAR OR CARB CRAVING / ADDICTION.
CONSTANTLY HUNGRY: Remember the old Three Stooges jokes about ‘feeding’ their tapeworms? When parasites are chowing (robbing you of) all your nutrients, you will constantly feel hungry. Although the stereotypical person with parasites (particularly the ‘proverbial’ tapeworm) is rail thin, the truth is that many, if not most Americans who have parasites are OBESE.
- OTHERS: There are a bunch. Some of the more common include insomnia, teeth grinding at night, bad breath, body odor, chronic low-grade fever, a weak immune system, a history of international travel, ANTIBIOTIC use, or heath problems that seemed to start after a serious bout of ‘food poisoning’.
HOW DO I DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT I HAVE PARASITES,
AND WHAT CAN I DO TO GET RID OF THEM?
Determining whether or not you have parasites is probably the easiest part of the whole process. Although it is not so common to see parasites in your stool, there are any number of labs that provide comprehensive evaluation of stool samples. Blood work can also be of benefit as there are certain markers seen in people with parasitosis.
You need to be aware that the two sorts of parasites we are mostly discussing here today are the worms (tapeworms, roundworms, etc) and protazoa (single celled organisms). The worms attach themselves to the intestinal lining, both draining nutrients and releasing toxins that affect your whole body. The protazoa (Girardia is probably the most common in America) are different, but can cause equally distressing symptoms.
Although there are any number of anti-parasitic drugs on the market (each class of parasite has many different drugs associated with it), these can be exceedingly harsh, as they all work on the principal of being toxic enough to kill the bugs, but not toxic enough to kill you. For most people, parasites can be effectively dealt with via nutrition and natural methods.
Dietary Changes: When you begin to make healthy changes in your diet, you begin to starve the excess critters that have been hanging around gobbling up the extra sugars and nutrition in your blood. When there is not enough fuel for these yeasts, they begin to die off.
I am going to list off the things that I am most familiar with and that are effective.
- BLACK WALNUT HULLS / WORMWOOD: Almost every anti-parasitic remedy I have ever seen, involves these two as its foundation.
- GARLIC: What isn’t Garlic good for? Other than the fact that other people might not be able to tolerate being around you, Garlic is one of the true “miracle” plants when it comes to health. Yes, it helps kill parasites.
- BERBERE / CIRCUMIN / TUMERIC: All of these are extremely anti-inflammatory.
- CINNAMON / CLOVES: Excellent against parasites — particularly their eggs. Many people use alternating courses of Wormwood / Walnut Hull, and Cinnamon / Cloves to alternatively kill off the adult parasites and the worms.
- CAYENNE PEPPER / HOT PEPPERS: Fabulous stuff as long as you are not one of those people with a Nightshade Sensitivity.
- PUMPKIN SEEDS: We have eaten roasted pumpkin seeds in the Fall of the year forever. Not only are they delicious, but the oil has anti-parasitic properties.
- PINEAPPLE AND PAPAYA: These contain bromelain and papain respectively — proteolytic enzymes. Make sure to crush the papaya seeds and eat them as well.
- LEMON & SPEARMINT: Great stuff. Make sure to crush or chew the lemon seeds.
- CARROTS / RAW COCONUT: I also see people substituting (or using simultaneously) sweet potatoes and BEETS (not pickled).
- INTESTINAL CLEANSING: There are about a million ways to go about this, but most seem to involve copious amounts of fiber. Although there are all sorts of forms, I like ground flax seed.
- OIL OF OREGENO / OLIVE LEAF EXTRACT: Although there are many that swear by these for their anti-parasitic properties, I tend to think of both in terms of anti-fungal (anti-yeast).
- DIATOMACEOUS EARTH: You can even use this on your garden as a natural pesticide. It absolutely works. The drawback is that I find that it also kills your earthworms so this troubles me.
- RAW APPLE CIDER VINEGAR: Not sure what Raw (unpasteurized / unfiltered) Apple Cider Vinegar is not good for, but that list would be rather short. This sort of vinegar tastes good, and provides a number of health benefits.
- WORK ON YOUR GUT: As is the case with virtually every form of sickness there is, you will never go wrong dealing with your GUT HEALTH.
One quick warning about a parasite cleanse; the more intensely you go about it, the more possibility you will end up having a HERXHEIMER REACTION. As you kill parasites, they release a lot of toxicity into your system. You may wind up with a headache, malaise, or even feeling sick. This won’t last long. I discuss more about this below.
Not only do I feel that getting rid of parasites naturally to be the best method of doing so, there are many health benefits to using the methods seen above — most having to do with the fact that they could be easily and effectively incorporated into virtually any sort of ANTI-INFLAMMATORY PALEO-LIKE DIET. The bottom line is that as long as you are not pregnant or nursing (got my disclaimer in), there is really no downside to these sorts of protocols, but the upside is tremendous.
Parasite, fungal, bacteria and virus die off symptoms are different for every person. It depends upon the individual’s overall constitution and the health of the body’s terrain.
The term “Herxheimer reaction” refers to the “die off”, and is also sometimes called the “healing crisis” although healing crisis is also a term used to describe “Herrings Law of Cure”, a reversal of previous symptoms. In “die off” you might feel worse instead of better for a a period of time because the critters are dying. It is similar to an ant colony that is struggling. The ants become overactive, frantic to stay alive.
This reaction should be swift and short term. For some it lasts a day or two, others can experience die off symptoms for up to a week. And still others, who may be dealing with a more exacerbated immune deficiency may experience these unpleasant symptoms whenever a new dietary change is made toward reducing the amount of food available for the yeasts to thrive (more on that farther down the page).
The important thing to note is that worsening symptoms do not indicate failure of the treatment — it usually means that the treatment protocol is indeed working, maybe a little too well.
When “die off” happens in large quantities, it results in an immune reaction to the endotoxins released by those organisms as they die, causing an increase in symptoms we may have already been experiencing, and/or sometimes producing a new set of symptoms As the body works to detoxify, you may experience symptoms including dizziness, headache, “foggy” headedness, eye floaters (the little blurs in vision which can be detected when the eyeball moves back and forth), depression, anxiety, heightened anger reactions, gas & bloating, flatulence, diarrhea, constipation, joint pain, muscle pain, body aches, sore throat, general malaise, exhaustion, need for more sleep, sweating, chills, nausea, skin breakouts, or other symptoms. I know, it reads like label warning on pharmaceutical drug; a bunch of symptoms from one of those commercials that ends with “side effects may include…” The truth is that die off symptoms are caused by real biological occurrences resulting in your body experiencing these reactions.
The two main factors which cause the unpleasant (and at times even debilitating) symptoms of die off are dietary changes and antifungal treatments.
What Else Can I Do To Treat Die Off Symptoms?
Try an epsom salt bath, or a baking soda bath, to help draw out toxins.
If you have access to natural hot sulfur springs in your area, by all means have a soak!
Saunas and steam baths are great for sweating out excess toxins.
Follow a good sweat with a revitalizing, rehydrating drink.
A coffee enema will do wonders for an overstressed liver, and help immensely in flushing out excess toxins.
Castor Oil Packs also help relieve some of the discomfort.
To assist with the cleaning process, we suggest the following Tea made with local herbs.
Colon Cleansing Tea
Most colon cleanse teas on the market contains either senna or cascara sagrada, both of which stimulate the action of the lower intestines and colon.
These herbs are no joke. They’re used in some popular herbal tea blends to help alleviate constipation. If you’ve not used them before, they really do work. Start with a gentle dose.
Senna can cause painful intestinal spasms in some people, so you may want to look for a tea made with cascara sagrada. It supports normal function of the bowel, while stimulating digestive secretions in the liver, gall bladder, pancreas and stomach.
If you decide to use a senna tea start with a mild dose the first time, and see if you get the desired effect. Drink it at night before bed time, by the next morning after being up and about for a while you’ll know whether you need a stronger dose or not.
Our local Tea Blend
Aloe Vera Leaf – also supports normal bowel function, cleanses the blood, and is a liver/gall bladder tonic
Plantain leaf – helps break up mucoid plaque while also soothing to the intestines
Ginger root – relieves gas, bloating and upset stomach
Fennel seeds – relieves instestinal cramping and gas
Fenugreek seed – soothing to the intestines and promotes regularity
Peppermint leaf – stimulates liver and gall bladder, good for colon cleansing, digestion
Dandelion root – supports liver function, stimulates bile flow, help release toxins and also helps carry them safely out of the body.
This tea can be ordered from Seeds Of Wellness. A 20 cup blend is $8. This blend is also available in a 50ml tincture for $10.
For my clients, friends and family, here I present three Trusted Parasite Protocol Cleanse Protocols (downloadable pdf)
To order this tea or any of the herbs reported in the protocol please contact me.