I know it sounds crazy to suggest that your declining health or unresolved health issues may be due to the presence of parasites. But is this concept really far-fetched?
You've probably never heard of Dr. Hazel Parcells. She was a pioneer of alternative medicine and was known as the "grande dame of nutrition." At age 42, she was diagnosed with terminal tuberculosis but went on to survive and thrive until her death at age 106. Here's what she said:
"Make no mistake about it, worms are the most toxic agents in the human body. They are one of the primary underlying causes of disease and are the most basic cause of a compromised immune system."
-Dr. Hazel Parcells, D.C., N.D., Ph.D.
Why Are Parasites Overlooked?
People and the medical community alike hold a misconception: Parasites only afflict people who live in developing countries, third world countries, or where there are malnutrition and lack of hygiene. Since parasites don't always cause immediate problems, they often go undetected. Effects can be postponed for weeks or months because of the varied life cycles. Because of this, they're usually not suspected as the culprit.
In her book Guess What Came to Dinner, Anne Louise Gittleman writes, "Physicians in the United States typically lack thorough education in parasitology. If classes are offered at all by certain universities, they are usually offered within the Department of Tropical Medicine as a specialty. Usually, medical students, who do not anticipate encountering problems of the tropical medical nature in the United States, decline these courses."
Physicians in the United States typically lack a thorough education in parasitology.
What results is a lack of both familiarity and experience in recognizing the clinical symptoms of parasitic infection. No wonder this condition is regularly undiagnosed. If, on the other hand, an initial diagnosis of parasites is made in the affirmative, the very tests performed may override the physician's conclusion. This is because most parasites don't hang out in the lower intestines where test samples are taken.
Parasites in My Body? How?!
Parasites are indifferent to income brackets. They're freeloaders who will hitch a ride (and hatch an egg) anywhere and anyway. These eggs have a strong shell that protects them against a range of environmental conditions and can survive for many months, even years, outside their hosts.
Souvenirs aren't the only things people can bring home when they travel abroad. Any country abroad can host a parasite. Water quality is suspect. The risk is high when eating foreign food grown on soils which use human waste, sewage sludge, or wastewater as fertilizer, such as in South America, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.
They can also hitch a free ride into our intestines or other organs right here in the USA - in your home, gyms, schools, stores, campsites, resorts, hotels, amusement parks, and any other public place.
Dr. Steven Rochlitz states, "Over 50% of our water supply is contaminated with giardia, which, unlike bacteria, is not killed by chlorination." (Notice how public water fountains are often between the men's and women's bathrooms).
Day Care Centers
Giardia can be passed during diaper-changes. Toddlers who touch the dirty diapers can then contaminate themselves with hand-to-mouth contact, others, toys, or drinking faucets.
Raw sushi, poke', or undercooked fish, beef, and pork have high incidences of tapeworm.
Parasite eggs have a strong shell that protects them against a range of environmental conditions.
Food handlers in restaurants or at the local fast food joint may not exhibit signs of infection, but still be a carrier.
Puppies and kittens are born with roundworm. Years ago, our vet became involved in a conversation with me about parasites. After sharing with him my involvement in natural health and the rising incidents of such infections in my clients, I asked him bluntly: "How long do dog de-wormers actually work?" He stared at me and leaning over said, "Ma'am, your dog would have to take a de-wormer every day to be free of parasites."
An increasing number of sexual partners increases risk. Engaging in anal/oral sex practices opens a port of entry to parasitic infections. Via fecal contamination, spreading occurs to the mouth, hands, and body.
Parasites can slither up into your bloodstream through the bottom of the foot and migrate anywhere throughout the body. This can happen when you walk barefoot on ground contaminated by animals laced with parasites or if you wade through contaminated waters.
What Are the Possible Signs of Parasites?
Anemia (Certain parasites thrive on blood.)
Allergies (Intestinal lining can sometimes get pierced by parasites, causing the bowel to leak.)
Bloating (Inflammation due to the irritating presence of parasites.)
Chronic Fatigue (Malnutrition caused by parasites absorbing your nutrients.)
Constipation (Organs can get obstructed due to the size and shape of worms.)
Diarrhea or Chronic Gas
Inability to Gain Weight (Certain parasites leech nutrients, making you feel hungry, even if you have eaten recently.)
Joint Pain (Parasites can become encased in a sac of joint fluid.)
Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Teeth Grinding (Due to internal agitation in the nervous system from the parasite.)
Sleep Disturbances (According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, awakening between 2-3 AM could be a sign of the liver attempting to remove toxic waste. Certain parasites stimulate or exit the anus at night, causing intense itching.)
How To Get Rid of Parasites from Your Body, Step by Step:
If you're freaked out, don't worry. Here's everything you need to know about how to get rid of parasites.
A Different Approach
The allopathic approach to this is one approach only: to kill parasites. The alternative would normally be harsh drugs, but those drugs are usually harmful and toxic to healthy tissues as well. They're full of the usual laundry list of possible negative side effects. The holistic approach is different. It's dual purpose.
Parasites are determined creatures. They're very set in their stubborn ways. Once a parasite’s mind is made up to hitchhike a free ride into your body, it doesn't want to leave. It can hang out for years eating your food, sucking your blood, and leaving dirty waste. Hookworms are so stubborn they literally sink their teeth into intestinal lining, refusing to budge.
While parasites can live in the solitude of an organ, they're also social butterflies (highly contagious). Pinworms, for example, like to come out at night and mingle (lay eggs) in clothing or bed linens. They're equally at home mingling on toilet seats, towels, toys, furniture, and under fingernails.
Starve Them Out
You wouldn't want to stay in a hotel that refused to feed you. Parasites are no different. Remove their food of choice and they'll eventually get fed up. Parasites thrive on sugar. They like to party on anything sweet.
Parasites thrive on sugar.
Consider removing these from your diet:
All sugar (including alcohol)
High-glycemic fruit (eat berries instead)
Drinking only water (plain or with freshly squeezed lemon), Pau d’ Arco tea, or herb spice tea with cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, and even a fresh pressed clove of garlic will help speed up the removal of parasites.
Having a cup of bone broth with lunch and dinner can help rebuild damaged tissues because of the collagen it contains.
Starved parasites are similar to drug addicts when they don't get their fix. You'll start feeling really irritated or exhausted. But don't worry, this is a good sign!
Give Them Notice
After starving out the parasites with dietary changes, the next tactic is to create an environment in the body that parasites simply hate. This way they and their offspring won't only want to leave, but they won't want to return.
Dia-what?! Diatomaceous earth is made from the fossilized remains of tiny, aquatic organisms called diatoms. The silica content in the diatomaceous earth creates an unfavorable environment for parasites, which is why farmers use it to deworm their animals and homeowners use it along the edge of their house to keep bugs at bay.
Consider taking a teaspoon of food grade diatomaceous earth stirred in a 10-ounce glass of purified water, followed by another 10-ounce glass of plain purified water (and wait one hour before eating or taking supplements).
Diatomaceous earth is made from the fossilized remains of tiny, aquatic organisms called diatoms.
Secondly, consider using herbs historically known to support the body for parasitical removal in the form of a cleanse regime. I recommend the NSP Para-Cleanse program with additional High Potency Garlic (enterically coated). If they're sold out of the cleanse box, order these items individually:
Herbal Pumpkin Combination
Paw Paw Cell-Reg
Take all of these herbs every day, first thing in the morning and on an empty stomach in the evening (half an hour before eating). Do this for 10 days, then rest five days. Repeat. I recommend doing this cycle at least twice.
(Note: If you are pregnant do not do any intestinal anti-parasitical cleansing. Garlic is fine.)
I've been with Nature's Sunshine for decades (not a paid ad). In my experience, they have the highest quality products and best customer service. You can simply purchase on their site or to save money and get the wholesale price, you can call them at 1-(800)-223-8225 and ask to get a membership.
The Exit Process
Monitoring a cleanse is always messy and often gross. You have to be vigorous to ensure successful removal. The exit process happens via - you guessed it - bowel movements. It's important to know the signs to be sure they left your body. Steady now, this will be graphic! Get a foot long stick. A disposable chopstick works well.
Examine every bowel movement for the duration of the entire cleanse (60 days). That’s right. 60 days. 10 days on, five days off, in four successions to be safe. Look for typical signs: white rice-like tapeworm, pumpkin seed-like larvae, small white thread-like pinworms, long pasta-like roundworms, or flat translucent-like flukes.
Ask yourself if you're feeling better, if you're less agitated, or if you're better able to sleep.
If you do not see anything on the surface, well...that's what the chopstick is for. If you don't see anything by the end of 30 days, it's tempting to think another 30 days aren't necessary. But just because you don't see anything visible, doesn't mean you aren’t passing parasites. Many are microscopic.
Preventing Parasites from Coming Back
The old adage “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” could not ring more clearly than in the case of parasites. With that in mind:
Eat garlic daily.
Take encapsulated probiotics for one month following a parasite cleanse and beginning at the change of each season.
Do a yearly parasite cleanse; 2x yearly if you have a pet indoors; 3x yearly if your pet sleeps with you.
Use daily NSP Para-cleanse packets when traveling.
Use a travel Berkey filter for water, especially when backpacking and camping.
Practice good hygiene. Wash hands after handling kittens, puppies, and other animals.
Decline raw food.
Avoid unclean sexual practices.
Think twice about going barefoot outside.
And there you have it, how to get rid of parasites. Was this the strangest health article you've ever read? Perhaps. Perhaps not (I see you, Goop reader). If you think you might have a parasite problem, or could benefit from a parasite cleanse, I encourage you to read more on the subject and follow the advice laid out above. Your body will thank you.