This isn't a pleasant topic, but it is a necessary one. The statistics on how many of us are suffering from parasitic infections is staggering and something needs to be done about it. In the article we will learn how to get rid of them, and look at which products and techniques work best for this.
Parasites: How do you get rid of them?
First of all, I’m not going to lie. Getting rid of parasites is hard work that requires time, diligence and patience. Trust me, you’ll be better off in the long term. The following protocol is to be used for intestinal worm parasites of any variety.
1.) Clean your intestines
The first step to insuring your success in quelling a parasitic infection is enhancing the integrity of your intestinal wall. Due to the disturbing fact that parasites embed their eggs in your intestinal wall, it important to realize that no real effective treatment can reach them until old waste matter and debris are fibers like agar-agar, flax or chia seed. These bulking agents are effective at gently removing accumulated waste matter from the intestinal wall with “sweeper” like motions. They can also absorb toxic by-products produced by the slimy buggers themselves. Though hugely popular in health food stores and brand name products at drug stores, psyllium husk is not always recommended. It is well known that psyllium is heavily sprayed with pesticides and herbicides making it harmful not only for you but also the environment. It is recommended that if you go with psyllium, to at least make sure it is certified organic.
The other important component for enhancing the integrity of your intestinal wall are ingredients that can actually help regenerate the wall and guard against “leaky gut syndrome”. This is extremely common in parasitic infections and should be taken care of so that microscopic protozoa or parasitic eggs can’t escape the digestive tract and migrate through the blood into tissues. (Mmm... appetizing!) The normally leak-proof lining of our intestinal wall is unfortunately only one cell layer thick and so is easily susceptible to damage.
Luckily, an excellent product created just for the purpose of fortifying this layer is called RevitalX by Natural Factors.
Order RevitalX toll-free at 1-844-259-8590 in Canada
It was designed to rest, heal and rejuvenate the gut after occasions where the digestive system has been stressed or abused. It contains a highly digestible, low allergy protein called Gold Peptides from non-GMO golden pea protein. It also includes glutamine (a regulator of nitrogen metabolism and protector of the cellular wall), N-acetyl-glucosamine (a thinner and modulator of excessive gastrointestinal mucus), pantothenic acid and quercetin (anti-histaminic, anti-allergic), gently detoxifying antioxidants (including Vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, grapeseed extract and milk thistle), the ever-needed water soluble fiber, lecithin (which supplies lipids for healing damaged membranes) and zinc (for healing damaged digestive tissue, modulating enzyme activity and immune function, and controlling diarrhea).
In any protocol for parasites, I would start with at least 2 weeks of a RevitalX protocol in addition to following the dietary recommendations below before attempting to use anti-parasitic herbs, supplements or cleansing products. Doing things slowly and properly will insure you success in the long term!
2.) Starve the buggers and nourish yourself
Diet modifications that stifle them and serve you include eating a wide variety of whole, unprocessed foods that are additionally high in fiber to encourage proper elimination. One of the biggest dangers with improper parasite cleansing is that not enough attention is paid to having proper bowel movements and insuring that peristalsis continues uninhibited. Some practitioners recommend actually eliminating all uncooked foods from the diet to insure that there is no recontamination. However, this is a bit extreme. I would recommend thoroughly cooking all meats, fish, poultry and grains, but contaminants from raw fruits and vegetables can be minimized with thorough washing and antiseptic or antibacterial natural cleaners (like some fresh lemon or 1tbsp 35% food grade H2O2 per gallon of water).
The following is a list of things to avoid:
- Fermented foods
- Gluten-containing grains
- Milk and dairy products
Most parasites feed off sugar like nobody’s business so do yourself (and your pancreas) a favour, and cut it out! It also suppresses the immune system which is trying so hard to attack these parasites in the first place. Go to war with guns blazing instead. Helpful anti-parasitic foods that you can incorporate into your diet include: • Raw pumpkin seeds • Two cloves of garlic daily • Almonds, beets, blackberries, raw cabbage, carrots, cranberry juice, figs, kelp, onions, pomegranates and radishes. • Adequate proper proteins (these are essential for providing the building blocks required for healing from parasite infestation)
3.) Kill them off with herbs and supplements
The following herbs and supplements can be beneficial for over 100 types of parasitic infestations of the intestines. Be leery of parasite cleansing kits that last only 2 weeks or even upwards of a month. You should be rotating your anti-parasitic herbs for at least 3 months in order to account for varying gestation periods of different parasites. What does this mean? It means something very disgusting actually. The average “growing” time from egg to adult of most parasites in around 3 months. Just because you kill the adults off and feel great, doesn’t mean you got the eggs that are now hatching! Keep with your regime for at least 3 months to see real, long-lasting results and remember that though 3 months seems like forever… it can enhance your quality of life indefinitely with periodic maintenance and future preventative measures.
The following are common recommendations for killing off parasites and how they work:
a) Black Walnut Hulls: This is a globular fruit (juglans nigra) that has been used for centuries to expel worms naturally. The unripe hulls of the fruit contain substances (1,4-naphthoquinones including juglone and plumbagin) that are said to inhibit the motility and hatching of certain parasitic species and also work as larvicides to newly hatched organisms. There has also been documented evidence that it stunts the embryonic growth of some strains and so blunts the chances of maturity into adulthood.
b) Wormwood: According to the Townsend Letter journal as of April 2003, wormwood (artemesia absinthium) has been used as an anthelmintic (parasite expeller) since ancient times and across many geographical regions. Key constituents for our purposes include bitter substances such as sesquiterpene lactones and the essential oil monoterpene thujone. Multiple studies in the 20th Century have concluded that this volatile oil is the main reason for wormwood’s anthelmintic activity, especially against nematode trichostrongylus colubriformis, Ascaris lumbricoides, protozoa Naegleria fowleri, and the protozoa Entamoeba histolytica (cause of amebiasis). Some studies showed that symptoms were cleared and 70% of the parasitic amoebas were cleared according to the stool analysis!
c) Cloves: This magical flower bud is a powerhouse of goodness when it comes to clearing your gut of creepy crawlies! From the plant Syzygium aromaticum, clove has also been used since ancient times in both Ayurvedic and Western herbal medicine. Originally used as a carminative (preventer of intestinal gas formation/expulsion), cloves have also been proven to work for indigestion, abdominal cramping and pain, nausea, and even as a topical application for toothaches! For our purposes, the key constituents in clove that pertain to its anti-parasitic activity are eugenol, eugenol acetate, beta-caryophyllene, flavonoids, tannins and phenolic acids, with EUGENOL being the main medicinal property. Both water and alcohol preparations of clove bud have shown to be nematocidal and particularly effective against Anisakis spp. Larva, Caenorhabditis elegans, Rhabditis macrocerca and Ascaris suum. Perhaps most important though is that clove doesn’t differentiate between the eggs of different species and can be instrumental in preventing recurrent infections by dislodging eggs from the intestinal wall and killing them.
There is a particular phenomenon outlined in the above-mentioned Townsend Letter article that illustrates this concept (however gruesomely). It is called “Larva Bursting” and involves tearing the larva’s outer covering, exposing its intestines. Eugenol in cloves has been shown again and again to cause this bursting of worm larvae, especially when synergistically combined with tannins which are normally not larvicidal on their own. Together, the two chemicals double the killing capacity of both substances. To sum up, “the synergistic action of tannins and an anthelmintic not only damages the worms irreversibly, but also, in some instances markedly reduced the required amount of the anthelmintic.”(pp.4) Take less of both together to increase your killing capacity!
This means taking cloves with any of the following to have this effect: • Green Tea • Grapeseed Extract (not to be confused with Grapefruit seed extract which, is also popular for its antimicrobial and antiparasitic activity) • Holy Basil
d) Oregano Oil: This all-purpose natural antibiotic, antiviral, antimicrobial healer has been recognized for its multiple facets in preventing colds, flus, upper respiratory infections, allergic reactions, candida overgrowth and so on. However, what is not as well known is that oregano oil and the effect of its main phenolic compounds (carvacol and thymol) on parasites is quite pronounced. In one study, 77 percent of patients treated for enteric parasites were parasite free after taking oil of oregano in tablet form for six weeks. These results are incredible, but it important to make sure you take all other necessary precautions we talked about, such as dietary changes and doing a cleanse for a minimum of 3 months. Just because those tested for adult worms were clear in 6 weeks, doesn’t mean those dormant eggs weren’t waiting to hatch and reinfect them all over again.
Related article: The Amazing Oil of Oregano.
The other important reason to take oregano at the same time as other, more popular, anti parasitic products, is because of its effect on Candida Albicans. An overgrowth of this stubborn yeast often goes hand in hand with a parasite infection and so keeping Candida levels down can really enhance the health of your GI tract and the killing capacity of other substances you take. Of 12 essential oils tested in a variety of studies (Original Internist, Sept. 2005) it was found that oregano oil was proven again and again to be the most effective against not only Candida but most other pathogenic bacteria that exacerbate the proliferation of parasites.
e) Digestive Enzymes with Betaine HCL: This might seem like the odd one to include in this list, but it is an absolute necessity for the simple fact that parasites cannot thrive when normal levels of enzymes and stomach acid are present. These tools are our bodies’ natural mechanisms to prevent parasite infection against those found in food and water. Why are we so deficient you may ask? This is because of the proliferation of cooked foods in our diet (which lack the natural enzymes required to break them down), excessive stress levels (release of stomach acid is a function of the parasympathetic nervous system – when we are stressed, this function fails), and improper food combining (putting certain foods in our stomach at the same time can cause the neutralization of digestive juices).
Taking a quality enzyme formula with Betaine HCL can help optimize digestion, help you get the most out of your food and cleansing regime, and can prevent future infections. CAUTION: Do not consume products containing Betaine HCL if you have a peptic ulcer. Please consult with a qualified health care practitioner before taking this product.
4) Replenish your system: During the course of your cleanse and after you are done, it is best to continually supplement with a high quality probiotic. Not only do probiotics replenish your natural levels of healthy intestinal flora, they also help to increase the length and integrity of your intestinal villi and that all important barrier wall, and to displace Candida and parasite eggs from intestinal receptor sites. In general, probiotics also help to buttress your immune system, helping you fight off the critters that so desperately want to take you over! To synopsize, it was established in a well-published study out of the University of Turku in Finland that “among the possible mechanisms of probiotic therapy is promotion of nonimmunologic gut defense barrier…including the normalization of increased intestinal permeability and altered gut microecology…[as well as] improvement of the intestine’s immunologic barrier, particularly through intestinal immunoglobulin A responses and the alleviation of intestinal inflammatory responses.” (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2001, Feb; 73(2); pp 444-450)
This is a huge amount of information to digest (har har) but, in summation, if you are diligent in maintaining the integrity of your gut, changing your dietary habits, temporarily adhering to a supplement regime and are serious about probiotics, getting rid of intestinal parasites can be one of the best things you do for yourself in the long run! Keep in mind, that they are never gone for long, but there are preventative measures in Part 1 of this article that can help you to understand where parasites come from, how to avoid these and how to recognize when it's time to clean those pipes!
Note that only 30% of all parasite live in our digestive systems while the other 70% live all over our bodies including, the blood, and all organs including the brain and even in our eyes and sinus cavities. External parasites are also a common problem that needs to be addressed. Stay tuned for an article on these OUTSIDE creepy crawlies in the coming weeks... Until then, sleep tight, don't let the gut bugs bite!
Written by: The Optimum Health editorial team
Disclaimer: The above information is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your physician.