BY: Salome Hartter, Master Herbalist
I shouldn’t wonder if one or two in a crowd of three of us have something undesirable living in our bodies. Parasite infestation is not exclusive to developing countries. Indeed, doctors in the United States are also discovering undeniable cases of parasites. The figures vary. Some sources will tell you it is not a common problem in developed countries and others will say that every one of us has parasites. They may be in the form of microscopic single-celled organisms or they may be 30-Ft tapeworms. About 30% of the known strains of parasites are visible to the naked eye.
As many people are exposed to parasites every year, some healthcare advisors recommend an annual maintenance parasite cleanse. Others say it is necessary only upon a medical provider’s official diagnosis from stool or blood tests. However you decide to handle it, we’ll go ahead and present the points of parasite cleansing, reminding ourselves that prevention is our greatest ally in maintaining our health.
What is a parasite?
A parasite is any organism that is nourished or sustained by another creature to the detriment of the host. Case in point: flukes or roundworms. Parasites may be communicated through contaminated food or water, close contact with an infected person, or through the bite of a mosquito, etc.
After finding a way into our bodies, they find the environment is conducive to their well-being; for a parasite’s palate is strikingly similar to ours. They thrive on sugar and starch. Take note of this as diet plays a vital role in parasite cleansing.
What are the symptoms of parasite infestation?
When poor gut health is compounded by parasites, a heavy strain is placed on our organs. Not only do parasites steal nutrients from our blood, but they also emit toxic waste. Our immune system becomes depressed and an immune response is activated, resulting in malabsorption of the nutrients we are already running low on. Sounds like this could create a problem, yes? Read on.
The symptoms of parasite infestation range from mild, to moderate, to severe and they can include
· Shortness of breath
· Weight loss or weight gain
· Itching in the anal region
· Skin rash
· Abdominal pain
Severe parasitic infections, left untreated, can lead to
· Heart failure
What are the benefits of parasite cleansing?
The benefits of doing a parasite cleanse would be to not only clear up all the aforementioned symptoms we might be experiencing, but also to restore our energy. Everyone wants to feel healthy and strong and parasites steal vigor from us right along with our nutrients. They destroy our cells more quickly than they can be regenerated. It would be good to remove them from our bodies, would it not?
What is a parasite cleanse?
Naturally, the most reasonable place to begin any parasite cleanse would be to correct our diet. As stated, parasites thrive on sugar and starch. Remove sweeteners and all refined grains from the diet. For best results, avoid all other greasy processed foods and cheese and reduce your consumption of meat.
Consider eating fiber-rich foods such as broccoli, nuts, seeds, beans and carrots. This will promote movement of the bowels which is necessary of course to eliminate dead parasites.
To support intestinal flora, fermented food may be introduced during the cleanse: think kombucha, kefir, sauerkraut and other fermented vegetables. Eat lots of pumpkin seeds and pineapple and use garlic and ginger generously.
The formulas we offer recommend a 6-day dosage which should be repeated in a month. Of course, keep your diet clean during the entire time. Two 6-day dosages may be enough for some while others may need to be more aggressive. Remember your goal is to do a thorough cleanse, and there are many different types of parasites. Flukes are some of the first parasites that will die during a cleanse and candida requires a rigorous protocol of its own because of its subtle nature.
What can I expect from a parasite cleanse?
Expect to experience die-off symptoms. Parasites create as much discomfort in their death as they do in their life. The toxins they release as they die may result in bloating, diarrhea, headache, vomiting, or fatigue. Perhaps these signs of a successful cleanse sound worse than the original symptoms, but take heart! Afterwards there will be incredible relief. It is not uncommon to crave the very food you are resisting while on a regenerative diet.
What herbs can you use in a parasite cleanse?
We offer an already-prepared herbal "Para Cleanse" tincture and a "Para Cleanse" DIY tincture kit which both contain herbs that are good for parasites. Or rather, are not good for parasites. They were formulated specifically for this purpose.
Our Para Cleanse Kit contains Black Walnut hull, Fennel seed, Olive leaf, Sage leaf, Papaya leaf, Peppermint leaf, Wormwood leaf, Catnip leaf, Male Fern root and Ginger root.
The prepared Para Cleanse Tincture contains Papaya leaf, Clove buds, Wormwood, and Black Walnut hull.
Let’s take a look at these plants.
Black Walnut hull contains juglone which is toxic to microbes but does not harm the host
Papaya leaf has tannins that seem to prevent parasites from reattaching themselves to the
intestinal walls. It also has a compound called carpain which helps destroy parasites
Fennel seed is known to kill parasites. Plus, its diuretic effect helps remove them.
Olive leaf activates a powerful anti-parasitic response and it effectively kills such parasites as
cryptosporidia, giardia, pinworms, and roundworms
Wormwood has several sesquiterpene lactones and is thought to either weaken the membranes
of organisms or anesthetize intestinal parasites, which allows them to be more easily eliminated
Peppermint leaf has several compounds, especially menthol, which guard against parasite
Sage leaf contains thujone which can kill parasites
Catnip leaf helps relieve the discomfort of the die-off symptoms
Clove buds contain eugenol which is antimicrobial and antioxidant. Eugenol is thought to dissolve the
casing around parasite eggs
Male Fern root has an oleoresin that paralyzes tapeworms and other parasites
Ginger root also helps alleviate die-off symptoms
With any parasite cleanse, it is necessary to use a formula containing a combination of plants that will destroy the organisms in all stages of their development. To this purpose, for example, the Para Cleanse Tincture compounds cloves, which destroy parasite eggs, with black walnut and wormwood, which kill the larvae and adults.
It is not recommended for pregnant women or children under two to use these formulas. There are olive leaf glycerites available which could be substituted for them. Children over two should be given a reduced dose.