This series explores parasites, including what they are, how we get them, and how to get rid of them.For someone who has recently learned that they have a parasite infection, the immediate next thought is, “How do I get rid of this as quickly as possible?” As you’d likely expect, antiparasitic drugs are typically prescribed in conventional medicine.
However, these drugs can have negative long-term side effects and are rarely the first recommended treatment in holistic medicine.
It's possible to treat parasites with a combination of diet and nutrition protocols in addition to antiparasitic herbs. The goal of this approach is to make the body uninhabitable for parasites by starving them and supporting the immune system's ability to clear them out.
Dietary ConsiderationsIt's important to remember that you feed parasites: your food is their food. Therefore, it's imperative to starve the parasites of their preferred food sources. Parasites are particularly drawn to dairy, sugars in every form, and processed foods, so you will want to avoid any of those foods in your diet. Let’s dive into this a bit more.
Avoid corn, sweet peas, and potatoes, as their sugar content is higher. You will want to consume cooked vegetables that have a low glycemic index, such as bell peppers, cabbage, asparagus, onions, tomatoes, artichokes, broccoli, mushrooms, green beans, zucchini, Brussels sprouts, and cucumber.
Recommended fruits include citrus (lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruits), apples, pears, avocados, cherries, prunes, plums, strawberries, and peaches.
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Herbal AntiparasiticsMany antiparasitic herbs can be extremely beneficial to consume as part of your parasite protocol.
- Black Walnuts: Black walnuts contain juglone and tannins that work to eliminate microbes from the large intestine. They can also work as a laxative, expelling parasites from the body.
- Cloves: Cloves are naturally antiseptic and anti-parasitic. They help to kill parasitic eggs and worms in the intestines. They can also be consumed as a “maintenance” treatment to help prevent future parasitic infections.
- Raw Garlic: Raw garlic is used to help deal with intestinal worm parasites. It features sulfur-containing amino acids that are naturally anti-parasitic.
- Mimosa Pudica Seed: When you consume mimosa pudica, the seeds become a gelatinous-like gel that can stick to parasites and other toxins, making them available to be removed from the body.
- Wormwood: Wormwood is a perennial plant related to the daisy family and can be consumed either fresh or dried. It's used to eliminate all types of worms including roundworms, tapeworms, and pinworms.
- Papaya Seeds: Papaya seeds can be helpful in killing off worms and ridding your system of the toxins that they produce.
- Barberry: Barberry is an herb and berry that contains berberine, a compound shown to kill tapeworms.
- Goldenseal: Goldenseal also contains berberine and has been shown to kill parasites including Giardia and tapeworms.
- Oregon Grape: This beautiful little plant with yellow blossoms and grape-like berries contains berberine, like barberry and goldenseal. It has strong anti-parasitic qualities, making it another effective tool for treating parasitic infections.
- Anise: Anise oil has been used historically in small doses to expel intestinal parasites. It's a milder treatment than other anti-parasitic herbs.
HomeopathyHomeopathy is another useful way to treat parasitic infections. As always, it's imperative to work with a trained and knowledgeable clinician or homeopath. When you meet with one, he or she will consider a wide variety of factors including your physical constitution, your lifestyle, and the symptoms that you're exhibiting.
- Cina: Traditionally used for threadworm, roundworm, or ascarid infections, cina can also help to relieve an upset stomach or anal itching from these parasites.
- Cuprum Oxidatum Nigrum: This homeopathic medicine helps relieve intestinal discomfort and digestive issues from worms, as well as bloating or itching.
- Indigo: Indigo is often used to treat children who are suffering from roundworms in the stomach. These worms can cause extreme pain and indigo can help to relieve symptoms.
- Teucrium: This herb is most often used to remove worms in both children and adults.
- Podophyllum: This plant has been used for centuries to treat gut discomfort, painful cramps, or diarrhea. It's used to expel worms from the digestive tract.
- Spigelia: Spigelia is most useful for pinworms or other worms when you have symptoms including itching, tickling, or crawling.
- Sabadilla: This plant helps to alleviate the itching and crawling sensation during worm infections and helps to rid the body of tapeworms, ascarids, and pinworms.
Parasites Can Help Treat Autoimmune DiseaseWhile we have discussed some of the negative aspects of parasitic infections, it's important to note that research indicates some potential benefits to parasites. Introducing helminths, a class of worms that includes hookworms and whipworms, has shown promising results in the treatment of autoimmune conditions including Crohn’s disease. Interestingly, Crohn's is a relatively rare condition in underdeveloped countries where helminths are a common occurrence in the population.
ConclusionIf you have received a parasite diagnosis, don't be disheartened—there are tangible, clear action steps that you can take to begin healing from your infection. While healing won't happen overnight, be encouraged by the fact that every dietary change that you make to eliminate the foods that the parasites are thriving off is making a difference in killing off the infection.
NEXT: How to manage the side effects of parasite elimination.