Parasitic infections often show up in the human body when the immune system is compromised. This is frequently associated with an overgrowth of bad bacteria, and a lower percentage of good bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus. Recent research by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) presented shocking estimates of how prevalent parasitic organisms are in the U.S.
The CDC report states that there are several million Americans living with parasitic infections. Of those Americans, an excess of 300,000 have the trypanosoma cruzi, the host that causes chagas disease, resulting in lifetime heart and brain complications. U.S. hospitals see about 1,000 cases of the taenia solium tapeworm every year. Toxoplasma gondii, otherwise known as the ‘cat poop parasite’ infects about 60 million U.S. citizens in a single year.
How Are Internal Parasites Transmitted?
Intestinal parasites are usually transmitted when a person comes in contact with infected feces (for example, through contaminated soil, food, or water). There are other things that can increase your risk for getting intestinal parasites, such as visiting an area known to have parasites, poor hygiene and sanitation (for both food and water), having a weak immune system, handling animals and age factor (children and the elderly are more likely to get infected). Once you are infected with parasites, it is contagious and can be easily passed to other people.
Identifying Different Parasites
1. Roundworms: Living in the stomach and intestines, these worms enter through under cooked and contaminated food. Remember that the manure which is used in farming may be contaminated with worms. Always wash your hands after dealing with pets, or their feces.
2. Heartworms: It is extremely rare for these to occur in humans. In the few cases which have been seen, they usually occur as a single worm in the lungs, rather than the heart. They cannot be spread through from one animal (or human) to another, but must be spread through mosquitoes.
3. Tapeworms: They enter the body through undercooked beef, fish or pork. Tapeworms live in the lower intestinal tract. Use gloves and wash thoroughly after preparing meat for consumption.
4. Pinworms: Living in the intestinal tracts and lungs, these small white worms come out at night to lay eggs around the anus. The eggs hatch and the worms reenter through the anus. If the human scratches during this time, the eggs lay under the fingernails, spreading to wherever the person touches. It is believed that they are small and lightweight enough to become airborne, leading people to inhale them. This is how they can live inside the lungs.
5. Hookworms And Threadworms: These can be found in contaminated drinking water, or they can enter directly through the feet. They are tiny in size, and can enter through the soles of the feet, even without any open wounds. Always wear shoes when walking outside. These worms are unique because they have a lifespan of several years, and the eggs can incubate for up to 10 years.
Diet To Follow On A Parasite Cleanse
Removing yeast and parasites is a difficult job for your body. During this process, it is highly important that you support your body as much as possible with regular exercise, good diet, adequate sleep, and limiting exposure to toxins. These are some dietary recommendations often suggested to support the intestinal parasite cleansing process:
- In one study, researchers found that a mixture of honey and papaya seeds with plenty of water are good to flush the system.
- Consuming more fiber may help the body get rid of worms.
- Drink plenty of water to aid fecal elimination.
- Add spices such as turmeric and cloves that can help fight parasites.
- Temporarily avoid coffee, refined sugar, alcohol, and refined foods.
- Try eating more raw garlic.
- Pineapple contains the digestive enzyme bromelain. A diet rich in pineapple may help to clear certain parasites such as tapeworms.
- Papaya seeds contain the enzyme papain that helps to digest protein. They can be chewed, but watch out, they are as hot as mustard seeds.
- Carrots, sweet potatoes, and squash are some foods that are rich in beta carotene, a precursor for vitamin A. Vitamin A is thought to increase resistance to penetration by larvae.
- Vitamin C and zinc also support the immune system.
- Probiotics such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacteria, and L. bulgaricus can help to rebuild beneficial intestinal bacteria.
- Turmeric and cloves are other supplements that can help fight parasites.
- Fasting with fermented drinks such as fermented whey from grass-fed cows and fermented ginger, kombucha, kefir, apple cider vinegar, etc. are powerful tools to help destroy parasites. Many holistic health coaches recommend three to twenty-one day low calorie, liquid diet that is rich in fermented beverages, water, and fresh squeezed lemon. Probiotic supplements are highly recommended to help destroy parasites and re-innoculate the gut.
Natural Foods That Kill Internal Parasites
Perhaps the most versatile food item on this list, garlic is also a potent herb for medicinal benefits. It is especially useful for flushing out parasites such as giardia and roundworms.
Contains sulfur compounds that are anti-parasitic. Onion juice is very effective for intestinal worms, especially tapeworm and thread worms. Drink 2 tsp. of onion juice twice a day for 2 weeks.
3. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne is a spice, closely related to the sweet red and chilli pepper, and widely used in Mexican and East Asian cuisines. Also known as Capsicum, its botanical name is derived from a Greek word meaning ‘to bite’. It certainly does add a kick when used as a condiment with food. Start with small amounts before increasing quantities and it will help to repel parasites.
4. Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
Coconuts are a food packed with nutritional benefits thanks to their natural saturated fats. It’s the same fats that gives extra virgin coconut oil the ability to flush out internal parasites. It detoxifies your system and can prevent the development of flukes and giardia. Many people mix the oil into smoothies or other beverages, but it can be used in many different recipes.
Horseradish is effective against food borne illness and is effective against some worms. It is member of the cabbage family and is an ancient herb native to eastern Europe. The Egyptians and early Greeks were quick to value its medicinal qualities. When horseradish is cut, the powerful antibacterial ingredient allylisothiocyanate is released.
Always grate fresh horseradish in a room with an open window to avoid the stringent fumes burning your eyes and nose.
6. Pumpkin Seeds
Studies have shown that pumpkin seeds have a natural anthelmintic effect on the digestive system, meaning they can cure intestinal parasites. It ddoesn’tkill the worms outright, but it does help your body flush them out. The parasites are paralyzed by the compounds in the seeds and cannot cling to avoid being flushed out through digestion. This is one of the easiest ways to take your parasite medicines, and it’s actually quite easy to roast your own from scratch in an oven.
7. Papaya seeds
According to Maryland Medical Center and Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical medicine, papaya seeds are great for getting rid of intestinal parasites. A recent study showed that people who were taking honey together with papaya seeds, cleared their stool of parasites in 23 out of 30 cases. The seeds have a distinct, slightly peppery flavor. They can be eaten as they are, or you can sprinkle them over salads and other dishes, just as you would use pumpkin seeds. Those who are not afraid of the spicy flavor, can try them in a smoothie.
8. Bitter Melon
Bitter melon is one of the most popular vegetables in asia but an acquired taste for most westerners. In Chinese medicine, bitter foods drain ‘damp’ conditions such candida overgrowth and parasites. If you haven’t managed to acquire the taste but still want to benefit from the medicinal effect, take a 60ml shot of the juice.
9. Spring Onions
Like garlic, onions release the enzyme alliinase when it is cut or crushed. For an anti parasitic tonic, juice the white part of green onions and add 2 teaspoons of sesame seed oil. Take twice a day on an empty stomach for 3 days.
This delicious fruit contains the digestive enzyme bromelain that helps to clear certain parasitic infections, such as tapeworms. Read more about pineapple in my article how to use pineapple as a medicine.
According to a study published in “The Journal of Ethnopharmacology”, almonds have anti-parasitic effect that help to sooth intestinal irritation and discourage intestinal parasite growth. This effect may be related to the high concentration of fatty acids in almonds.
12. Grapefruit Seed Extract
Grapefruit seed extract is usually found in liquid form in health food stores. Although preliminary research suggests it may have antimicrobial and antiyeast properties, there is little research to date on its effectiveness for parasites
Wormwood is a common decorative plant that is widely known as an ingredient in absinthe. It also has many different types of health uses. Apart from its ability to aid with digestion, gallbladder problems, low sex drive and loss of appetite, wormwood is a notable fighter of roundworms, pinworms, and other worm-type parasites. It’s commonly ingested in tea form or as a tincture, but most recommend against ingesting the essential oil form.
14. Aloe Vera
This herb is a well-known medical staple for all sorts of symptoms, ranging from burns to frostbite (read my article about the best uses of aloe vera for healthy skin). It can also be used for its purgative effects to help flush out stubborn parasites. It can be found in many different forms, the most popular being juice, gel, powders and tablets. Pregnant women and young children should exercise caution and consult a physician before ingesting aloe.
This herb is native to Central and South America, and is useful in both the kitchen and medicine. It was originally used by indigenous tribes and is believed to help prevent flatulence and eliminate parasites such as tapeworms and hookworms. The leaf of the plant should be ground and soaked in tea for ingestion. Don’t use the seeds as they contain significant amounts of the toxic essential oil.
The bark of the pomegranate tree is often used for digestive medical conditions such as diarrhea and dysentery. It’s ability to flush out intestinal parasites with astringent qualities adds to the already extensive list of health applications that come from the plant. As with many of the herbs listed, you should consult a medical expert and dose yourself carefully to avoid vomiting.
The herb goldenseal (Hydrastis Canadensis) has been used historically for infections involving the mucous membranes in the body, such as respiratory tract infections. Preliminary lab studies suggest that berberine, the active constituent of goldenseal, may be active against Entamoeba histolytica, Giardia lamblia, and Plasmodium.
18. Oil Of Oregano
This oil is an effective and convenient way to get your dose of parasite cure. Simply put a few drops in a glass of water and take the mixture up to three times in a single day. Many people combine oil of oregano with lemon juice to add vitamins and taste.
Thymus is a Greek name for ‘courage’ but also had the meaning ‘to fumigate’, which may be more appropriate in relation to its ability to cleanse the system of worms. Regularly eat the sprigs of thyme and drink half a cup of thyme tea each morning and evening.
20. Black Walnut Tincture
There has been plenty of documentation on black walnut’s ability to flush and kill parasites. The laxative effect of the herb helps cleanse the body of parasites while other compounds in the herb are believed to kill of the parasites by enriching the blood with oxygen. It’s recommended that users avoid black walnut heartwood, and those who are pregnant or sick should avoid it altogether. As it is a potent remedy, you should used it under the care of a holistic health professional.