Why you probably have parasites
If you’re anything like me, parasites probably conjure up images of nasty wriggly worms swimming happily through your intestines and wreaking havoc.
That vision of your average parasite is mostly true, but did you also know some parasites are so microscopic they can easily permeate any area of your body, even your brain?
Yup. As if you weren’t grossed out enough. I’m getting all itchy just thinking about it! ?
Our gut microbiome is made up of many types of bacteria that are necessary to our digestion, nutrient absorption, immune function, brain function and general health and well-being. In fact, the gut has been dubbed the “second brain.”
The balance of these beneficial bacteria can be disrupted by a poor diet, antibiotics, certain medications, stress, and infection leaving us susceptible to parasite infection and a host of other health problems.
How we get parasites
So how do these little buggers hitch a ride in Hotel You? The ways are so endless it’s truly terrifying.
Just as with germs, parasites can survive on various public surfaces for a time from public bathrooms, to salt and pepper shakers at a restaurant, to undercooked food or unwashed produce.
The likelihood you’re carrying around these mini-intruders is pretty high. Sometimes they live, die and exit your body uneventfully without you even noticing (especially if your gut is healthy). Other times they cause debilitating symptoms which can lead to bigger (and deadlier) problems if left untreated.
I’ve experienced a parasite infestation myself in the past and it can be debilitating. If you’re experiencing the symptoms below and haven’t been able to figure out why it may be possible you have parasites.
Warning signs you may have parasites
- Chronic fatigue
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Anemia and iron deficiency
- Itching in the mouth, nose, ears, and anus
- Skin problems – eczema, rashes, acne, sores, and ulcers
- Recurring yeast or bladder infections
- Sore/stiff joints
- Digestive problems – bloating, gas, indigestion, cramps
- Memory problems and brain fog
- Constant illness (lowered immunity)
- Cravings for sugars and carbs
Health problems linked to parasites
- Multiple sclerosis
- Kidney stones
- Leaky Gut
- Crohn’s disease
How to get rid of parasites
Successfully getting rid of parasites requires a multi-pronged approach. Unfortunately, it usually takes more than simply popping a few pills or taking an herbal supplement. First and foremost, your immune system will need to be strengthened in order to withstand the toxins created by the die-off of parasites and rebuild your gut microbiome.
Boost your immune system
A healthy diet – free of processed foods, vegetable oils, sugars, and starches – is defense number one. In addition, foundational health practices such as adequate rest, hydration, physical activity, and stress management are also important.
Other immune boosters include:
- Sunlight – Sunshine increases vitamin D levels in our bodies. Get at least 10-15 minutes of exposure daily.
- Blueberries – Blueberries contain several key phytochemicals which have been shown to boost killer T-cells in our bodies.
- Raw honey – Raw honey contains beneficial probiotic bacteria which boosts the immune system and helps balance the bacteria in our guts. Conventional, processed honey (which is little better than pure sugar) does not have the same effect.
- Garlic – Garlic is anti-microbial and anti-fungal. Add it to foods just before serving or take it by the teaspoon by mixing minced garlic to olive oil.
- Ginger – Ginger helps decrease inflammation in the body. Use fresh ginger in cooking or grate it and add to tea.
- Vitamin C – Find it in spinach, citrus fruits, broccoli, red peppers, papaya, and kiwi.
- Fermented foods – Foods such as sauerkraut are beneficial for restoring proper gut bacteria balance.
- Fasting – Fasting for as little as 3 days has been shown to increase immune function. Intermittent fasting, that is, fasting for a few hours when we skip a meal, is also beneficial.
Go on an anti-parasitic diet
Parasites feed off of sugars, even healthy ones from sweet fruits. To successfully get rid of parasites, it’s essential we severely limit foods high in sugar. These include starchy vegetables (like corn and potatoes), grains (bread, pasta, crackers) and sweet fruits (like pineapple, mango, and bananas).
Try natural remedies to get rid of parasites
- Diatomaceous Earth – These fossilized diatoms are high in silica and have a negative charge. Its extremely hard structure allows it to penetrate the exoskeleton of insects on a microscopic level. The negative charge attracts and binds to positively charged substances such as free radicals. Food grade DE must be used (NOT industrial grade!)
- Activated Charcoal – Activated charcoal acts like a vacuum in the intestines, binding to substances and flushing them out. Be sure to drink plenty of water when taking AC.
- Apple Cider Vinegar -ACV helps balance the bodies pH levels and aids digestion. Although other fermented foods such as wine and beer can feed parasites, the same is not true of apple cider vinegar. ACV is not fermented in the same way and produces a far different reaction in the body.
- Cinnamon – Cinnamon can naturally get rid of parasites. Try creating a drink with water, ACV, stevia, and cinnamon. Drink up to 3 times per day.
- Anti-parasitic herbs – Try oregano oil, thyme, peppermint, rosemary, wormwood, black walnut, clove, turmeric, barberry, goldenseal, anise, cayenne and Oregon grape. These can be taken as a tea or tincture.
- Cucumber seeds – Cucumber seeds work well to remove tapeworms.
- Raw pumpkin seeds – Raw pumpkin seeds (not roasted) can kill parasite eggs and paralyze parasites so that they drop off the intestinal wall.
- Papaya seeds – Papaya seeds mixed with honey and taken orally have been shown to clear the intestines of parasites.
- Sweat it out – Sweating is a good way to remove toxins via the skin! Try a sauna or hot bath with Epsom salts.
I hope these tips help! However, please consult your naturopathic or functional medicine doctor for a full protocol. Many of the suggested herbs and remedies should not be taken during pregnancy or if you’re on any prescription medications. It’s important to do your research!
Have you ever had parasites? How did you get rid of them? Let me know in the comments!
Hi! I’m Liane, a self-proclaimed ‘scrunchy mom’ (as in semi-crunchy). I have a passion for all things natural, healthy and holistic. My aim is to inspire you on your healthy living journey by sharing simple, everyday habits that can transform your well-being and life.