Eating for One: Eliminating Harmful Parasites (Phase II)
We now know that a possible underlying cause of chronic digestive issues could be parasites, which literally eat away at our health and vibrance. When these parasitic intruders camp out in our body, they cause physical trauma to our intestines, deplete our vitamin and mineral reserves, and create toxic byproducts that depress our immune system. Parasites inevitably affect our whole body. Remember, everything is connected, so when one part of our system is damaged, other parts of our body are overburdened to compensate and bring us back into balance. Over time, this takes a significant toll on our overall energy and health.
As previously outlined, the first step to treating parasitic infections involves eliminating foods that parasites feast on, including sugary, processed, and high fat foods. The primary focus of phase one is gently detoxifying our body with whole plant foods, including plenty of green smoothies and juices, veggies, fruits, nuts, and seeds. While we’re busy cleansing our body with mostly raw plant foods, we’re simultaneously starving and weakening the parasites. It’s important to stay in this phase for at least two weeks. However, if you’re under the impression you have a chronic parasitic infection and/or you’ve had long-term digestive issues with little success with other treatments, a month is ideal.
Phase two involves attacking the parasites now that our body is cleaned up and their food supply has been removed. They are now starving, weak, and vulnerable, which is the perfect time to attack them with some of the following parasite-ridding herbs:
Black Walnut: The dried and ground hulls of black walnut contain antiseptic, germicidal, anti-parasitic, and laxative properties. It has been commonly used to kill parasites in the herbal world for centuries. Black walnut’s oxygenating effect on the blood, as well as its tannin (organic iodine) content, makes this herb an excellent treatment for parasitic infections, specifically tapeworms, pinworms, and Candida albicans.
Wormwood: Specifically named for its ability to destroy parasites, this bitter herb is incredibly effective against roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and pinworms. Wormwood contains thujone, isothujone, and santonin, which are known anti-parasitics in the herbal kingdom. Wormwood also stimulates the liver and gallbladder. These detoxifying organs are important to help our body eliminate waste and cleanse our body of parasites.
Cloves: When ridding our body of parasites, it’s equally important to kill all parasitic larvae and eggs as well. Cloves contain eugenol, caryophyllene, and tannins, which travel through our bloodstream killing all parasites and their larvae and eggs in every stage of development.
Barberry: A berberine-containing herb, barberry plays a dual role in fighting parasitic infections. Firstly, it aids in the secretion of bile, is a mild laxative, and assists with digestion. These digestive properties are important during parasite removal because they are ultimately expelled from the body through the colon. Barberry helps keep our digestive system running efficiently throughout the process.
Secondly, barberry contains the active ingredients columbamine and oxyacanthine, which are effective fungicidal and anti-parasitics.
Oregon Grape Root: Another herb that contains the dual-action ingredient berberine, which assists in digestion while fighting most forms of bacteria, viruses, fungus, and parasites.
Burdock Root: A powerful blood purifier that removes waste from the body, burdock root is also used as an effective anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-microbial.
How to Treat
The herbs identified above are a good place to start after you’ve completed phase one of treatment and are ready to start incorporating parasite-ridding herbs into your regimen. Black walnut, wormwood, and cloves are an incredibly potent and effective trio that have been used in herbal medicine for centuries.
Though you could source the dried herbs individually and dose as instructed on the label, the most convenient (and least overwhelming) approach to treating a parasitic infection is using a prepared, encapsulated formula, such as HUMAWORM. I prefer this particular brand because they use all organic ingredients at an affordable price. It’s also a 30-day treatment, as opposed to other treatments that take 90-days to complete. Interestingly, their formulation is no less effective than the longer treatments I have researched. Click on the link above for a detailed list of the ingredients, as well as the unique purpose of each herb.
It should be noted that when researching prepared herbal remedies for parasitic infections, some will indicate that changing our diet will have little to no impact on the efficacy of the treatment. I couldn’t disagree more. While an herb may serve its therapeutic purpose regardless of diet, the basis of treating any ailment with natural alternatives is bringing our body back into balance, maintaining homeostasis, and preventing future recurrences. If we don’t identify and remove the underlying factors, we are not experiencing true health. So, again, I must reiterate the importance of committing to phase one prior to starting phase two.
What to Expect
During phase two, it’s important to continue eating plenty of mostly raw leafy greens, fruits, and veggies. Ongoing cleansing is always a fundamental part of optimum health, especially during times of correcting an imbalance such as this. Many people report experiencing detoxification symptoms during phase two, which are also referred to as die-off of the parasites. These symptoms range in severity, depending on the magnitude of the infection. The good news is that because we already began gently cleansing our body and weakening the parasites in phase one, the herbal phase shouldn’t be as intense. Some may experience headaches, body aches, fatigue, body odor, sinus drainage, gas, bloating, diarrhea, etc. Remember, this is not your forever, and in a couple weeks, you will start feeling cleansed, energetic, and vibrant.
Phase three, which emphasizes overall maintenance and prevention, will be discussed in detail next week, so stay tuned!
Murray, M.T., & Pizzorno, J. (2012). The encyclopedia of natural medicine. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, Inc.