Parasites (and other microbes): What’s in your body?
Unfortunately, they could be living inside you right now. Yes, parasites -those disgusting wormlike microbes that reside inside of a host, stealing nutrients and excreting toxic waste. We tend to think of this being the stuff of jungle tribes. Yet even in our developed country microbes such as parasites, bacteria, yeast and fungus can be linked to a multitude of diseases and chronic conditions. In fact, recent studies estimate that 85% of the adult population of North America is infected with at least one form of parasite!
Microorganisms such as those listed above can lie dormant in the body for many years until they are “awakened” by certain foods, medications, chemicals or immune dysfunction. How did they get in there in the first place? Undercooked meat, especially beef, pork and raw fish, contaminated water, travel to undeveloped countries, unwashed fruits and veggies, exposure to animals (that includes pets!) and mosquitoes are the most common sources. The good news is there are natural ways to prevent these bugs from setting up house in our body, or at least lessening their stay, even after we have been exposed. Check out these methods to get rid of parasites in your gut:
First and foremost, maintain a healthy colon. Constipation, leading to the buildup of fecal matter on the colon wall, provides an ideal breeding ground for these nasty bugs. Take a high quality probiotic daily to insure that you have an abundance of “good” bacteria to overpower the parasites and harmful bacteria. Lots of fiber in the diet is also very effective at keeping these guys at bay. Psyllium husk is my fiber of choice.
If you suspect that you are infected with microbes of any kind, it is prudent to avoid all sugars, as this is their food of choice. Also take as much of the load off of your liver as possible by eliminating alcohol and both environmental and food-based chemicals. The less junk that your liver must filter out through the day, the more energy can be spent to rid your body of these unhealthy bugs. Many folks also find periodic colon cleanses helpful in eliminating any foreign invaders. There are a variety of cleansing kits available, most of which use some form of fiber along with anti-parasitic and anti-fungal herbs together or at different stages in a daily regimen.
How do you know if these bugs have taken up residence in your body? A few of the most common symptoms of parasites in humans include: a bloated tummy, inability to lose weight, dark circles under the eyes, teeth grinding, bad breath or body odor, anal itching, sinus congestion, fatigue, moodiness, diarrhea or constipation. That doesn’t help a bit, does it?! These symptoms obviously have a wide variety of causes, so it is difficult to pin any one of these on a case of the worms! So here is what I think….
If you take care of your colon, eat healthy foods and avoid anything processed, take in plenty of fiber (that is very significant) and if you include in your daily regimen a couple of “parasite-destroying” foods or supplements, on the whole, you’ll keep these guys out. If you already have a chronic condition or are in a diseased state, you may have to go a bit further than mere “maintenance” and undertake a more structured colon cleanse.
Some of the more common parasite destroyers …
BLACK WALNUT – The dried and ground green hull of the Black Walnut contains tannin, which is organic iodine, as well as juglandin, extractive matter from the juice of the green shucks of the walnut. Black walnut has been used for centuries to expel various types of worms, including parasites that cause skin irritations such as ringworm. It oxygenates the blood, which also helps kill parasites. Black Walnut is very effective against tapeworms, pinworms, Candida albicans (yeast infections) and malaria. It is also effective in reducing blood sugar levels, and helping the body rid itself of toxins.
WORMWOOD – This is one of the MOST POWERFUL tools in the parasite-killing herb kingdom. It is most effective against roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and pinworms. Wormwood contains the potent chemicals thujone and isothujone, which are the primary components that kill parasites. Wormwood also helps produce bile, which in turn helps the liver and gallbladder.
CLOVES – Cloves contain eugenol, caryophyllene, and tannins, which are powerful antimicrobial agents. These components travel through the bloodstream, killing microscopic parasites and parasitic larvae and eggs. I personally love my Clove Essential Oil which can be diffused or taken internally – 1 drop in 8 oz of water. It’s interesting that cloves are also effective at killing Staphylococcus and Streptococcus bacteria. Keep this in mind when you are hearing about antibiotic-resistant germs. There are other options, and this is one of them.
THYME – Thyme contains flavonoids that are most commonly known for their antioxidant activity, and thymol and carvacrol, which are effective in killing bacteria, fungal infections, and yeast infections. Thyme is especially effective in killing hook-worms, roundworms, threadworms and skin parasites. Thyme also destroys Cryptococcus neoformans, Aspergillus, Saprolegnia, Salmonella typhimurium, Staphylococcus aureas, and Escherichia coli.
GARLIC – Garlic is known to slow and kill more than 60 types of fungi and 20 types of bacteria, as well as some of the most potent viruses known to humans. Garlic has a history of killing parasites and controlling secondary fungal infections, detoxifying while gently stimulating elimination, and has antioxidant properties to protect against oxidation caused by parasite toxins. It’s been shown to eliminate candida albicans (yeast overgrowth). I personally love garlic, but my family doesn’t love being around me after I eat it!! So, I take Kyolic garlic capsules with each meal. You can’t go wrong with this supplement, as there is no garlic flavor or aftertaste.
CAYENNE – A member of the Capsicum genus, known for assisting with assimilation, healing, improved circulation, cleansing, indigestion, urinary tract health, colds, flu and other benefits too numerous to mention, cayenne also destroys parasites.
GINGER – The components of gingerol, the active constituent of fresh ginger, destroys parasites including the roundworm, the blood fluke, the anisakid worm, and the Salmonella bacteria.
Then there are the “detoxifiers” ….
MILK THISTLE – Silymarin is the primary component in Milk Thistle that removes liver toxins. Milk Thistle promotes liver cell regeneration, and its antioxidant action protects against cell damage from toxins. Milk Thistle is most helpful in cleansing the toxins given off by parasites.
MARSHMALLOW ROOT – Marshmallow Root contains mucilage, a gummy substance obtained from certain plants. When Marshmallow Root gets wet, it becomes soft and sticky, which soothes the mouth, throat, stomach and intestinal tract. When parasites are dislodged from body tissue, they can leave an open sore. Marshmallow Root coats these sores so there is less irritation.
PAU D’ ARCO– Pau d’Arco is used for Candida, yeast infections, fungal infections, viral infections, and
parasitic infections. It also helps relieve cystitis, prostatitis, ringworm, gonorrhea, and syphilis. Pau D’Arco is one of the most powerful antioxidants known, and stimulates the immune system. Pau d’Arco also helps relieve leaky bladder syndrome.
BURDOCK – Burdock removes accumulated waste and toxins from the skin, kidneys, mucous and serous membranes. A very effective blood purifier, Burdock is wonderful for head, face and neck skin problems including, eczema, psoriasis, boils, carbuncles, eyesores, and dermatitis.
LICORICE – An anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic and mild laxative. It purifies the organs and the endocrine system, especially the liver.
Lastly, this stuff will move those bugs right out!
BARBERRY – The ingredients of Barberry, columbamine, berberine, and oxyacanthine, have antibacterial and antiviral properties. Research indicates that berberine in Barberry is specifically effective against cholera, giardia, Shigella, Salmonella and E. coli. The berberines aid in the secretion of bile and are good for liver problems. It is also a mild laxative, and helps the digestive processes. Barberry helps to purify the respiratory and digestive systems, and also has an antiparasitic effect.
CASCARA SAGRADA – Also known as Buckthorn, Cascara Sagrada stimulates increased wavelike contractions of the intestines, helping to expel parasites. It is highly recommended during parasite removal and colon detoxification and is considered one of the safest laxatives.
SENNA – Senna is a powerful laxative that is excellent for expelling worms. Senna works best when combined with other anthelmintic herbs (used in the treatment of roundworm), such as ginger or fennel. These herbs increase regularity and reduce the chance of bowel cramps due to Senna’s strong action. Senna effectively cleans the elimination system, and has a vermifuge action that repels parasites.
SAGE – Sage has the power to relax the muscles lining the digestive tract. Sage contains relatively high levels of thujone which is the same ingredient in wormwood that kills parasites. Sage is also used to increase circulation, and is considered an excellent remedy for poor digestion and stomach problems.
PSYLLIUM – Removes toxins from the colon and is especially useful in cleaning out all of the pockets in the colon wall. Psyllium swells up to 50 times its size, and is powerfully effective in removing waste and toxins from the colon.
PEPPERMINT – Peppermint is well known for relieving indigestion, but it also relaxes the stomach muscles, relieves gas, and is also good for nausea and vomiting. Peppermint also has antiparasitic properties.
Have a great day!
Sue Hughes, MSEd, HHP, CNC
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