Icky Icky Bugs Bugs - In Your Belly
Let’s talk parasites!! There is a common misconception that parasitic infections are rare. The truth is we all have parasites in varying degrees. (Sorry to break the news over the internet!)
We acquire parasites in many different ways: walking barefoot outside, eating raw fruits and veggies, eating undercooked fish, raw fish, and undercooked meats. We can even get some from our fur babies. (I know !!) Even traveling can make us susceptible to parasitic infections! Drinking unclean water, swimming in unclean lake water, etc.
Parasites tend to thrive in bodies that have high heavy metal loads, weakened immune system and poor diets.
Some of the symptoms of a parasites in the gut are:
itchy anus, especially at night
weakened immune system
more than one vaginal yeast infection
difficulty sleeping and waking up
history of antibiotic use
history of anti fungal use
Parasites and eggs can take up residence anywhere in the body. I’ve heard of cases of parasite eggs in the spine and in the jaw!
Some of the ways to prevent parasite infections are to make sure you have strong stomach acid formation! I often recommend supplementing with hcl if the digestion is sluggish (or in some cases too fast). Stomach acid keeps the bugs away and creates a hostile and volatile environment that they can not live in. Celery juice can be beneficial for increasing stomach acid in some people. In other people, celery juice is more harmful than helpful.
Whole food vitamin c is important too because it has the right copper ratio. Vitamin C helps keep the immune system functioning optimally, so that these opportunistic pathogens do not have a hospitable environment to thrive in.
Supplementing magnesium daily (stay away from citrate and natural calm!!) is SO important for gut, digestion and 300+ metabolic processes in the body. Magnesium is also a natural chelator and removes aluminum from the body.
Boron is another mineral that is essential for keeping the immune system strong and keeping heavy metals away while making your body an inhospitable environment for bugs.
So we covered how to keep the body strong in an attempt to prevent parasites, but what do we do if we’re actually infected with parasites? Well, there are various herbs that have been used historically to get rid of parasites. I DO NOT recommend doing a parasite cleanse on your own. It is important to work with someone who knows what they’re doing. The detox pathways NEED to be opened prior to a parasite cleanse, or any major detox. Parasites, in particular, release ammonia, which can cause really horrible die off when not managed properly. When I work with my clients, the body is always brought up to baseline before doing any deep detoxification.
Assuming your body is now ready for detoxification, then you might look into the use of some remedies for eliminating the bugs .
When starting a parasite protocol, it’s best to go in the cycle of the moon. Around the full moon is when they are most active. Usually it’s recommended to do about 10 days on, one week off, then 10 days on. You do this for about two moon cycles, sometimes alternating months.
Papaya seed has been used historically to get rid of parasites. Not only do they cleanse the liver, they also kill the bugs so you can eliminate them. They are best eaten on an empty stomach, though some people love adding them to smoothies!
Wormwood (artemisia absinthe) is used to kill intestinal worms, especially roundworms and pinworms. This is NOT suitable for children under age 13. It can impact their endocrine system. It is also not recommended for long term use.
Black walnut hulls (juglans nigra) have been used in herbal medicine for thousands of years. It has been used to treat a variety of ailments, including parasites. They can be used for up to two weeks at a time fairly safely. Do not use during pregnancy or illness. It is a very strong herb. This is generally safe for use in kids, depending on age, health and length of time used.
Food grade diatomaceous earth is another ancient parasite remedy. It can be used around the house or yard as a natural, non toxic, pest remover. It can be fed to animals as a natural de-wormer, sprinkled on their food. DE is made of diatoms, shells that break up into tiny pieces. They actually cut up the bugs. It can be compared to tiny shards, while still being harmless to our intestinal lining. When using this, it is important to drink EXTRA water. It is very binding. This is another one that’s pretty safe for use in kids, especially if pinworms are present.
Clove is a fairly well known anti parasitic. It helps protect against amoebas, worms, fungi, bacteria, and a variety of viruses.
There are so many more, including raw garlic, ginger, pumpkin seeds, grapefruit seed, etc.
Some other changes that can be made during, and even prior to a parasite cleanse include:
Sweating several times weekly. Sweating helps detox toxins that parasites have bound to, in addition to encouraging removal of those pathogens as well.
Probiotics can help boost the immune system. We like spore based probiotics, like MegaSpore. It helps keep the body functioning well, the immune system strong, and encourages regular bowel movements.
Coconut oil is a natural antifungal, which helps boost the immune system, clear out candida, and eliminate parasites indirectly.
Movement is super important for the overall body. It moves the lymphatic system, and increases circulation while boosting the immune system. The movement doesn’t have to be vigorous, even walking or some gentle yoga can help!
There are a few important things to remember prior to doing a parasite cleanse.
The detox pathways must be open.
Gut healing protocol must be used simultaneously.
Binders are really useful to prevent die-off reactions.
Drainage is ESSENTIAL.
When parasites die, the release a number of toxins, including ammonia. These toxins can make us very sick. Feeling die off or “herx reactions,” is a sign that you are killing them more rapidly than your body can handle. It’s a sign to SLOW DOWN. We make sure to use homeopathic drainage tinctures when doing any sort of cleansing or detoxification (which is about once a year). I take the drainage remedies any time we start to feel sluggish, run down, congested, or headaches. We use Lymph Tone I, II, or III depending on what we test well for.
We do annual parasite cleanses in our house. For everyone. The people and pets alike. I give my kiddos homeopathic remedies for parasites, the animals get pumpkin seed powder, and coconut oil, and I muscle test myself for the remedies that my body needs in that time.
If one person in the household is suspected to have parasites, everyone should be treated. They are very easy to transmit. Towels should we washed daily during a cleanse, sheets and pillows should be changed every other day during a cleanse.
Homeopathy as a parasite elimination tool, has proven to be pretty effective, especially with kids. This can be a great alternative for little ones who need support in their immune systems so their bodies can get rid of anything that shouldn’t be there.
Now, the thing to remember is that this doesn’t have to be scary. Learning about the bugs that live inside us can feel really overwhelming, but the truth is, it’s not a huge deal. Some level of bugs are normal, we have all kinds of bugs living inside and outside of our skin. The issue is when they are thriving in the environment of our bodies. It used to be common practice for farmers, especially, but all people, to participate in “annual de-worming.” It wasn’t until the 70s that The Who decided this was no longer necessary. I’m not sure how they drew that conclusion, but they did.
As you can see, parasites are responsible for a whole host of issues, and can often indicate other underlying issues. This information is not intended to be scary, but empowering. We have the ability to choose how to care well for our bodies and to eliminate pathogens that are not helping us.
Please consult with your practitioner prior to starting any new cleanse, detox or protocol. Die off reactions are common, but they are not normal. The worse the die off, the worse you feel. Having a die off reaction means that you are killing off toxins faster than your body can eliminate them. This is not a good thing. Work with someone you trust to guide you through this process.