I’ve done a form of parasite cleanse 3 times, all with varying results. The first time, I was a little wimpy and skeptical and probably gave up too early.
The second time, I had a much more effective pathogen purge program that used diatomaceous earth to weaken the parasites and other pathogenic organisms first, and it was far more effective (see my experience below).
The third time (details to come), I actually tested my poop first to find out what kind of parasites I actually had, and there was still one in there! Gah!
That attempt was two full years after this Gut Thrive in 5 pathogen purge, to be fair, so it certainly doesn’t mean it didn’t work, but it definitely points to the fact that a parasite cleanse really may be something people need often, even if (and sometimes especially if) they eat “clean” foods.
If you aren’t familiar with Gut Thrive in 5, it’s a five-step program to lead people through what would be expensive custom protocols to heal their gut, but at a DIY pace.
People on the program often find relief from all sorts of skin conditions, leaky gut, IBS, brain fog, autoimmune diseases, and more. My husband and I gave it the old college try back in 2017.
Back then, I shared about the diet phase of the program, and the next step was called the pathogen purge.
When I was researching for more information on parasites, I discovered that many people recommend diatomaceous earth as the front runner in their parasite cleanse.
What’s interesting about the Gut Thrive pathogen purge is that it not only functions as a parasite cleanse, but also tackles viruses, bacteria, fungi, and more. It’s a three-step process including weaken and bind, kill, and remove. It’s at least a three-week commitment.
I noticed right away that the steps mirror the processes in other attempts to deal with unwanted organisms within the body.
- My first parasite cleanse had three parts: weaken, flush out, strengthen the body.
- And when I tackled a candida rash, that also had three parts: starve, kill, rebuild.
In Gut Thrive in 5, the next phase of the entire program is to reseed and heal the gut. (So really, the steps are all there, just described a little differently.)
Basics of a Pathogen Cleanse
A pathogen purge or parasite cleanse is not for the weak of heart. Gut Thrive in 5 was already a complex program with many dietary protocols, habits to add to our day and supplements to juggle. Going into the pathogen purge, I wrote in my notes, “So much info and things to add at once. Totally overwhelming. Would be worth doing a transition week to ease into the new habits bit by bit before starting the new supplements.”
I was starting to feel like I didn’t want to do it, that it would be too hard. However, I had already invested quite a few weeks into the process and couldn’t possibly give up now!
I wasn’t sure how many of the pathogen purge practices I could keep up on. My biggest fear was that coffee enemas had entered the schedule! And there were so many reasons I did not want to do that (ahem), everything from the time it would take to the thought of sticking something in my behind!
Although there were many pieces potentially in the pathogen purge, all designed to keep the system moving and make sure we could excrete anything that we might have been killing, I figured I could at least accomplish the basics.
Step 1: Weaken and Bind the Pathogens
Christa, the creator of Gut Thrive in 5 says:
An herbal anti-parasitic program can provide great strides in both gut and immune health. We must first open up the biofilms or little shelters that pathogens live inside of so that we can eliminate them most effectively and with the least amount of damage to the gut lining.
This is why we love proteolytic enzymes (which digest foreign proteins in the body), as well as biofilm disruptors like diatomaceous earth. It acts like tiny little razor blades to the biofilms, opening them up. Then we use top-quality clay to carry them out of the body.
Then we are free to approach the parasite, depending on the nature of it with effective, yet low dose antiparasitics such as garlic, black walnut, turmeric, pomegranate seeds, raw pumpkin seeds, cloves, and wormwood. Make sure to eat plenty of raw green pumpkin seeds and pomegranate seeds when trying to eliminate parasites!
Here’s where we see the benefit of having an expert on your team, because it would be easy to read that diatomaceous earth kills parasites somewhere online and assume that that would be the end of the story. As it turns out, the diatomaceous earth’s job is to slice those biofilms, basically exposing the parasites for the next step.
I have no idea what would happen if you used just diatomaceous earth but not the clay to bind and remove that which you have sliced up. But it could be pretty risky. Proceed with caution. And I highly recommend following an approved parasite cleanse protocol with diatomaceous earth, like the pathogen purge in Gut Thrive in 5.
I’d like to officially offer my own email support to anyone from KS who joins Gut Thrive in 5, on top of the support and knowledge base that Christa’s team offers. My husband and I have already discovered some tricks to make life a little easier as well as sifted through some of the confusing information in the member portal, and we’d love to help you get off on the right foot. If you buy the course, email me and I’ll be there to help!
Step 2: Kill the Pathogens
After three weeks of drinking diatomaceous earth and clay in water every night, we started to formally attack the parasites and other pathogens.
- Biocidin – That site advised beginning with 1 drop of the liquid and gradually increasing up to 5 drops 3 times per day or “as directed by your healthcare professional.” It also says, “Not for use during pregnancy.” and it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor before starting a new supplement.
- Oil of Oregano
- Anti-pathogenic herbs based on plan
Remember that Gut Thrive in 5 has four different unique plans to fit with what people are mostly dealing with in the gut. These supplements are taken at all sorts of times of day, and you practically need reminders in your phone all day long just to remember when to take them. Please don’t try to DIY this as I’m just telling my story; I’m not a practitioner and Gut Thrive is a professional, structured program.
Step 3: Remove the Pathogens
All of this hard work doesn’t do much good if we can’t get the dead little buggers out of the body.
When taking diatomaceous earth and clay, constipation is a major risk, which is why another supplement is part of that protocol to attempt to improve motility. A lot of the optional techniques that I was only so-so at keeping up with are also important for relieving constipation and completing this “remove” step, which is very important.
I’ve already shared a lot of Christa’s ideas for battling constipation. But I didn’t talk at the time about enemas. Look out everyone, here they come!
Isn’t a Parasite Cleanse Just a Hoax?
Listen, I wrote a whole post on doing a parasite cleanse that has helped thousands of people over the years according to statistics, but that doesn’t mean that this was easy for me. It was actually a massive challenge, both psychologically and emotionally.
Because it’s so hard to see the progress, it’s hard to know for sure if this pathogen purge was going to help. And because sometimes there are die-off reactions that are explained away as a good thing (you know, getting the bad guys out), my analytical brain questions, “What if this is actually bad for me? What if I’m doing something to hurt myself?”
I’ve seen a lot of reader objections to a parasite cleanse as well, such as, “It can’t be measured.” And I totally understand. My husband and I had the added complication of some of our children getting a stomach virus just as we were beginning to get into the pathogen purge protocol part of Gut Thrive.
All our observations were confounded. Was my stomachache and fatigue a result of our pathogen purge, or was I starting to come down with something? Was my husband’s headache and diarrhea a problem with trying to kill parasites, viruses, or fungi, or was he just getting a stomach virus?
This is a great example of why natural health and being your own doctor can be frustrating because there are so many moving parts when it comes to the human body and our health. I am also someone who doesn’t exactly have extra time sitting around with nothing to fill it with. So the fact that a lot of these protocols and habits required half an hour here and 15 minutes there often made me want to throw up my hands in despair and give up.
Is it a hoax? Now that I’ve had a stool test that showed that I definitely had a parasite, I’m inclined to think NO. I needed to get that little nasty out of there! (More on that later but for now, this is the service I used and recommend for stool testing.)
My Experience with Diatomaceous Earth and the Sludgy Cocktail
Christa calls this lovely little drink for the pathogen purge a sludgy cocktail. It’s eight ounces of water plus diatomaceous earth and high-quality clay (I’m a huge fan of Redmond Clay; use the code kitchenstewardship for 15% off of your first purchase), starting with lower amounts and working up to more.
We had to get that down every night before bed! Hot tip: squeeze half a lime into anything like a sludgy cocktail to make it much more palatable.
Consuming clay internally is supposed to be binding, both to bind the biofilms and dead organisms as Christa explained, but it’s also generally binding when it comes to bowel movements.
My first reaction to the sludgy cocktails was massive constipation. And note that I already suffer from everyday constipation, but this was even more extreme. I would go two days without a bowel movement, and at first, they were very hard and dark, nearly black.
I’m guessing that’s a result of the clay and diatomaceous earth, but it doesn’t feel encouraging.
This was psychologically anxiety-inducing because I know constipation is the enemy of a pathogen purge or parasite cleanse. Because I was more constipated than ever, I felt like it was going to stall any and all progress.
Whatever good I was doing to kill the pathogens, they shouldn’t be allowed to hang out in the colon for so long. And I felt a great urgency to get things moving better so that I could detox and avoid painful symptoms of the pathogen purge!
Hitting the Dip
I took pretty good notes as we went, and it’s so interesting to look back and see both logistical details and the emotional toll this was taking on me.
This was a week or two into the “Path Purge:”
- For a few days now I’ve just felt like it’s way too hard. There are too many things to add for the pathogen purge, I am not eliminating well at all, and I’m really frustrated that my constipation has gotten WORSE since eating better! NO FAIR! I want to whine and fuss and kick my feet like a little child, honestly. I admit I haven’t been doing everything on the list of things I could do to help constipation – but see above, it’s just too much sometimes. I did get some exercise in, a nice early morning walk yesterday, and I thought surely that would get things moving. I try to drink enough liquids but that is hard – I’m thirsty all the time. My husband doesn’t even know what thirst feels like! Is that a sign of something bigger wrong with me? Hopefully the hormone testing will help us figure that out.
- As a sign of my hopelessness, we ordered an enema bucket. Ick. That really wasn’t something I was wanting to do – it’s supposed to be in the morning when every parent, of course, has an extra half hour to stick something up their butt and lay around quietly for 20 minutes. Ha! We’ll see how that goes. Maybe before that I should try some of the lesser invasive, time-consuming things. Even if I do 3 techniques it probably won’t take a full half-hour. Sigh.
- We have to just keep plugging along and waiting and observing, but I will admit that I’ve said to him, “If you decide it’s just too much, too much sacrifice for unknown gain, we can pull out or pull back. You gotta be honest…” It’s really me saying that half of me wants to cry “uncle” but the other half is firmly dedicated to never giving up (and not wasting money – this has already been a big investment, plus the time and sacrifices we’ve already made. I definitely feel like we’re far enough in that there’s as much to lose as to gain.)
- I learned something this week – when I feel just FULL, with no explanation; when I have a little trouble getting a full breath because my trunk feels full “up to here” (to my neck); when my belly looks pregnant or I just feel FAT like I can’t even suck in to make it flat; when I questioned, “Am I bloated from that meal?” Well. All of that, I now think, is constipation. Since I’m examining my elimination more carefully in this process, I actually notice when I’m not eliminating at all and how uncomfortable – and familiar – it feels.
- I also notice that when I do have small BMs, it’s really not completing the process so whenever I reassured myself, “I’m not constipated, I poop 4-5x/day!” it probably wasn’t accurate because they weren’t quality enough eliminations. Good grief. This sucks.
My Experience with Coffee Enema for Detox
This was the part I was super afraid of. But something had to happen so that I could get the junk I was killing out of my body.
The supplements I was taking to alleviate constipation along with the sludgy cocktail for the pathogen purge just weren’t doing the trick. So it was time to bring out the big guns! (The enema was technically part of Gut Thrive in 5 anyway, but it was one I was hoping to skip over.)
- Organic enema coffee who knew butt coffee could be so expensive? Egads! It doesn’t smell anything like real coffee, so don’t get your hopes up…
- Stainless steel enema bucket I know, I know, this is on your Christmas list already, right?
I have a very supportive husband who prepared the coffee, read the directions, and told me what to do so that I could get over my block of this technique. The instructions said to attempt to hold the coffee in for 20 minutes and then sit on the toilet.
Being the competitive person that I am, I figured that should be my minimum.
We put a space heater in the bathroom, laid down a towel for the bottom end and a folded-up comforter and pillow for my head, and I got a podcast going to listen to.
Then after about 15 or 16 minutes, disaster. There was no fighting nature any longer!
As I attempted to rotate my body and shoot from the floor to the toilet faster than the speed of you-know-what, the liquid my husband and I affectionately refer to as “butt juice” made a lovely arc across my bathroom floor.
Now, you know, I really trust and love you guys to share this information. Pinky swear you won’t tell anyone?
I was mortified.
It felt like everything I had eaten for the past week along with that quart of coffee – or maybe it’s just a few cups? – came out in one fell swoosh.
It’s really quite a powerful experience. But I’m not sure whether this comes as a good recommendation or not!
Incredibly, it felt like I still might be able to go more. But when my patience was exhausted, nothing had come out.
This is what I wrote about the night’s experience:
“Eventually I gave up, cleaned the bathroom, took a shower, started the laundry and was getting a drink when UH OH! I almost crapped my pants! Juice squirt started coming and I just made it to the bathroom to eliminate more coffee enema. What? It was an hour later. How in the world do you know when you’re safe to leave the potty??? After that, I didn’t poop for 2 full days again. Then it was time to pivot…”
I did continue doing the enemas off and on, but admittedly we worried a little about dependency on the enemas. I don’t want to teach my body that I need that to poop!
My pivot was, “I need to actually work on my constipation – it has to be a goal and I have to do some more to tackle it. It’s an actual problem here.”
Here’s what I added to my regimen:
- Jumping on tramp 10 mins as often as I could (see which one we have in our basement at the constipation relief post)
- Aloe vera juice 2 oz. at night before bed
- Increasing to 6 of the anti-constipation supplement
- Moving sludgy cocktail to a.m. after hopefully eliminating
- Decreasing diatomaceous earth by half
- Doing the olive oil chaser 100% of the time
- Gargling 2-3x per day (for gut-brain connection)
- Trying to schedule more detox baths (i.e. a palmful each of Epsom salts, Redmond clay and baking soda)
Honestly, I can’t imagine doing this without my husband too! We do so much to help each other along, from making meals together, adding greens to things, reminding one another of our mid-day and before meal supplements, doing the sludgy cocktails with/for each other, reading about things and sharing info (i.e. I learned about the 4-day fast and sort of “ran” that as well as all our food purchasing and most meals except breakfast; he read up on coffee enemas and totally “ran” that show for both of us).
If you try something big like Gut Thrive in 5 or even just a parasite cleanse, it’s better with friends!
Detox Symptoms on the Pathogen Purge
Remember how natural health is exceptionally tricky not only because of the complexity of the human body and many confounding factors but also because of these “detox reactions” or “die-off reactions?”
At first, we didn’t think we were having any as we got into the cleanse/detox portion of Gut Thrive in 5.
But then started noting some issues…
They make you question if you’re doing the right thing. Now that I’m on the other side and actually have 2 years of hindsight to look at what we did, the long-term results, and even compared to other health efforts, I think it was all positive, but it wasn’t easy.
Here are some of the symptoms we experienced along the way:
- Swollen ankles
- Feeling of muscle weakness in the arms (legs too I think)
- Feeling of lack of circulation in the hands – tingling – like I was trying to do something while raising my arms above my head rather than just scrubbing potatoes in the sink
- Sore joints, stiffness – nothing crazy, but I haven’t done anything to merit being sore
- Not eliminating well – my constipation had actually gotten markedly worse on the Gut Thrive pathogen purge
- CRAZY cravings! I wrote: “I wanted to eat everything I saw! It was very difficult not to eat chips, cheese, fruit, berries, anything really except nuts and vegetables. I was cranky about all the rules. So was that physical cravings? Mental/psychological weakness? Having to do with the time of my cycle? (sort of between phase 1 and 2) I felt bloating or constipation – which one? – but I just wanted to EAT. Not hungry, just WANTING.” Here are some tips for reducing cravings.
- I wrote near the end of the Path Purge: “I’ve had a lot of stinky gas and gas I can’t stop from coming out this week. Hopefully that’s die-off or related to constipation and will STOP at the end of the path purge – because that’s one of the things this diet should get rid of!”
The team at The Whole Journey was very helpful with my questions and gave me new ideas to alleviate the constipation (see above). We made it through!
Common Mistakes When Trying to Kill Parasites, Bacteria and Other Pathogens
Modern medicine typically sends in nuclear bombs and kills everything with antibiotics, and even many natural options still launch a botanical assault on the body. Both can harm our healthy bacteria at the same time as killing the bad bugs.
Keeping our microbiome healthy is imperative for all bodily function, so it’s something to take very seriously.
The Gut Thrive pathogen purge method interrupts the way the parasites and other pathogens communicate and makes the environment unfriendly for them, rather than just sending in a bomb or a destroyer squad.
Christa says in the Gut Thrive literature:
Ten years ago, even, we didn’t understand the true way that pathogens were able to communicate and the way they were able to build colonies. But now that we understand them, we can go ahead and intercept that and really set the stage for powerful re-seeding, which is going to be step three…
The Bottom Line on Battling Parasites and Pathogens with Diatomaceous Earth
Ultimately, diatomaceous earth is not going to be a one-stop killer for parasites, but it’s an excellent lieutenant in the army you send in after the bad guys!
Remember the steps:
- Weaken and bind biofilms (DE weakens, clay binds)
- Kill the pathogens gently with botanicals
- Eliminate the waste through proper detox channels
Our lime-enhanced “sludgy cocktails” and lovely butt juice were a part of our routine for about a month, and I can’t say I miss them (although I’ve been known to ask hubby to make some butt coffee every so often when I realize I’m not having a BM like I ought to). #honesty #itcouldhappentoyou
I do feel like the entire Gut Thrive process was helpful in the long run, and I’ll share more in the next post about how we actually kick-started the parasite cleanse and pathogen purge with a 4-day fast – you’ll learn who thrived on it and who wilted between me and my husband!
Plus I’ll share a full wrap-up of the Gut Thrive in 5 program, and eventually you’ll get to hear about my next discoveries in health as I finally did some testing and discovered, yes, a parasite was in there but also some serious thyroid imbalances and a heavy metal toxicity that may have been at the root of a lot of it!
(My husband did a stool test as well, and 2 years after Gut Thrive had zero parasites. He had his own dysbiosis though…more to come!)
If you suffer from autoimmune gut disorders, h. pylori, IBS, skin issues, can’t lose weight, food sensitivities, leaky gut, constipation, infertility, insulin resistance, migraines, brain fog, bloating/gas/indigestion…yes, all of them! Gut Thrive in 5 is something to take a look at for sure.
Dealing with Parasites Yourself?
I highly recommend working with a practitioner or through a program like Gut Thrive in 5 if you’re dealing with parasites. You know I’m all for doing your own research and taking charge of your own health, but now is not the time to DIY!