Need a natural parasite cleanse? Know the symptoms of parasites? They’re more common than you think. Find out how to rid yourself of parasites. You could be feeling relief from symptoms in just ten days! Parasites can be a pain, but there is a way to get rid of them.
Sometimes the world of natural health can simply get overwhelming.
While the age of the Internet has probably done more to fuel hypochondriacs than any other time, it also helps many people learn more about home doctoring and how to take care of themselves. It’s a delicate balance, one that I hope I’ve achieved through this theme of Natural Health Month.
As a blogger, I tend to get into more conversations (and get more advice) from the KS community than I imagine most average Joes and Janes do. Everybody wants to help!
When I was fighting some candida symptoms a few people emphatically recommended I check out lists of symptoms of parasites in humans. I did, and I thought, “Hmmm, that does sound like what I’m dealing with.” If you’ve read KS the last few days, you’re familiar with my story of recognizing candida symptoms and treating candida naturally, but also that the rash has begun to come back lately.
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Part of the recommendation during a parasite cleanse is to eat “cleansing foods” and eat simply, and I figured Lent was a much better time for that than December! I purchased figs and made sure I had a stock of homemade crispy pumpkin seeds (no hurt feelings there, yum), since they were two foods pointed out at TriLight’s parasite cleanse recommendations.
In case you’re wondering – and now don’t try too hard to see yourself in this list; I don’t want to stress anyone out! – here are the
Symptoms of Parasites in Humans
- gas and bloating
- irritable bowel syndrome
- joint and muscle aches
- cravings, especially sugar
- skin conditions – mostly irritation/itching at nose, ears, eyes, anus – but also potentially rashes, hives, eczema
- sleep disorders
- hyperactivity, anxiety
- teeth grinding
- chronic fatigue
- fuzzy thinking
- runny nose
- blisters on lower lip inside mouth
- loss of appetite
- bad taste in the mouth
- vomiting (may return several times a year)
- may have trouble gaining weight, children especially
- long-term presence may contribute to the development of food allergies
- dark areas under eyes
- yeast/candida infection, especially if it returns
If you’re not sure you even need to consider doing a parasite cleanse, you can order your own test through DirectLabs to find out if you have worms. Tests don’t guess.
How Widespread are Parasitic Infections?
This site says over 50% of Americans have a parasitic infection, and Livestrong quotes the World Health Organization: over 3.5 million people worldwide are infected with parasites, BUT also states that Americans are not as susceptible as others because of our general sanitary environments.
In my conversations with TriLight Health about the issue, they say that ALL of us have parasites of some kind.
The University of Maryland says, “Parasites can live within the intestines for years without causing any symptoms.” Lovely. They also peg “Exposure to child and institutional care centers” as one possible “cause” of a parasitic infection, which pretty much describes all children attending school, correct?
Parasites are apparently quite contagious, especially when people don’t have perfect hand-washing habits (what child doesn’t touch their mouths at inopportune times?).
Soooo…does that mean everyone who sees some of the symptoms of parasites on that list should do a parasite cleanse? Some would say yes, yearly. What do you think?
Need Some Baby Steps?
Here at Kitchen Stewardship, we’ve always been all about the baby steps. But if you’re just starting your real food and natural living journey, sifting through all that we’ve shared here over the years can be totally overwhelming.
That’s why we took the best 10 rookie “Monday Missions” that used to post once a week and made a printable checklist so you can track your progress.
Sign up to get the checklist and weekly challenges and teaching on key topics like meal planning, homemade foods that save the budget (and don’t take too much time), what to cut out of your pantry, and more.
For me, I see just a few of the symptoms, especially that candida rash, gas, and teeth grinding. I kept thinking about my son’s mild eczema, chronic throat clearing a few years ago, chronic cough all last winter, and the fact that he grinds his teeth at night (I can hear it when I check on him and give him a kiss in the middle of the night) and can’t gain weight to keep his pants up. See how easy it is to think your family has just about every problem in the book?
I was going to have my son do the cleanse with me, but I chickened out. I just wasn’t sure and wanted to do it myself first.
How to do a Parasite Cleanse
I followed TriLight’s 3-step process and asked their staff questions for clarification, so I’m happy to be able to offer you a most comprehensive “how to” guide. Note: This is one form of a parasite cleanse. There are many options! After I tell you “my story” of how it went for me, I’ll detail some of the others out there that I know to be authentic.
Step One: Weaken parasites
For about 10 days, take 2 garlic capsules with each meal, or 3 times a day. This helps to loosen the parasites’ hold on your body. There are other anti-parasitics that are possible, but they recommend garlic, so I went with that.
To do it again, I think I’d hit the little buggers even harder with a mixture of diatomaceous earth and bentonite clay. (Be careful not to inhale the diatomaceous earth while working with it!) The trouble is that this can constipate you, so you’ve really go to drink enough water and then maybe take a break at 7 or 8 days instead of the full 10.
Mix 1/4 tsp DE with 1 tsp. clay in 8 oz. water with a half of a lemon or lime, juiced (for flavor). Drink that down before bed each night. You can work up to 1/2 tsp. DE.
- 1 lb. diatomaceous earth (food-grade ONLY) should be enough, but Amazon also has good reviews on a 2-lb. bag of another brand
- bentonite clay from Redmond, my fav company in the world. I have seen where this is mined in Utah! It’s sold as a facial mask, but it IS food grade.
I wrote here about a modified fast my husband and I used to kick off a parasite cleanse.
Step Two: Flush parasites out
This is where the herbs come in. I thought it was interesting that many of the same herbs recommended here to treat candida are the same ones in TriLight’s Worm Out formula, including Black Walnut, Pau d’Arco, thyme, burdock, wormwood and cloves.
Take 1/2 teaspoon per 25 lbs. body weight every 3 hours. Or so. If you can only fit it in 2-3 times a day, that’s okay too. I took it straight – it tastes like dirt, but worse. You can put it in water to cut the taste, but then you have to drink more of the bad-tasting stuff of course.
Not recommended for breastfeeding or pregnant moms.
This herbal supplement from Body Ecology came highly recommended to me but I haven’t tried it yet – it contains natural herbs and botanicals like coriander, black walnut, cloves, and basil leaf to target a wide range of parasitic species.
At the same time on your parasite cleanse, continue to eat “cleansing foods,” meaning those that will help you avoid constipation and keep your bowels moving so that any parasites that are killed can exit the body via a natural way.
Interestingly enough, I started the parasite cleanse at the same time as we went grain-free for Lent, which usually increases my bowel movement frequency significantly. Instead, I was a bit constipated on the Worm Out and things changed the very day after I stopped the first 10-day regimen. Perhaps I needed to drink more water and eat more figs and prunes. ???
Other Formulas for a Parasite Cleanse (part 2)
If you just want something on Amazon, you might not get the right blend or potency, but there are a few that caught my eye:
- This one seemed to have the most ingredients that matched Worm Out, but also many different ones.
- This one from GoNutrients has some of the big ingredients too.
- This one only lists wormwood and garlic but has a lot of social proof in the reviews.
- Note that I did not test these formulas nor do I know anything about them; they just have similar ingredients to TriLight’s.
Here’s what the head of TriLight shared when I asked more about the cleansing foods; I thought it was very helpful:
First let me say we are NOT saying you need to do a cleanse. We believe that should be supervised. What we are saying is do not be constipated when you start your parasite program. Be sure you’re having a few bowel movements a day by eating foods with fiber.
It is important to make sure that before you try to get rid of the parasites, they have a way to get out of the body. The most logical and easy way would be through the colon. If you are constipated and you try to cleanse, this could be painful and toxic. Cleansing foods are a good idea. Foods that contain sugars and carbs are going to certainly attract the parasites but so would unclean veggies and hands.
The list would include raw fruits with plenty of fiber, organic if possible, especially since during the cleanse you want as few toxins in your body as possible to minimize any headaches. Which ones? Just to mention a few: oranges, tangerines, papayas, prunes, figs, dates, apples, mangoes, kiwis, berries, etc. Prunes and apples will for sure do the job and if you have to eat fruit these two are the probably the best as we don’t want to eat a lot of sugars and give the wrong message to the parasites to stay!
Note from Katie: most other sources say to avoid high-sugar foods like dried fruit, so I’m wondering about prunes and figs…
Second, Vegetables. Full of fiber. Please remember that once you start the Worm Out this is the BEST category to stay in with your meals as it will keep the colon moving and with the least amount of sugars. Eat them in smoothies, salads, steam them, mix them with eggs, along with meats. Kale has become my favorite but broccoli, celery, lettuce, spinach, beets, Brussels sprouts, turnips, artichokes, parsnips, etc. This pizza hash would be a perfect breakfast!
Third, Whole Grain Breads have lots of fiber. This is only if you have to eat breads and only at the start. I wouldn’t recommend it, but it does have fiber. I find if I buy or make a loaf, I feel like I have to eat a whole loaf. All those carbs=sugar to the parasites. If you need a whole grain gluten-free bread, try this 7-minute GF flatbread. It’s amazing! You could even put fresh garlic with butter and salt on top…
Fourth, Nuts and Seeds. They are high in fat but they do have lots of fiber. Eat them raw, without all the fried oils and salts. Throw them on salads, mix them into the veggies.are the best by far, whole flax seeds, pine nuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds are great on salads, coconut if you want.
So eat your fiber – low-sugar fruits, leafy greens and salad, raw veggies, legumes, possibly whole grains, etc. Drink plenty of water.
Step Three: Strengthen the body to prevent re-infestation of parasites and worms
After 10 days on the Worm Out, you continue to eat lightly and take a high quality probiotic. I switch up my probiotics from time to time but one of my favorites is Just Thrive — check prices at Perfect Supplements (use the code KS10 to get 10% off) or Just Thrive’s site (use the code Katie15 for 15% off!). Just Thrive is well researched to make it through the stomach acid alive to get where it really needs to go — the intestines.
Since I was also taking probiotics with the garlic and the Worm Out, I spaced out the actual ingesting of them so that I wasn’t interfering with the garlic by covering it up with a probiotic right away and vice versa.
Keep off the junk food and drink plenty of water, and after 10 days on the probiotics, most people will need another 10 days of the Worm Out, then back to the probiotics.
I wondered how I was supposed to know how many sets of 10 days to complete…
How do You Know if the Parasites are Gone After a Cleanse?
The signs of parasites can be numerous but usually the one that convinced you to start the program has gone away after one set of ten days on the Worm Out formula and then ten days off, ten days back on for a total of 30 days of controlled dieting and cleansing. (so 40 days with the garlic too)
My Experience with the Parasite Cleanse Protocol
Taking garlic capsules for ten days is not a big deal at all; the hardest part is remembering to do it.
Worm Out is a little more annoying, for a few reasons:
- Liquid means you have to grab a spoon – I started just leaving the same one out on the counter with my bottle so we didn’t have a spoonless household. Silly, but true.
- It tastes terrible, no joke. Just gotta be tough!
- Every 3 hours was just unrealistic for me. I couldn’t keep it up. I lowered the bar and shot for 2-3 times a day, thinking that something is better than nothing.
As I mentioned, Worm Out did seem to constipate me, but I don’t know that I was ideal on my “colon cleansing foods” and water intake especially. I have noticed that very stinky, stinky, gas has increased, but I can’t quite remember if it was during or after the Worm Out regimen. Aren’t you glad you read my thoughts online instead of in person now? :/
Probiotics for ten days was also easy, since that’s part of a routine that’s important to me and I’ve pretty much got it down so that I don’t miss a day.
I am always grateful for the community at Kitchen Stewardship – it’s like having the smartest natural moms in the world all living right next door. I’ve compiled the best natural remedies for 12 of the most commonly discussed ailments here at KS, and am making this resource available for free to all my readers!
Imagine this ebook as a virtual chat over the backyard fence with your own neighbor, a wise older mom who raised a bunch of kids with intention, trying to avoid unnecessary medication and being kind to the earth.
Some Quality Probiotics
Some of these I’ve used, some I’m planning to use, and some have been recommended by friends and professionals alike. It’s good to remember a few things about probiotics: 1. People should get different colonies of probiotics, so switching brands/strains every so often (6 weeks?) is good practice. 2. What works great for one person’s needs doesn’t always work for another. These can be very different! A one-day trial to Probiotic Advisor might help you get up on current research quickly if you’re really digging in; otherwise, here are some to narrow down the thousands of brands out there.
I’ve personally tried:
- Just Thrive Probiotics – this one can be taken during antibiotics and not be rendered ineffective, which almost all other probiotics are! It’s the top recommended probiotic overall by Paleo Mom Sarah Ballantyne. 😮
- RightBioticsRX – the top recommended probiotic of all soil-based options by an expert I’ve been working with. Read more here. Use Subscribe and Save to save more!
- Note: If you’re struggling with digestion, especially constipation, or you feel like you really need to populate your gut with healthy probiotics, I would recommend Saccharomyces Boulardii in addition to any other you choose (except the 2 above which include this strain). Saccharomyces Boulardii is research-proven to get through the digestive tract without being killed, which is rare.
- Seed Daily Synbiotic – the new player in the field but recommended by superstars like Chris Kresser for its unique probiotic/prebiotic synergy. I’m currently testing this one out at the Kimball house but trust its background enough to recommend it heartily already! And I talked their team into giving me a code KITCHENSTEWARDSHIP to give my audience 15% off the first month of your Daily Synbiotic subscription. Score! Check out the eco-friendly packaging; I’m super impressed.
- Balance One probiotics with a unique time-release formula (watch for discounts on the site; there’s almost always one there!)
- Miessence Liquid Probiotic – notes: this is the easiest for kids to take because it’s liquid on a spoon, no powder to hide in smoothies and no capsules to swallow. If you’re on a no-sweetener diet of any kind, it does have agave so could be a no-no. Gluten-free.
For Little Ones (we use all of these):
- Mary Ruth’s liquid probiotic is a soil-based, liquid probiotic that doesn’t need to be refrigerated and tastes like…nothing! It’s my new favorite for administering to kids!
- WellBelly by WellFuture (9 strains of probiotics in apple and banana carrier – it’s a powder)
- Buddies in my Belly probiotic powder (2 strains of probiotics + potato starch carrier and prebiotics) or chewable tablets
Recommended by experts I trust:
- Biokult – highly recommended by many, including the GAPS diet
- Klaire Labs Pro-biotic complex V-caps or Ther-Biotic Complete (25 billion CFU)
- Probiophage DF (7 dairy-free strains)
- Transformation Enzymes (5 billion CFUs by may get through digestive tract…)
- Primal Blueprint (6 strains, 10 billion CFUs)
- Pharmax high potency (4 strains + FOS) or long-term HLC maintenance (2 strains)
- Pro-Bio from Enzymedica (8 strains)
- Syntol from Arthur Andrew Medical (13.6 billion CFUs with prebiotic, spore germinating blend, yeast cleanse)
- ProBio 5 from Plexus has been recommended many times, but it’s also, I think, an MLM so it’s possible the recs weren’t so authentic…?
- Dr. Mercola’s probiotics
Other Options for a Parasite Cleanse
Plenty of practitioners dig into parasites either as their main focus or as part of a healing program, since not much can get done in the body if parasites are prevalent. Here are some that I know are highly respected by a group of naturally minded practitioners I’m in:
- Dr. Jay Davidson is so into parasites that he hosted “The Parasite Summit” a few years back, and getting rid of parasites is part of his At-Home program with over 150 videos to help you kick many chronic diseases (especially Lyme Disease). Find that here, or try his less expensive Ultimate Coffee Enema Program, also one way to kick parasites.
- Microbe Formulas has a couple options for parasite cleanse actions, including this cool “Full Moon Kit” — they even host full moon challenges. Did you know parasites are more active during a full moon? #freaky #helpful They’re also more susceptible then… Mimosa Pudica seed and a combo of herbs is yet another option.
How Castor Oil Packs Support Parasite Cleansing
Dr. Marisol Teijeiro (the Queen of Thrones) suggests using these castor oil packs to help during a parasite cleanse. I didn’t actually know a whole lot about why or how this works, other than it can help with bowel movements. So I asked Dr. Marisol to explain to my readers how a castor oil pack can help rid the body of parasites. This is what she shared:
In India, and countries in the Caribbean and tropics, a weekly purgation is done with castor oil in order to prevent parasites. I’ve heard this cleansing practice described by so many of my patients:
“I remember every Sunday my mother would make my sisters and brothers and I take a tablespoon of castor oil, down the hatch!”
However, as a naturopathic doctor, I don’t necessarily recommend the oral consumption of castor oil as it has a laxative effect. Instead, a daily practice of the castor oil pack is a gentle yet effective tool to help with parasite cleansing.
Castor oil packs help to balance the microbiome via biofilm breakdown1 2 3, reduce inflammation4 and lower stress through compression of the pack5 6, all of which make the body a less hospitable environment for parasites to live in. They are an excellent complement to a parasite cleanse because they supply antioxidants that help us detox like glutathione7 and vitamin E8, and support healthy bowel movements to move parasites out of the body. In fact, castor oil packs have been shown to be as effective as conventional laxatives but without negative side effects9, and they improve smooth muscle function of the digestive tract10, allowing parasites to effectively pass in stools.
Dr. Marisol Teijeiro‘s references are cited at the bottom of this post.
Did the Parasite Cleanse WORK?
When it came time last week to start a second round of Worm Out, I admit – I chickened out. My back-of-the-neck rash was not getting better at all, and might even be starting to get worse. I know that sometimes when curing something like this, there’s a “die off” sort of reaction that means I’m winning the battle, but the symptoms are going to get worse first, then better.
The tricky, mentally exhausting part about self-treating and natural health is the questions, the “not knowing.” What if all this is a bad sign, that my body doesn’t like these herbs, rather than a sign that I’m healing? I didn’t see any positive results from the Worm Out, and I started wondering: What if I don’t have parasites at all? Is it possible I could do more harm than good?
My contact at TriLight Health with all the good info shared this:
This a great question: We ALL have bacteria, parasites, and viruses in our body, it’s a matter of keeping them under control with strong immune systems and by having some choice of which bacteria we want to have that can be good for us in that – we’re going to be populated, but with what is the question. If we do not choose, life will choose for us and we have all kinds of illness labels to describe them!
I was encouraged by a recent reader comment on Facebook:
I switched to a healthier diet 2 yrs ago, my little boys ate everything in sight and were always hungry!!! This spring I did a parasite cleanse with them, and was amazed at how much their hunger was cut down!! They are 7, 5, & 3, growing boys, but I knew they still were eating too much. So that may be something to think about, along with yeast/candida (we did a cleanse for that too).
In retrospect…I wish I would have completed 10 more days. 🙁 That rash continued to plague me for FOUR more years, until my husband and I did a program for 13 weeks called Gut Thrive in 5. It includes a whole lot more intensity than this parasite cleanse, and it’s good for many different issues with the gut – including parasites, go figure.
It wasn’t even until a few months after that program finished, in the maintenance period, that I suddenly realized the rash was actually GONE. And it didn’t come back. If only I had worked harder at the parasite cleanse in 2013, augh! Despite my own trepidation, I feel like if you have a hunch you need a cleanse, you should look into it. (Remember I’m not a doctor, nurse, or anyone who matters…make your own wise decisions.)
You can read about the beginning of Gut Thrive here and you can read about my experience killing parasites with Gut Thrive here. And it went well but as you’ll read at the end of that post I ended up testing my stool for a parasite and still had one in there. It doesn’t mean I didn’t do a good job it just underscores the idea that we all should test if you even at all suspect you have parasites because tests don’t guess.
Other Natural Health Posts:
- Fighting Infection without Antibiotics
- Are Hand Sanitizers Safe?
- Get Rid of Warts Naturally
- Natural Remedies for Ear Infections
- Real Food BRATY Diet
- How We Kicked Whooping Cough
- Natural Pneumonia Treatments For Toddlers
- Natural Remedies for Croup
Dr. Marisol’s references:
1 Andrade IM1, Andrade KM2, Pisani MX1, Silva-Lovato CH1, de Souza RF1, Paranhos Hde F1. Trial of an experimental castor oil solution for cleaning dentures. Braz Dent J. 2014 Jan-Feb;25(1):43-7.
2 Badaró MM, Salles MM, Leite VMF, Arruda CNF, Oliveira VC, Nascimento CD, Souza RF, Paranhos HFO, Silva-Lovato CH. Clinical trial for evaluation of Ricinus communis and sodium hypochlorite as denture cleanser.J Appl Oral Sci. 2017 May-Jun; 25(3):324-334.
3 Salles MM, Badaró MM, Arruda CN, Leite VM, Silva CH, Watanabe E, Oliveira Vde C, Paranhos Hde F. Antimicrobial activity of complete denture cleanser solutions based on sodium hypochlorite and Ricinus communis – a randomized clinical study.J Appl Oral Sci. 2015 Nov-Dec; 23(6):637-42.
4 Vieira C et al. .Effect of ricinoleic acid in acute and subchronic experimental models of inflammation. Mediators Inflamm. 2000;9(5):223-8
5 Walker SC1, Trotter PD2, Swaney WT2, Marshall A3, Mcglone FP4. C-tactile afferents: Cutaneous mediators of oxytocin release during affiliative tactile interactions? Neuropeptides. 2017 Aug;64:27-38. doi: 10.1016/j.npep.2017.01.001. Epub 2017 Jan 19.
6 Rolls ET et all. Representations of pleasant and painful touch in the human orbitofrontal and cingulate cortices. Cereb Cortex. 2003 Mar;13(3):308-17.
7 Holm T, Brøgger-Jensen MR, Johnson L, Kessel L. Glutathione preservation during storage of rat lenses in optisol-GS and castor oil. PLoS One. 2013 Nov 19;8(11):e79620. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0079620. eCollection 2013.
8 Marwat SK, Rehman F, Khan EA, Baloch MS, Sadiq M, Ullah I, Javaria S, Shaheen S. Review – Ricinus cmmunis – Ethnomedicinal uses and pharmacological activities.Pak J Pharm Sci. 2017 Sep;30(5):1815-1827.
9 Arslan GG, Eşer I. An examination of the effect of castor oil packs on constipation in the elderly. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2011 Feb;17(1):58-62. doi: 10.1016/j.ctcp.2010.04.004. Epub 2010 May 18.
10 Sorin Tunaru,a Till F. Althoff,a Rolf M. Nüsing,b Martin Diener,c and Stefan Offermannsa,d,1 Castor oil induces laxation and uterus contraction via ricinoleic acid activating prostaglandin EP3 receptors. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Jun 5; 109(23): 9179–9184. Published online 2012 May 21. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1201627109 PMID: 22615395