If you thought doing a parasite cleanse once is enough to get rid of parasites, you might not understand the tenacity of these pests and how often the symptoms of parasites might reappear — and yes, we’re talking in humans here, not just man’s best friend. <<insert shudder
Just today I was couch shopping (not as fun as it sounds when you’re striving for non-toxicity AND juggling dust allergies), and when I told the salesperson that we needed leather because of dust allergies, he assumed I wanted it to be wipe-off-able, easy to clean.
He showed us a new polyurethane covering that is very easy to wipe off, and when I explained that dust allergies are about dust mites crawling through the fabric and literally filling the inside of the couch, he stopped cold.
“Oh my gosh…that’s terrifying. I’m going to be thinking of that every time I sit on a couch now!” the unenlightened millennial yelped. I don’t think he heard me say, “Pillows are worse,” or he might not have continued helping us.
The microscopic critters that inhabit our world are no joke, and even though we know that many of them are beneficial, thanks to research on the microbiome, we still have to share space with others who are out to get us.
Quite a few years ago, I dabbled with a parasite cleanse for the first time (you can read the story here), and now I know that (a) I probably didn’t do it faithfully or long enough, and (b) once is never enough.
Just like those dust mites, multiplying tens of thousands at a time, it’s a constant battle to keep your body to yourself when it comes to parasites! I’m glad that I had a second experience with a pathogen purge through Gut Thrive in 5 (read about that here) and then AGAIN after a stool test showed that I had another new little friend in my bowels (story to come soon)!
That old post is helpful, but I wanted to provide more accurate and comprehensive parasite cleansing info, so I asked the foremost expert I could find to do an interview with me. When I got to sit down with Dr. Jay Davidson, I was thrilled. (Yes, we natural health people get excited about weird things, like talking about poop and parasites!)
Dr. Jay Davidson is a well-known parasite and Lyme Disease expert in the natural living/functional community – his superpower is how he makes things easy to understand, really bridging the gap between the scientific health community and the layperson.
He started in the Midwest as a chiropractor but built up expertise because of his wife’s chronic Lyme Disease (which often co-factors with parasites). Go to his site to read his story of his wife’s battle for her life and how Dr. Jay’s research saved her.
Obviously he was motivated to dig deeply, and his research is unparalleled, helping him become a two-time #1 international best-selling author. He also has developed products and programs directed by his research to help others out there.
To truly balance your health, your system has to be balanced. Parasites are anti-Kitchen Stewards because they eat too much food, thereby wasting your money, drain your energy, and make you feel a little crazy trying to figure out what’s going on. That’s not feeling balanced!
If you want to know whether or not you have parasites you can read about the symptoms of parasites here. Spoiler alert: do you have parasites? Probably yes!
If you like to listen instead of reading, here’s the full video interview with Dr. Jay:
Would you rather skim? We got your back. 😉 Here’s the edited transcript of the focus of this post, how to get rid of parasites (and keep them away).
As you read, note that “I” the first person is Dr. Jay, not regular old Katie, who should take this opportunity to remind you that I’m NOT a medical professional, just a passionate mom, and researcher who gets to interview really smart people. This is never intended to be medical advice, simply educational for the sake of learning (and squirming, as you’ll see in a sec here…).
The Difficulty of Getting Rid of Parasites
Just a couple of years ago, scientists found some parasites that were frozen. They believe one was about 30,000 years old, and another one was about 40,000 years old.
After being thawed, the parasites started moving and eating again. Parasites are the most resistant type of critters around because they’ve developed many self-defense mechanisms.
They can be tricky to clear out of the body because they want to steal things from you, but they don’t want to kill you. If they kill you, they lose the host. So basically they want to make you suffer.
Types of Parasites in Human Bodies
There are many different types of parasites that affect humans.
The intestinal parasites probably get the most attention because people think all parasites are in the GI tract. They assume that’s what’s causing colitis and Crohn’s and IBS and all these types of digestive issues — clearly, they’re a huge piece of it.
However, parasites also love the upper GI tract: they love the liver bile duct; they love the pancreas and can cause blood sugar issues and diabetes; they love to go systemic.
There are certain parasites that love the muscle tissue. So if you exercise and get really sore the next day and can’t even exercise, it could literally be that there are parasites inside your muscles.
You are basically stressing the muscles out, and the parasites are producing toxins. You feel like garbage the next couple days, because of the toxins.
Parasites can be in the brain. Parasites can be all over the body.
The key is that there are hundreds of different species that can affect humans.
When we run a lab test, most are stool samples, but not all parasites are in the intestines, and not all parasites come out with every stool that you clear out of your body. Just relying on a stool sample isn’t really accurate.
I’m hoping lab companies will continue to expand and understand so we can test for more species.
Methods of Killing Parasites
It seems simple: parasites, let’s just kill them! But they have really amazing survival mechanisms built-in.
I’ve written about herbs, essential oils, paying attention to the full moon, anti-parasitic drugs, and the diet. Let’s overview each of those as a way of ridding the body of parasites.
Herbs for parasites are amazing!
When you have a prescription drug like an anti-parasitic medication, it’s very specifically targeting something. What’s nice about herbs is they have broad-spectrum functionality.
There are herbs like clove or vodanga or triphala that will not only cover certain parasites, but they’ll cover some fungus, bacteria, and viruses. When you kill parasites, you will essentially help to shift the immune system into balance, which then will allow your body to start going after these chronic viruses, like Epstein-Barr, that have been ravaging the body.
Inside of parasites, we can find mold spores, certain viruses, and bacteria like Lyme disease, which can release when you attack the parasites.
When you’re doing a parasite cleanse, it’s important not just to take anti-parasitic medicine but also be supporting the immune system broadly. The immune system needs to clear out these toxins that may be released.
That’s really the reason that there’s a modern-day parasite epidemic right now.
There’s a modern-day toxicity epidemic that’s creating an environment allowing these critters to thrive. The toxins create an environment that the parasites get attracted to so we not only want to clear parasites, but we want to open drainage pathways and get rid of toxins so that our terrain isn’t friendly for the parasites.
Note from Katie: That’s one of the reasons I used the “sludgy cocktail” as described in this post about how we used diatomaceous earth and bentonite clay as part of a parasite cleanse type program.
I’m a really big fan of herbs. I have no problems with other tools, but herbs seem to be the most powerful, first line of defense for killing parasites.
Essential Oils to Support a Parasite Cleanse (but they don’t actually get rid of parasites)
I’ve experimented a lot with internal essential oils, and I’m just not sure the risk of them being so strong internally outweighs the potential benefits.
I prefer to apply oils externally. One example would be using blue tansy over the liver bile duct area.
When it comes to parasites, essential oils are best used for minimizing symptomatology.
They can be really helpful in calming the body down and minimizing die-off symptoms, helping with sleep, and helping with energy because when you are killing parasites, it can be stressful on the body at times.
Read more from Dr. Jay on essential oils for parasite cleansing.
“The efficacy of EOs is tough to speak on because there’s virtually no research on ingesting oils for parasites.
One word of caution is that we cannot assume that essential oils have the same effect as the whole-form herb that it’s extracted from.
We see this with cilantro and heavy-metal chelation. The essential oil from cilantro is virtually no help, whereas the herb can do wonders.”
(More from Dr. Z. on essential oils, including a masterclass that is available right now for free!)
Can Changing Your Diet Help Get Rid of Parasites?
Diet is always controversial.
People tout carnivore and keto for getting rid of parasites, and then you’ve got the other side of the spectrum, plant-based and vegan and everything in between.
I like to eliminate processed food, and sugar.
However, parasites get attracted to sugar. When you’re parasite cleansing, a little bit of sugar can bring them out so that when you’re taking the herbs, you could potentially hit the parasites a little harder.
Parasites Linked to Dairy Sensitivity
Parasites really love proteins.
They especially love milk protein. A dairy allergy is one of the number one signs and symptoms that you have a parasite infection.
Parasites eat that milk protein, and they produce the byproduct, which essentially is just parasite poop, we react to it, and then our brain equates that to having a sensitivity to the food when it’s actually the parasites’ byproduct that we’re reacting to.
Honestly, the best diet out there for parasites would be water fasting.
When you’re not eating, you’re starving them down.
When you’re hungry, the question to ask yourself is, “Is it actually me that’s hungry or is it the critters inside?”
How to Take Herbs to Kill Parasites
Take your anti-parasitic herbs anytime you feel hungry, wait 20 or 30 minutes, then eat.
Now you’ve pushed them back, and you’re more likely to absorb the nutrients from your food. The parasites won’t be able to steal them.
We’ve seen clients with horrible diets who haven’t changed and still get rid of parasites, and other people with super clean diets who get rid of them. I always favor cleaner food and a healthier lifestyle, but in all reality, you don’t have to have a perfect diet to clear parasites out.
Phases of the moon show the best time to kill parasites
The full moon is usually when parasites are most active, and the second most common time is the new moon.
This isn’t woo-woo; it’s as scientific as the tides. Plus, ask any teacher – kids get zany when a full moon is approaching!
Phases of the moon can make parasite cleansing more or less effective at various times of the month, so any initial parasite cleanse should last at least 90 days to cover all the phases.
Subsequent cleanses could be 3-7 days over a full moon, with the full moon day in the middle. Anti-parasitic herbs and an anti-parasitic diet will be the most effective during those days, and typically you’ll feel better, less awry, during that full moon phase as well.
Dr. Jay spoke more on how the full moon affects intestinal worms, so please read all about timing your parasite cleanse there!
Maintenance After Getting Rid of Parasites
After you kill off your parasites we want to focus on maintenance.
Back in the day, farmers would cleanse their animals and their family members every spring and fall. We recommend at least 30 days every six months as far as maintenance.
A lot of people choose just to focus over the full moon, so they’ll cleanse for a few days every full moon for a few months. If they’re feeling well, then they’ll space out to every other or every third full moon.
If symptoms start to flare with stomach distress or seeing oddities in the stool, OR if it feels like something is working, both are reasons to extend a parasite cleanse to make sure the critters are finished off and cleared out completely.
Just think, we’re basically an onion. We’re peeling back the layers. Certain pathogens and parasites will clear out first, allowing you to get to the deeper ones, and then get to the deeper ones. You can’t get to them all at once.
Just like when you’re peeling onions (unless you have contacts in!), you’ll have some tears sometimes, and that’s part of the journey. But that’s really how we’re going to get deep in and clear out these critters that have been taking or stealing nutrients from us for so long.
I always recommend opening up drainage pathways, making sure you’re pooping, supporting the liver bile duct, kidneys, lymphatic system, and mitochondria.
Most people don’t understand the science behind the role the mitochondria plays. They do so much more than just creating energy, but they’re really critical with apoptosis, which is cancer.
They’re really critical for the immune system and chronic infections. When someone has a chronic infection, essentially that has caused the mitochondria to go into hibernation mode.
Once you start clearing parasites out, that allows you to fully clear out mold in the body, heavy metals, radioactive elements, and other toxins that are being stored. It also allows you then to finally get into the deeper, smaller chronic infections such as Lyme disease, Bartonella, babesia, these different viruses, and retroviruses.
Parasites have got to come first before all that other stuff.
How do I get Started Getting Rid of Parasites?
I have an at-home program that includes a really extensive parasite cleanse, and I’ve formulated some products that can help people with these.
I take a four-pronged approach to killing parasites.
- Get the drainage pathways moving: With the parasite process, you want to open up the drainage pathway, you want to support mitochondria energy, and then really embark on a parasite cleanse.
- Use anti-parasitic formulas: See above for my favorite herbs.
- Bind and remove: When you’re parasite cleansing, it’s not just taking anti-parasitic herbs — which are important and extremely helpful — but you also want something to bind onto the toxins. As you kill parasites, you basically have toxins floating around, and to minimize symptomatology, you want to take some binders, like bioactive carbons to help bind onto those things.
- Choose a diet with anti-parasitic foods.
You’re not going to battle, you’re going to war.
It’s a journey. This isn’t a sprint. This is thinking long-term.
You want health? You want wellness? You want to be free so you’re not having to enter into the medical system?
It takes effort. It’s a lot of work.
But your other option is sickness, disease, and bankruptcy. I think going the healthy route is the proper one for sure.
Thank you, Dr. Jay Davidson!
For more, here’s a free guide to help you figure out if you have a parasitic infection or learn more about Dr. Jay’s At-Home Program for chronic health conditions, including Lyme Disease, which includes an extensive 7-month parasite cleanse.
Dr. Jay’s message is simple: No matter how bad things seem right now, there is hope! It can get better and you can heal.
We can help you make the massive health transformation you need so that you can live the life YOU deserve.
Dr. Jay Davidson D.C., PSc.D. completed his undergraduate studies at University Wisconsin La Crosse Majoring in Biology with biomedical concentration and chemistry minor. He received his doctorate of chiropractic degree at Northwestern College of Chiropractic in Minnesota.
Dr. Jay Davidson focuses on functional, natural medicine. He is a husband and a father. He is also a prominent speaker and a two-time #1 international best-selling author. Dr. Jay has been a speaker on a wide range of summits and docuseries, along with hosting seven of his own.
Dr. Jay Davidson is admired for his ability to bridge the gap between the scientific health community and the layperson. Dr. Jay Davidson is an ambitious researcher and clinician in the health world. His At-Home program is his private community that walks you through his exact protocols that changed his wife’s life from a near-death experience with Lyme disease. He is also the co-founder of Microbe Formulas.