How to do a Parasite Cleanse without the Side Effects
Most people think parasites only exist in poor and developing countries or are something they can only pick up when traveling on an overseas trip. However, parasites are everywhere, affecting millions of people in the United States.
What Are Parasites?
Parasites are organisms that live on or in a host organism and feed at the expense of its host. In humans, parasites inside us use up our vitamins, proteins, and other nutrients, depriving us of optimal nutrition. In addition, they steal nutrients from our bodies. They also eliminate waste inside us, releasing toxic bacteria and viruses. Parasites usually live in the colon and biofilms. However, any part of the body is vulnerable to infestation: the lungs, liver, brain, blood, muscles, joints, and skin.
Even if you eat a healthy diet, these unwanted visitors may prevent you from getting all the nutrients from the food you eat, and they may cause a wide range of health issues, with symptoms reaching from mild rashes or headaches to severe illnesses.
Types of Parasites
While some parasites are easy to identify, such as tapeworms, roundworms, and hookworms, most parasites that people suffer from are microscopic bugs such as amoebas or flukes. Though the list of parasites that affect humans is extensive, there are three main types of parasites. These are:
Protozoa: Examples include the single-celled organism known as Plasmodium. Protozoa can only multiply or divide within the host.
Helminths: These are worm parasites, such as roundworm, pinworm, trichinella spiralis, tapeworm, and fluke.
Ectoparasites: These live on rather than in their hosts. They include lice and fleas.
Common Ways Parasites Are Transmitted
There are many ways humans are infected with parasites, from contaminated food and drinking water to touching handrails and walking barefoot on contaminated soil. But, according to the CDC, these are the most common ways parasitic transmission occurs:
Zoonotic Infections: Pets are one common way people are exposed to parasites, as pets can easily carry parasites and pass them on to people. Diseases spread from animals to people are known as zoonotic diseases, and they can be from viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. The symptoms and signs of zoonotic diseases caused by parasites differ depending on the parasite and the person. Sometimes people with zoonotic infections can be very sick, but some have no symptoms and do not get sick. Other people may have diarrhea, muscle aches, and fever.
Blood: Some parasites can be bloodborne. Bloodborne means the parasite lives in the bloodstream of infected people. These bloodborne parasites can be spread by blood transfusion or through sharing needles or syringes contaminated with blood.
Examples of parasitic diseases that can be bloodborne include:
- African trypanosomiasis
- Chagas disease
Many bloodborne parasites spread through insects (vectors), so they are also known as vector-borne diseases.
Food: Numerous parasites can be transmitted by food, including many protozoa and helminths. In the United States, the most common foodborne parasites are protozoa such as Cryptosporidium spp., Giardia intestinalis, Cyclospora cayetanensis, and Toxoplasma gondii; roundworms such as Trichinella spp. and Anisakis spp.; and tapeworms such as Diphyllobothrium spp. and Taenia spp.
These organisms can also transmit by water, soil, or person-to-person contact. Occasionally in the U.S., but often in developing countries, a wide variety of helminthic roundworms, tapeworms, and flukes are transmitted in foods such as:
- undercooked fish, crabs, and mollusks
- undercooked meat
- raw aquatic plants, such as watercress
- raw vegetables contaminated by human or animal feces
Foodservice workers who practice poor hygiene or work in unsanitary facilities can also transmit these parasites.
Insects: An insect that transmits diseases is a vector, and the condition is a vector-borne disease. Insects can act as mechanical vectors, meaning that the insect can carry an organism. Still, the insect is not essential to the organism's life cycle, such as when house flies have organisms outside their bodies that cause diarrhea in people. Insects can also serve as obligatory hosts where the disease-causing organism must develop before being transmitted (as in the case of malaria parasites).
Water: Parasites can live in natural water sources. When outdoors, treat your water before drinking it to avoid getting sick. Water is an essential resource for life. However, when water becomes contaminated by parasites, it can cause various illnesses. Globally, contaminated water is a problem that can cause severe pain, disability, and even death. Common global water-related diseases caused by parasites include:
- guinea worm
People become infected with these diseases when they swallow or contact water contaminated by certain parasites.
Symptoms of Parasitic Infection
Parasites can pass on various conditions, so symptoms are hard to predict. Often, no symptoms appear long after infection, but the parasite can still be contagious to another person, who may also develop symptoms.
There are many types of parasites, and symptoms can vary widely. Sometimes these may resemble the symptoms of other conditions, such as a hormone deficiency, pneumonia, or food poisoning.
Common symptoms that occur include:
- Skin bumps or rashes
- Weight loss, increased appetite, or both
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea or vomiting
- Sleeping problems
- Aches and pains
- Weakness and a general feeling of unwell
- Gas or bloating
- Dysentery (loose stools containing blood and mucus)
- Rash or itching around the rectum or vulva
- Stomach pain or tenderness
- Feeling tired/fatigued
- Passing a worm in your stool
Getting Rid of Parasites
Eliminating parasitic infections is not always easy to do, and it depends on what type of parasite is present and how severe the infection is. However, there are effective ways to eliminate a wide range of parasites, and some methods for doing so are time-tested and have been used traditionally for thousands of years.
One traditional method of detoxing parasites from the body, and one that has had much modern scientific research to back it, is the use of a well-crafted wormwood complex. Wormwood complex is the name given to a formula for killing parasites that contain three essential herbs: wormwood, clove, and green black walnut hulls. Together, these anti-parasitic herbs may kill the larvae, egg, and adult stages of parasites. When used alongside a parasite detox protocol and a healthy diet, it can help to kill the entire life cycle of a parasite.
Parasite Die-Off Symptoms
Often, a parasite cleanse results in the unpleasant experience of parasite die-off symptoms. As parasites die, they give off noxious fumes that could cause you to feel horrible. Sometimes our bodies can't deal with the toxic overload of these harmful substances released rapidly. When this happens, we typically experience die-off symptoms, known as a herx reaction, which may include any of the following:
- Aches and pains
- Skin rashes
- Brain fog
- Food cravings
- Emotional and neurological disorders
- Anxiety and fatigue
- Phlegm or stuffy nose
- Upset stomach
- Flu-like symptoms, including fever and chills
- Skin breakouts
Managing Die-Off Symptoms from Parasites
Though experiencing die-off symptoms from parasites may make you feel like you're getting worse, die-off symptoms are a natural effect of detoxification and a confirmation that you are seeing parasite cleanse results. Symptoms of parasites dying off are signs that your body has something going on in the gastrointestinal tract and that your body is overloaded and detoxing too rapidly. So, if your die-off symptoms are too severe or uncomfortable, it is best to stop taking your parasite detox product until the symptoms subside. Remember, always consult a licensed doctor before taking any dietary supplements. Thankfully, there are ways to manage these parasite detox symptoms better as they occur.
Drink Plenty of Water
Water helps the body get rid of all kinds of toxins, whether from bodily reactions obtained from outside sources or ones that occur because of parasitic infections. Drinking adequate amounts of water is essential for health, but it is crucial for cleansing to help ensure that you are flushing out parasites and the toxins they release.
Support Lymphatic Drainage
Supporting lymphatic drainage is essential during any cleanse as this is one of the body's most important detox pathways. To learn about enhancing lymphatic system health, read our blog, "Lymphatic System | Everything you Need to Know."
Make Sure you are Not Constipated
The colon is also a primary detox pathway, and it is essential to make sure your colon detox pathway is working during a cleanse. We have a simple recipe to help with colon cleansing that you can take daily during a cleanse. Read more about this natural colon cleanse recipe here. Other tips for improving the colon detox pathway include:
- increase dietary fiber in the weeks leading up to and during a cleanse
- consume a bulking agent such as chia seeds daily to help bulk up stool and remove toxins from the colon
- consume adequate amounts of magnesium
- cut back on foods that are low in fiber, such as refined carbohydrates (pasta, bread)
- if constipation is an issue for you and you are new to cleansing, consider doing a series of coffee enemas or colonic irrigations. Make sure to do these procedures with medical supervision.
Get Good Quality Sleep Every Night
Sleep is an essential function that allows your body and mind to recharge, leaving you refreshed and alert when you wake up. A good night's rest is crucial to health, but it is especially important when undergoing a cleanse. Cleansing can be taxing to your body, and for your body to recuperate from the demands of detoxification, getting enough sleep is essential.
Eat A Well-Balanced & Nutritious Diet
Hippocrates, a Greek Physician known as "The Father of Modern Medicine," knew the importance of food for health. He expressed this understanding in the common saying, "let food be thy medicine and medicine be they food." Food contains essential nutrients that the body needs to function, build and repair. When undergoing a cleanse, focus on eating a well-balanced and nutritious diet to support your body cleansing and regenerating during your detox.
A whole-food diet that focuses on organic produce is ideal, and also avoid all processed foods, junk foods, or foods filled with high amounts of sugar or chemical additives. Read our blog "Parasite Detox Diet" for specific guidelines on what to eat during a parasite cleanse.
Schedule Regular Massages During Your Cleanse
It can be very supportive to get regular massages during a cleanse. Massages support lymphatic detoxification because they increase blood and lymph circulation. In addition, bodywork helps the body flush out the toxic chemicals the body is releasing during the detox process and can help to reduce the effect of parasite die-off symptoms.
Spend Time Outside & Breathe Fresh Air
One of the significant organs of detoxification is the lungs. Fresh air helps the airways of your lungs to dilate more fully and improves the cleansing action of your lungs. In addition, when you exhale and breathe out through your lungs, you release airborne toxins from your body. To support the detoxification process and reduce parasite die-off symptoms, spend some time outdoors.
Supplement with a Binder
Make sure to supplement with a binder such as our fulvic acid & trace ocean minerals supplement to aid the body with removing toxins from the body.
How to Reduce the Effects of Specific Die-Off Symptoms
Parasite detox symptoms can vary. For example, you could have a mild headache, digestive discomfort, skin rash, or other parasite detox symptom. Still, regardless of the die-off symptoms of parasites, it is essential to take a holistic approach to manage your parasite die-off symptoms by getting adequate rest, drinking plenty of water, and eating a nutritious diet. However, there are also ways to reduce the effects of specific parasite detox symptoms when they arise.
Common Symptoms of Parasite Die-Off and How to Manage Them
Headaches are one of the most common symptoms of any kind of detox, and they can also arise as a result of your parasite detox cleanse. During a cleanse, one often changes their diet to support the detoxification process. Dietary changes alone can cause the body to react, but the activity of parasite die-off may also cause this. To manage headaches during a cleanse, make sure you are well-hydrated and getting plenty of rest, and also try rubbing essential oil on your forehead and temples. Lavender and frankincense can be effective for relieving headaches.
Fatigue is another common symptom of parasite die-off. Of course, the essential way to reduce fatigue is to get plenty of sleep. During a cleanse, aim to get 8-10 hours of sleep. It may also be helpful to do less physically demanding exercises and focus more on gentle forms of exercise like yoga and stretching. In addition, some nutrients and herbs can help improve energy, such as B-Vitamins, Green Tea, and adaptogenic herbs like Ashwagandha.
Most parasites live in the intestinal tract, so it is common to experience stomach upset when doing a parasite cleanse. In addition, parasite die-off in the gut can lead to uncomfortable symptoms like bloating, constipation, diarrhea, or other digestive issues. To manage these, include more easily digestible foods in the diet like oatmeal, kitchari, rice, soup, and steamed vegetables. It is also beneficial to have herbs and herbal teas like ginger, peppermint, and chamomile, known for their stomach-soothing properties. Read this blog if you want to learn more about home remedies for an upset stomach.
Skin is the largest organ of the body, and it is also a common organ of elimination. The body eliminates toxins through the skin. Some of the die-off symptoms of parasites that you might experience during a cleanse are skin rashes, skin sores, flare-ups of eczema or psoriasis, dry skin, or several other rash-like symptoms. Thankfully, these do not tend to last long if it is indeed a parasite die-off rash. You can support the detoxification process by dry skin brushing to stimulate the lymphatic system and remove some of the dead toxin-containing skin. Rubbing a soothing oil like coconut or jojoba oil on your skin can also help.
During any detox, sleep is essential. However, a potential detox symptom that you can experience is insomnia. There are many steps you can take to overcome insomnia. For example, a warm Epsom salt bath before bed can help the body eliminate some toxins it is processing. You can also help your body ease into a more restful state by sleeping in a dark room, turning off all blue-light sources (phones, TV, computer) at least two hours before bed, and drinking a soothing nighttime tea such as chamomile or valerian root. Additionally, meditation or deep breathing can help calm the mind, often a significant contributor to insomnia. Make sure to check out this blog for nine tips to improve sleep.
Food cravings are very common in many different kinds of cleanses, and they are one of the most common symptoms of parasite die-off. A variety of reasons can cause food cravings. There may have been a food that the parasites were also feeding on, and by cutting out the food, we drive those parasites to lose their food source. They release chemicals that may make us crave those same foods as they die. Food is also an emotional comfort for most of us, and a parasite can be an uncomfortable experience at times. It takes some discipline to deny our cravings, and it helps to remember why we are cleansing in the first place and keep our motivation strong. We can also include some herbal tea in our diet to help fight your sugar cravings—peppermint is perfect for this. Adding healthy fats to our diets, like avocado or coconut oil, can also help the body feel more satisfied, reducing cravings.
Aches and Pains
Aches and pains are another uncommon and uncomfortable symptom that may arise from your body eliminating toxic waste while parasites die. To reduce aches and pains, ensure you are getting plenty of rest, and try taking a warm Epsom salt bath each day. You can also incorporate anti-inflammatory herbs into your diet, such as turmeric with black pepper or chili peppers. Check out our Liposomal Curcumin Tonic; our top recommended supplement for helping lower inflammation.
Anxiety and Depression
Certain parasites, such as Taenia solium, may influence our neurotransmitter pathways, affecting serotonin, GABA, and dopamine levels. To help boost your mood, get out in the sun and soak up some Vitamin D. If you live in a climate or season that does not get much sun, you can invest in a light therapy lamp that may also do the trick. Supplements like L-Theanine found in Green Tea can also help to boost mood. If anxiety is an issue, one of the most effective things you can do is take up a meditation practice and practice breathing exercises. For example, the breathing method of 6-3-9 (which involves breathing for 6 seconds, holding the breath for 3 seconds, and exhaling for 9 seconds) helps stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which is associated with restoration and can be a great way to reduce anxiety and stress.
Parasite Die Off What to Expect
In terms of what to expect from parasite die-off, it depends on several factors, such as:
- the severity of the parasitic infection
- how well your detoxification pathways are working (mainly colon, lymph, liver, and kidneys)
- dosage of dietary supplements
- the diet you are eating
- the amount of movement or exercise you are doing
If you follow the instructions in our parasite cleanse protocol, then when it comes to parasite die-off, what to expect will be:
- more frequent bowel movements (especially in the beginning)
- large bowel movements (also pronounced at the beginning of the cleanse)
- reduction of symptoms (such as digestive discomfort, bloating)
- more energy and mental clarity
Keep in mind. However, everyone's body and the situation is unique, so your experience will also be different from another's. In general, however, you can expect that as parasites die off, your symptoms will also begin to reduce, and you will regain your energy and health.†
How Long Does Parasite Die-Off Last?
When detoxing parasites, people have a common question: "how long does parasite die-off last?" but there isn't a one-size-fits-all answer. It depends on how severe the parasite infection is. However, parasite die-off usually lasts from a few days to a few weeks.
What Does Parasite Die-Off Look Like In Stool?
The most common questions we get regarding parasite cleansing are: "What do parasites look like in stool? What does it look like seeing parasite die-off in stool? Can you see parasites in stool?"
We want to answer these questions so you can be more precise on what to expect when you do a parasite cleanse and know what to expect in terms of seeing a parasite die-off in stool.
For the first question, "what do parasites look like in stool?" it's worth noting that many parasites are not visible to the human eye but are microscopic and require scientific instruments to see. So you won't see these dead parasites in stool.
Helminths, or worms, are parasites that one can often see in stool, but it is not very common. Below are some of the possibilities of what you might see in your stool when passing a parasite:
Roundworms (ascariasis) are among the larger types of parasites. Roundworms in stool look similar to spaghetti and maybe several inches long. They resemble the typical earthworms one might find in a garden. You can become infected with roundworms by contacting infected poop of people or animals. You can also get them by touching infected surfaces, like contaminated soil.
Hookworms are parasites that live in the intestines of infected people. Hookworm eggs (larvae) spread in people with hookworm disease's feces (poop). Many people have no symptoms, but signs of a hookworm infection include skin rash, fever, stomach pain, and diarrhea. You can become infected with hookworm by walking barefoot on dirt mixed with infected poop. Both hookworm and roundworm are "soil-transmitted helminths." Adult hookworms are tiny white worms that are difficult to see with the naked eye. Typically, these are identified by taking a stool sample and using a microscope to look for the presence of hookworm eggs.
Tapeworms are by far the largest parasites that affect humans. Adult tapeworms can measure more than 80 feet (25 meters) long and survive as long as 30 years in a host! They are flat and thin and can coil their bodies along the intestinal tract to fit inside their host. Once inside the body, the tapeworm head attaches to the inner wall of the intestines and feeds off digested food. Pieces of the tapeworm break off and come out of the body in feces (poop) and the eggs they contain. These segments look like grains of white rice or cucumber seeds.
Pinworms are tiny, narrow worms. They're white in color and less than a half-inch long. Pinworm infections are also known as enterobiasis or oxyuriasis. Pinworms in stool look like small pieces of white cotton thread. Because of their size and white color, pinworms are challenging to see. In addition, the male worm is rare to see because it remains inside the intestine. Therefore, it is best to search for pinworms at night when the female comes out to lay her eggs.
Interestingly, "rope worm" is a controversial discussion. Experts have not conclusively decided whether a rope worm is a parasitic worm or merely threads of mucus that look like worms. They tend to be in stool during cleanses, especially enemas and colonics. They look like long thin rope-like strands of mucus in stool.
As mentioned earlier, helminths (worms) are the only parasites in stool that we can see with our naked eye. However, the majority of parasites are microscopic protozoa. Therefore, you may see worms pass in your stool (though this is usually a rare occurrence and most likely only the case with more severe infections). Seeing dead parasites in stool can be alarming, but if it happens, know it is a good sign you are eliminating and should be all the inspiration you need to go the distance in your parasite cleanse.
While we can't see protozoa in stool with our own eyes, a fecal examination done by a healthcare provider can identify protozoa parasites in stool. In this case, collect stool samples before you take any anti-diarrhea drugs or antibiotics. Several stool samples may be needed to find the parasite, and there is also a great likelihood that no parasites will be found in the stool, even if you have a parasitic infection. The inaccuracy of parasite testing is due to parasites often hiding in biofilms. This phenomenon is perhaps the most significant limitation of parasite testing.
The second question, "what does parasite die-off look like in stool?" is a bit more complex. You may see some parasites like those mentioned above, but "die-off" is not a single substance you can find; instead, it refers to the death of parasites and the toxins that they release back into the system. Most of these are microscopic.
You might see or notice a change in your bowel movements when a die-off happens. Diarrhea is a common die-off symptom, and as mentioned, in some cases, you may even see small worms or pieces of worms released in the stool. So "what does parasite die-off look like in stool?" isn't a definitive answer. However, there is a possibility of changes in bowel movements.
Parasites are organisms that live in a host organism and get food from or at the expense of their host. In humans, parasites inside us use up our vitamins, proteins, and other nutrients, depriving us of optimal nutrition.
Parasitic infection is much more common than most people think, and it is not limited to poor and developing countries. For example, in the United States, millions of people suffer from parasites and do not even know it. In addition, the symptoms of parasites are diverse and can make it hard to diagnose them.
Many choose to undergo a parasite detox cleanse to eliminate parasites from the body. Unfortunately, while doing a parasite cleanse is an effective way to kill parasites, parasite cleanses typically bring uncomfortable parasite die-off symptoms.
People have a common question when detoxing parasites is "how long does parasite die-off last?" but there isn't a one-size-fits-all answer. It depends on how severe the parasite infection is. However, parasite die-off usually lasts from a few days to a few weeks.
Taking a holistic approach is essential to managing die-off symptoms. Getting plenty of rest, eating well, drinking adequate water, and getting regular massages are helpful and supportive ways of managing die-off symptoms.
If you're choosing to rid your body of parasite infestation intentionally, make sure you're also giving it the detoxification, nutritional, and emotional support it needs to process the toxins. Parasites are a common health issue, but you can eliminate them. Always consult a doctor before doing any cleanse or taking dietary supplements.