Many different parasites can infect humans and lead to various health issues. Some parasites are microscopic protozoa like liver flukes and giardia, and others are more significant and more easily detectable parasites like tapeworms, roundworms, and pinworms. Recently, there has been a lot of talk about another potential parasite, commonly referred to as "rope worm."
There is considerable debate on whether this phenomenon is rope worm or mucus. Some say it is a parasitic worm, some say it is a parasite but not a worm, and others say it is just mucoid plaque buildup. While no answer is conclusive yet, we want to shed some light on the debate of whether it is indeed a rope worm or mucus.
What Are Rope Worms?
The term "Rope worm" refers to a worm-like material in the human body that may or may not be a worm. There is a lot of controversy around this potential parasite and what exactly it is. Some argue that it is a worm parasite, while others say it is mucoid plaque or mucus buildup in the intestines. Below, we explore these theories in more detail and try to find out if rope worm or mucus is the culprit of this phenomenon.
The Parasite Theory of Rope Worms
The parasite theory of the ropeworm is a relatively recent theory on the ropeworms in human poop. According to this theory, a rope worm (given the Latin name funis vermes) is a parasite that spends its entire life inside the human body. Furthermore, it states that this parasite doesn't fall under any other known family of human parasites and may consist of a single organism or a community of organisms. Rope worms are said to feed on the fecal matter in the intestines and are usually the result of a poor diet.
According to this theory, there are five stages of the rope worm life cycle:
Rope Worm Stages:
- Stage 1: rope worms are long strands of viscous mucus that can appear anywhere in the body.
- Stage 2: the viscous mucus develops bubbles. These bubbles later become points of attachment used by the parasite.
- Stage 3: the parasite becomes branched, like a jellyfish.
- Stage 4: the parasite has a soft, slimy body. It can form more bubbles for attachment and may be able to feed on blood.
- Stage 5: the parasite looks like human feces or twisted rope. They can appear in various shades, from pale white to dark brown or black. They seem to utilize jet propulsion to move around the body and are most active between 1:00 am and 6:00 am.
The life cycle of the ropeworm stages does not make it clear if rope worm eggs exist. Still, given that the first stage of the rope worm stages involves the parasite living as a long strand of mucus that branches off, it seems less likely that rope worm eggs exist and that instead, rope worm is more like a type of fungus in this regard, rather than actual "worm."
The procedures for extraction of these parasites involve different forms of enemas, including salt milk enemas, baking soda enemas, and eucalyptus/lemon juice enemas. According to researchers that support the parasite theory of rope worm, if these ropeworms are not flushed and removed from the body, they can release toxins that may negatively affect the brain.
The parasite theory of rope worm is a popular one, but it is not the only theory of this worm-like substance. As there has not been enough research on this particular parasite, it is still uncertain what it is in reality, but another leading theory is the mucoid plaque theory.
The Mucoid Plaque Theory of Rope Worms
Within both the small and large intestines, a single cell layer of epithelium forms a lining. This intestinal lining serves two main functions: absorbing valuable substances into the body and restricting the entry of harmful substances. As part of its protective role, the intestinal epithelium forms an essential component of the intestinal mucosal barrier.
Intestinal mucus is produced as a barrier to prevent harmful microorganisms from entering the bloodstream through the intestines. As with all cells in the body, these intestinal barrier cells routinely turn over and shed. While regular or routine shedding is normal, excessive or altered shedding of intestinal mucus may signify certain gastrointestinal conditions like leaky gut or inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
The mucoid plaque theory of rope worm is an alternative to the parasite theory that claims the long rope-like structures are pieces of intestinal mucus. During enemas and colon hydrotherapy sessions—both of which are procedures that involve an injection of fluid into the rectum to stimulate stool evacuation—some people flush out mucus buildup, sometimes referred to as mucoid plaque. The mucoid plaque looks very similar to what others believe is the human rope worm.
As with the rope worm theory, the mucoid plaque theory is controversial, and many scientists debate whether or not mucoid plaque even exists. However, the most critical evidence supporting the mucoid plaque theory over the rope worm theory is that when testing the DNA of the "rope worm" specimen, it consists of almost entirely of human DNA.
The parasite theory and the mucoid plaque theory—are the leading theories that attempt to explain what the rope-like or worm-like material is that one can observe in human stool during cleansing procedures.
Yet, to date, there is still no conclusive evidence that proves exactly what “rope-worm” is.
Diagnosing Rope Worms
Typically, during colon cleansing procedures like enemas, colon hydrotherapy sessions (also referred to as colonics or colon irrigation therapy), laxative therapies, etc., one can observe mucus parasites in stool. According to the research from one doctor studying "rope worms," almost all patients undergoing colon irrigation will eliminate rope worms and see worms or mucus parasites in stool. In addition, after elimination of these once these rope-like strands, patients have reported relief from digestive issues. However, these claims are purely anecdotal, and there is no current peer-reviewed research to support these claims.
Treating Rope Worms
As current research lacks what a rope worm is, research is also lacking in adequately diagnosing and treating rope worms. There are also no current clinical recommendations on how to do so. The mucus that makes up the intestinal lining consists of cells that naturally shed and regenerate. A healthy level of mucus turnover in stool is entirely normal for a healthy bowel. Still, an increase in mucus or the presence of long strands of material is not healthy and may result from other, more severe conditions.
The potential causes of increased mucus in the stool may include:
- Chron's disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Intestinal infection
- Anal fissures and fistulas
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
In some cases, the evacuation of long, worm-like structures may result from an undiagnosed parasitic infection from a species known to infect humans, such as roundworm (more information below). If you notice an increased mucus level or other unknown materials during colon cleansing, it's best to visit a doctor or gastroenterologist for an official diagnosis. Read more to learn how to remove mucoid plaque naturally from the body.
Preventing Rope Worms
Mucoid plaque, or mucus buildup, is believed to result from eating a poor diet rich in processed foods and artificial chemicals. While there isn't enough data available to confirm this, the general idea is that it is crucial to focus on consuming a healthy diet and maintaining your gut health.
Every system in your body relies on the food you consume for nutrients and energy. So the health of your gut is foundational to every other health system in the body.
One of the most significant impacts on your gut health (and overall health) is your diet. Every food you eat contributes to your health or illness, so it is imperative to be mindful of what you eat and how you eat.
Many people eat in ways that cause them ill health. For example, they eat when they are stressed and distracted. In addition, they swallow their food without chewing it well, mix too many foods, eat late at night, and do not wait until their previous meal has completed digestion before eating again—all of these habits can strain your health.
Being mindful of your eating habits is to recognize that the way you eat influences your digestion and gut health and to aim to eat in a way that supports digestion.
Additionally, here are some foods that have support gut health:
- Fermented foods (kim chi, sauerkraut, kombucha, tempeh, probiotics)
- Prebiotic-rich foods (artichokes, garlic, onions, bananas, apples, almonds, berries, flaxseed)
- High fiber foods (apples, avocado, banana, beans, lentils, whole grains, oats, berries, leafy greens)
- Enzymes (found in raw/uncooked foods or enzyme supplements)
- Nutrient-rich foods (whole foods like fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains)
Can Rope Worms Kill You?
The question "Can Rope Worms Kill You" is difficult to answer since science has not reached an agreement on what a rope worm is. However, some parasites can lead to death, either directly (as in the case of malaria) or indirectly (as in the case of worm infections causing intestinal obstruction). In addition, mucoid plaque buildup can cause issues throughout the body to degenerative conditions. So we can't give a specific answer to the question of can rope worms kill you, but whether they are parasitic worms or built up strands of mucus, it is a good idea to get them out of your body.
Rope Worm or Roundworm?
In some cases, the evacuation of long, worm-like structures might result from an undiagnosed parasitic infection from a species known to infect humans. For example, a roundworm is a common parasitic worm that looks similar to a "rope worm" and is often confused with a rope worm. A roundworm is a type of nematode (ascarid) that reproduces in the intestinal tract of its host.
These worms commonly infect dogs and can easily affect humans, and may pose a significant risk to human health. Contact with contaminated soil or dog feces is one of the most common ways humans become infected with roundworms. Roundworm eggs may accumulate in significant numbers in the soil where pets deposit feces. Once infected, the worms can cause eye, lung, heart, and neurologic signs in people.
Life Cycle of Roundworms
Once a roundworm infects a human, it reproduces inside the intestines. The worm goes through several stages:
- Swallowed eggs first hatch in the intestine.
- The larvae then move through the bloodstream to your lungs.
- After maturing, the roundworms leave your lungs and travel to your throat.
- You'll either cough up or swallow the roundworms in your throat.
- Once they're back in your intestine, the worms will mate and lay more eggs.
- The cycle continues. Some eggs will go through excretion through your feces. Other eggs hatch and return to the lungs.
Roundworms in your lungs can cause:
- Coughing or gagging
- Wheezing or shortness of breath
- Aspiration pneumonia (rare)
- Blood in mucus
- Chest discomfort
Roundworms in your intestines can cause:
- Irregular stools or diarrhea
- Intestinal blockage, which causes severe pain and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Visible worms in the stool
- Abdominal pain or discomfort
- Weight loss
- Growth impairment in children due to malabsorption
Some people with a large infestation of roundworms may have other symptoms, such as fatigue, fever, or extreme discomfort. You may have all or any of the above symptoms if you don't receive prompt treatment for roundworm.
How to Get Rid of Roundworms and Other Parasites
While there are numerous types of parasites, the methods for treating parasitic infections and removing parasites from the body are all very similar. Among the most effective natural methods for getting rid of parasites is a parasite detox cleanse. This type of cleansing involves consuming a parasite detox supplement that kills the parasites and supporting the elimination of these parasites with dietary and lifestyle methods.
An ideal parasite detox supplement will contain natural herbs with anthelmintic (worm-killing), antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. Three plants that are naturally high in anthelmintic compounds are Wormwood, cloves, and green black walnut hulls:
- Cloves contain unique compounds that help kill parasites, including eugenol, a powerful antiseptic, and caryophyllene, which has antimicrobial properties.
- As the name implies, Wormwood has long been used to eliminate parasitic worms. It contains numerous bioactive compounds known to kill parasites, including thujone and artemisinin.
- The outer shells, or hulls, of green black walnuts, contain unique antioxidant and antibacterial compounds, such as juglone and ellagic acid, beneficial for naturally treating parasitic and bacterial infections.
Together, these three herbs may help kill the adult, larva, and egg stages of over 100 different parasites, including amoebas, giardia, worms, and liver flukes.
While the subject of parasites is complex, and our understanding of parasites is limited, the solution to getting rid of parasites from the body is simple. There are proven and effective methods that are effective in getting rid of parasitic infections.
The important thing is to diligently follow the protocol for getting rid of parasites, which involves taking a parasite detox supplement for the recommended period (usually 40-90 days, depending on the supplement and the type of cleansing). Cleanse the colon simultaneously with many water and fiber-rich foods, take a binder like fulvic acid to support detoxification, and eat anti-parasitic foods to help parasite cleansing further.
Zuma Nutrition’s Parasite Detox Formula
Our Parasite Detox formula is a unique handcrafted herbal tincture composed of therapeutic dosages of Green-Black Walnut Hulls, Wormwood, and ground Cloves. These three herbs are essential to any good parasite detox supplement. However, what makes this formula stand out is the quality of the herbal ingredients we use and the extraction method.
The dark green hull surrounding the black walnut loses its potency when it turns black. Therefore, we make sure to harvest the hull at the time of greatest potency to get the most of the anti-parasitic compounds. The clove used in this formula is also freshly ground and immediately added to the tincture because exposure to air evaporates the desired properties present in the liquid remedy. The Wormwood we use is also wild-harvested and prepared freshly after harvesting to preserve its potency.
We use a therapeutic dose extraction method that maximizes the bioavailability of these herbs, which are typically difficult to digest, and offers very potent dosages for maximum effectiveness. One full dropper of this tincture is equivalent to about ten capsules of cloves, ten capsules of Wormwood, and ten capsules of green-black walnut hulls. Whereas a traditional parasite detox comprises about 15-30 capsules a day, the Zuma Nutrition Parasite Detox tincture makes it easy, providing the same benefits with just one full half-full dropper of tincture a day. We recommend taking the Parasite Detox formula on an empty stomach, mixed with a small amount of water due to its potency.
Read our guides "How to do a Parasite Detox Cleanse Safely and Effectively" and "How to Avoid Parasite Die Off Effects."
So, Are Ropeworms Mucus or Worms?
Rope worms are worm-like material in the human body that may or may not be actual worms. Whether they are mucus or worms is a considerable debate among researchers. More research is needed to confirm this substance, but there are currently two leading theories about rope worms.
The first theory, often called the "parasite theory," is that a rope worm is a parasitic worm that lives its entire life inside the human body. The second theory often called the "mucoid plaque theory," suggests that rope worm is just strands of mucus buildup released from the intestinal lining.
Whether rope worms are mucus or worms, it is not a good sign of health to discover these long strands. Excessive mucus buildup in the intestines can point to a gastrointestinal health condition, whereas worms point to an underlying parasitic infection.
In both cases, taking care of one's gut health is essential. A healthy gut relies on a good diet, hydration, regular sleep, and low stress. However, one of the most incredible things that one can do for gut health is to cleanse the gut of parasitic infections that threaten our gut health.
Parasites are a common health issue that is often underdiagnosed. Therefore, it is essential to treat parasitic infections early. A good health measure is to do a gentle and natural parasite detox cleanse a few times a year to keep a healthy balance in the gut microbiome.
One can find rope worms during colon cleansing procedures, but there is still not enough evidence to say what they are; mucus or worms. Suppose you're experiencing an increase in mucus or notice the presence of worm-like strands during colon cleansing. In that case, please schedule an appointment with a doctor or gastroenterologist to find out what is causing it.