Detox Center

Dr. Todd Watts

13 (+1) Benefits of Natural Parasite Cleansing (and some hockey)

03 Oct 18

13 (+1) Benefits of Natural Parasite Cleansing

Article Summary:

  • Parasites are common in every corner of the world. In the United States, it’s estimated that over 85% of Americans are estimated to be infected. It’s possible to contract a parasite through food, water, insect bites, family pets, and other sources.
  • There are thousands of types of parasites which can affect humans, including roundworms, hookworms, pinworms, and flukes. Because of the variety of pathogenic parasites, symptoms can range from non-descript, like general malaise and headaches, to debilitating, like severe digestive upset and malnutrition. Others can cause life-threatening and even deadly consequences.
  • It’s difficult to accurately test for parasites, conventionally or alternatively, so it’s a great idea to look into a natural parasite cleanse that you can do from home without a harsh prescription. If you own a pet, spend a lot of time outdoors, or have traveled abroad extensively, it’s likely you’re harboring some kind of parasitic infection and could benefit from a cleanse.
  • Natural parasite cleanses can markedly improve digestive symptoms, resulting in more consistent stools, less bloating and gas, and improved absorption of food and nutrients.
  • You also might experience lessening of neurological symptoms after ridding your body of parasites, including stable mood, less anxiety or depression, diminishing brain fog, and relief from chronic headaches and migraines.
  • Many individuals also experience more energy and vitality after just a few weeks of parasite cleansing, as well as boosted immune health.

Hockey and Parasites

As recently reported in sports blog Deadspin:

“Columbus Blue Jackets prospect and former Miami (Ohio) hockey player Carson Meyer might look really tired in (this photo) from a June 2017 interview, but any visible gauntness might be from the fact that he had a goddamn tapeworm in his body for, according to doctors, a full year.

“Meyer’s 2017-18 season with the RedHawks was totally derailed because of the parasite, as The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline reported in lovely detail. The prospect had no appetite, lost weight, and was falling asleep during drills. Test results couldn’t pinpoint it to mononucleosis or something similar. Meyer finally discovered what was draining his energy when he sat on the toilet in February:

“I was going to the bathroom, just like normal,” Meyer said. “And it came out.”
It was a 25-inch tapeworm — the head, the neck and all of the segments, about 50 of them. It was orange. Meyer almost fainted.
“I Facetimed my mom and was like, ‘What the hell is this thing?’ ” Meyer said. “I was freaking out. Absolutely freaking out.”
Holly Meyer said she’s never been so horrified, or relieved.
“I was trying to be calm,” she said. “He showed me everything and I remember saying, you have to get that to the trainer and figure out what it is so they can get you fixed.
“And I did say at that moment, ‘This is why everything has been the way it’s been, Carson. This was it.’ It was scary, but it was a relief.”

“Doctors believed Meyer’s specific parasite was diphyllobothrium latum, which comes from eating undercooked fish.”

Non-hockey players get them, too.

An infection like this is so extreme and otherworldly that most people think “it could never happen to me.” It’s likely that something this rare will not. Nevertheless, there are thousands of types of parasites that can enter your body in a variety of ways--most often orally--causing symptoms much less obvious than extreme weight loss.

Symptoms like these: digestive issues, chronic headaches, vertigo, fatigue, and skin rashes, are the signs of a parasitic infection and are often much more subtle, yet still uncomfortable. They succeed in holding you back from your most optimal health.

If you’ve ever traveled out of the country or camped and needed to filter your own water sources, it’s likely you may have ingested contaminated food or water. But even if you’ve eaten in a restaurant, cross-contamination is possible in the kitchen, between raw meat and other prepared foods. Some doctors believe that open salad bars are breeding grounds for parasites, along with their egg deposits. Consuming raw sushi can be a risk factor, as well.

Even swimming in a lake or pond, or any unclean body of water, is a way to invite parasites into your body. Using a public restroom after someone with a parasitic infection is another easy to way become infected with the eggs of these unwanted pathogens.

You’re even more susceptible if you have a weakened immune system, or if you have a chronic infection (like Lyme disease, a high viral load, or even a simple tooth infection). This is because your body becomes a hospitable host for pathogens, allowing them to thrive inside of you when others’ immune systems might keep the infection in check.

Though parasites can cause uncomfortable symptoms, research suggests that they could have even more serious and debilitating effects. According to a study in the International Journal of Parasitology, liver flukes, in particular, can lead to cholangiocarcinoma, or bile duct cancer. This has been an issue in certain parts of the world, especially in regions where raw fish is consumed often.

Other parasites can leave you malnourished and lacking vital nutrients, leading to severe fatigue, pain, and failure to thrive--such as was the case with Carson Meyer. Your body may be able to hold out for a time, but even the fittest, most athletic, need help in this pathogen fight.

If you’re thinking, ‘I’ll just go to my doctor’s office and ask for a parasite test so I can stop worrying,’ it’s not that simple. Testing for parasites is incredibly difficult, and there are few (if any) accurate tests that are comprehensive enough to cover every type of infection. Most lab tests are only looking for certain “common” helminths and protozoa, and many tests require that the parasite be alive once the stool sample is received and the specimen is viewed.  Even if you take a home stool test, the likelihood that the lab catches the right parasite at the right point in the life cycle is fairly low--and that’s not even accounting for human error on the visual slide identification.

If you do have a parasitic infection, it’s not likely that you’d ever see most of these bugs in your own stool, either. 70% of parasites are completely microscopic, meaning even if you’re killing them off during your cleanse, you won’t see them on the way out.

Many parasites are highly intelligent and able to alter their particular life cycle and reproduction pattern to allow them the best chance at survival inside your body. They can evolve or adapt to hide (so your immune system doesn’t see them as invaders), so we’ve got to outsmart them.

This is where natural parasite cleansing comes in, safely using herbs, supplements, BioActive Carbon™, and diet to eradicate a wide variety of possible pathogenic infections. Cleansing parasites naturally are easier on your body, especially when you use proper binders and detox support methods to help the process along.

8 Common Types of Parasites

Roundworms: Roundworms, also called nematodes, can lay hundreds of thousands of eggs a day. Symptoms include stomach pain, trouble sleeping, respiratory issues, and rashes. Roundworm larvae can go through the intestines to the bloodstream, and spread to other organs. They’re about the thickness of earthworms.

Pinworms: Symptoms of pinworms include an itchy anus, mood disorders, and GI tract upset. These parasites crawl out of the anus at night to lay eggs. They’re only about a half an inch long.

Tapeworms: Tapeworms can live inside human intestines for almost a decade, causing weight loss, hunger, and poor absorption of nutrients. They can also cause no symptoms at all. It’s possible for tapeworms to grow 20-30 feet long.

Hookworms: Hookworms have sharp teeth they use to penetrate the skin and consume blood. Hookworms can cause fatigue, anemia, swelling, brain fog, and stomach pain. They generally settle in the intestines but can affect the lungs, too.

Ropeworms: Ropeworms are a recent classification of parasites. The medical community debates whether these are actual worms, intestinal lining, or perhaps gelatinous residue from parasite cleansing supplements. They’re usually seen after colonics or coffee enemas, and they can be 1-2 feet long and bumpy in texture.

Flatworms: Flatworms can be found in the bladder, lungs, liver, kidneys, GI tract. There are many types of flatworms, and they can range from 1 centimeter to dozens of feet.

Flukes: Flukes look like small tongues and have a sucker they use to attach to their hosts. Liver flukes are the most common types of flukes found in the human body, but there are also blood, urinary, intestinal, lung, and other kinds of flukes.

Whipworms: Though commonly found in dogs, whipworms can affect humans as well. Whipworms can be contracted by contaminated dirt or foods that have not been thoroughly washed or cooked. Symptoms include blood in stools, stomach pain, nausea, and weight loss. They’re usually about 1-2 inches and shaped like a small whip--one thicker end and one thinner end.

13 Benefits of Natural Parasite Cleansing (and the +1)

While it is true you may feel some uncomfortable symptoms during the cleansing process, the upside to treatment far outweighs the temporary discomfort. Many do not feel any symptoms at all or simply feel a slightly upset stomach. As long as you keep supporting your liver, gallbladder, and kidneys through the methods mentioned above, like castor oil packs, soon you’ll be on the other side of the unpleasant die-off. Here are some benefits of natural parasite cleansing to look forward to:

  1. Improved digestion: Many parasites like hiding in the liver, bile duct, and intestines, and once they’re eliminated, you may notice improved digestion. The liver produces bile, which pushes through biliary tubes to reach the bile duct. Your gallbladder stores the bile, releasing it when you eat to help emulsify fats. If any of these important organs are full of parasites, they won’t work optimally, upsetting your digestion, and possibly causing other health issues, like allergies or pain. To work on liver and gallbladder health during your parasite cleanse, focus on castor oil packs and coffee enemas.
  2. Heightened mental clarity: Have you ever struggled with brain fog? You can’t remember something for the life of you, even though it feels right on the tip of your tongue? You have to re-read the same sentence over and over but you just can’t process it like you used to be able to? Brain fog has many potential causes, but neurotoxins released by parasites could be one of them. After cleansing, you might notice your mental acuity becomes sharper and your thinking becomes clearer.
  3. Increased energy: You can imagine that having hundreds and thousands of parasites stealing all your nutrients and minerals can cause some serious fatigue. Often, doctors can’t pinpoint the cause of the fatigue and may diagnose you with fibromyalgia or irritable bowel, but the root cause could be parasites. Certain pathogens, like hookworms and babesia, can cause anemia because they affect the blood. Battling these overgrowths will surely restore energy and vitality, without extra cups of coffee. B vitamins can help temporarily raise energy, too, but you want to get to the root cause of your fatigue regardless.
  4. Disappearing rashes or skin sores: Your skin is an organ of elimination, through which toxins, parasites, and even eggs can exit your body and cause itchy rashes or sores. Plus, some ingredients in a natural parasite cleanse products are broad-spectrum herbs that target not only parasites, but viruses, bacteria, heavy metals, toxins, and fungus-like candida. That means your parasite cleanse is actually cleansing more than JUST parasites, but also tackling pathogens that might cause skin rashes, too. Either way, many find skin clears up after parasite-cleansing. Calendula salve or essential oils can help temporarily with skin irritation, but those are only covering up the symptoms, not promoting holistic healing.
  5. More stable mood: Some health and wellness experts believe we can actually feel the emotions of parasites in our body, and those feelings manifest in irritability, anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders. With infections like Lyme, the chemistry of the brain is affected, as well as neurotransmitters, as neurotoxins build up and alter mood severely. It’s fairly common to experience a flare of mood-related symptoms while actively cleansing, but then to enjoy a much more stable mood afterward.
  6. Reduced cravings: Parasites get energy from sugar and carbohydrates, so it’s not surprising that they can manipulate you to crave chocolate, ice cream, crackers, and bread. During a parasite cleanse, it’s important to eliminate sugar and grains so you’re not feeding the pathogens. Many people notice cravings start to disappear as they eliminate parasites.
  7. Healthier joints: Parasites release toxins that cause systemic inflammation, which can, in turn, cause joint and muscle pain. Additionally, some experts believe parasites can seek out old injuries to settle into, making soreness in those areas even worse. While cleansing, an infrared heating pad or sauna can help with pain.
  8. Better respiratory health: Certain parasites, like lung flukes, live in the lungs and affect respiratory health directly. Other parasites release toxins that may affect the respiratory system, too, causing shortness of breath, air hunger, burning lungs, a suffocating feeling, or other symptoms. Try a Himalayan salt inhaler to naturally calm irritated airways temporarily, but complete your parasite cleanse to see if you enjoy improved respiratory health afterward.
  9. Fewer headaches: Do you ever get unexplained migraines that are so debilitating, you’re nauseous for 24-hours and can’t handle the slightest light or quietest sound? Or just frequent dull headaches that don’t go away no matter how much water you drink? If you have neurological Lyme or even rarer parasites that have an affinity for the brain (like pork tapeworm), you may experience severe headaches as a result of the infection. Don’t be discouraged if you experience some headaches during your cleanse, though. As with many of the above benefits, you may experience a slight worsening of current symptoms before you experience an improvement. Peppermint or lavender essential oils might provide temporary pain relief.
  10. Stronger immune system: Parasites are intelligent creatures, with the ability to trick the immune system into thinking they belong in the body and shouldn’t be attacked. This, of course, ensures their own survival, but over time, weakens the immune system. These parasites, now safe from being attacked, happily feast on all the nutrients and vitamins and minerals your body needs for optimal health. According to studies, parasites can “provoke particular immunomodulatory and immunoregulatory mechanisms.”
    Reference: Kamal S M and Khalifa K E S. (2006) "Immune modulation by helminthic infections: worms and viral infections." Parasite Immunology. 28(10): 483-496. Web. 14 Dec. 2017.[/note], meaning they disturb the self-regulated system that the immune system was designed to be.
  11. Enhanced absorption of nutrients: When you no longer have pathogens stealing your nutrients, you’ll really start to notice the benefits. You might have clearer skin, nails, and hair that grow longer and thicker, increased energy… and a lot of this is because when the parasites are gone, you’re actually getting all the nutrition from your food and supplements.
  12. Minimized bloating, gas, and cramping: Once clients get deep into parasite cleansing, they typically notice less gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and other stomach issues. That doesn’t mean the cleansing process will be free of those symptoms--it’s likely they could flare up as you’re eliminating pathogens. In fact, Lyme expert Dr. Jay Davidson eliminated two 20-inch worms during his parasite cleanse, and noticed improvements in his digestive system after! Coffee enemas should help provide support for the liver and clear the bugs out faster.
  13. More optimal overall health: No matter your symptoms, one thing is clear: If you’re dealing with parasites, cleansing them will improve your overall health.
  14. Continue your promising hockey career uninterrupted: Why wait a year or more for your body to expel parasites, losing energy, weight, and valuable time perfecting your wrist shot in the process? Proactively supporting your body in fighting parasites could free you up to instead be fighting for a playoff spot--or at least that loose puck in the corner after a faceoff.

Parasite-Fighting and Immune-Boosting Foods:

Along with the recommended parasite protocol, you can also modify your diet and lifestyle to have the best chance at ridding unwanted pathogens from your body.

Possible Side Effects of Parasite Cleansing:

It is possible to experience die-off from parasite cleansing. Some common die-off signs include headaches, aching or soreness, fatigue, headaches, digestive upset, chills, or other uncomfortable symptoms. Though binders like BioActive Carbon™ will help bind to the toxins being released, be sure to support your detox and drainage pathways. Coffee enemas, castor oil packs, hydration, lymphatic support, and other methods are helpful for minimizing Herxheimer reactions.

Foods to Avoid:

Sugar: Sugar feeds parasites, so you want to eliminate it during your cleanse. This includes cookies and cakes, but also “healthier” sources of sugar, like maple syrup, dried fruit, or grapes. Sugar is destructive to the body and addictive, so it’s even better if you can keep your intake to a minimum, even after a parasite cleanse.

Grains: Grains turn to sugar in the body, so it’s best to avoid grains as much as possible while actively getting rid of parasites. That means no bread, chips, rice, corn, oats, quinoa, etc.

Dairy: Dairy is an inflammatory food for the body, for many reasons. While it’s true that some people cannot digest the sugar (or lactose) in milk, there are other reasons why dairy is always at the top of the inflammatory foods list. Milk is processed, pasteurized, and homogenized. Plus, many cows are injected with growth hormones (rBST) so they can produce more milk. Leave it off your plate to give your body the best fighting chance to release parasites… and focus on anti-inflammatory foods, instead.

Foods to Consume:

Fresh vegetables and fruits: The fiber in fruits and vegetables will keep your bowels moving so you’re expelling the parasites and toxins as quickly as possible. It’s best to eat fruits lower in sugar like berries or green apples.

Raw pumpkin seeds: Pumpkin seeds contain an amino acid called cucurbitin, which can paralyze parasites, and could prevent them from attaching to the intestinal wall.

Reference: Plotnikov AA, et al. “Clinical trial of cucurbin (a preparation from pumpkin seeds) in cestodiasis.” Med Parazitol (Mosk) 41 (1972): 407–11. PubMed. 8 Dec. 2017.

Garlic: The allicin in garlic is potent against bacteria, but also viruses and fungus too. To reap the benefits, eat it juiced or crushed to release the allicin, and start out slowly.

Reference: Ankri, Serge, and David Mirelman. "Antimicrobial Properties of Allicin from Garlic." Microbes and Infection 1.2 (1999): 125-29. PubMed. Web. 7 Dec. 2017.

Ginger: Ginger is great for the digestive system, and it can help relieve die-off symptoms during your parasite cleanse. For example, making tea with fresh ginger, lemon, and a little honey can clear mucus. In studies, ginger has been effective in eliminating parasites.

Reference: El-Bahy, Nasr M., and Eman K. A. Bazh. "Anthelmintic Activity of Ginger, Curcumin, and Praziquentel against Raillietina Cesticillus (in Vitro and in Vivo)." Parasitology Research 114.7 (2015): 2427-434. PubMed. Web. 7 Dec. 2017.

Turmeric: Curcumin, the compound in turmeric, is a very effective anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antioxidant, and antiparasitic food. It has been used in studies to treat severe, drug-resistant parasitic infections.

Reference: Morais, E. "Effects of Curcumin on the Parasite Schistosoma Mansoni: A Transcriptomic Approach." Molecular and Biochemical Parasitology. Elsevier, 29 Dec. 2012. Web. 07 Dec. 2017.

Papaya Seeds: These seeds have been shown to have anthelmintic effects on parasites in trials performed on rats.

Reference: Sapaat, A., et al. "Anthelmintic Activity of Papaya Seeds on Hymenolepis Diminuta Infections in Rats." Tropical Biomedicine 29.4 (2012): 508-12. PubMed. Web. 7 Dec. 2017.


Parasite cleansing doesn't have to be scary or intimidating. It can provide relief from a variety of symptoms, like migraines, digestive upset, chronic pain, and many others. It’s important to give your body the right support, in case you experience die-off symptoms. Stay hydrated, apply castor oil packs, perform coffee enemas, and eat the right foods so your body has the energy and support it needs to eliminate all the pathogens and toxins robbing you from your best health.

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