The full moon is a time which typically brings out the crazy in you…but also your parasites. At this time of the lunar cycle, parasites come out to play, breed and particularly when the sun goes down, they love to have a party!
When overgrown in your body, parasites are linked to numerous acute and chronic health conditions, can contribute to a leaky gut, leech nutrients away from the body and leave you in a depleted state. If you’ve suspected parasites as the underlying cause to your health challenges, or you’re keen to prevent parasites getting the better of you, read on for diet and lifestyle guidance, for kicking parasites to the curb.
WHAT ARE PARASITES?
The definition of a parasite is
- an organism which lives in or on another organism (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the other’s expense.
Intestinal parasites, range in size from microscopic, to several feet long (in the case of tape worms) and are abnormal organisms that reside in your gastrointestinal tract. If your stomach environment is in poor condition, they can burrow into your gut lining, into your organs, contributing to many health challenges.
The two main classes of intestinal parasites include:
- Protozoa, which have two stages- a metabolically active stage that is invasive on your body, and a cyst stage where the parasite is inactive and resist harsh conditions outside of your body.
- Helminths are large multicellular organisms that once formed into an adult, can’t multiply in your body. They can either live by themselves (as the cyst form of Protozoa) or live off of their host (you).
WHAT ARE THE SOURCES OF PARASITIC INFECTIONS?
Parasites are all around us, and inhabit our digestive tract through fecal -oral transmission of contaminated food and water. Other factors increasing the risk of a parasitic infestation include:
- Child care centres (particularly when children and playing in a sand pit)
- Increased international travel
- Living with pets
- Exposure to carriers such as mosquitoes and fleas
- Transmission through sexual partners
WHAT SYMPTOMS DO PARASITES CAUSE?
Worms are normal and essential for our health, however when they are exposed to an unhealthy environment, they breed out of control and morph into pathogenic forms of parasites.
Depending on the type of parasitic infestation, symptoms of an acute infection can (but not always) include:
- Diarrhoea with or without mucus and or blood
- Abdominal pain, cramping and/or bloating
- Excessive gas
- Anal itching
Due to some cases being asymptomatic, infections are difficult to diagnose (without accurate testing). An untreated, long standing parasitic infection, may cause damage to the small intestinal lining, contributing to a condition of leaky gut. Other symptoms of chronic parasitic infection include:
- Increased hunger
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Irregular Bowel Movements
- Hormonal imbalances
- Dark rings under eyes
- Weight loss
- Allergic reactions
- Lowered immune function
- Malabsorption of nutrients and therefore nutrient deficiencies
- Reflux and indigestion
- Skin disorders
- Joint pain
“In some instances, parasites may enter the circulation and travel to various organs causing severe organ diseases such as liver abscesses and cysticercosis. In addition, some larval migration can cause pneumonia and in rare cases hyper infection syndrome with large numbers of larvae being produced and found in every tissue of the body.” According to Doctors Data, a testing laboratory for parasites in the stool.
HOW DO YOU CONTROL PARASITES?
Although parasites are unavoidable, there are ways we can reduce exposure and build our bodies resistance towards them.
FOOD THAT HAVE ANTI PARASITIC ACTIONS
Mother nature has provided us with some tasty foods that pack an anti-parasitic punch against a range of infestations. Try these foods out in your daily diet, for at least 30 days.
- Fresh oregano, added into your cooking and mixed into salads
- Fresh thyme, added into your cooking, mixed into your salads, or brewed into tea.
- Coconut oil, used for cooking, added to smoothies, dissolved into hot drinks and used as a moisturiser.
- Garlic, used raw in pesto, dressing and dips, as well as in your cooking. If you’re serious about saying goodbye parasites, add 1-2 cloves very finely chopped garlic into warm water and drink before your meals, at least twice a day.
- Onion, used raw in salads, but it is most potent in the juice form. Drink around 2 tsp twice a day for 30 days.
- Pumpkin seeds, add them into salads, into your morning granola, smoothie or snack on them throughout the day.
- Wormwood tea, drink at least 3 cups of this herbal tea per day.
- Cinnamon spice, add 1/4-1/2 tsp into drinks or over coconut yoghurt.
- Cloves and chilli, incorporate into cooking (enjoy a good curry). Cloves can also be added into herbal teas.
As parasites thrive in a sugar rich environment, it is important to cut the sugar, sweeteners, and grains from your diet. Limit starchy vegetables and high fruit consumption for a good 4-8 weeks from your diet. Instead nourish your body with nourishing gut healing broths, soups, slow cooked gelatinous meats, cooked vegetables, vegetable juices and well washed salads with a cold pressed oil dressing. Nuts and seeds may aggravate your digestive issues, so listen to your body and consume them if it feels right for you.
Parasites come out to feed and play at night, therefore it is best to restrict their fuel and consume your dinner meal no later than 6pm.
Supplement the anti-parasitic dietary additions, with additional support.
- Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous Earth is rich in minerals and has a strong anthelmintic action. Best to go slow, otherwise you may feel the ‘die off’ effects. Start with 1 tsp of this mineral rich powder added to water first thing in the morning. Slowly increase up to 1 tbsp per day. You can pick up a food grade Diatomaceous Earth here. Take this for 30-90 days.
The sulphur content of MSM is essential for detoxification and your defence against parasites. In a case of chronic parasitic infestation, you’re likely to be in a state of sulphur deficiency as the parasites feed on it. Start out slowly with 1/4 tsp or 1 capsule and work up to around 2 tsp per day.
- Epsom Salt Baths
This is another way to supply Sulphur and support detoxification. If you notice side effects, then use less than 1 cup and only spend around 5 minutes at a time in the bath. Otherwise use 1 cup Epsom Salts and soak for around 20 minutes.
- Castor Oil Cleanse.
According to GAPS Diet founder Dr Natasha Campbell-Mcbride, if you mix 50ml of brandy with 50ml of organic Castor Oil this is an adults only powerful anti parasitic beverage! Swig it around 2am for 3 days leading up to and on the full moon, to help you to eradicate parasites from your gut. The reasoning being that parasites are in breeding mode at full moon and they are most active at night. The brandy will actually cause them to become drunk and the Castor Oil will literally sweep them out of your intestines. You will need to be near a toilet shortly after (usually between 5am, until midday) and be prepared for a bristol stool #7 😉
A more gentle approach is to use Aloe Vera Juice, however this won’t be as effective at flushing out the bad guys. Following up either of these castor oil cleanse options, with a water enema (add a drop of Eucalyptus Oil) will be helpful to flush the worms from your system.
A multi strained high dose is recommended when trying to crowd out intestinal parasites. Look for at least 20 billion good bacteria and take this while removing parasites and for a good 6 months afterwards. If seeing a practitioner for a specific probiotic for you is not an option, GAPS Australia Biokult has my tick of approval.
- Herbal tinctures, oils and extracts.
For safety reasons, I would recommend consulting with a herbalist, or Naturopath before dosing up on these herbal medicines.
The full moon is the perfect time to get to all the house hold chores. Washing your bed linen, hand and body towels and tea towels with hot water (add a little Eucalyptus or Tea Tree Oil for extra antibacterial effects). Also vacuum, mop and wipe down benches and seats in your home.
It goes without saying, but always wash your hands thoroughly before eating and turn any nail biting habits into a thing of the past. Hypnotherapy can play a helpful role in overcoming nail biting.
Fresh fruits and vegetables should also be washed thoroughly- even those grown at home. Food grade Hydrogen Peroxide with water is effective at cleaning your produce before consumption.
If your symptoms are not improving, it would be best to get accurate stool analysis testing from you Integrative GP or Naturopath, to determine the type of parasite you may have. I recommend Doctors Data 3 day Parasitology Test, as merely testing one stool is not accurate for detecting parasites.
Once a stool test identifies the type of a parasite in your intestinal tract, specific treatment can then be used to eradicate and prevent further infestations.
GAIN CONTROL OVER PARASITES
By combining a nourishing diet, with specialised anti-parasitic foods, supplements and hygienic practises, you have the power to keep parasites under control in your intestinal tract.
Remember, that parasites surround us, but it is the environment in which they land which will determine whether they can survive and thrive. Follow more tips across here, to nourish your bodies adrenal glands, in order to support a strong digestion and immune system.
Have you suffered from a parasitic infection? How did you gain control over them?