Intestinal parasites are abnormal and unwanted inhabitants of the gastrointestinal system that have the potential to cause damage to their host. They consume nutrients from the foods we are eating and they puncture holes in the intestinal membrane. Humans can play host to more than a hundred different types of parasites.
Parasites can range from microscopic amoeba to 10 foot long tapeworms. These parasites and their eggs can enter the circulation and travel to various organs such as the liver where they can cause abscesses and cirrhosis. They can also migrate to the lungs causing pneumonia and into the joints, brain, muscles, esophagus and skin where they cause hyper inflammatory processes.
Parasites have killed more people than all the wars in the history of humankind.” National Geographic
Chronic parasitic infections are linked with intestinal permeability and leaky gut syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, irregular bowel movements, malabsorption, gastritis, acid reflux, skin disorders, joint pain, seasonal and food allergies, and decreased immunity.
How Do You Get Parasites?
Parasites can come into the body through exposure to contaminated food and water, day care centers, pets, mosquitoes and fleas, and sexual transmission. Many individuals who are doing a lot of international flying will encounter regions of contaminated food and water. Pork and scavenger fish and shellfish happen to be especially rich in heat tolerant parasites. It is estimated that 85% of the world’s population is infested with parasites.
According to United Nations data: “Overall, about 1.5 billion people have roundworms, making it the third most common human infection in the world. Whipworm infects 1 billion people… More than 1.3 billion people carry hookworm in their gut, and 265 million people are infected with schistosomes.”
Two Main Classifications of Parasites
There are two main classifications of intestinal parasites that can create significant problems. These include protozoa and helminthes. Protozoa are single celled organisms that have two stages: the trophozoite stage where they are metabolically active and invasive and a stage where they are inactive, called the cyst stage.
Helminths are large, multicellular worms that are typically big enough to see with the human eye in their adult stage. Nematodes (roundworms), cestodes (tapeworms), and trematodes (flatworms and schistosomes) are among the most common helminths that inhabit the human gut. These are typically unable to reproduce in the human gut.
Types of Protozoa
The most common intestinal protozoans are Giardia intestinalis, Entamoeba histolytica, Cyclospora Cayetanenensis, Cryptosporidium spp and Blastocystis hominis. The disorders these parasites cause are called giardiasis, amoebiasis, cyclosporiasis, cryptosporidiosis and blastocystitis respectively. The major symptoms associated with these are diarrhea, nausea, abdominal pain, bloating, dehydration, weakness, low energy and joint pain. If uncontrolled, these infestations can be fatal.
Antiparasitic Nutrition Plan
Parasites love sugar and everything that turns into sugar. So the best way to starve the parasites is through using healthy fasting and cleansing strategies while eliminating as much sugar and grains as possible from the diet.
Several herbs and foods act as very strong antiparasitic agents. Extra virgin coconut oil is loaded with medium chain triglycerides that enhance the immune system in its battle against pathogens. Raw garlic and onions provide sulfur containing amino acids that are antiparasitic. Eat six tablespoons of raw, extra virgin coconut oil, one whole clove of garlic and one large red onion daily to help parasite proof your body.
Unique Herbs and Fermented Beverages
Dried oregano and especially essential oil of oregano are extremely volatile and antiparasitic. Use two to three drops of oregano oil in water with fresh squeezed lemon and drink this three times a day. Clove works just as well, so you could substitute or use clove oil with oregano oil. Ginger, wormwood, and black walnut are also commonly used in antiparasitic strategies.
Fasting with vegetable or bone broth and loads of garlic and onions is a great antiparasitic strategy. It is also important to use fermented drinks such as fermented whey from grass-fed cows and fermented herbal botanicals such as ginger, oregano, garlic, kombucha, etc. Other fermented beverages include coconut kefir and apple cider vinegar. These are powerful tools to help destroy parasites. They contain organic acids and enzymes that help to create an environment that is non-conducive for parasitic development.
Many holistic health coaches recommend a three to 21 day low calorie, liquid diet that is rich in organic broth, fermented beverages, water, and fresh squeezed lemon. Probiotic and anti-microbial herbal supplements are highly recommended to help destroy parasites and re-inoculate the gut.
After the cleansing period, it is especially important to utilize high quality, fermented raw dairy and vegetables. Raw, grass-fed fermented dairy products like amasai and cheese, along with kimchi, sauerkraut, and fermented veggies should be used abundantly. These foods are rich sources of L-glutamine, an amino acid that helps rebuild the gut. These fermented foods also contain very powerful strains of good bacteria, organic acids, and enzymes that act to keep parasites out of the body.
A regular life cycle that inhibits parasitic development includes regular, intermittent fasting for periods of 16-24 hours. It is important to drink lots of clean water to push out feces and not allow it to become a breeding ground for parasitic organisms. The nutrition plan should focus on fermented foods and drinks, good fat sources, anti-oxidants, and clean proteins.
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