Parasites Self Help

Some symptoms of parasites appear to be like any other digestive problem. Chronic diarrhea is often a sign of a parasitic infection. Other symptoms include:

  • pain
  • constipation
  • bloating, gas
  • unexplained weight loss
  • fatigue
  • unexplained fever
  • coughing
  • itching
  • rashes
  • bloody stools
  • abdominal cramping
  • joint and muscle aches
  • irritable bowel syndrome
  • anemia
  • allergy
  • granulomas
  • nervousness
  • teeth grinding
  • chronic fatigue
  • poor immune response
  • sleep disturbances.

These symptoms can come and go due to the life cycles of the specific parasite involved.

Many physicians request parasitology testing on random stool samples, but this type of testing is not very accurate. Even with repeated samples, accurate results are found only 85 to 90 percent of the time. Many parasites, like giardia, live farther up the digestive tract so that many labs now give an oral laxative to induce diarrhea when testing for parasites.

This type of sample is called a stool purge. Stool purge tests and rectal swabs used with random stool samples give a much more accurate picture of colon health than single or multiple random stool samples. Many labs collect a random stool sample and a purge stool sample or two.

The most accurate stool testing is usually done by labs that specialize in parasitology testing. Because of the high volume of samples, hightech microscopes, and slow pace, their staffs have become experts in detection and recognition of parasites.

Healing Options

Prescription medication may be the most efficient treatment for most parasite infections. Within a week or two you are parasitefree. However, these medications can be hard on the liver and disruptive to the intestinal flora. After using them, it’s wise to take probiotics to replace and rebalance the intestinal flora.

Natural options work more slowly—about a month—but are highly effective. They generally contain garlic, wormwood (artemisia), goldenseal, black walnut, and/or grapefruit seed extract. You can find many of these in combination products. Probiotic supplements should be used after therapy is finished.

  • Take garlic. Historically, garlic has been used for pinworms; it has antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties. Allicin, the active component in garlic, has been shown to be effective against Entamoeba histolytica and Giardia lamblia. Entamoeba histolytica is an amoeba that has been used to evaluate the value of entamoeba drugs.
  • Try goldenseal. Historically, goldenseal has been used to balance infections of mucous membranes throughout the body. It is also effective with candida infections. Berberine sulfate, an active ingredient in goldenseal, has been shown to be effective against amoebas and giardia parasites.
  • Try artemisia (wormwood). Wormwood has been used for centuries in China and Europe for worms and parasites. It contains sesquiterpene lactone, which works like peroxide. It is believed to affect the parasite membranes, weakening them so our natural defense system kicks in.

Artemisia also contains an ingredient that is effective against malaria even when it is resistant to quinine drugs. Tea of wormwood has been successfully used for pinworms and roundworms by Dr. Christopher, one of America’s foremost herbalists.

It’s important to note that artemisia is safe when used in a tea or capsule, but pure wormwood oil is poisonous. Take ¼ to 1½ teaspoons powdered wormwood once or twice daily or make a tea using 2 teaspoons of fresh leaves or tops in 1 cup water. Drink ½ cup a day, 1 teaspoon at a time.

  • Try black walnut. The juice of unripe, green hulls of black walnuts has been traditionally used for treatment of parasites and fungal infections. Black walnut is a folk remedy for ringworm, athlete’s foot, and healing cracks in the palms and feet.
  • Try Dichroa febrifuga (saxifragaceae). Dichroa is a Chinese herb called changshan, which is effective against malaria, amoebas, and giardia.
  • Use Jerusalem oak. A folk medicine used throughout the Americas, the Jerusalem oak (also called American wormseed or chenopod) expels roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms, and is especially useful for children. More scientific studies need to be done to confirm the historical usage of this herb.
  • Eat pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds have also been used historically as a folk medicine for tapeworms and roundworms. To be really effective, enormous amounts must be eaten: seven to fourteen ounces for children and up to twenty-five ounces for adults. Mash them and mix with juice. Two or three hours afterward, take castor oil to clear your bowels.