Editor's Note: Although parasites are generally considered harmful, it's important to note that they account for more than half of life's diversity and have extremely important ecological roles. Without parasites, ecosystems would not have flourished as well as they have throughout time.
Have you ever experienced: bloating and excessive gas, frequent diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, extreme fatigue, an increasing number of allergies, poor general immunity, lack of energy and/or regular sickness? Experiencing any or all of these symptoms is an indicator that you may have parasites!
Intestinal parasites are a far more common problem than most people realize. They are also difficult to diagnose due to the wide variety of symptoms that can result from a parasitic infection. In fact, it’s been estimated that over 90% of Americans have parasites!
Unfortunately, it’s quite easy to get parasites. You can get them from drinking or swimming in unclean water, other humans, animals, meat, eating produce that has been washed in unclean water, eating organic produce that hasn’t been properly cleaned, travel, etc.
Let me go a little bit into how we can get parasites. (But don’t worry, I’ll share with you a tasty way to get rid of them afterwards!)
Over 50% of our lakes, river streams and creeks are infected with the protozoa parasite Giardia Lambia. This parasite is not killed by chlorine and is steadily finding it’s way into urban areas with “treated” drinking water. And to make matters worse, if a swimmer has parasites and they swim in places with others, the water is then contaminated with eggs from their bodies. It only takes a very small amount of swallowed water to become infected.
You can obtain parasite eggs from other humans very easily. Since most infections come from the anal-oral route think about this -- someone has parasites, they use the restroom, do not wash their hands afterwards, then they sit down and use the salt shaker on the restaurant’s table -- they have just deposited microscopic eggs onto this object. You then use the salt shaker. Eww. Disgusting, I know. I’ll never eat communal food (like bar nuts and popcorn) again. And it also makes me not want to touch anything in public places again either. Did you know, parasite eggs can live under human fingernails for up to 2 months?! They can, so make sure you wash your hands often.
Think of how many common objects you come into contact with on a daily basis. Even more common infections come from kissing, holding hands, sharing eating utensils and of course, sexual contact. Usually if one family member is a host to parasites, the entire family is infected.
Animals, including pets, can spread 240 diseases to humans via parasites. By petting or grooming animals, you are picking up eggs that pass from them to us via hands, nose and mouth. THINK about this -- when your pet (or someone else’s) licks their butt, they are depositing thousands of eggs onto their tongues -- then they lick you and those eggs have just been transmitted to their new host - YOU. That’s why I NEVER let animals lick me.
Pets and domesticated animals are not the only ones spreading parasites -- mosquitoes, fleas, ticks, lice and all other biting insects transmit protozoa (one cell) parasites to humans.
Undercooked meats are a very high source of parasite infections. We trust the cattle, pork and chicken producers to keep their livestock wormed on a regular basis, but over 50% of animals that go to slaughter are parasite infected. You’ll probably never look at sushi the same way again when you’re thinking about all the microscopic eggs that are hovering just below the surface.
Americans import 30 billion tons of food per year. Some of this food comes from countries where animal manure and human feces are used as fertilizer. This practice greatly increases the spread of parasites. Salad bars, infected food handlers, and improperly washed fruits and vegetables are all sources for parasites.
And, furthermore, if you eat ORGANIC produce and you don’t wash it properly, your chance for ingesting parasite eggs just increased about 100 fold! (I ALWAYS wash my produce with grapefruit seed extract to kill all the eggs.)
When we travel, we are exposed to parasites that we aren’t used to. We usually bring the parasites back with us. And, in addition, residents from other countries bring THEIR parasites when them when they are visiting our country, as a result, contaminating us.
So, as you can see, there is pretty much a 100% chance that you have parasites. But that’s okay. If you make a parasite cleanse part of your life a couple of times a year, you can keep them at bay.
Papaya Seeds as a Parasite Killer!
You may have heard about using papaya seeds for digestive health. But when you are using them as a parasite killer you are taking more of them, you’re taking them on an empty stomach, and you’re following with a natural laxative to ensure as many parasites as possible are expelled.
If you’ve never tried it, I’ll let you know that chewing up a tablespoon (or two) of papaya seeds is disgusting. Let alone first thing in the morning. They taste like pepper. It’s hard to get them down. So, instead, I blend them in a smoothie! I do this for breakfast for 15 days straight as a natural parasite killer.
The Papaya Seed Parasite Killer Smoothie
Add to blender:
1/4 to 1/2 papaya (depending on size)
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh papaya seeds
1/2 to 1 banana (for sweetness)
1 to 2 cups chopped pineapple (pineapples are rich in digestive enzyme that have an anti-parasitic effect and help to improve the intestinal environment)
1 tablespoon coconut oil (the lauric acid in coconuts is converted to monolaurin in the digestive tract, which can help rid the body of protozea, ringworm and giardia parasites)
1 to 2 cups coconut water, normal water, or nut milk
1 to 2 inches fresh aloe with skin removed (this helps to ensure the bowels move and expel dead parasites from the body
Blend all ingredients in blender. If you don’t have all the ingredients, that’s okay. The most important thing is to get the papaya seeds in daily for 15 days.
Since some parasites are believed to be paralyzed by a treatment rather than killed outright, it is also beneficial to follow it with a natural laxative to expel the worms before they can recover.
Salt Water Flush - add 2 teaspoons sea salt to 1 quart warm water. Shake and drink the entire container of salt water about 30 minutes after drinking the smoothie. Warning, you will want to be near the toilet for the next couple of hours after drinking this.
Enema - Enemas use water to clean out the colon. They are safe and a natural way to get the bowels moving. See how to perform one here.
Cold Pressed Castor Oil - Take 1 teaspoon castor oil with either cranberry juice, orange juice, prune juice, or ginger juice. Take 30 minutes after drinking the smoothie.
Will you see the parasites expelled in your stools?
Many parasites are either too small, or are expelled compacted within the stool. So don’t be too concerned about whether you see them or not. There’s a good chance this combination of ingredients is making life very difficult for your unwelcome intestinal visitors and any uncomfortable symptoms that you are experiencing will disappear. You’ll experience greater energy and better health in general.
Be aware though that you may well experience a temporary worsening of symptoms when you first begin any kind of internal cleansing as the parasites are immobilized. They will resist being killed and/or removed from the body. This is commonly referred to as a healing crisis. With this papaya seed treatment you should usually feel significantly better after visiting the bathroom.
What can you do to minimize your chance of parasites?
- Follow the age old advice of DON’T DRINK THE WATER -- especially on camping trips, while traveling in foreign countries and when swimming in public places. Filtering your home drinking water also helps, as does boiling water to drink while away from home (camping, in foreign countries, etc.).
- Avoid putting your hands in your mouth or touching your face and wash your hands often when out and about shopping, eating out, etc.
- Worm your pets (and livestock) twice per year and do not walk barefoot where animals have been known to defecate. Do not allow animals to lick you in the face or mouth.
- Thoroughly cook all meats -- stay away from raw meats (including sushi) and cold cuts (including hot dogs) if possible.
- Thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables before consuming with grapefruit seed extract.
- Do a parasite cleanse a couple times a year
- Do a liver flush a couple times a year. (Last month, a client released parasitic worms from her stomach/liver! You can see the pictures on this page here)
Erin Schumacher is a Certified Natural Health and Holistic Nutrition Practitioner (CNHP; CHNP) She specializes in detoxification programs, internal cleanses, and helping clients build strong immune systems. She also travels internationally to do raw food workshops, yoga retreats, and personal coaching. In addition, Erin is a Certified Power Yoga Instructor and a Certified Raw Food Chef from the SunKitchen. She currently lives in Vilcabamba, Ecuador. For more information, visit ErinSchumacher.net.