Most people associate parasitic infections with far-flung, developing-economy countries. But millions of Americans have been exposed to parasites—right here at home. Antibiotics are the standard course of remedy. But certain natural ingredients possess strong anti-parasitic action. Learn which ones are best…
Back in 2004, I visited the Indonesian paradise of Bali. While waiting for my return flight back to the States, I made the regrettable decision to buy sushi from an airport cafe. Not only did I buy sushi at the airport, in Indonesia, I waited a few hours to eat it on the plane. And about a week after my return to the states, I experienced frequent bouts of diarrhea and fatigue. I even passed out and was taken to the ER. A stool sample eventually detected the root cause of my symptoms: I had a parasite.
But you don’t have to visit a tropical, developing destination like Bali to get a parasite. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control, approximately 14% of Americans have been exposed to parasites. And not all of these people have taken pleasure cruises to tropical and subtropical countries where parasites are most common; parasites may lurk right here at home.
Antibiotics such as Ciprofloxacin (Cipro for short) are typically prescribed for parasites. That’s what I took when I had a parasitic infection. But after taking one round of Cipro, I still had symptoms. So I was given yet another round. After round 2 of Cipro, my symptoms finally ceased. But at what expense? As you may know, antibiotics or pharmaceutical-grade antiparasitic drugs act like weapons of mass destruction in your gut, killing many of the beneficial bacteria in the gut.
Thankfully for me, over the years, I’ve been able to repopulate my gut with friendly microbes and enjoy vibrant health (knock on wood).
For those who know they have a pathogenic parasitic infection, which is usually confirmed through a stool test by a gastroenterologist or other health professional, there are natural ingredients that may help kill the pathogens while preserving your beneficial microflora.
(Candida albicans is a pathogenic yeast fungus; an overgrowth of candida is akin to a parasitic infection.)
Natural Ingredients That Help Kill Parasites
In a small study published in Phytotherapy Research, taking oregano oil daily for 6 weeks led to the disappearance of three different parasites including blastocystis hominis. Oregano oil also improved the gastrointestinal symptoms in seven of the 11 patients who had tested positive for Blastocystis hominis.
Several studies demonstrate clove oil’s ability to kill parasites. In one study, clove, along with yarrow oil and basil oil, inhibited parasitic growth by 50%. Of the three oils, clove was deemed the most effective.
Grapefruit Seed Extract
GSE (Citricidal) has been shown to be effective against more than 800 bacterial and viral strains, 100 strains of fungus, and a large number of single and multicelled parasites, according to this review of research studies on GSE.
Since ancient times, garlic has been used to treat symptoms caused by parasites. A 2018 study concluded that garlic is an effective killer of two candida species: albicans and parapsilosis. But eating just a little bit of raw garlic may not be enough. In order to kill parasites effectively, high doses of garlic extract may be required.
WebMd’s RXList.com says, “Black walnut is used to treat parasitic worm infections and certain other infections…”
Also known as “lapacho,” Pau D’Arco (Portugeuse for “bow tree”) functions as a natural antibiotic, says this review in BMC Pharmacology.
Don’t Self-Treat For Parasites
If you suspect that you have a parasite, it’s best to seek professional medical attention. And if you want to stick to all-natural ingredients and supplements, your best course of action would be to go see a naturopathic doctor.