All About Parasites (& How to Treat Them Naturally)
12 min read
- Both healthy and harmful bacteria live inside all of our bodies.
- Everyone has probably had parasites at some point.
- We share some ways to address parasites so you can function at your peak potential.
Chances are, you’ve had an unwanted guest living inside you at some point in your life. Maybe you traveled outside of the country one summer or happened to eat a bad sushi roll. It’s possible that a bug grew up inside you, fed off you until it reached adulthood, laid eggs, and continued the cycle. Sounds gross, I know–but it’s all part of nature.
Do I have parasites?
Yes, we probably all do. I’m sure we’ve all accidentally come into contact with a bug–and if you’re a parent like me, you’re probably at a higher risk for them. I mean, have you watched your kid play outside? They roll around in the grass, pick up random (dirty) objects, and like to play with bugs. Gross!
Then, we have animals. Our precious pets roam outside all day and then return to our homes, probably carrying many bacteria and worms.
Aside from those factors, we do have a mix of good and bad bacteria living inside us. In fact, there are around 30 trillion human cells in the human body and an estimated 39 trillion microbial cells, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi, that live in us.
How can I get exposed to parasites?
Even if you’re relatively safe and are mindful of what you eat and where you go, there are many places where you can become exposed to parasites. Such places include:
- Eating contaminated foods like raw fish, undercooked pork, or poultry
- Drinking contaminated water
- School-aged children
- Cuddling with your pets
- Traveling to foreign places
Microbiome: Consists of the 10-100 trillion symbiotic microbial cells that live in each person (primarily bacteria in the gut¹).
If a parasitic infection is left untreated, it can wreak havoc on your health and cause many diverse health issues, including:
Poor microbiome microbial balance can often be connected with parasitic infestations. When the gut terrain is out of order, parasites can grow out of control.
Parasites can steal your nutrients and disturb the digestion process, leaving your body feeling tired and weak.
Weakened immune system
Parasitic infections can block your ability to properly absorb the nutrients your body needs from the food you eat. Since your body is trying to fight off this parasitic infection, it makes it much harder for your body to heal and repair systems.
Additional symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain
- Extreme weight gain or weight loss
- Itchiness in crevices
- Joint & muscle discomfort
- Grinding teeth
- Difficulty sleeping
Different Types of Parasites
Parasites make my skin crawl, but it can be beneficial to know some of the most common parasites in the United States:
The most common tapeworm species are Taenia saginata (beef tapeworm) and Taenia solium (pork tapeworm). Humans can get tapeworms by drinking contaminated water or eating raw or undercooked meat.
Tapeworms embed their heads into the intestinal wall and remain there. Then, the tapeworm can produce eggs that mature into larvae and migrate to other parts of the body.
A tapeworm looks like a long, white ribbon and can grow up to 80 feet long.
Symptoms: abdominal pain, loss of appetite, weight loss³
Hookworms are a type of roundworm transmitted through contaminated soil and feces. The most common way to make contact with the hookworm is to walk barefoot on soil that contains hookworm larvae because the larvae can pierce the skin.
Hookworms live in the small intestine, attaching themselves to the intestinal wall with a “hook.”
Symptoms: Itchiness, rashes, abdominal pain, diarrhea⁴
Pinworms, also called threadworms, are roundworms. They make their home in the host’s intestines, but unlike many parasites, they do not pass into the blood and cannot survive in other parts of the body for any length of time.
When fully matured, they live in the colon and rectum. The female lays eggs outside the body, usually around the anus, causing itching. This assists the parasite’s ability to spread via hand contact.
Symptoms: Itchiness in crevices, rashes, difficulty sleeping⁵
Do parasite cleanses work?
Parasites are a huge buzzword right now. You don’t need to spend much time in wellness circles, TikTok, or real life before the term “parasite cleanse” comes up.
But, as someone invested in knowledge, health, and truth, I will tell you this right now: parasite cleanses don’t work.
Many wellness brands will tell you that people have parasitic infections and don’t know it. Then, they’ll market their expensive supplements that claim to kill these parasites, where apparently, you can see their remains if you peek in the toilet.
The danger is that this is false marketing, and these brands are ruthless and will prey on the gullible. The supplements and so-called cleanses are also really just laxatives, so of course, they’ll cause diarrhea. Additionally, if a high amount is taken, it can actually change the microbiome of the gastrointestinal tract, which people may mistake as a step in the right direction.
“For a long time, there have been people selling products with various health claims designed to separate people from their money,” says Thomas Moore, an infectious-disease specialist and clinical professor at the University of Kansas School of Medicine at Wichita. “Parasite cleanses are the latest incarnation of a pseudoscientific health trend that sells the idea that there are toxins in your body that need to be purged. In fact, what they’re really doing is preying upon the gullible.”
A holistic approach to parasites
First and foremost, seek medical advice from a qualified health practitioner if you have severe parasitic infection symptoms. I am NOT a doctor. I am just passionate about sharing health nuggets and products that actually work with the body.
I believe that the best way to treat a parasite infection (and prevent recurring infections) is to get to the root and address the underlying cause.
For example, your diet matters. Your body constantly tries to maintain a healthy balance of "good" and "bad" bacteria in your gut. A diet high in refined sugars, processed foods, and even dairy products can encourage parasites and other "bad" microorganisms to grow in the body.
A diet high in refined sugars, processed foods, and pasteurized dairy products can encourage parasites and other "bad" microorganisms to grow in the body.
Eating a clean, nutritious diet is crucial for optimal health, and including anti-parasitic foods in your meals can help eliminate parasites from your body. Try to include at least one of these foods in your meals:
- Pumpkin seeds
- Papaya seeds
- Dandelion greens
- Sunflower seeds
- Fermented foods
- Coconut Oil
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Cayenne Pepper
Unlike harsh parasite cleanses or detoxes that are tough on the body, herbs and a nutritious diet can help rid your body of parasites, restore balance to the gut microbiome, and promote long-term wellness.
Benefits of eliminating parasites
Ridding your body of parasites helps your immune system fight fewer internal battles and function at its peak potential. Additional benefits include:
- Reduce or take away chronic inflammation
- Improves digestion
- Improves ability to assimilate nutrients
- Help clean bloodstream
- Improve sleep
- Improve skin complexion
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Lower allergies
- Alleviate constipation
- Help with brain fog
As a long-time fan of Cymbiotika, I’m so excited to touch on their newest formula, ParaX. Like all of their other products, this immune-boosting formula is thoughtfully designed–in fact, it took years to develop!
What I love most about this product is that nothing else is on the market like it. This product is a liquid gel capsule with suspended ParaX-Spheres. The formula also contains Ozonated Oils, a potent blend of coconut, monolaurin, olive fruit oil, thyme oil, oregano oil, and clove oil, providing antimicrobial and antiseptic agents.
ParaX also contains immune-boosting and anti-parasitic ingredients, such as:
Andrographolide promotes a healthy inflammatory response by supporting the lymphatic system, detoxification, and elimination, thus enabling efficient drainage pathways. It supports a healthy immune response during bacterial and viral infections, reinforcing your body’s healing ability.
CAPE (Caffeic Acid Phenethyl Ester)
A highly bioactive phenolic compound found in bee propolis and utilized for its extraordinary antioxidant and immune properties.
Other Benefits of ParaX:
- Combats allergies
- Helps constipation
- Improves ability to assimilate nutrients
- Protect gut microbiome
- Improves digestion
- Reduces inflammation
- Helps with brain fog
- Improves skin
- Reduces stress
Wherever you are, it’s important to ensure your body is well-equipped with the proper nutrients and systems to fight off parasites and other unwanted pathogens. Parasites aren't something most of us like to discuss or even think about, but there are gentle and holistic approaches we can take to eliminate parasites naturally from the body.
As a lifestyle writer and health enthusiast, I’m excited to bring my passion for storytelling to Cymbiotika. Two things you should know about me: I love interior decorating, and I’m obsessed with supplements. My kitchen counter literally overflows with supplements and powders. This passion led me to buy my first Cymbiotika product. I tried the Liposomal Magnesium L-Threonate and was so impressed by how it gave me more energy and cleared up my brain fog that I wanted to share this brand with as many people as possible. Shortly after, I’m here doing just that. I’m excited to be on this journey of better health with Cymbiotika, and I’m excited to share it with you here on the blog.
Reviewed by: Dr. Pejman Taghavi
Medical Director, Hollywood Healthcare
Clinical Instructor, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center
Dr. Pejman Taghavi is a specialist in the field of Diagnostic and Interventional Abdominal and Musculoskeletal Radiology. As medical director of Hollywood Healthcare and faculty at UCLA Medical Center, Dr. Taghavi offers extensive expertise in the field of radiology, with publications in the Society of Skeletal Radiology and Chicago Radiological Society, among others. Dr. Taghavi is passionate about the healing of muscles and joints without relying on oral pain medications. Dr. Taghavi has experience working with high-level athletes from the LA Lakers, LA Dodgers, and UCLA Bruins.
1. Defining the Human Microbiome.
2. Characterization of Tapeworm Metabolites and Their Reported Biological Activities. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6514793/
3. Parasites - Hookworm
4. Parasites - Enterobiasis
5. Parasite cleanses are snake oil.