Parasite Cleanse: Protocol, Pills, and Home Remedy
Here's how to get parasites out of your body fast and naturally. Get the protocol and other strategies for a parasite cleanse—a period of time when you consume specific anti-parasitic herbs and foods that kill parasites and remove them from your body.
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Do you have parasites?
Parasites are actually incredibly common. If you haven't already, get a stool test to see if you have parasites and which ones you have. We usually get parasites from eating or drinking contaminated food or water, especially in 3rd world countries.
But, because parasites have evolved to live inside living begins, they really do try to keep a low profile. So we often don't even know we have them until they start causing problems. That's when a parasite test and parasite cleanse start to become a really good idea.
When I took the GI-MAP stool test, I learned that I had a parasite called blastocystis hominis. I likely got it in Mexico (because I came home with a tummy bug) but it wasn't until 3 years later that my gut health was a complete mess and I started my own parasite cleanse.
What is a parasite cleanse?
What to do in a parasite cleanse
When you have parasites, you basically need to remove the eggs, larva, and adult parasites in a way that is minimally harmful to you. What does that mean? Well, it means that you need to kill parasites at all life stages at the same time, but not too harshly.
However, when some parasites die they produce toxins which can be harmful to you. So you actually don't want to kill them too quickly. At the same time, you need to stay on top of them so they don't reproduce. It's a fine balance.
Depending on how many parasites you have and how hard they are to kill, you may need to take pills for many weeks or even many months. Personally, I was able to clear a difficult case of parasites in 3 months (I didn't retest, but my symptoms were gone) and I do a follow up every few months now just in case they try to come back.
So to start my cleanse, I bought:
Here's what to include in your parasite cleanse protocol:
1. Kill parasites with wormwood (Carefully!)
Wormwood is an incredibly potent anti-parasite, anti-worm herb. Please read all precautions on wormwood here. Apparently, some types of wormwood can cause health problems and should not be taken by people who are pregnant.
But wormwood is key to most home remedies for eliminating parasites. This is the bulk wormwood that I took, and here is a pre-made wormwood pill.
2. Take clove to kill parasite eggs
In addition to killing adult parasites, you want to make sure you kill parasite eggs or else you'll just get reinfected. So take clove powder at the same time as wormwood. Here is clove powder in bulk and here are pre-made clove pills.
3. Take black walnut to kill parasite larvae
To kill parasite larvae, be sure to take black walnut with wormwood and clove. Here is black walnut in bulk and black walnut in pre-made pills.
4. Eat papaya seeds
When you eat, the parasites eat. So it's really helpful to eat anti-parasitic foods with every meal. This way they'll eat things that hurt them (or they wont eat), and you can speed along the process of killing them.
One thing parasites really hate is papaya seeds. So making papaya smoothies can be helpful. Just toss 1/2 of a papaya in a blender. Include all the papaya seeds from that half of the papaya. Add some orange juice or other juice to thin the smoothie. Drink it on an empty stomach.
If you can't get papaya locally, you can get papaya seeds in bulk and just add them to any smoothie.
Note. I'm not a huge fan of papaya, but in my experience this really worked, so I kept doing it until my parasites were gone.
More about the parasite cleansing smoothie:
5. Eat pumpkin seeds
Another food parasites hate is pumpkin seeds. So snack on pumpkin seeds whenever you're hungry. Pumpkin seeds snacks are especially good because you'll be eating them on an empty stomach and the parasites won't have other foods to eat. Just pumpkin seeds.
6. Use coconut oil
The most anti-bacterial, anti-parasitic oil is coconut oil. So use coconut oil for cooking and baking when doing a parasite cleanse.
7. Take a probiotic
To keep your gut healthy and strong through all this, it's good to take a potent probiotic. For example, you want something with billions of CFUs—a probiotic that focuses on the most beneficial strains. Here are some that I like: SBO probiotic, Saccharomyces Boulardii, and L. Reuteri.
How to start your parasite cleanse
Okay, now that you have your parasite pills and home remedies all set to go, it's time to plan out your parasite cleanse protocol. There are lots of different protocols that can work, but this is what I found worked for me.
It'll be really helpful if you have a 7-day pill box with sections for breakfast, lunch, and dinner or 3 regular 7-day pill boxes (for breakfast, lunch, and dinner). Because the protocol is complex, requires that you take pills with every meal, and increase your dosage across time, setting out your pills before hand will make it way easier to remember which day you're on and what to do.
And ideally, you'll take your pills 20 minutes before a meal, 3 times per day, even if you don't have a full meal (for example, if you're more of a coffee-for-breakfast kind of person, still take your pills 3 times per day.)
Set a reminder 20 minutes before meal times to keep yourself on track. And if you forget to take your pill, or meal time changes for some reason, just take your pills before you eat at the beginning of your meal. Your goal is to give the parasites the herbs first, before they get to munch on any of your yummy meal.
Pre-cleanse days 1, 2, and 3
Before starting, it's a good idea to do 3 days of pre-cleanse prep. This is basically to ease yourself into the protocol and make sure that the pills aren't making you sick.
Pre-cleanse day 1:
On day 1, take 1 wormwood pill 20 minutes before each meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner). Even if you just have a small breakfast, like coffee or tea, aim to take your pills then. If you feel alright, move on.
Pre-cleanse day 2:
On day 2, take 1 clove pill 20 minutes before each meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner). If you feel alright, move on.
Pre-cleanse day 3:
On day 3, take 1 black walnut pill 20 minutes before each meal (breakfast, lunch and dinner). If you feel alright, move on.
The thing is, you might feel a little queazy from all of these pills if they are killing off parasites. The parasites don't want to die and they make their death known to you. But if you feel really ill, please stop; you could have an allergy.
Alternatively, you may have a problem clearing toxins from your body that are coming from killing parasites. I provide some toxin clearing tips later on, but you should also consult a naturopathic doctor to help you identify if a natural parasite cleanse is a good fit for you.
Lastly, many people don't feel anything the first day. That's because parasites have life cycles. So if you only feel queasy every few days it's likely that the pills are working. Whereas if you feel queasy every time you take a pill, you more like are intolerant to the herb itself.
Starting your 3 month parasite cleanse protocol
Below is a 3 month protocol. If you feel better or come up clean on a re-test for parasites then that's great. For me, 3 months was the right length of time for what seemed to be a pretty difficult case. For many people, you may only need the protocol for 2 weeks. So just listen to your body.
Weeks 1 and 2
Ok, so now let's set up our pill box for 1 week.
Wormwood: Choose your average biggest meal of the day for your wormwood. I did lunch. Start with 2 pills and increase your dose by 2 pills each day.
Clove: Take 2 clove capsules, 3 times per day before each meal.
Black walnut: Take 2 black walnut capsules, 3 times per day before each meal.
Weeks 4 and 5
Weeks 4 and 5 are the same as weeks 1 and 2.
Take another break week. Be sure to keep eating anti-parasitic foods, but give your gut a break from the herbs.
Weeks 7 and 8
Weeks 7 and 8 are the same as weeks 1 and 2.
Take another break week.
Weeks 10 and 11
Weeks 10 and 11 are the same as weeks 1 and 2.
Week 12 is your last week and it's a break and evaluation week. Take stock of how you feel and get re-tested if you'd like to see if your parasites are gone or if more parasite cleanse time is needed. I have read that for some (with other confounding conditions), it can take a year to clear parasites, so there is not set time for a parasite cleanse.
One experience with a parasite cleanse:
Clearing toxins during your parasite cleanse
As I mentioned earlier, killing parasites can result in excess toxins in your body. So while doing your cleanse it can be helpful to support the liver and enhance it's ability to clear toxins. That way you don't end up with extra unnecessary harm to yourself.
To help the liver and body detox, consider taking milk thistle supplements, calcium D-Glucarate, NAC, or liposomal glutathione (I prefer NAC to glutathione because taking glutathione can tell our body not to produce it's own glutathione).
Next, eat bitter greens like dandelion leaves, raw radishes, and mustard greens to promote more bile excretion and process toxins effectively. And be sure to eat cruciferous veggies like broccoli, kale, collard greens, bok choy, and arugula. These contain diindolylmethane (DIM), a substance that helps the liver detox effectively.
Note. If your body is having a hard time detoxing (e.g., from poor detox genetics like CYP or GST genes) then getting in the sauna or steam room for 10-20 minutes 3-5 days per week can really help speed detox along.
Why to detox while doing a parasite cleanse:
Preventing future parasite infections
Of course, it's key to wash your food and be careful of the water you drink. I invested in a high quality water filter that purports to even remove viruses.
It can also be helpful to aid your stomach acid and liver bile to catch parasites, viruses, or bacteria that come in.
A parasite cleanse can help you more than you think
Our gut health influences everything from our weight, to our mood, to our cognitive ability. It can be the reason for our back pain, the root of our depression, and of course, the cause of our digestive issues. That's why testing for parasites and treating them them is essential.
About Dr. Tchiki Davis
Dr. Davis is founder of The Berkeley Well-Being Institute. After getting her PhD in psychology at Berkeley, she started creating online content & programs to boost well-being—some of these have reached more than a million people. As author of Outsmart Your Smartphone, and contributor to Psychology Today, The Greater Good Science Center, and Shine Text, Dr. Davis aims to share her insights on happiness & health with people all across the world. Learn more about Dr. Davis.