Parasitic cleanses are a recent health trend that suggests that a specific diet or herbal supplement detoxifies the body to rid it of parasitic infections without the need for prescription medication. Let’s discuss what parasites are, the symptoms of having a parasite, what the parasite cleanse is, and if it is a beneficial regime.
Parasites infect the body of another living being and live off their hosts. The most common parasites that are found in the United States are toxoplasmosis, giardiasis, cryptosporidiosis, and trichomoniasis.
Parasitic infections occur when you ingest contaminated food, whether it’s in your beverages or food. Americans typically contract parasitic infections when they’re traveling abroad to tropical and subtropical countries. If you are traveling abroad and are concerned about contracting parasitic infections, avoid drinking water that isn’t purified or bottled, ice, eating fruits that can’t be peeled, swimming or bathing in freshwater, and eating foods that are prepared by vendors on the street.
Some parasites don’t cause any symptoms for the host, while others can cause severe illnesses. Common symptoms of parasitic infections are stomach pain, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, dehydration, weight loss, flu-like symptoms, gas, diarrhea, constipation, body aches and pains, itchiness, redness, and irritation.
Parasitic infections are commonly diagnosed by testing stool samples. Parasitic infections are typically treated by doctors prescribing oral medications such as antibiotics or anthelmintics. However, people who choose to follow parasitic cleanses will opt for a more natural approach. People who do parasitic cleanses will either take herbal supplements or they will incorporate antiparasitic foods into their diet.
A parasitic cleanse diet is a diet high in nutrients and low in processed foods. It’s especially important to prioritize fiber intake. Some antiparasitic foods that are commonly incorporated into a parasitic cleanse diet are garlic, pumpkin seeds, and papaya seeds.
Another way to cleanse your parasites in a natural way is with herbal supplements. There are varying lengths of parasitic cleanse programs. Some programs are 2 weeks on and 2 weeks off, while others last up to a month. Some common herbal supplements associated with parasitic cleansing are anise, barberry, berberine, black walnut, clove oil, curled mint, goldthread, goldenseal, grapefruit seed extract, propolis, oregano oil, Oregon grape, and wormwood. Before using any herbal supplements, contact your doctor because some supplements can have harsh side effects or can interact with the medications you are taking.
Parasite cleanses sound like they could be an effective way to treat parasitic infections, however, more research is needed to determine whether it is actually effective or not. However, the guidelines of eating a high-fiber, high-nutrient diet would be a good diet to follow along with the treatments that your doctor prescribes.
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Sources: Healthline and Everyday Health
Parasitic Cleanses: Is it The Next Big Thing or Just a Fad?