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Parasites 101 & the Full Moon Connection

I've done my fair share of parasite elimination cleanses in this life. Some went well & others...not so much. 

So what is a parasite? 

A parasite is an organism that requires a host to survive. In this case the host is me (a human) but of course it can be any other mammal or another organism. 

Types of Parasites 

There are 3 main categories of parasites: 

  • Protozoa       these are single-celled organisms that are microscopic or invisible to the naked eye. An example of a protozoa is Giardia.

  • Helminth       these are larger, multi-cellular organisms that we can often see. This includes parasitic worms such as tapeworm, pinworm, roundworm etc. 

  • Arthropods      this category involves insects that can carry disease and live on the host rather than within it. This includes insects such as ticks, lice, fleas & mosquitos. 

There's this general thinking that if you live in a first world country like I do that you are somehow exempt from contracting a parasite if you haven't travelled abroad. This simply isn't true #fakenews. 

In fact there are multiple ways that you can contract a parasite on your own home soil.

How you can contract a parasite:

  1. Contaminated drinking water: this doesn't only include ingesting or coming in contact with water tainted with fecal matter, this can also include drinking tap water.

  2. Contaminated food: this includes raw food & raw or undercooked meat. Sushi is a prime example here. (& if you often crave sushi-you may have a parasite my friend). 

  3. Pet Kisses: my dog Akira likes to exclusively kiss people on their lips as he fully believes he is a human, so I have to be super mindful of this. 

  4. Unwashed produce: if you live in Canada like I do, we are often getting our produce shipped in during the winter months from abroad. So giving your red bell pepper from Mexico the 1, 2 water rinse isn't going to cut it when we are talking about parasites.

  5. Contact with fecal matter: i'll leave this up to your imagination folks. 

It's estimated that upwards of 70% of people may have a parasitic infection and are unaware due to the way that symptoms can manifest. In some cases people have little to no symptoms & in others symptoms can range from IBS symptoms (abdominal pain, bloating, & altered bowel function) to joint pain, brain fog or insomnia. Parasites are also super stealth and are experts at hiding out in the body and for this reason they can often evade detection. 

Modern medicine has somehow forgotten what our ancestors and many indigenous tribes have known & been doing for many years-in that annual parasite cleansing is essential for optimal health. 

It is completely common practice for us to deworm livestock, horses and even our pets on a regular basis but why not us? Why are we somehow exempt from this? 

How to know if you have a parasite

Testing is how we know anything. Unfortunately, modern stool & ova tests that you would receive from your physician or the hospital are really inaccurate. I'll give you an example...

I returned home from a backpacking trip abroad in 2018 and landed myself in the ER. I was experiencing chronic diarrhea and a whole host of IBS type symptoms. I took a stool & ova test and my results came back negative. Later that year I started working with a practitioner for my lingering symptoms and we started a parasite cleanse. During the cleanse I legit saw worms in my stool...

So there's an example of how the test came back negative and I physically saw the worms in my stool later that year. 

Thankfully there are some tests out there that are accurate. There is a group of tests called PCR tests that search for the genetic material of the organism (which is a parasite in this case) instead of looking for the organism under a microscope. My favorite one of these tests is the GI MAP test by Genova Diagnostics. You need a practitioner to order one & you are paying out of pocket but it is really well worth it if you are experiencing chronic symptoms on a daily basis and are looking for answers. If you are interested in this test feel free to reach out and I can help you access it. 

Symptoms of a Parasitic Infection 

Symptoms of a parasitic infection can be difficult to pinpoint since most of the symptoms are considered to be non-specific: which means they aren't specific to a parasitic infection and could be a symptom of another condition. There are symptoms however, that are classically associated with a parasitic infection such as...

  • chronic diarrhea

  • rectal itching (especially at night)

  • teeth grinding (especially at night)

  • insatiable hunger 

  • weight loss 

  • fatigue & chronic fatigue

  • skin issues (rashes, hives, bumps, or eczema)

  • insomnia or trouble sleeping 

  • IBS & IBS symptoms (bloating, abdominal pain, altered bowel function)

  • dairy or lactose sensitivity 

  • POTS syndrome 

  • joint & muscle pain, aches, fatigue 

  • iron-deficient anemia (this is because parasites feed on iron & will steal it from inside our cells)

  • sugar cravings

  • brain fog

  • anxiety or nervousness

  • mood swings or depression 

  • allergies or food sensitivities 

I mean the list goes on. 

It's important to note that if you experience a number of these symptoms in a cyclical nature-meaning maybe they arise out of the blue and then subside for a while and then arise again randomly-then this could be another indicator of a parasitic infection due to the life cycle of a parasite. 

Parasites & the Full Moon connection

It's also true that people with a parasitic infection experience their symptoms ramping up around the full moon. I know...this sounds really "woo woo" but there is absolutely some science to support this. 

Around the full moon us humans will naturally produce less melatonin (our sleepy hormone) and more serotonin. Parasites also have serotonin receptors on their cells & they will capitalize on our abundance of serotonin around the full moon to mobilize themselves and move freely around the body to do their thang. 

This is why I will always utilize the moon cycles when I am doing a parasite elimination for myself or with a client. This will ensure that we are eliminating the parasites when they are at their "strongest".

What I use for parasite elimination 

This is my third parasite elimination and I think I've hit the sweet spot with this one. I am using a kit called the "Full Moon Kit" by Cellcore Biosciences. This kit is really powerful & is formulated really well with great clinical outcomes. You'll see a lot of functional medicine doctors, practitioners, NDs and MDs using this guy. You do need a practitioner to order it so if you are interested in purchasing one you can contact me and I can hook you up <3

There are also anti-parasitic herbs that are traditionally used in almost every formulation. These include black walnut hull, wormwood, and clove. 

How a parasite cleanse works

There are different approaches to parasite elimination but generally speaking you want to be killing/eliminating with the anti-parasitic herbs for 3 weeks and then take a 1 week break. I will repeat this process 2-3 times depending on the person and the severity of the infection. The week break is important as it gives the body time to cleanse itself & also allows for new parasite eggs to hatch so that when you go in for the second or third round you are really eliminating everything. 

When working with the full moon I will increase my dosage for 3 days prior to the full moon, the day of the full moon, and 3 days after-so for a full 7 days I am increasing my dosage around the full moon. 

Where to start 

If you are interested in doing a parasite elimination I would strongly advise that you work with a practitioner for a few reasons: 

  1. An effective practitioner will make sure you are on an appropriate dosage that is tailored specifically to you and you alone. What works for your girl might not be best for you.

  2. An effective practitioner will also ensure to properly prepare your body prior to doing the parasite elimination. If you are someone who is very symptomatic and experiences chronic symptoms on a daily basis then you will likely not feel so great if you jumped into killing the parasites from the get go. Furthermore, if your systems of detoxification and associated organs aren't working well or are sluggish, you can experience what is called a Herxheimer reaction (aka die-off). This affects everyone differently but symptoms can range from flu-like symptoms, to headaches, joint pain, rashes, and GI discomfort. Not a fun time...

  3. Lastly, working with a practitioner will provide you with ongoing support & hand holding throughout the entire process. A practitioner will share clinical tidbits that you won't find online and will also be there to troubleshoot with you if problems such as die-off were to occur. 

I totally learned the hard way when I did my first ever parasite cleanse back in 2018 that I mentioned earlier. 

I was working with a practitioner and looking back now I can see a lot of things she unfortunately did wrong. First of all, we were not a match *it's a no for me* 

When I came to see her I was very symptomatic and had been experiencing chronic IBS for months. She jumped right into the cleanse instead of preparing my body first and started me off on a ridiculously high dosage which was not appropriate for me. As a result I experienced an intense die-off reaction in which I produced an inflamed, bright red rash around my mouth and nose that persisted for weeks in addition to a beard of acne along my jawline. I also experienced flu-like symptoms for weeks with joint pain, chronic fatigue, chronic bloating & gas. I was incredibly uncomfortable and this practitioner offered me little to no support. Needless to say I was extremely burned by this experience. Although I had seen the worms in my stool and received "results" I was very uncomfortable and struggled during the whole process. It was not a fun time and I ended up not finishing the third round and never spoke to that practitioner again. 

Food As Medicine 

If you aren't quite ready to work with a certified practitioner (hi) just yet you can totally get the ball rolling with some anti-parasitic foods. I absolutely LOVE using food as medicine :) 

Raw Pumpkin Seeds

Having a handful of raw pumpkin seeds for 4-6 weeks has been shown to eliminate a variety of worms 

Raw Garlic 

Having 2 cloves of raw garlic per day as part of your food prep can be effective against Helminths such as roundworm, tapeworm and pinworm. 

Fresh Papaya & Pineapple 

Helllllo tropics! Both of these fruits respectively contain protein-digesting enzymes (bromelain & papain) that have long been used in Mexico to treat worm infestations. 

So that was parasites 101. I am almost finished my second round of this cleanse and I am already feeling like I have more energy and I am sleeping better. If you aren't already, follow me on instagram to see my results (@gutrooted). 

If you are interested in learning more about parasite elimination or need support please reach out and I would be happy to chat!

In health, 

Emma xx

Additional resources:

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The information on this site is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes.This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider promptly.

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