Parasite infection treatment with natural remedies, herbal treatments
December 20 2017 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Parasite definition : An organism that grows, feeds, and is sheltered on or in a different organism while contributing nothing to the survival of its host. A parasite cannot survive by itself.

Parasitic diseases include infections by protozoa, helminths, and arthropods. Some examples include:

Protozoa -- Malaria is caused by plasmodium, a protozoa. Giardia is a common protozoan parasite that causes gastrointestinal symptoms.
Helminths -- Schistosomiasis is caused by a helminth (a worm).
Arthropods -- The arthropods include insects and arachnids (spiders, etc.), a number of which can act as vectors (carriers) of parasitic diseases.

Natural treatment for parasite infections
There is very little research regarding the herbal treatment for parasite infections.

Garlic is a potent anti microbial agent but I am not sure how effective it is as a treatment.

Parasitol Res. 2014. Nature helps: food addition of micronized coconut and onion reduced worm load in horses and sheep and increased body weight in sheep. Intense laboratory tests on experimentally infected mice and rats had shown that a mixture of micronized onions and coconut pulp decreases substantially (until disappearance) the worm load (trematodes, cestodes and nematodes) after oral uptake.

Propolis has been tested for giardiasis in mice.

Different parasitic infections

Parasitol Res. 2013. Activity assessment of Tunisian olive leaf extracts against the trophozoite stage of Acanthamoeba.

Egypt is close to eliminating elephantiasis -- one of the world's most disfiguring diseases -- which has plagued the country since the time of the pharaohs. The condition, known officially as lymphatic filariasis (LF), is caused by a microscopic parasitic worm spread by mosquitoes. It can cause devastating symptoms such as grotesquely swollen limbs, as well as fevers and pain. A simple strategy of giving people in affected communities two drugs once a year for five years reduced infection rates, leading to elimination of the disease.

Intestinal parasites
Intestinal parasites cause significant illness and can be fatal. Diseases caused by Enterobius vermicularis, Giardia lamblia, Ancylostoma duodenale, Necator americanus, and Entamoeba histolytica occur in the United States.

E. vermicularis, or pinworm, causes irritation and sleep disturbances. Diagnosis can be made using the "cellophane tape test." Treatment includes mebendazole and household sanitation.

Giardia causes nausea, vomiting, malabsorption, diarrhea, and weight loss. Stool ova and parasite studies are diagnostic. Treatment includes metronidazole. Sewage treatment, proper handwashing, and consumption of bottled water can be preventive.

A. duodenale and N. americanus are hookworms that cause blood loss, anemia, pica, and wasting. Finding eggs in the feces is diagnostic. Treatments include albendazole, mebendazole, pyrantel pamoate, iron supplementation, and blood transfusion. Preventive measures include wearing shoes and treating sewage.

E. histolytica can cause intestinal ulcerations, bloody diarrhea, weight loss, fever, gastrointestinal obstruction, and peritonitis. Amebas can cause abscesses in the liver that may rupture into the pleural space, peritoneum, or pericardium. Stool and serologic assays, biopsy, barium studies, and liver imaging have diagnostic merit. Therapy includes luminal and tissue amebicides to attack both life-cycle stages. Metronidazole, chloroquine, and aspiration are treatments for liver abscess. Careful sanitation and use of peeled foods and bottled water are preventive.

The total number of patients with onchocerciasis on the African continent is between 2 and 3 million. Eliminating onchocerciais can be done with: improvement of the population coverage of drug distribution, construction of monitoring systems to inspect the emergence of drug resistance, invention of anti-macrofilarial drugs to replace anti-microfilarial drugs, and reinforcement of the health authorities in African countries. Among ocular vector-borne pathogens, Onchocerca volvulus, the agent of the so-called "river blindness", affects about 40 million people globally.

Specialists in infectious disease are protesting a gigantic overnight increase in the price of a 62-year-old drug that is the standard of care for treating a life-threatening parasitic infection.The drug, called Daraprim, was acquired in August 2015 by Turing Pharmaceuticals, a start-up run by a former hedge fund manager. Turing immediately raised the price to $750 a tablet from $13.50, bringing the annual cost of treatment for some patients to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Parasites in cat droppings may pose a potential public health problem, experts warn. Some of that waste contains an infectious parasite called Toxoplasma gondii, which has recently caused toxoplasmosis epidemics in otherwise healthy people, not only in pregnant women or people with weakened immune systems. Women newly infected during pregnancy can pass the toxoplasmosis infection to unborn children with possible severe consequences such as diseases of the eyes and nervous system, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report of 2013. T. gondii may in rare cases be linked to schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, rheumatoid arthritis, brain cancer and even children having trouble in school.

Trends Parasitol. 2013. Toxoplasma oocysts as a public health problem. Waterborne outbreaks of Toxoplasma gondii have focused attention on the importance of oocysts shed in the feces of infected cats. Cat feces deposited annually into the environment in the United States total approximately 1.2 million metric tons. The annual oocyst burden measured in community surveys is 3 to 434 oocysts per square foot and is greater in areas where cats selectively defecate. Because a single oocyst can possibly cause infection, this oocyst burden represents a major potential public health problem. The proper disposal of cat litter, keeping cats indoors, reducing the feral cat population, and protecting the play areas of children might potentially reduce the oocyst burden.

Trichomonas parasite caused trichomoniasis which is the most common curable sexually transmitted disease (STD) in the United States.

Fluke and liver cancer
People in Southeast Asia may reconsider eating raw freshwater fish because they risk becoming infected with a parasite worm that may predispose them to developing liver cancer. A parasitic worm, commonly known as fluke, infests rivers in rural parts of Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Korea and China. The worms find their way into freshwater fish and into humans when the fish is consumed raw. Most people infected with fluke show no symptoms but some develop liver cancer years later. Less than 1 percent who are infected with fluke will get liver cancer.

Review article
Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2015. Atopy and Asthma in Migrants: The Function of Parasites. Migration studies have shown that environmental factors in more developed and industrialized countries facilitate atopy and asthma in a time-dependent manner and are affected by age at immigration. Levels of immunoglobulin E are higher in immigrants than in the local population and gradually decrease to the levels of the general population. Parasitic infestation may function in the prevention and pathogenesis of atopic conditions in immigrants from developing countries. Helminths are associated with a reduced prevalence of clinically important atopic disorders, likely because of induction of a regulatory cell population mechanism. Improved understanding of the immunologic background of helminths and their protective function in humans has led to a growing interest in the possibility of reversal of allergies using parasites and the development of new therapies, such as immunomodulation for allergy using ova from parasites orally or intranasally.

Q. I wanted to know if you carry any products to remove parasites and chocochechia worms (not sure about spelling) and the larva created by it. I did not see that on your site.
   A. Not sure exactly what you mean, but as a rule we have not looked into herbs that influence parasite activity but we will keep our eyes open.

Q. I found your site by searching Google for essential oil encysted parasite. I was impressed and grateful for your informative references to research concerning the various properties of essential oils. Thank you! I have a horse diagnosed with Equine Recurrent Uveitis ( Moon Blindness ) that is possibly brought on by lymphocytes triggered by the presence of microfilaria. I have been studying to come up with a plan to reduce the risk of inflammation and another ophthalmic episode find alternatives to Ivermectin for killing the microfilaria and kill the encysted adult stage of Onchocerca cervicalis. I thought the most logical place to start eradicating the parasites would be the use of essential oils.
   A. This is an are of veterinary medicine beyond our knowledge.

Q. I was recently diagnosed with a number of different parasites from a gastro-test in an effort to resolve long-time digestive problems. I did a 10 day, 3-drug protocol for "Blasto" which was very debilitating and I don't know if the problem was resolved. Do you feel the herbal treatments for parasites are as effective as drugs and which herbs can be used most effectively.
   A. We have come across few specific and effective natural herbal treatment studies regarding treatment for parasite infections. One natural supplement that has been tested is propolis.

Q. Have you found any promising supplements or herbs for treating parasites, in particular blastocystis hominis which I know is not often regarded as pathogenic in the US and Canada but the international literature over the past few years is much more convincing.
   A. Not yet, as of 2013.

I truly appreciate your dedication to researching healthy alternatives to allopathic drugs. Although western medicine certainly has its benefits, there are many pitfalls to a form of medicine that focuses more on finding ways to shut off the alarms (symptoms) rather than attempting to find and safely treat the root causes of many illnesses. I have had great success using alternative, natural remedies for both myself and my human and animal companions .I have recently made some major dietary changes to address a possible problem with Candida however I would also like to treat for other parasites as I have indoor cats who manage to get a hold of mice who gain access to our house. We live in the country and mice seem to find away to get in through the basement or garage and then end up in our living space. There are a plethora of anti-parasite products and kits including Paragone and many, many others. Have you heard any helpful feedback regarding these different parasite programs. I plan to do some basic cleansing prior to starting the anti-parasite program (whichever one I end up using) because I understand that symptoms caused by “die off” maybe less problematic if I do some internal cleansing first. Renew Life has a program called “Smart Cleanse” which is supposed to help to detoxify different organs and symptoms a such as the kidneys and liver etc. s opposed to just a basic bowel cleanse .Do you have any thoughts re the various programs or kits and which ones may be most effective.
   A. I have not seen any specific research with these products so it is difficult to know if they are effective.

I love your website and can relate to it very well. I have a parasite under my skin which is called Histomonas Melcagridis protozoan parasite and Besnotia parasite. These are hard to get rid of and had it for three years I really need to get rid of the problem. I know it is under my skin as I can easily rub them off. Every day I have to eliminate as much of these critters as they multiply very fast. What is the right essential oil.
   A. So sorry but this is not a topic that I have much experience with.