Parasites and Your Health Part I

640px-HookwormsJill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz

As creepy as it may sound, hundreds of millions of Americans are unknowingly infested with parasites that can cause everything from aching joints and fatigue to blindness and even death.  If you don’t think you could ever have parasites, better think again! In this two-part series, I’ll cover the most common beasties found inside the human body and how you can get rid of intestinal parasites using a simple, safe, and natural remedy.

Say the word parasite and most people think of wriggling worms. And while that is definitely where we’re headed in this article,  the truth is that a parasite can be any living organisms that live in or on another living organism upon which it feeds and often breeds at the expense of its host.

Have you ever had a cold or the flu? How about a urinary tract infection or athlete’s foot? Ringworm, lice, thrush, or candida? All of these afflictions and many more have one thing in common – they are caused by a parasitic infestation.

And while I am definitely going to talk about intestinal parasites, it’s important to realize what a parasite can be. Viruses, bacteria, fungi, and amoeba are all common parasites of the human body. Fleas, ticks, chiggers, and mosquitos are often thought of as parasites but in reality, they are the vectors of parasites that cause diseases such as malaria, Lyme’s disease, and many others.

When it comes to parasites, most people look the other way because they don’t understand what the term parasites means and many mistakenly believe that the modern culture they live in protects them from those kinds of problems. But the truth is that at least one-third of Americans are infested with parasitic worms and don’t even know it. The majority of these creepy crawlies live in the digestive tract while others are deeply embedded in various bodily tissues, including the lungs, liver, heart, eyes, and brain.

Needless to say, some parasites are more dangerous than others. For example, Lactobacillus acidophilus is a parasitic bacteria that live in our digestive, genital, and urinary systems where they actually help us by preventing harmful bacteria from proliferating in our gut. We often call these parasites beneficial, or in the case of L. acidophilus, “pro-biotic”.  This particular parasite is “native” to the human body and we often intentionally introduce it to our digestive tracts by taking supplements and eating lacto-fermented foods like yogurt and Kieffer. On the other hand, Escherichia coli (E. coli) is a parasitic bacteria that not only makes its host violently ill, but can and sometimes does actually kill it. That being said, most intestinal parasites don’t typically kill their hosts.  After all, once inside your body, intestinal worms have all the food and shelter they need to survive and multiply for the duration of their lives.

Tapeworms are a common human parasite that robs the body of nutrients and causes problematic symptoms like digestive issues, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, intestinal inflammation, weight loss, and nutritional deficiencies. Some types of parasitic infestations can also lead to chronic acne, body and joint aches and pains, recurrent headaches, rashes, fatigue, and short-term memory loss, among many other problems.

So, if you have a long-standing health problem that you just can’t get a handle on or just feel run down all the time, you could very well have an undiagnosed parasitic intestinal infestation.

A few of the most common intestinal worms in the digestive tract include hookworms (Necator americanus), roundworms (Ascaris lumbricoides), tapeworms (Taenia solium), pinworms (Enterobius vermicularis) and many more. Of course, not all intestinal parasites are worms, some protozoans, bacteria, and fungi, like candida. In fact, humans deal with so many types of parasites that I couldn’t possibly list them all here.  If you have pets, livestock, or eat raw vegetables, seafood, or meat, you very well may have parasites. If you don’t feel well or are concerned you may have a parasitic infection, there are certain markers you can look for in your stool or saliva, otherwise, it’s probably best to get checked out at a clinic or doctors office.

The good news in all this is that there is a simple and effective remedy for cleansing the intestinal tract of the most common parasites with a two-week protocol of wormwood, cloves, and black walnut hull tincture, which are all readily available in any herb or nutritional store. So with that, allow me to introduce you to a very effective parasite cleanse that I have used for many years. Its origins go way back, but the woman who brought the parasite cleanse back into the mainstream was Dr. Hulda Clark. For more detailed information on this particular cleanse and others and what parasites can do to the human body, I strongly encourage you to check out Hulda Clarke’s book, A Cure for All Disease. It’s truly mind-blowing.

The Ingredients

This cleanse is simple, cheap and effective. I’ll start off by giving you a list of ingredients and instructions for making the tincture and next week I’ll provide the schedule for taking this now-famous herbal remedy for intestinal worms.

When buying your ingredients, choose a very high-quality product. To save even more money, buy empty, organic (to avoid the glyphosate in the gelatin) gel capsules (0 or 00 sizes) and fill them with the herbs at home.  Alternatively, you can take the herbs directly in the mouth with water, but if you are averse to strong flavors or gag easily do not attempt this. Use gel caps instead.

  • Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) is easiest to take if it is powdered, not cut and sifted. You want your herbs to come from a vacuum-sealed bag, not a big glass jar sitting on a shelf in a herb shop where the sun has gotten to it.  Order online if necessary. For one person a half ounce of powdered wormwood should be sufficient for this cleanse.
  • Cloves You can buy cloves from the spice rack in the grocery store, but it’s very important that they are of high quality and as fresh as possible. FYI: cloves are not as popular as other herbs and spices and tend to sit on the store shelves for a long time! For one person, one ounce is more than enough for this cleanse. You will want to either buy or make 500 mg capsules.
  • Black Walnut Hull Tincture – Buy a good brand. Double strength is best. Expect to pay around $16-$20 or more for a small bottle or make your own.Black walnut tincture is key to this remedy and is most often found as a combination of black walnut hull and wormwood for around $16-$20 a bottle, which is usually just enough for one person for two weeks.  Which is why I prefer to make my own at home. If you have black walnuts growing near you, early fall is the time to gather and tincture them. Otherwise, you can buy dried walnut hull and tincture it yourself.

Black Walnut Hull Tincture Recipe

Green-hulled black walnuts (or dried hulls)
Drinking alcohol (50% or 100 proof)*
Clean glass jars and labels

  • Collect as many green walnuts as desired, keeping the outer green hull intact. The greener the better – avoid those whose hulls have turned more than 50% black, those that are broken, bruised or otherwise damaged.
  • Place as many walnuts as will fit in a large glass jar, such as a wide mouth ½ or 1-gallon mason jar.
  • Cover with 50% (100 proof) drinking alcohol, such as vodka or Everclear, so that no portion of the walnut is exposed above the surface of the alcohol.
  • Cover, label with contents and date, and store in a cool, dark place for three days (or up to six weeks).
  • Strain the liquid through cheesecloth into a clean jar. Discard walnuts. Label and store in a cool, dark place for up to two years.

Note: It is possible to double the strength of the tincture by using the same liquid and steeping fresh, green walnuts in it for a second time.

* Never use isopropyl or other non-edible alcohol to make tinctures!


Hookworm image via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Public Health Image Library (PHIL), identification number #5205.

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Jill Henderson is an artist, author, and the editor of Show Me Oz  Her books, The Healing Power of Kitchen Herbs, The Garden Seed Saving Guide and A Journey of Seasons and Illuminati Agenda 21 can be found in the Show Me Oz Bookstore.  Jill is a featured columnist for Acres USA and a contributing author to Llewellyn’s Herbal Almanac and her work has appeared in The Permaculture Activist and The Essential Herbal.

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13 responses to “Parasites and Your Health Part I

  1. Thank you Jill for your advice. I would like to ask you if the black walnut capsules are fine? i couldn’t find tincture, but If not I will try. One last question is this detox good for urinary, genital detox as well? What do you suggest about that and about the adrenal glands?

    • I imagine they are, Laura, though I’ve never used them. Dr. Clark emphasized using the green hull while it’s still green and fresh. I’ve thought about drying my own hull so I can have it available whenever I need it and not have to wait until the black walnuts fall around here. Also, not everyone has black walnut trees growing where they live.
      And yes, I do think that this cleanse will affect the urinary tract as well because some part of it will be excreted in the urine.

  2. All the problems I wrote to you and shared on this site: the leaky gut, liver, less bile and more constipation,- hormonal imbalance – irregular menstrual cycles most of the symptoms bloating, hemorrhoids, clothing in menses, poor fat digestion- gallbladder are all caused by parasites, toxins.
    i found out recently that chronic stress and chronic inflammation caused by parasites in our body affect the adrenal glands. It is amazing how much these organs are connected and what level these parasites affects our human body.

    I thought of sharing this video as well.
    Thank you for all the information on this article Jill, it helps me a lot with my problems I hope others will find it helpful as well.

    • Thank you for sharing these, Laura. All credible information on detoxing is important and I’m sure many will appreciate them. I will definitely watch them as soon as possible. Also, the liver needs to be detoxed after all other organs have been detoxed because those toxins not excreted in feces or urine wind up in the liver, so the liver should be last to be cleared.

  3. I also enjoy listening to Dr. Daniels. She has a down to earth way of talking about these things.

  4. Check out Dr. Jennifer Daniels and using turpentine for clearing out parasites. I have tried the turpentine per her instructions and it wasn’t bad. I didn’t have parasites as far as I know but it is good for other things too.

    • Yes, absolutely, Craig. I was only recently made aware of Dr. Daniels and the use of pure gum spirits of turpentine for detox and parasites. A good friend of mine used her protocol and introduced us to her work. My understanding is that it can also be used externally for pain. We’re waiting for our first bottle to arrive…

  5. Thank you Jill for sharing this site of Dr. Daniels. The last one you shared I did listen and yes she explains things so well. I will watch her videos. It is always good to listen different views.

  6. It really is and I stay open to new information and, in this case, very old information that has found its way back into the alternative health arena.

  7. I would like to share with you Jill and your readers this video how to reverse a fatty liver

    It presents very good natural remedies that restore a fatty liver to a healthy liver.

  8. Thanks, Laura. Much appreciated!

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