Before we dive in, know that it is not advised to take any herbs unless you’ve been working with a professional or, even better, a functional medicine doctor with experience in parasitic infections. It’s ideal if you have been practicing a holistic lifestyle for some time. That is because the first and most critical step for healing an infection is getting your immune system up and functioning optimally.
From there, one of the very last steps is going to be experimenting with herbs. To help this process, if you suspect you have an infection or are running a routine yearly cleanse, here are some of the best natural food and herbal remedies for parasites.
This might come as a surprise, but do not underestimate this common household herb. It is actually among the most effective herbs for ridding the body of any unwanted organisms. Garlic is able to slow and kill over 60 types of fungus and 20 types of bacteria, as well as some of the most potent viruses.
Garlic has a history of killing parasites and controlling secondary fungal infections. It also detoxifies while gently stimulating elimination, and has antioxidant properties to protect against oxidation caused by parasite toxins. The active components in garlic that kill parasites are allicin and ajoene. (1) These compounds can kill amoebas including one-cell varieties, as well as pinworms and hookworms.
Allicin is not present in garlic in its natural state. When garlic is chopped or otherwise damaged, the enzyme alliinase acts on the chemical alliin, converting it into allicin, the active component contributing to its success for killing parasites.
To get the most out of garlic, be sure to use it crushed or juiced. Start off with 1 clove and work your way up to as many as you can stomach. (2)
Cucumber seeds have been used as an all-natural treatment to remove tapeworms within the digestive tract. The powder of cucumber seeds can be used to treat tapeworms but also consumed even if you do not have a parasite, as a preventative measure.
That is because cucumbers are of course are also a vegetable. They are effective due to enzymes within the cucumber and seeds that kill tapeworms. Look for heirloom cucumber seeds, grind into a powder and add 1 tsp. to a smoothie daily during your cleanse. (3)
Sugary, tropical fruit is typically not advised when dealing with parasites. However, this particular fruit has a strong ability to destroy many parasitic worms, including most intestinal worms and tapeworm. The most powerful part of the fruit is actually the seed.
The University of Maryland Medical Center advises a mixture of honey and papaya seeds, which has been found to clear stools of parasites. If you are going to consume the fruit for its benefits, it is best to remove the skin and ferment in apple cider vinegar for one day. You will want to eat eight ounces of the cultured papaya and drink 2 ounces of the brine for 4 days.
Chaudhary MD, a neurologist and practitioner of Ayurveda, suggests this papaya smoothie recipe: Take the seeds from an average-sized papaya and grind them in a coffee grinder. Next, add a tablespoon of organic virgin coconut oil. Then add about a cup of coconut milk and the rest of the papaya; finally, blend until smooth. Drink the smoothie each morning for at least 7 consecutive days. (4)
Cloves contains the most powerful germicidal agent in the herbal kingdom, known as eugenol. It also contains caryophyllene, which is a powerful antimicrobial agent. These components travel through the bloodstream, killing microscopic parasites and parasitic larvae and eggs.
Cloves are tremendously effective in killing malaria, tuberculosis, cholera, scabies and other parasites, viruses, bacteria and fungi, including Candida. Cloves also destroy all species of Shigella, Staphylococcus, and Streptococcus. It is best consumed with black walnut hulls and wormwood. (5)
These are able to kill eggs, and they contain a natural fat that is toxic to parasite eggs. Curcurbitin in pumpkin seeds has shown anti-parasitic activity, since it has the ability to paralyze worms so they drop off the intestinal walls.
Chinese scientists used pumpkin seeds to treat acute schistosomiasis and tapeworm infestations. Many parasite formulas contain pumpkin seed, but it doesn’t do much in just a few capsules. You need half a cup at a time to really work. Grind in coffee grinder and add to salads or smoothies. (6)
This is perhaps one of the most powerful herbs and is helpful for just about everything. It boasts powerful properties. it is an anticancer, anti-inflammatory, wound-healing, worm-expelling, and an overall body purifier. This is a very safe herb to consume regularly for maintaining health as well as to use medicinally. Pair with coconut oil and black pepper for improved absorption. (7,8)
A family member to turmeric, ginger has many similar qualities. It also increases circulation and helps all digestive issues. It is particularly good for gas and nausea associated with parasite die-off. It also improves stomach acid production, which kills parasites and protects us from getting infected in the first place. Fresh ginger is better for eliminating mucus, while ground ginger is better for warming the digestive system. Take both. (9,10)
This hot pepper is a powerful anti-fungal. The best cayenne has the ability to destroy fungus, mold & parasites on contact! It increases circulation and health, and also increases effectiveness of other herbs when used in combination with them. Try sprouted pumpkin seeds seasoned with ginger and cayenne for a delicious snack and a medicine for treating intestinal bugs! The best is African Cayenne. (11)
These have been shown to have powerful effects on killing many varieties of parasites. The dried and ground green hull of the black walnut contains tannin, which is organic iodine, as well as juglandin.
Black walnut has been used for centuries to expel various types of worms, including parasites that cause skin irritations such as ringworm. It oxygenates the blood, which also helps kill parasites.
Black walnut is very effective against tapeworms, pinworms, Candida albicans (yeast infections) and malaria. It is also effective in reducing blood sugar levels, and helping the body rid itself of toxins. Best of all, you can find these babies growing outside in the wild in abundance. I have a tree in my front yard that gives more than I can use! Your best bet is to take an alcohol tincture of it three times a day. (12)
Remember to take probiotics at the end of the day during a parasite herbal protocol because parasite-killing herbs knock out everything, including good bacteria. The best probiotics are food-based, such as sauerkraut, kefir and raw yogurts.
(Read: The Ultimate Guide to Probiotics)
Also, remember to get plenty of rest while on a parasite cleanse. First of all, sleep is incredibly healing and needed for repair and rebuilding. You will also want to drink plenty of clean water. Any activity that promotes rest, relaxation and builds energy is a wise move for boosting the immune system!