what diet works to get rid of it?

A parasite cleanse is a diet, supplement, or other detox product intended to eliminate parasites from the body without the use of prescription drugs. Many herbs and natural compounds can help the body eliminate parasites. However, in cases where a person does not have a parasite, they will have very little effect. In this article, you will learn more about parasite cleanses and evidence of their effectiveness.


There is a myth in some natural health circles that the vast majority of people have parasites, and therefore need parasite cleanses. This presumption is false. However, well-known parasitic infections, such as malaria, are a worldwide epidemic. Malaria alone kills more than 660,000 people each year. Most of these deaths are of young children in sub-Saharan Africa.

Many parasitic infections are possible:

A chronic Toxoplasma gondii infection, which is one of the most common parasitic infections in the world.

  • Trichomoniasis is a very common sexually transmitted parasite
  • Trypanosoma cruzi infection.
  • Cysticercosis, or pig tapeworm.
  • Toxocara or roundworms, usually contaminated by dogs or cats.

Many manufacturers of parasite cleansers go so far as to say that everyone should have a parasite cleanse once or twice a year, with or without evidence of a parasite. In reality, the only people who need treatment for parasites are those who have parasitic infections. Anyone concerned about having a parasitic infection should see a doctor.

Are they effective?

There is little research on the usefulness of commercial parasite cleaning products. Most people who try these products probably don’t have a parasitic infection. However, some pest-control cleaners may be effective for people with an infection. For example, wormwood is the main ingredient in many pest control products and it contains powerful antioxidants and other useful compounds.

A recent study published in the Journal of Helminthology showed that wormwood reduced levels of dwarf tapeworms similarly to a leading antiparasitic drug in animal studies. These results are promising, but the researchers call for more testing before recommending wormwood as a treatment.

Another 2018 study in humans found that wormwood could treat schistosomiasis, which occurs in people with a type of parasitic worm, as effectively as standard medical treatment. In this study, 800 participants with schistosomiasis received either standard medical treatment or one of two types of wormwood tea. Those who received the wormwood tea cleared the infection faster and suffered fewer side effects than those who took the standard drug.

Plants often possess natural defense compounds that protect the plant against infections and insects and other invaders. Many plants and herbs contain compounds that may have an antiparasitic effect according to laboratory tests and other studies.

That’s why manufacturers of pest-control cleaners claim that many plants can also kill parasites in the body:

oregano oil
black walnut
grapefruit seed extract
olive leaf

Many natural sources have similar effects to standard parasite medications and show promise as antiparasitic tools. However, it can be difficult to know if they are effective because many people who use home pest cleansers do not have an underlying infection.

The Parasite Cleansing Diet

Countless stories are popping up online about people’s experiences with parasite cleansing diets and how much better they feel afterwards. Although people may feel better, the effects may have more to do with the general advice of a cleansing or detox diet.

Purification diets or programs often require the person to follow a supportive diet while taking the product. This diet can include avoiding fatty and processed foods and eating natural, whole foods. Some parasite cleansing diets ask the person to avoid certain types of food, such as gluten, dairy, or pork. Diets can also include the use of anti-inflammatory herbs and spices, such as garlic, turmeric, and ginger.

These dietary changes alone can be enough to cause a noticeable shift in a person’s body to a cleaner, healthier diet.
The ingredients in detox products tend to be very high in antioxidants, and many can easily cause a reaction in the digestive system. People often confuse these effects with what they call “parasite elimination”.

After a round of these herbs, some diets suggest adding supplements to restore the digestive system, such as prebiotics and probiotics.
Some research suggests that probiotics may also help reduce the risk of parasitic infections or treat them.

Many parasite cleansing diets can help a person feel better simply by eliminating processed and fatty foods and introducing healthy probiotics and antioxidants. However, some diets require the person to eat only one type of food for an extended period of time.

Signs and symptoms of a parasite

Common symptoms of a parasitic infection are:

general tiredness
mental fog
stomach ache
skin symptoms, such as rashes
diarrhea while traveling
unexplained weight loss
the presence of worms in the stool.

However, many of these symptoms may be associated with other digestive health issues. Anyone with these symptoms should see a doctor for a full diagnosis.

Medical treatment

In some cases, the parasites go away on their own, especially in a person with a healthy immune system. If the parasite is causing worrisome symptoms or may lead to complications, doctors will likely prescribe an antiparasitic medication that kills the parasite.

Some people choose natural methods to rid their bodies of a parasite. Certain ingredients in these products may show promise in eliminating parasites. The authors of a 2013 study note that many natural products show promise as pest control treatments. However, there is still not enough research to suggest them as remedies. While individual ingredients may work in lab studies, there is little evidence that commercial cleaners kill parasites.

In summary

A person can have a parasitic infection even if they have no symptoms. However, there is no evidence that people who self-diagnose and use parasite cleaners benefit from these products if no parasites are present.

The methods that underpin many cleansing programs typically involve the person eating a whole-food diet, consuming supporting herbs, and improving their digestive health. Switching to a healthier diet can produce many of the positive effects that people see when taking parasite cleansers. Anyone concerned about parasites or the possibility of a parasitic infection should seek medical attention.


Beshay, EVN (2018). Therapeutic efficacy of Artemisia absinthium against Hymenolepis nana: In vitro and in vivo studies in comparison with the anthelmintic praziquantel [Abstract].

Ndjonka, D., et al. (2013). Natural products as a source for treating neglected parasitic diseases.

Munyangi, J., et al. (2018). Effect of Artemisia annua and Artemisia afra tea infusions on schistosomiasis in a large clinical trial [Abstract].

* Presse Santé strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the advice of a health professional.

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