Integrated Non-Drug Control of Gut Parasites
Majid Ali, M.D.
Infestation of the bowel with parasites for individuals with chronic illnesses, including SEID (chronic fatigue syndrome), fibromyalgia, polymyalgia, polyarthralgia, Crohn’s colitis, and others, is simply a matter of time. Parasitic infestation should be assumed — unless specifically excluded with appropriate tests performed with a rectal mucus swab or other suitable methods — when the bowel ecosystem has been damaged. For example, Giardia—the most common parasite in the U.S.—is now endemic in both New York City and the Rockies around Denver, and this parasite can be detected in many chronic fatiguers. Other commonly found parasites are Dientamoeba, Blastocystis, and various amebas (Entamoeba histolytica, Entamoeba coli, Entamoeba hartmanni, Endolimax and Iodamoeba butschlii).
Intestinal parasites coexist with us just as other living beings do. Elimination of bowel parasites from our environment is as simplistic a notion as banishing ants and houseflies from our towns and cities. In health, the high level of acidity in the stomach destroys parasites that enter human body with water and food. Diminished acidity (hypochlorhydria) is now pandemic, and reduction in acidity caused by pervasive abuse of antacids further weakens this essential defense system of the body against parasites.
The best method of diagnosis of chronic bowel parasitic infestation is with a rectal mucus sample obtained during anoscopy when it is possible to examine the state of rectal mucosa for excessive mucus, edema, congestion and ulceration. The treatment of acute parasitic infestation often requires specific drug therapies for specific parasites. For chronic parasitic infestation of the bowel, I outline below some natural regimens for parasite eradication that employs several natural anti-parasitic herbs, digestive enzymes, and small doses of hydrochloric acid. The rectal mucus test for parasites should be repeated to assess the efficacy of the treatment.
The issue of disruption of the bowel ecosystem by parasites is quite complex, and I discuss it at length in the companion volume Battered Bowel Ecology — Waving Away A Wandering Wolf. One important point in the context of chronic fatigue is this: Many parasites such as Blastocystis that are commonly regarded as nonpathogenic must be considered significant in the battered bowel ecosystems of people with chronic fatigue syndrome.
The best known—and probably the most effective broad-spectrum—herb is Artemesia annua vera that has been used in Far East for centuries. Other herbs such as Echinacea, Goldenseal, Astragalus and others have also been ascribed anti-parasitic activities. I include these herbs in my bowel ecology protocols and use them liberally for my patients even when the presence of parasites has not been proven with the rectal mucus test for intestinal parasites.
Some South American herbs with anti-parasitic effects for also valuable for controlling parasitic infestations. These include:
1. Herbs with peroxidant effects such as Artemisia Annua Vera, Gossypol, Pringamoza
2. Herbs without peroxidant effects such as Amargoso, Chaparro, Dafne, Limoncillo, Malva and others (brand names: Pasaloc and Padopco)
I consider the issue of chronic intestinal parasites in the broader context of gut fermentation. So I prescribe herbs and spices for preventing and controlling gut parasites concurrently with yeast control and bacterial overgrowth in various segments of the alimentary tract.
I prescribe antiparasitic herbs in combination and rotation for a period of six to eight weeks. For patients with GERD-gastritis symptoms, I liberally prescribe digestive enzyme/acid protocols