Presse Santé

Parasites: what diet works to get rid of them?

A parasite cleanse is a diet, supplement, or other detox product that aims to eliminate parasites from the body without the use of prescription medications. Many herbs and natural compounds can help the body eliminate parasites. However, in cases where a person is not infected with a parasite, it will have very little effect. In this article, you will learn more about parasite cleanse and the evidence for its effectiveness.


There is a myth in some natural health circles that the vast majority of people have parasites and therefore need a parasite cleanse. This assumption is wrong. However, a well-known parasitic infection, such as malaria, is 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.

Several parasitic infections are possible:

Chronic Toxoplasma infection, which is one of the most common parasitic infections in the world.

  • Trichomoniasis is a very common parasite that is transmitted through sexual contact
  • Trypanosoma cruzi infection.
  • Cysticercosis, or pig tapeworm.
  • Toxocara, or roundworms, is usually contaminated with dogs or cats.

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

Is it effective?

There is little research on the usefulness of commercial parasite cleaning products. Most people who have tried these products probably do not 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 contains powerful antioxidants and other beneficial compounds.

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

Another 2018 study in humans found that wormwood can treat schistosomiasis, which occurs in people infected with a type of parasitic worm, just 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 wormwood tea cleared the infection faster and experienced fewer side effects than those who took the standard medication.

Plants often have natural defense compounds that protect the plant from infection, insects, and other invaders. Many plants and herbs contain compounds that may have an antiparasitic effect according to lab tests and other studies.

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

seasoning 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 household pest cleaners do not have an underlying infection.

Parasite cleansing diet

Countless stories have surfaced online about people’s experiences with parasite cleanse diets and how much better they feel afterward. Although people may feel better, the effects may be related to the general advice of a cleanse or detox regimen.

Purification regimens or programs often require a person to follow a supportive diet while taking the product. This diet can include avoiding fatty and processed foods and eating whole, natural foods. Some parasite cleansing regimens require a 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 bring about 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 too many of them can easily cause a reaction in your digestive system. People often confuse these effects with what they call “elimination of parasites.”

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

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

Parasite signs and symptoms

Common symptoms of a parasitic infection are:

general fatigue
mental fog
stomach pain
Skin symptoms, such as a rash
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 problems. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should see a doctor for a full diagnosis.

The medical treatment

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

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

in summary

A person can get 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 in the absence of parasites.

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


Beshai, Evan (2018). Therapeutic efficacy of Artemisia absinthe against Hymenolepis nana: in vitro and in vivo studies in comparison with the anthelmintic drug praziquantel. [Abstract].

Ndgonka, D., et al. (2013). Natural products as a source for the treatment of 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 convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In any case, the information provided cannot replace the advice of a health professional.

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