- A parasite cleanse kills and clears parasites from the body. However, when parasites die, they release the inflammatory substances, pathogens, and toxins they have been harboring inside them.
- The die-off symptoms that accompany a parasite cleanse can be uncomfortable. But as long as you prepare in advance and have the appropriate tools to deal with parasite die-off reactions, you’ll have a much easier, more comfortable cleanse.
- Clear and free-flowing drainage pathways are a necessity if you wish to remove the waste products of parasite die-off from the body.
- Often the issues causing a drainage problem are the parasites themselves. Parasites love to infest the liver, bile duct, and many of the other elimination organs.
- The more you work on eradicating parasitic infection, the more die-off reactions you may experience.
- Die-off reactions may include the following: aches and pain, cravings, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, headaches, insomnia, mental and emotional issues, skin problems, stuffy nose and mucus, and worsening of GI problems.
- General detox practices can help support you during detox.
- It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re dealing with the new effects of killing off parasites. But give yourself a break and allow your body the time it needs to heal.
- Remember, die-off symptoms are often necessary to clear parasitic infection from the body. Fortunately, these symptoms are temporary as well.
WHAT IS THE FIRST STEP: OPEN DRAINAGE PATHWAYS
The importance of open and free-flowing drainage pathways cannot be overstated. As you can see, the parasitic toxins will only exit the body if every point along the parasite waste removal pathway is open. For example, a clogged lymph drainage system means the toxic waste won’t get passed to the liver, spleen, and lymph nodes for further filtration and detoxification. And with a clogged liver and bile duct system, those toxic wastes will not flow to the kidneys or colon for excretion.
Clear drainage pathways are a necessity if you wish to remove the waste products of parasite die-off. But many people, especially those with chronic illnesses, have blockages in some of these detox organs. When the toxic wastes aren’t cleared out fast enough, they are free to recirculate in the body as they wait for detoxification. This can lead to uncomfortable die-off symptoms.
Unfortunately, in some cases, you cannot avoid unpleasant die-off issues. Because often the very issue causing the drainage problem are the parasites themselves. Parasites love to hang out in the liver, bile duct, and many of the other elimination organs. In this situation, the more you work on eradicating parasites, the more intense these reactions may be. But over time, these symptoms can lessen as you clear out more parasites.
To support yourself during this detox process, it’s important to keep in mind potential reactions and be ready to face them. Here’s 10 of the most common die-off symptoms and possible ways to lessen effects:
ACHES AND PAINS
Achiness, pain, and discomfort in the body often occur during a parasite cleanse. When dying, parasites release toxins and other inflammatory substances, so the muscles, joints, and even the organs may hurt.2
What to do:
- When under stress, you often become deficient in magnesium. An Epsom salt bath works to pull toxins from the skin and replenish much-needed magnesium to your aching body.3
- Dr. Eric Zielinski, author of The Healing Power of Essential Oils, recommends a blend of natural bergamot, camphor, lemon, peppermint, and rosemary essential oils diluted and used topically to relieve aches and pains.4
- Warm up aching muscles and joints with heat therapy from a:5
- Electric heating pad
- Heat wrap (like Thermacare)
- Hot bath
- Hot water bottle
- Microwaveable gel-filled pad
During a parasite cleanse, you should avoid the foods that they like to feed upon. Otherwise, you’ll be working against your own efforts to remove these critters. The biggest two foods to avoid are sugar and grains. When parasites aren’t getting the diet they want, they can trigger intense cravings for them.6
What to do:
- Keep regular mealtimes.
- Swap out a diet of grains and sugar with fresh vegetables, some low-sugar fruits, and plenty of protein.
- A cup of herbal tea, such as peppermint tea, can assist with sugar cravings.
- Adding more healthy, natural fats to your diet, including avocado or coconut oil, can help you feel more satiated.
- Eliminate processed, boxed, or packaged foods to help keep parasites under control. Stay away from hidden and artificial sugars while you’re actively cleansing too.
Fatigue is a widespread complaint during a parasite cleanse. The body has to process and eliminate the toxins, and expending this extra energy can easily lead to fatigue. Plus, dying parasites may release viruses, bacteria, or other pathogens. This causes your mitochondria — the energy producers within cells — to transition from their energy-generating role to one of cellular defense. While your mitochondria focus on fighting these pathogens, they create less energy.7
Toxins, pathogens, and heavy metals slow and hamper the mitochondria’s ability to generate energy, so be gentle with yourself. You will likely want to reserve some time for rest during a parasite cleanse. But after undergoing this process, you will regain your vitality and energy, and very likely more so than before.
What to do:
- Quality sleep is vital for fighting fatigue. It also gives you the time and space it needs to heal. Get as much as 8-10 hours of sleep each night if possible.
- Go easy on exercise and stimulants, such as caffeine, until your body has had some time to recover.
- B vitamins are valuable in combating fatigue and supporting healthy bodily functions.8
- Mitochondrial-supporting supplements can also help boost your energy production and support natural detox during parasite cleansing protocols.
Parasitic infection can cause relapsing fever that comes on and then leaves, only to return at a later date. During a parasite cleanse, you may experience flu-like symptoms, such as fever and chills. While these are incredibly uncomfortable, keep in mind that they are temporary.9
What to do:
- Get plenty of rest to allow your body time to recover and heal.
- Using an infrared sauna may help with chills.10
- Hydration is crucial when you have a fever or other flu-like symptoms. You may get dehydrated faster with a fever, so make sure to get enough fluids.
- Remember, sweating is a positive sign because it means you’re eliminating toxins. Just be sure to clean your skin off after sweating or spending time in a sauna, as toxins left on the skin can get reabsorbed.
Anyone who has done a detox protocol knows that headaches are a common symptom. During a parasite cleanse, headaches happen as the body adjusts to the cleanse or because of parasitic activity in the head. In some cases, nausea and light sensitivity may accompany headaches.11
What to do:
- Staying hydrated can help you avoid headaches and flush toxins from the body.
- Soothe the headache pain with a cold compress. A cold or frozen compress applied to the neck or head area can decrease inflammation, constrict blood vessels, and slow nerve conduction, all of which help reduce headache pain. Make a cold compress by filling a waterproof bag with ice and wrapping it in a soft towel. Then apply the compress to the back of the neck, head, or temple for relief.12
- Essential oils can offer significant assistance in alleviating headaches. Peppermint oil can provide cooling, pain-relieving effects. Roman chamomile and lavender are also good to have on hand for headache relief. Put a few drops of the essential oil into a carrier oil and apply it to your neck, forehead, and temple for relief.13
Sleep problems can arise whenever the body processes toxins. You may experience trouble falling asleep or staying asleep during a detox. According to traditional Chinese medicine’s body clock, specific times of day align with certain organs. For example, your liver might be a problem source if you frequently wake up between 1:00 AM and 3:00 AM. Interestingly, sleep position could also play a crucial role in brain detoxification. You may clear metabolic waste though the brain’s glymphatic pathway more efficiently when you sleep on your side.14 15
What to do:
- Keep a regular bedtime to maintain your crucial circadian rhythm, which tells the body when to produce melatonin, your sleep hormone.
- Completely darken your bedroom with blackout shades or wear a sleep mask.
- A warm Epsom salt bath or a castor oil pack before bed may promote relaxation and prepare you for sleep.
- Before bed, avoid eating, especially stimulating foods like caffeine and alcohol.
- Clear as many electrical devices from the bedroom as possible. The EMFs from these sources can disturb the brain’s ability to rest and detox.16
- Stop viewing digital screens one to two hours before bedtime. When you look at device screens in the evening, your brain picks up the blue light emitted from them. Blue light disrupts your melatonin production and natural sleep-wake cycle — two things that are crucial for restorative sleep. It’s also a good idea to wear blue-light-blocking glasses in the evening.17
MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL ISSUES
Parasitic infections can often be responsible for so-called “mental health disorders,” such as anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and even schizophrenia. Some parasites can cause emotional and mental health challenges as they protect themselves, having the ability to: 18 19
- Create a substantial amount of inflammation
- Interfere with your neurotransmitter levels
- Rob you of the nutrients necessary for a healthy emotional state
Additionally, specific neurological symptoms and neurotransmitter imbalances can flare-up during a parasite die-off reaction. As you do a parasite cleanse, the freeloaders will amp up their self-protective efforts. This can temporarily worsen emotional and mental issues.20
Keep in mind that the parasites, not you, are causing these issues. You may need to ride out symptoms like anxiety or depression during the cleanse. But take comfort in knowing that your neurotransmitter levels should return to normal after you dispatch the troublesome critters.
What to do:
- EFT Tapping is an excellent tool for processing emotional trauma.
- Find programs that promote the rewiring of established emotional trauma pathways — like those by Joe Dispenza, Gupta, and DNRS. They are designed to reprogram formed trauma loops in your neurological and limbic system.
- For a mood boost, get out in the sun and soak up some Vitamin D. Sun exposure can also support your immune system and your ability to deal with the detox burden. During cold or cloudy days, try a lightbox. It’s best to use a lightbox early in the day rather than in the evening, as it can be stimulating and disturb your circadian rhythm.21
- For anxiety, you may find relief through:
- Deep breathing exercises
- Diffusing lavender or bergamot essential oil
- Drinking a calming herbal tea, such as chamomile
- Mindful movement
- Resources like BrainTap
Skin is a significant elimination organ, and the body will try to remove toxins through it. Parasites and their eggs can leave your body through your skin too. Consequently, you might experience dry skin, rashes, skin lesions, flare-ups of psoriasis, or other rash-like conditions. You may experience acne or other skin breakouts as well. Fortunately, these usually resolve on their own in just a few days.22
What to do:
- Keep your skin clean by washing it regularly.
- Applying apple cider vinegar, an astringent, can help dry out breakouts.
- A homemade bentonite clay mask may help draw toxins from the skin.
- Try dry skin brushing once or twice a day, ideally before a shower. This stimulates your lymphatic system and brushes off the dead, toxin-containing surface skin layer. A brush with natural bristles works best. Remember to always brush toward your heart.
- Combine a few drops of tea tree oil with coconut oil and apply on the inflamed skin. Tea tree is a potent antimicrobial and can be beneficial for all kinds of skin issues.23
STUFFY NOSE AND MUCUS
Mucus and phlegm are the body’s way of trapping and eliminating toxins, so a flare-up of congestion, runny nose, or sinus drainage can occur once you start killing parasites.24
What to do:
- Saline rinses or using a neti pot can irrigate your sinuses and battle the stuffiness that occurs with die-off.
- Essential oils may relieve sinus congestion, unblock a stuffy nose, and promote sinus drainage. Peppermint essential oil contains menthol. This compound can impact the mucus receptors, helping to clear mucus and open the airways. Eucalyptus oil may help clear sinuses as well.25
WORSENING OF GI SYMPTOMS
Since many types of parasites enjoy living in the digestive tract, digestive problems can potentially increase during a cleanse. You may experience bloating, diarrhea, constipation, cramps, or other issues with your gastrointestinal tract.
What to do:
- Pure aloe vera or fresh ginger can help soothe the digestive system.26 27
- Up your bone broth or green juice intake to give your digestive system a break.
- Fasting for short periods can give your digestive system time to detox and heal instead of working to digest food.
- Increase supplements that promote drainage, as well as binders with BioActive Carbons.
OTHER METHODS OF SUPPORTING A PARASITE CLEANSE
LIVER AND BILE DUCT SUPPORT
As mentioned above, the liver and bile duct system is a master drainage and detox pathway. Parasites like to linger there as well. If you’re experiencing die-off, you want to make sure your liver and bile duct are functioning properly. You can use these following general detox practices any time you’re having symptoms:
Dandelion root tea and milk thistle are excellent liver and gallbladder support agents. For centuries, people have used both dandelion and milk thistle treatment for a number of ailments. In particular, they are two of the most potent natural liver cleansers available.28 29
- Castor oil packs
You can soak unbleached cotton flannel in organic, cold-pressed, hexane-free castor oil. Then place it over your liver, cover in a thin towel, and apply heat. You can also buy ready-made castor oil pack kits. If you plan to purchase these, check that the ingredients are organic and chemical-free.
- Coffee enemas
A coffee enema is a detox and bile flow superstar. Coffee enemas can detoxify the body and open the bile duct system, flushing stagnant bile from the liver and gallbladder.
- Infrared heating pad
An infrared heating pad has all the incredible infrared technology of an infrared sauna, but it’s portable and much less expensive.
TUDCA (tauroursodeoxycholic acid) is a water-soluble bile acid that can cleanse the liver, counteract the toxicity of regular bile, and aid in cellular protection. You can supplement with TUDCA to promote clearing toxins from the liver and bile duct.30
Your lymphatic system helps process toxins and waste and removes them from your body. So you should give your lymphatic system some extra TLC when doing a parasite cleanse. Here’s some tips for keeping your lymphatic system flowing:
- Contrast showers
Contrast showers alternate between hot and cold. The idea is that these temperature variations prompt lymph vessels to dilate and contract, thus “pumping” and moving stagnant lymph. To try this method, turn your shower water very warm for three minutes, and follow it by turning on the cold for one minute. Repeat this cycle three to four times.31
- Dry skin brushing
Ayurvedic tradition considers dry brushing as an effective method to stimulate lymphatic movement. This involves using a stiff brush to brush your skin toward your heart.32
The lymphatic system doesn’t have an internal pump to keep it moving. It relies on actions such as physical movement, breathing, or manual pressure to redistribute its lymphatic fluid. A professional or home lymphatic drainage massage can accomplish this.33
You can use a personal-sized trampoline for rebounding. Hop gently on it for 5-10 minutes a day. This stimulates your lymph to move and strengthens your cardiovascular system too. Through rebounding, toxins push through at a faster pace, reducing unwanted detox reactions.
GENERAL DIE-OFF SUPPORT
Take binders during your cleanse to help find, hold onto, and remove toxins. In particular, BioActive Carbon binders — extracts of humic and fulvic acid — are designed to safely and systematically escort toxins out of your body.
- Epsom salt baths
Epsom salt baths can assist with drawing toxins from the skin. Epsom salt is essentially magnesium sulfate, which a small percentage of the population may have difficulty processing. If this is the case for you, try magnesium chloride flakes in the bath instead.
- Green juice
Flooding your system with nutritious green juice or green smoothies can support your digestion, energy, and immune system.34
- Infrared sauna
Infrared saunas can help with sweating out toxins for faster elimination. But make sure to restore the hydration, electrolytes, and minerals you lose through sweating. Plus, shower or wipe the skin clean after using the sauna, so toxins on the skin don’t get reabsorbed.35
- Relieve stress
Forms of stress-relief, like yoga or meditation, keeps you out of fight-or-flight mode and encourages your body to switch to rest, digest, and heal mode.
- Stay hydrated
Staying hydrated is incredibly important during a parasite cleanse. Dehydration slows down the flow of your drainage organs, impairing the elimination of wastes and toxins. This then traps toxins in your body longer, which can lengthen die-off symptoms. Make sure you drink filtered, distilled, or reverse osmosis water to avoid adding more toxins and pathogens to your system. For additional benefits, add some minerals or lemon to your water.
NEXT STEPS: MANAGING PARASITE DIE-OFF
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you’re dealing with the effects of killing off parasites. But give yourself a break and allow your body the time it needs to heal. Experiencing die-off is a necessary — but temporary —discomfort. Remember that no matter how hard it gets, the die-off and detox process will eventually be over. And at the end, you will be substantially further along your wellness journey.
In the meantime, consider preparing with some of the recommendations above. Also, ask your friends and family for additional support and patience during your cleanse. And most importantly, keep a positive mindset. You are taking a new and crucial step forward in restoring health and vitality.