Did you read our former post by our naturopath in Toronto? (If you haven’t had a chance, read “How Do Common Parasites Affect Our Health?)”.
By now, you might be wondering if a parasite infection is behind your health concerns, especially if food poisoning, flu or fatigue symptoms don’t seem to be improving!
While ectoparasites, such as lice and ticks, can be visibly seen on the skin, comprehensive testing (pathology testing) is required to determine a protozoal or helminth infection.
At our clinic, the naturopathic integrative and functional medicine approach is a safe way to encourage the body to fight parasite infections; this is practiced by our in-house naturopathic doctor. In Part II of this series, he writes about diagnostic testing and natural solutions for treating parasite infections. Read his post below:
Parasite testing offered by our naturopathic clinic
If you were to visit a naturopath in Toronto about parasites, this practitioner would likely tell you not to rely on potential parasite symptoms alone. This is because there are several types of diagnostic tests that Toronto naturopaths can use to detect intestinal parasites.
At the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre, we use a variety of tests to assess your gastrointestinal health including GI 360, GI Effects, GI-MAP, and stool ova/parasite testing and other tests:
THE GI360 PROFILE is a wide-ranging clinical stool profile. It uses polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing, MALDI-TOF culture and ID and microscopy to identify pathogens, viruses, parasites and bacteria that may be causing gastrointestinal indicators and disease (chronic and acute).
THE GI EFFECTS COMPREHENSIVE STOOL PROFILE is a collection of stool tests that deliver abrupt details for helping to handle gastrointestinal health. Using progressive technologies and biomarkers (PCR Culture, MALDI-TOF MS + ID, and microscopic ova and parasite (O&P) detection), this test provides health practitioners with awareness into a patient’s digestive function, parasites, intestinal inflammation, and the intestinal microbiome.
GI-MAP (Microbial Assay Plus) is a distinctive comprehensive stool test. It relies on quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) technology to identify bacteria (and also parasites, fungi, etc.) by targeting the DNA of the organisms examined.
Ova and parasite tests involve examining stool sample to microscopically check for parasitic infection. They can include not only single-celled parasites, but also helminths (worms), such as hookworms, tapeworms, and flukes.
(FYI: A wide variety of health tests, such as food sensitivity testing and blood tests, are also available at our integrative health clinic. Click here to read about them.)
Integrative treatment for parasite infections
While conventional treatments (i.e. prescriptions from medical doctors) may be necessary for many parasite infections, there are also naturopathic therapies to use alone or alongside Western medicine. Here are some examples of natural solutions:
- One common natural remedy is oregano oil. A small study of 14 people with intestinal parasites demonstrated that taking oregano oil for six weeks reduced or eliminated Blastocystis hominis infections in all 11 volunteers who tested positive. The parasites’ symptoms were reduced in seven of these 11 people.
- Another natural compound to consider is berberine. This is found in herbs including the European barberry, coptis and goldenseal, and has been shown in preliminary studies to ward off intestinal parasites. For instance, according to a report in the Iranian Journal of Parasitology, extracted berberine displayed activity that may contribute to protecting against tapeworm infections.
- Additionally, wormwood has shown to act as a replacement for synthetics when dealing with parasite-related diseases. In particular, “Both α and β form of thujone in volatile oil obtained from wormwood have been shown to display actions against helminths [worm-like parasites],” explains the journal Antibiotics. When compared to a synthetic called albendazole, aerial parts of wormwood extracts have demonstrated high activity towards gastrointestinal roundworms.
Contacting our Naturopath in Toronto for parasite infections
As you’ve learned, parasites can put a dent in our everyday life and health journey. Fortunately, there are ways to find out which, if any, species are affecting you, along with naturopathic solutions for helping reach optimal health.
Do you think your health concern has been triggered by parasites? Are you seeking a natural solution to treat parasite infections? We’re here to help you reach your health goals and attain a positive lifestyle!
At our Toronto clinic, our practitioners follow the naturopathic integrative and functional medicine approach for treating conditions, such as parasite-related health issues. Their naturopathic care programs cater to a wide variety of health concerns, including but not limited to: acid reflux, digestive issues, chronic fatigue, hair loss and hair thinning, pain management/chronic pain, autoimmune conditions, chronic disease prevention, and other underlying health conditions.
Additionally, we offer natural solutions for a comprehensive treatment plan, such as integrative functional and naturopathic medicine, chinese medicine, botanical medicine, herbal medicine, intravenous (IV) therapy, homeopathic medicine, bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, cold-laser therapy, custom lifestyle advice, and other natural health care methods to promote a healthy lifestyle.
Let’s explore naturopathic solutions to upgrade your quality of life! Call (416) 968-6961 to book your appointment with our Naturopath in Toronto.
Batiha GE, Olatunde A, El-Mleeh A, et al. Bioactive Compounds, Pharmacological Actions, and Pharmacokinetics of Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium). Antibiotics (Basel). 2020;9(6):353. Published 2020 Jun 23. doi:10.3390/antibiotics9060353.
Force, M., Sparks, W. S., & Ronzio, R. A. (2000). Inhibition of enteric parasites by emulsified oil of oregano in vivo. Phytotherapy research : PTR, 14(3), 213–214. https://doi.org/10.1002/(sici)1099-1573(200005)14:3<213::aid-ptr583>3.0.co;2-u
Li, T., Ito, A., Chen, X., Long, C., Okamoto, M., Raoul, F., Giraudoux, P., Yanagida, T., Nakao, M., Sako, Y., Xiao, N., & Craig, P. S. (2012). Usefulness of pumpkin seeds combined with areca nut extract in community-based treatment of human taeniasis in northwest Sichuan Province, China. Acta tropica, 124(2), 152–157. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.actatropica.2012.08.002
Okeniyi, J. A., Ogunlesi, T. A., Oyelami, O. A., & Adeyemi, L. A. (2007). Effectiveness of dried Carica papaya seeds against human intestinal parasitosis: a pilot study. Journal of medicinal food, 10(1), 194–196. https://doi.org/10.1089/jmf.2005.065
Soffar, S. A. & Mokhtar, G. M. (1991). Evaluation of the antiparasitic effect of aqueous garlic (Allium sativum) extract in hymenolepiasis nana and giardiasis. Journal of the Egyptian Society of Parasitology, 21(2):497–502