Saturday, September 2, 2023
Parasites: An Unseen Epidemic. A Conversation with Ann Louise Gittleman
This is an excellent teaching item on parasites that we all need. It has been with us forever and also well hidden.
The first take home is that diagnostics are lousy and we all likely have a load of some sort. Our approach needs to stop trying so hard to identify what we are dealing with particularly when it is possible to do ten correct procedures before you identify what is about.
The second take home is to use a dewormer at least and to use it about the time of the full moon. Then the critters are most active and vulnerable. The big one remains wormwood and it is safe to use. I prefer wormwood extract if you can get it. Undetrstand that dosage advice aims at dragging the procedure out. So do look for tells that you are not getting enough.
The other take home is repeat six months later at lerast once. this will pick up on cyst protected eggs.
Bottom line is assume they are there and attack.
Parasites: An Unseen Epidemic. A Conversation with Ann Louise Gittleman
Aug 29 2023
Hello, my name is Conan Milner, and this is Words of Wellness, a show where we talk about health from mind to body to spirit.
Today, I’ll be talking about parasites. These are tiny creatures that flourish by feeding off of your body
It’s a strange, spooky, and unwelcome relationship, and yet parasites are an everyday fact of life.
These creatures come in a wide variety of sizes and threat levels, from things like ticks and mosquitoes that you can actually witness sucking the life right out of you, to microscopic organisms that feed off your blood and tissue with the cellular level.
Parasites spread by a number of Insidious methods such as undercooked meat contaminated water, and sex. Some parasites can be fairly easy to detect, but others may feed on you for years before you finally realize that you’re hosting an infestation.
Of course, humans are not the only ones at risk. Animals and insects can also become infected as well.
People of the ancient world were very familiar with the problem of parasites. Just look at old medical texts and you’ll find several herbal formulas that aim to rid the body of this menace.
Today, we typically think of parasites as merely a problem for people living in tropical areas (think malaria). However, for the rest of us living in a more temperate climate in the 21st century, parasites are a risk we rarely consider.
While the tropics have certainly seen a great deal of parasitic infections, people from all walks of life and from all over the world can also become infested with these creatures.
I’ll be discussing the nature of parasites and the diseases that they can cause with Ann Louise Gittleman, Ph.D. She’s a certified nutritionist and a best-selling author with an over 30 year focus on natural health. One of her past books, “Guess What Came to Dinner: Parasites and Your Health,” discusses some surprising details of this parasitic problem.
Ann Louise thanks for speaking with me today.
Ann Louise Gittleman: Conan, my pleasure. This is my favorite topic.
Conan Milner: Great to hear. When I hear people talk about their health problems, I rarely hear mention of a parasitic infection. But you refer to parasites as an epidemic. So how common is this and why don’t we hear more about it?
Gittleman: Well, I think that when parasites come to mind, you probably think about your pets or an exotic vacation where everyone ended up with a stomach bug. So it’s easy to dismiss the whole topic as a third world concern, but they’re far more prevalent in the United States. You would ever imagine, in fact, studies have shown that one in three of us may be infected.
Quite honestly, Conan, I’ve been championing this cause for decades since my book, “Guess What Came to Dinner: Parasites in Your House,” came out way back in 1991 and I’ve only become more and more convinced of the enormous panorama of human health problems that can be caused by parasites little and big.
I think one of the real problems is that when you go to a doctor in this country he never suspects parasites. But if you brought a sick animal to the veterinarian, the first thing they would check for is worms. So we have to suspect that they could be an underlying root cause of many of our problems that are masquerading as other illnesses. It’s truly an epidemic and a health crisis that nobody’s recognizing.
Milner: You mentioned your book on parasites came out in 1991.
Gittleman: Well, it’s a story that began for me way back in 1974 when I stumbled upon the connection between disease and hidden parasites. It was that year in a class for the study of scientific nutrition with Dr, Hazel Parcells that I was introduced to the whole topic in a very visual manner.
She showed my class of 30 various specimens of internal visitors that she had preserved in patients who were undergoing treatment. Quite honestly, Conan, I never forgot the sight of those little creatures in the bottles. It made me not eat out in restaurants for at least two years.
But I guess most importantly what I learned from Dr. Parcells, and this was over 40 years ago, was that worms, from the microscopic amoeba to the foot-long tapeworm were the fundamental root cause of disease, and were associated with problems that went far beyond just the GI tract disturbances.
In my own nutritional practice, I’ve observed that there were a ton of unexplained health conditions that disappeared when I put people on a cleanse. And years ago we used to use milk because milk is worm bait.
Of course, the cleanses have become a lot more sophisticated with new herbs and so forth. But the conditions that disappeared included problems like hypoglycemia, excessive fatigue, arthritic-like aches and pains, problems with obesity, depression—all kinds of issues that you would never suspect were parasitic in origin.
So they’re the great masqueraders. That’s why I feel it’s very important for everybody to do a parasite cleanse and it’s important that you do it with a purged stool sample, not just a random stool sample as is done in this day and time.
Milner: What kind of stool sample? Could you repeat that?
Gittleman: Well, this is the biggie. You know, as I was thinking about our interview I thought to myself, “How come doctors aren’t finding these when they do stool tests.” There are a lot more medical doctors that are out there that are doing all kinds of investigative work.
But you’ve got to do a purge stool sample using some kind of agent that actually purges the bowel. I studied years ago with a parasitologist from Mesa, Arizona, Dr. LuCrece Dowell and she used to use a purge of Fleet Phospho-Soda.
But we can’t use that anymore because it was taken off the market, I think, in 2003 because of issues with high sodium in people that had kidney problems. So you’ve got to use something like two to three tablespoons of Epsom salts in a glass of water before doing a stool sample so you can actually get the critters that are found way up in the bowel.
Milner: You mention that doctors often dismiss parasites as a cause which is strange because like you said we think nothing of dogs or our animals getting parasites. But we overlook this in humans.
Gittleman: Because they’re just not seeing them in the stool samples they’re using.
They’re not seeing them because they’re not purging the stool.
Dr. Dowell taught me something very interesting, and I’ll never forget this. She said that it took at least four evacuations until you saw something. She was a World War II parasitologist. She was with the boys, as she called them, in the Pacific theater of war. She said sometimes it took 10 evacuations before you found something.
So this was the best way to identify whether it was giardia, amoeba, roundworm, threadworm, flukes, blastocystis, strongyloides, hookworm, or crispum spyridian. She was an absolute expert and when you did a purge stool sample you actually saw something.
So that’s what’s missing. We’re not using the Fleet Phospho-Soda anymore. We’re using random stool samples, and you’re not finding them because they’re not going high enough into the bowel.
Milner: So there has to be some excavation, in other words, before we get to the meat.
Gittleman: You got it, because they live in a window pane of mucus and they’re not easily found. They like to live in the lumen of the intestines, so you’ve got to use some kind of worm bait to get them out. Which is why a lot of times you’ll see people using cubes of sugar in that they drench a little bit of turpentine. It’s why the milk diet of Doctor Parcels was so important way back in the seventies and eighties.
Milner: So it seems like they knew more about parasites than they do now.
Gittleman: That’s strange, isn’t it? The more sophisticated we get, the more stupid and blinded we are to some of the root causes.
You see people with so many autoimmune issues. The first thing I do with anybody with any kind of autoimmune issue is put them on a general parasite cleanse, because I was taught way back in the 70s that parasites are the most immunosuppressive agent known to man. So you’ve got to get rid of that, and then go after the mold, the fungus, the heavy metals, and the radiation.
Parasites are, in other words, one layer in a multi-layer of toxic waste dumps we’re walking around with. Unfortunately, yes, the toxins in this day and age are just increasing, so the longer you live the more you’ve got to detoxify.
And then we’ve got poor food. We’ve got toxic water. We love our pets too much, and all these can be Insidious factors of parasite infection.
And then, of course, I also have to point a finger at the exotic foods many of us like, including sushi. I can’t tell you how many of my clients become well totally when they get off sushi because they’re ingesting worms, worm eggs, worm trophozoite cysts, and all kinds of things when they’re eating fish that’s uncooked. Fish is much more wormy than meat.
Milner: Well, as someone who does not consume sushi, the idea of eating raw fish just on its face seems like a bad idea.
Gittleman: It’s a bad idea, and then people are eating raw meat sometimes when they go to a more exotic restaurant. You just can’t be eating uncooked food or food that’s cooked in a microwave anymore, because it’s not cooked thoroughly. So you’ve got to take a little bit more precautions. And, again, we’re living in an increasingly toxic day and time, so you’ve got to really be on the alert for all these hidden invaders: the microscopic vampires in the larger worms.
Milner: One symptom that people are perhaps familiar with when it comes to parasites is weight loss, and that seems easy to understand, because these things are eating you, they’re eating your food that comes in you, leaving less for us. But you say parasites can also make you fat. How is that possible?
Gittleman: They affect us metabolically. I think there was a test or study that was done way back in 1996 with dragonflies that show that was the case. So we see it go either way. I have many clients that can’t gain weight and all we find is roundworms. Get rid of the roundworms out of their system, and they finally start to gain weight.
Those that have a lot of tapeworms continually get much more heavy. So it depends upon the parasite. You can go either way.
People can go years without realizing they have parasites. They become sicker and sicker, and then get all kinds of autoimmune issues. We see a lot of chronic fatigue, which is actually Giardia. We see any kind of ulcerative colitis that could be a case of amoeba. You see a lot of that roundworm, which seems to be so prolific, and cryptosporidium. All of these can go undetected for years, and you keep infecting yourself because of your lifestyle.
Milner: It seems like a lot of these people are chasing different things, and never looking at parasites.
Gittleman: Parasites tend to be the last place they look. It should be the first place.
You know, the farmers put their kids on parasite cleanses. Every spring people that have dogs, cats, and horses put their animals on parasite cleanses. We should be doing this twice a year and then during the full moon window which is the two days before the full moon. After we revisit this with a parasite cleanse of special herbs, this should be done systematically twice a year as a full cleanse and then revisit it with a little refresher of anti-parasitic herbs during the five days of the full moon. That’s what I’m telling everybody, and they’ve gotten tremendous results. I’ve got clients who no longer have skin issues, eczema, and psoriasis. People are no longer taking anti-anxiety meds. Their sleeping normalizes. And then we also find that they lose their rheumatoid arthritis and some of them lose their autoimmune issues as well.
Milner: Why is the proximity to the full moon important?
Gittleman: God only knows. This is what was handed down to me by many herbalists who found that parasites seem to become much more active during the full moon period. How scientific that is, I don’t know. But I do know that when I was working for many of the anti-aging clinics in the early 80s in San Diego we would do parasite cleanses and found much better results when we were doing it during the full moon time period.
Milner: Interesting. It seems like prevention is a big part of this. You’re better off trying to prevent it, than to have to treat a full blown infestation.
Gittleman: Do a parasite cleanse twice a year. The beginning of the year, and in the middle of the year, absolutely. Prevention means that the whole house has to go on a parasite cleanse, because you can easily spread worms, especially pinworms, to the children and vice versa.
It means you’ve got to cook your food. It means you’ve got to clean your vegetables. It means you’ve got to love your animals, but deworm them, and make sure they don’t sleep in bed with you, or that you kiss them on a regular basis.
Milner: Well, that’s going to be hard for some people.
Gittleman: People don’t like me when I talk about that, but that’s the case. We’ve seen a lot of people with all kinds of autoimmune issues clear up when we clear up their pets, because pets can give you their lovely little parasites, particularly giardia. We see giardia dog worms and cat worms, and they can also be transmitted to people.
Milner: I was under the impression that parasites were species-specific, but it sounds like some could jump the species barrier.
Gittleman: Yes, some of them can indeed.
Milner: I want to discuss a little bit about testing. Why is this important? Presuming you know what to look for, can you identify the presence of parasites from symptoms alone?
Gittleman: You can, but many people like to test because they want some sort of definitive, third party that has no skin in the game to tell you what’s going on. So if you do the purge stool test, and again, that can be done and should be done before you take the stool samples, with two to three tablespoons of Epsom salt so we get far up into the bowel. You can see with a purge stool test which type of parasite, whether there’s a viral component, what kind of digestive issues are at stake, how thick your mucus membranes are, and whether there’s any allergies or food sensitivities to gluten, casein, and the like. So I think it’s very important, but you have to do it at the right time and make sure it’s purged and not random. That’s my whole message with this podcast.
Milner: Contamination and particular environments invite parasites, but not everyone ends up getting them. So what makes people more or less susceptible?
Gittleman: Well, they’ve got better HCl hydrochloric acid (which is your first barrier to parasites), better digestive enzymes, and better overall immunity. It’s just part of what goes on in life.
Nobody is looking for stomach acid anymore. We used to test for it with the Heidelberg test, but they’re not looking for it. So you’re not finding it. People don’t suspect that it’s an issue, and that’s so incredibly important as you get older.
Milner: I think one of the reasons that we overlook stomach acid is because the predominant way for treating digestive issues today is with proton pump inhibitors instead of enzymes.
Gittleman: I know, it should be the exact opposite.
Milner: What else should we be doing? You mentioned doing a cleanse twice a year, washing your vegetables, and not eating undercooked or raw meat.
Gittleman: Or raw fish. Yes, there are lots of foods that could be used preventatively: pepitas or pumpkin seeds, and mugwort tea is a wonderful preventative that doesn’t taste good, but it’s very anti-parasitic. Lots of garlic, lots of onions, lots of sage, and lots of turmeric.
Milner: Mugwort. I’ve got a bunch of that. I heard it helps you dream better.
Gittleman: And it gets rid of the parasites. Adios amoebas with mugwort tea.
Milner: This is kind of a strange question, but I wonder if parasites provide any benefit to the body. What got me thinking of it is this idea of the microbiome where we have these mutually beneficial bacteria. Are there any parasites that we need to survive and thrive?
Gittleman: Some researchers have theorized that parasites clean up heavy metals. But I’m not in favor of that theory. Even if they do provide some benefit, I think that their detriment outweighs the benefit.
Milner: Another strange question has to do with something more current event. I thought it was interesting that the two drugs that many doctors have endorsed to help people recover from COVID are anti-parasitic drugs: hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin. This has led some to believe that perhaps COVID is some kind of parasite. I wonder if you have any thoughts on that, and if there are other diseases that are really parasitic at their roots but masquerade as something else.
Gittleman: Excellent. I think that Ivermectin is a marvelous antiparasitic, and it’s an antiviral. So parasites may be the carriers of the virus. That would be number one. Number two reminds me of this situation where there’s actually a dog dewormer called Fenbendazole Panacur that you can find on Amazon that can get rid of all kinds of issues with regard to cancer. So there’s a connection between parasitic involvement and cancer.
I think that as I remember one of my parasite friends telling me that in every single case of cancer, there was some kind of parasitic involvement. Whether that was primary or whether that was opportunistic, there seems to be a connection. So for anybody that has a really severe issue like a cancer diagnosis, it would be very helpful to go to templetonwellness.com and look at the Joe Tippen interview about Fenbendazole Panacur.
It was used by this gentleman that had stage four lung cancer, as I recall. He used this antiparasitic for dogs and got rid of his stage four lung cancer.
So that goes to show you that there’s something going on between parasites, the immune system, and the cancer diagnosis and epidemic we’re seeing in the country today.
So we should all be getting on a worm detox. That’s my message: everybody should deworm.
Milner: I can’t help but think that, with the rise of awareness of these anti-parasite drugs with regard to COVID, this is why people are becoming interested in parasites more than ever.
Gittleman: They used to be interested in the 70s, and then we went to sleep with it. Now more are interested. Thank God. I think that’s a good thing.
Milner: It’s kind of like it’s been hiding right underneath us, and we weren’t even aware.
Gittleman: Well, I think once the body gets rid of the parasites, which are so immunosuppressive, it can go after all these other underlying causes.
Milner: It’s just one of the layers to clear, in other words.
Gittleman: Yes, we’re just peeling the skin of the onion, my friend.
Milner: Is there any other aspect to parasites that you wanted to let people know about?
Gittleman: Well, I have parasite-cleansing products, so they should know about the 30-day parasite cleanse. And if you don’t use my product, then find one that has the ingredients that mine do, including ingredients like wormwood, cloves, and a wonderful herb that the Native Americans use called centaury, which removes the hooks and suckers of all the worms.
It’s a marvelous substance. You can actually see these creatures of the Blue Lagoon coming out in your evacuation. And there’s nothing like seeing is believing, Conan.
Milner: I wonder if things like clove, for example, which come down to us from spice mixes that we think of primarily for flavor were included in old recipes for preventative reasons.
Gittleman: They should be. Cloves get rid of the worm eggs. I learned long ago that unsweetened cranberry juice is a wonderful dewormer. Native Americans use cranberry for that very purpose
Milner: Interesting. I hope that this gets people thinking about parasites and how they can address them.
Gittleman: I think it’s very important to understand that parasites are alive and well, and you’ve got to take precautions to get rid of them. Eat the right foods that are anti-parasitic, and if you’re going to take any kind of stool test, do one that allows you to purge your stool. That’s my main focus here. Purge stool. No more random stool tests or we won’t find what we’re looking for
Milner: Very good. Thank you so much for talking to me about this. It’s been very enlightening
Gittleman: Thank you.