You may not want to hear it, but harmful bacteria are a fact of life. In addition to the many types of good bacteria living in your body, there will always be some not-so-good organisms competing for available space. The trick is making sure those unfriendly organisms aren’t allowed to take over and grow out of control, which can happen when our defenses are down due to things like poor diet, stress and illness.
So Just What Is a Parasite?
A parasite is a microscopic organism (plant or animal) that derives nourishment from its host without benefiting or killing the host. In the human body, parasites can feed on our energy, our blood, our cells—even the foods we eat and the supplements we take, so it’s important to take steps to keep ourselves safe from these opportunistic organisms. (Note: there are both parasitic fungi and parasitic yeast, based on the nature of their behavior in the body.)
Intestinal parasites in particular are those that favor the environment in the intestines and can often lead to problems such as abnormal bowel movements, unexplained muscle aches or pains, low energy or fatigue, insomnia or disturbed sleep, as well as persistent skin problems. They may be contracted in many ways, some of which include raw meat/fish, polluted water or soil, contaminated fruits and veggies, contact with pets, insect bites and travel outside of the country.
What about Yeasts and Fungus?
Yeasts are microscopic organisms technically categorized under the fungus or “fungi” kingdom. One of the most commonly known yeast organisms is candida albicans, which exists normally in the human body but can cause big problems if allowed to thrive and multiply. When that happens, a person may suffer from candidiasis—the overgrowth of candida yeast. Symptoms of candidiasis are wide-ranging but may include fatigue, muscle aches and pains, sugar and carbohydrate cravings, recurrent vaginal yeast infections (in women), brain fog, and food sensitivities or allergies.
However, not all fungi are yeasts. A good example of this is nail fungus—a type of fungal infection that affects the fingernails and toenails and is typically caused by a group of fungi called dermatophytes that target the skin, hair and nails of humans and animals in order to gain the nutrients found there.
Finally, not all fungi and yeasts are bad. Many species of mushrooms, for example, are used both as food and for their medicinal benefits, and the beneficial yeast Saccharomyces boulardii has been shown to exert potent immune-supportive properties by binding with and helping to eliminate harmful bacteria from the digestive tract. S. boulardii also helps to strengthen the protective intestinal barrier and prevent unwanted pathogens from entering the bloodstream.
What Can I Do?
Regular herbal internal cleansing is important to help eliminate harmful microorganisms in the body, and most experts recommend a broad-spectrum antimicrobial cleanse at least twice yearly. An effective formula will include natural anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-parasitic herbs such as black walnut, clove, garlic, pau d’arco and caprylic acid (these herbs can be found in our CandiGONE and ParaGONE products). Daily supplementation with a high-potency probiotic formula is also essential for maintaining a healthy balance of intestinal bacteria—and preventing those not-so-good organisms from getting out of control.