Health’s content is for informational and educational purposes only. Our website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. People on TikTok were claiming to have seen parasites in their stool but Dr. Schaffner was doubtful.

Of the 3200 known species of parasites, over 1000 of them can live in the human body. We can only test for 50 to 60 species, which means that the vast majority of parasites can remain undetected. However, some cleanses ask a person to consume only one type of food for a prolonged period. These dietary changes alone may be enough to cause a noticeable change in a person’s body, as they are moving to a cleaner and more healthful diet. Those who received the wormwood tea cleared the infection faster and experienced fewer side effects than those who took standard medication. “I’m a little cautious with patients doing that,” Sunny Patel, D.O., a gastroenterology fellow based in Danville, Pennsylvania, tells SELF.

Again, they can happen, especially if you’ve traveled somewhere that they’re more prevalent, but they’re certainly not as common as social media suggests. Overall, there’s no reason to stress about your risk of developing an intestinal parasite. “This is not a major public health problem in the U.S.,” Dr. Adalja said. So if you recently added papaya to your shopping cart for this purpose, feel free to put it back—or just eat the flesh of the fruit. If you do, in fact, have some kind of intestinal parasite, Dr. Adalja said it will be treated with an anti-worm medication such as ivermectin or albendazole.

However, many of these symptoms appear with other digestive health issues. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should see a doctor for a full diagnosis. After a round of these herbs, some diets will suggest adding supplements to restore the digestive system, such as prebiotics and probiotics. Testing for a parasite can be a process that includes multiple stool samples, usually from three separate days, explains Dr. Blass. These samples will be sent off to a lab to test for various culprits. Instead, toxocariasis can lead to an infection in your eyes, liver, or central nervous system, though severe cases are rare.

I can’t believe these parasites were living off of my body. Paraguard has all the recommended ingredients to combat the issues that I was having. I like that is was easy to mix with juice and taste wasn’t that noticeable. Also like that it’s gentle enough to give to my kids but still effective. Contrary to popular belief, there’s a lot of research that proves the effectiveness of herbs in treating parasite infections.

For many, the process involves several steps that you reportedly have to take before you can pass them. In general, a parasite cleanse should include an antimicrobial herb, or combination of herbs, and some other supplements to support your gut throughout the cleanse. Having said that, a parasite cleanse is usually a combination of herbal supplements and/or a diet, designed to rid your system of parasites. The switch to a more healthful diet overall may produce many of the positive effects people note when taking parasite cleanses.

Others recommend limiting fruit intake in order to further reduce dietary sugars. Although it’s highly unlikely, if you think you have parasites, Hajifathalian suggests talking to your doctor reviews instead of trying TikTok remedies. Symptoms of a parasite infestation, if you have them, can include anemia, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, blood in your stool, rashes, and itching.

The parasite cleansing process can reportedly make you feel very sick if you don’t do it right, but some people claim that it actually works. TikTokers have discovered several different processes and cleanses to see if they work, with many stating that their cleanses are effective in helping them pass some of these parasites. Not only do they report some positive results like less stomach bloating and lower anxiety, but many suggest trying it for yourself. The potential of parasites or worms in our bodies sounds nasty enough already, so some TikTokers have been taking part in parasite cleanses and reporting some of their results.

Healthline has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. Some herbal detox programs last two weeks on, two weeks off. It’s important to consult your practitioner regarding how long you should be taking your antiparasitic supplements.