Guess what bitch, you probably do!

My whole life I’d always heard that having parasites was a thing. Whenever our family would come back from Mexico, someone would always tell us to make sure we took care of any parasites we may have picked up from the food or water we consumed. This would be handled in the form of a pill, but to be honest, I can’t ever remember ever taking said pill. So it’s pretty safe to admit that in all of my life, I never took care of those parasites and I never seriously thought about them again until a few months ago while listening to an episode of The Womb Room podcast. While some of my close friends practice parasite cleansing religiously, it is not something that I ever felt comfortable exploring until I heard Daniella Morales, an herbalist from the bay area speak about her Parasite Cleanse Club. I will admit that I harbored some guilt knowing I was finally convinced after hearing the story of a complete stranger as opposed to listening to the opinions of my friends, but the important thing here is that I finally came around and showed up for myself, okay!

If you’re on the fence about doing a cleanse yourself or if you’re slightly curious, I highly recommend you give the episode a listen and make that decision for yourself. In my honest opinion, it was one the best things that I’ve done for myself in a really long time. I had a really eye-opening and humbling experience and wanted to share it with ya’ll, so, let’s do the damn thing! 

Daniella’s approach is simple, as stated on her website, “Parasite cleansing is for everyone. We de-worm our pets, why would we as living organisms be any different.” This alone was enough to convince me, why had I never viewed parasite cleansing this way before? She also goes on to suggest, “Parasites can be small pathogens yes… but they can also be people in our lives, circumstances, media and more.” Parasites, fear based thoughts, energy vampires, (where my What We Do In The Shadows fans at!), etc, you get the picture, we’re here to clear out all parasitic entities, okay!

The Releasing Blend

While there are many benefits of a parasite cleanse (PC), there’s an even longer list of symptoms, and this is the second part that got me. As listed on her website, if you experience any of these symptoms, you can most likely guess that parasites are the culprit:

Bloating, gas, stomach pain and other digestive problems, low libido, constipation and/or diarrhea, ​grinding teeth (check), ​intense period pain (check), ovulation pain (check), joint and muscle pain, skin issues such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, rosacea, hives, dry scalp, dandruff, sleep issues, insomnia, especially waking up in the early hours of the morning, ​fatigue, tiredness, exhaustion and lack of energy (check), brain fog, anxiety (CHECK), recurring bacterial vaginosis, rectal itching, genital itching, mood swings (check), irritability, emotional leading up to or on period (CHECK), ​insatiable hunger, sugar cravings, increased appetite and feeling unsatisfied after meals, ​symptoms increasing around the full moon.

How many of these symptoms did you check off? My point exactly. After doing some research of my own, I decided to give her cleanse a shot and ordered my herbs. She offers a 2 or 6 week blend of herbs. I opted for 6 (let’s make sure these bitches die fr fr!), I also enrolled in her Drainage Pathways and PC Cleansing Course, this is optional, but since it was my first time, I wanted as much insight and help as possible, and I recommend it if you’re new to this too because you can refer to it throughout your cleanse and also use it for the next one (trust me, there will be a next one!)

I know ya’ll are dying to know, did I see any parasites? The answer is yes. Was it disgusting? Fuck yeah. Will I do the cleanse again? 100% bitches, and let me tell you why! My favorite aspect about the cleanse was that it wasn’t just a physical cleanse, it was an emotional and spiritual detox. When you work on your health, be it mental or physical, the spiritual transformation goes hand in hand, there is no one without the other in my opinion, and this wasn’t just a cleanse; it was a fucking purge. 

Here’s a simple break down of how it works: Daniella mails out 2 or 6 weeks worth of tea blend. There’s a Cleansing blend —to kill off the parasites—and a Releasing blend—to help move waste through your bowels— made up of wormwood, olive leaf, neem leaf, senna leaf, slippery elm, astragalus, marshmallow root, walnut hull powder, plantain, pau d’arco, nettles, milk thistle seed, clove, oat straw, and other herbs. You steep the tea overnight, drain it in the morning, and sip throughout the day. If you enroll in the Drainage Pathways course like I did, you will have already started the preparation for the actual tea cleanse. The Drainage Pathways course covers different areas of the body; what affects it, what you can do physically to open those pathways (massage, breath work, yoga, etc.), this is taken from her website:

Opening drainage pathways is integral to parasite cleansing. It’s how the body moves out waste, toxins, bacteria, fluids, and more. You want to be working on opening drainage pathways before, during, and after parasite cleansing so that the parasites and all that they harbor have a way to move out of the body.

I was skeptical at first of these exercises, part of me just wanted to jump in and say, “Just gimme the damn herbs and let’s get this (shit) show on the road!” But I have to stress how important the course was in my cleanse. I started reading through and watching the videos a few weeks before I actually started drinking the tea to get a better sense of what I was getting into, and Daniella also emphasizes that the cleanse will not only be a physical one, but emotional & spiritual as well. What are you willing to release? What are you looking to make room for? Setting these intentions as part of your cleanse is vital. My goal was to release codependency in multiple aspects of my life. I kept this intention in mind during every drainage pathway exercise, and when I steeped my tea every night. I even taped my intention to my tea jar as a reminder.

When you purchase the tea blend, you also get access to a digital guidebook that breaks down how much of the blend you should be using, along with other things you should be doing/taking as part of that week, some stuff includes, probiotics, enemas, binders, garlic suppositories, yoni steams, etc. These are all optional, but encouraged. 

The guidebook also goes into more details about the different parasites; large (tapeworms, ringworms, etc.) and small (microscopic), what they look like, what parts of the body they may affect, how they reproduce, etc. She stresses that you will see them if you look for them, and she encourages those who are curious to sift through their shit (LITERALLY), with chopsticks and a strainer to see what you had and what you released. I thought I was curious enough to do these things but when it actually came down to it, I was not that interested. There were however, two incidences where I did see two different types of parasites; candida and fluke. The candida came on early in the detox and looked like flakes that stuck to the toilet bowl. The fluke, I actually felt when I wiped (so disgusting, I know!) and out of sheer curiosity, I inspected. It looked like a rolled up piece of tomato skin, only nude colored. Very similar to the stem of a very thin mushroom. If you’re not the squeamish type, I highly recommend checking out Daniella’s IG, where she shares some of her clients’ photos.

Cleansing Blend
The Bitter AF Cleansing Blend

I’m sure some of ya’ll are wondering, “How do we get them?” Well, sorry to break it to ya hon’, but quite literally everyone has parasites. You can get them from undercooked/raw meats like sushi, letting animals lick your face (guilty), children, tap water, fruits and veggies. They are fucking everywhere. 

Anyway, here’s where all the fun stuff begins:

Week 1:

I took everything pretty seriously, I even requested the first day off work because I know how sensitive my stomach is and I knew I’d spend the day shitting a lot. I was wrong. The tea didn’t really affect my body till days 2-4. It’s recommended you drink at least a gallon of water a day, to help flush everything out. The tea is bitter AF! At first it was really really difficult for me to drink and I noticed I could taste the bitterness much more when I would drink it from a straw. I know every body is different, but drinking it straight from the glass was better for me and my tastebuds. I shit A LOT, like 4+ a day. I also had a nasty migraine the first forty-eight hours. That’s why it’s important to move your body. I opted for very mellow yoga stretches at the end of my day, every day, lots of water and whole foods. 

Weeks 2-3:
At this point, my tastebuds have gotten used to the bitter flavor and I actually really enjoy it. Still shitting a lot, but my body has gotten used to all the bowel movements (hello bidet, literal a-hole saver). One thing I noticed is that I tried to take mini cheat days with what I would eat and my body was not having it. After eating a bag of popcorn (a fave snack of mine), I had the most unbearable stomach cramps. The bloat was so painful that my stomach felt like it doubled in size and the only thing that alleviated the pain was yoga and soft stretching. I also started breaking out all over my face, something that never really happens to me, I figured this was part of my body releasing the toxins. Gross but necessary. I also noticed when I ate spicy foods, my stomach pains were exacerbated, something that I never experienced before. I started to stick to plain foods, whole foods, etc, but one major change I noticed was that I was beginning to have super intense sugar cravings and my sweet tooth is usually nonexistent. Daniella mentions sugar cravings as a parasitic die-off symptom, they essentially live off our food supply and they love sugar. So, definitely stay away from sugar as much as possible when you’re cleansing. One major side effect I also noticed was that I could physically smell the toxins being released in my body. I don’t really know how else to properly explain it, but during weeks 3 & 4, I could smell this weird thick fume with every inhalation, I could feel it in my skin. It was disgusting. The only thing that made it less intense was drinking a shit ton of water and doing anything to move my body and excrete that scent from my system. 

Weeks 3-6

Here’s where my experience went from physical to emotional and spiritual. Dear LORD was it intense! And here’s where it gets really personal: I’d been struggling a lot, in my career, in love, and in my relationship with finances. There was so much codependency revolving all three areas of my life, feelings where I felt inadequate, undeserving, unworthy. I know that all of these ideas are false trappings of the ego but I was victim to them and deep down, part of me believed I was unworthy of being independent in those areas of my life. Even though I am fully aware of my worth, there were parts of me that felt trapped, like I depended on one thing, love, money, work or another to feel whole, to feel worthy, and if I was lacking in one, I was somehow lacking in all of them, because to me, they’re all interconnected. Once the physical effects of the cleanse turned into emotional and spiritual components, it got really difficult for me. I cried a lot. I released so much, but not before facing it all. It was ugly, painful, it was fucking uncomfortable. I would take my daily bath and sit in the tub and just cry. I stopped doing yoga at night. I just couldn’t move my body anymore, I felt ugly and weighed down. And this lack of movement was probably making me feel worse, but it was so overwhelming. I was facing all of the excruciatingly painful and embarrassing thoughts about my self-worth and it was honestly such an intense experience that all I could do was go to work, feed myself and my dog and sit in the tub and cry. I stopped taking Metztli on our daily walks. I journaled in the mornings only because I knew that I would have to revisit these emotions to be able to properly share them with you. Aside from what I was experiencing emotionally, my work situation was just as painful. I felt unappreciated, I felt like I was being taken advantage of, overworked and severely underpaid. I asked for a raise and was embarrassingly shot down, further exacerbating my feelings of worthlessness. It was not easy to deal with. I was also experiencing the same issues romantically. I was quite literally facing rejection in every aspect of my life. To my friends who were by my side during this time, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Because I was a fucking mess. 

I don’t want to scare anyone away from experiencing this cleanse, because like I said before every body and every experience is different. I’m an emotionally intense person, so it makes sense that this was an incredibly intense experience for me. Also, you get what you put in. It wasn’t all terrible. Once week 4 was over, I felt like I could finally glimpse the light at the end of the tunnel. Something shifted. I felt lighter. I didn’t smell the fumes anymore. In week 6, I finally saw my first parasite. And to be completely honest, it felt like my life changed almost instantaneously. I got an incredible job offer from a company I admire. I realized a lot of lessons in love, specifically, in how I love myself, and I learned how to internalize that love instead of looking for it outside of myself. I took myself on road trips to celebrate these revelations. I met beautiful strangers who I’ve since kept in touch with. It’s now been well over a month since I’ve finished my cleanse but I’ve been putting off writing this experience because it’s not easy being vulnerable about these types of things. 

Everyone has their own way of dealing with the shit life throws at you, whether it’s a creative outlet, shrooms, working out, road trips, whatever it is that pushes you to face your demons, to face your struggles to push you to become a better version of yourself, I applaud you. It’s fucking hard work, but the result is always 100% worth it, because no one can ever take you away from yourself. That is the biggest lesson this cleanse has taught me and I hope it inspires you to send off un dulce adios to the parasites that keep you from accessing and celebrating your truest self. 

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