Ok, so there you are feeling a little tired in the early evening and eventually decide a few hours later you’d best go to bed. Your head hits the pillow and ZING! you are wide awake! Thoughts racing and not in the slightest bit sleepy. So, what happened? Well if this pattern can be accompanied by any digestive disorders in the last 12 months then the chances are (and apologies, here comes the gross bit) it may be as a result of a parasitic infestation in your gut and, if you haven’t had it removed, your appendix. This may result in symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhoea, and sometimes bloody stools (however, blood in the stools should always be followed up by an appointment with your GP).
So before your mind runs away with you we aren’t talking about massive tapeworms here, however, we could be dealing with its much miniature cousin the pinworm (the type of worms children get and occasionally adults) or infections such as Giardia, Cryptosporidium or Campylobacter…
How do we pick up such infections? Easily is the answer, in swimming pools, from our pets, hand to mouth contact from an infected person, food and drink in less developed countries, unwashed fruit and salads and so the list goes on… the important thing is knowing what to do.
Going back to the sleep issue, if you are wondering what these infections have to do with sleep (warning! More gross stuff) its because they become more “active” at night, just when our gut should be calmer. The body senses the issue and instead of us relaxing and sleeping our body is alerting us to the fact there is “something amiss”.
The tricky thing about getting rid of such infestations is their lengthy and resilient life cycle. They mate and lay eggs in the gut and appendix. The body is behind the scenes working tirelessly to eliminate them (often resulting in bouts of diarrhoea) and just as it “clears us out” the next wave of eggs hatch.
So what to do? There are foods, drinks and herbs that can help us to break the cycle.
Prepare the liver – when these critters die off they release enzymes and toxic substances that, if the liver isn’t up to the job, can make us at the very least feel very ill and at worst bring on severe neurological issues. We prepare the liver by drinking a minimum of 2 – 2.5L of non-fizzy water per day with either apple cider vinegar and lemons in it (ask your practitioner for advice on dosage each day). You should also look to include in your diet more cooked white onions, raw red onions, spring onions and garlic. You should do this for a minimum of 6 weeks.
Once you have completed the first 4 weeks of the liver preparation you can begin the “killing off” – this really should be done under supervision and be accompanied by at least 2 RLD Reflexology treatments. Some foods have what is known as a “vermifuge” effect (they stun parasites), others a “vermicide” effect (they kill them) and others an “anthelmintic” effect meaning they have the ability to expel them from the body without damaging the host. It will involve foods such as pomegranate, papaya, pumpkin seeds, coconut oil, cashew nuts, turmeric, cinnamon, dandelion tea and grapefruit (the latter not if you are on any high blood pressure medication) as well as Bach flower remedies such as walnut, crab apple and agrimony. Good quality Manuka honey also has a role to play due to its anti-microbial effects as well as Colloidal Silver preparations of at least 45ppm in strength.
Once you have completed a week (or sometimes more) of “killing off” its time to move onto the “elimination” stage. And this is where the pears mentioned in our title come in. Pears are a fabulously powerful yet gentle cleanser of the gut. They have anti-microbial properties and provide the necessary non-soluble fibre to empty the colon. This fibre adds bulk so it is easier for food to pass through the intestines. Furthermore, it stimulates secretion of gastric and digestive juices which can kill off infection. It also regulates bowel movements and reduces the chances of constipation, as well as diarrhoea and loose stool. The gritty nature of pear fibre helps it bind to cancer-causing agents and free radicals in the colon and protect the organ from their damaging effects. You do however need to eat for this last stage about 6 small pears per day. If you cannot stomach that an alternative is Psyllium Hulls which you can get in capsule form here but please consult your practitioner regarding dosage before taking.