Comedy of Parasites: An adventure into the Bowels of India
How to avoid the mistakes of the young and foolish when traveling, and to stay healthy and sound in your body, mind and spirit. A parable by Dr Susan Lange, OMD, L.Ac (1996)
Parasites and Digestive Problems
I first became intimately acquainted with parasites and digestive problems when I was twenty years old. I was hitchhiking from England to India during a University summer vacation.
Having been berated by a fellow traveler in Southern Iran for throwing away a date with a maggot in it (food was scarce in the desert and we needed our protein), I obediently – or was it foolishly? -drank the Holy water at the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India – just like everybody else there. Along with the other worshipers, I took a bowl, dipped it into the turbid brown water and drank it reverently. Later, I watched idly as two old men washed themselves down in the very same temple pool. I was young …….
That night we took a train to Delhi. The carriages were packed with families, children and animals. I was lucky because I managed to clamber up onto a narrow luggage rack where I would remain immobile until dawn, high above the cacophony and the struggle for space below. My triumph was short lived. To find out what happened next click on the next page
Soon after departing from Amritsar, I began to experience racking pains in my belly. They were so excruciating and my guts felt so bad that I could not move. Even if I had dared to vacate my prime luggage rack location, the carriage toilet was occupied by a woman with chickens, and traffic was not possible between compartments. When we finally arrived in the capital and found a cheap hotel in the old Delhi Bazaar area, my bowels erupted with a burning mass of pus and blood. In retrospect, I clearly had a very severe problem with my digestion, inflammation and parasites.
In those days however, I was very much into the "mind over matter" philosophy. I was determined that I could will this "minor inconvenience" away and soon would be ready for the next adventure. I decided that the whole of India must suffer from whatever I had, (digestive and bowel issues) judging by the similar putrid stench in the squat-style toilets – and it was really no big deal. “I was one with the people.”
After a few days of languishing in our roof top hovel, I realized that my will power was not effective enough. My two friends went off to visit the Taj Mahal and I soberly concluded that I must indeed be ill, if I could not keep up with them. I was disappointed. Our next stop was to be Peshawar, the land of apricots, mountain lakes and houseboats. But the bleeding from my bowels had not abated. Instead, it had become dark and gelatinous, the intense intestinal cramps continued and then I discovered that the water that I had begged the hotel boy to boil for me to drink, had merely been put in the refrigerator. At that time the belief was prevalent that refrigeration equaled sterilization. Rumors circulated about a cholera outbreak in Delhi. It was time to consult a doctor about my "trivial complaint".
Dr Raj Mahajan was an Anglophile. One of those men who wished that the British had never left the Indian subcontinent (much to my skeptical surprise). He took some samples, palpated my liver and courteously informed me that he would not let me travel in case I hemorrhaged and that I should be hospitalized immediately.
Over the next few days I alternated between despair and denial. I refused to believe that my "invincible" will power had failed. I caught a plane to my family in Hong Kong and was promptly placed in an isolation ward in the Matilda hospital. I had amoebic hepatitis. The amoeba causing the dysentery in my gut and affecting my digestion so badly, had also affected my liver. It was a dangerous situation. Recently, a healthcare practitioner has suggested that I also had peritonitis, judging by the amount of scarring and adhesions still in my abdomen and digestive tract. A complete break in the lifeline on my palm, at that age, also informs me that the damage was serious. Back then, though, because of my willfulness, I refused to believe it.
Two decades later, I now believe. The break in my life line indicated a break in my life force and a change in the way that I lived my life forever. The following year I consulted ten different doctors for the constant abdominal pain, fatigue and diarrhea – and skin problems. They variously prescribed pain killers or cortisone for the skin (which is contra-indicated for liver damage), but usually scratched their heads, puzzled, and referred me on to the next specialist. I ended up in the renowned Hospital of Tropical Diseases in London for more tests. No one realized that I probably still had a rampant parasitic infection. The Flagyl, administered while I was in the isolation ward should have obliterated the amoebae, but I have since learned that it is only 50% effective, while being very harsh on the body. I have also learned that the lab tests are not often accurate, because I did run numerous stool cultures with consistently negative results.
In 1985, after doing some post graduate work, in hospitals in China, I returned to Hong Kong with more very clear parasitic symptoms: along with the continued weakness, fatigue, abdominal pain, diarrhea and skin rashes, I now had severe pain in my solar plexus too – and food allergies. Again, the stool test in Hong Kong yielded no results.
Immune System break down
It was only when I arrived in Los Angeles and met doctors Andreas Marx and Roy Martina MD, who used electrodermal testing, (the Voll and Vega machines respectively), that the possibility of continuing parasites was revealed. By then I was too weak to tolerate the anti-parasitic herbs. My immune system was breaking down and I became environmentally ill. I was allergic to 70% of all food, my brain seemed to shut down, (brain fog), I could barely form clear sentences………, and the list goes on. My bed was my best friend.
Incidentally, while visiting the Number Two Hospital in Shanghai, I happened to notice the preserved specimen of an intestine with holes in it. The caption below it indicated that it had been eaten through by amoebae: Obviously the owner had died. This was information that I did not need!
Several years later after clearing various other toxins from my system and working on the emotional and spiritual levels as well, it was time to try dealing with these parasites again. A new lab in Phoenix, Arizona, run by Dr. Amin, detected amoebae at a level of three plus. Plus one is mild, plus three is severe. Further stool tests and blood work yielded positive results for high levels of toxoplasmosis and helicobacter, round worm and other creatures. Yikes! Now what?
The amoebae clearly originated in India, the Helicobacter, H-pylori, began its residence with the onset of the stomach-ulcer-like pain in China, and the toxoplasmosis probably began in childhood in the Far East with our numerous cats (thirteen in all over the years). There might have been a little additional help from the raw hamburger meat that we used to eat as a special treat in the form of Steak Tartare at the Hong Kong Hilton hotel. Oh yes, the continual anemia that my sisters and I had as teenagers in spite of iron pills, was probably due to hookworm from running around barefoot, even though we knew better.
Now don't go thinking that these creatures are exotic and that you will never meet them in Los Angeles, North America or England . They are ubiquitous.
A Japanese acupuncture herbal doctor informed me that with a history of amoebae in the liver, I had to have intravenous Flagyl immediately, otherwise they could invade my brain and I would die.
After researching various antibiotic, homeopathic and herbal options I opted for an antibiotic, (banned in this country), because it is supposed to have a 90% success rate. (Remember that Flagyl is only 50% successful and toxic to the liver) I wanted to end my long relationship with the uninvited guests - parasites.
After a strenuous and harsh course of Tinnidazole, procured in England, I ran another stool culture. The English doctor didn't want to give me those antibiotics because she said they were much too harsh. But the lab test results still showed "amoebae plus three".
To help with the abdominal pain, digestive problems and strange hunger and food cravings I tried some South American anti-parasitic herbs, colloidal silver and ozonated water to no avail. Eventually I found a reasonably good formula containing berberine, artemesia and grapefruit seed extract among other herbs, which alleviated some of the symptoms. I decided that now I was "bigger than my parasites" and that I could at least tolerate them, even though I could not eradicate them. It was better, I reasoned, to call a truce and not to exterminate myself in the process.
So for a couple of years I tried to live in harmony with my parasitic inhabitants. True, I still became strangely hungry at odd times, especially after eating; my stool was loose occasionally and I knew that I still had leaky gut syndrome. I did get some strange skin rashes, but so what? I was bigger than my parasites.
It took more than medication…
Fortunately most comedies have happy endings! As I shifted my consciousness, I began working with some herbal formulas that truly did make a huge difference to my health and well being. After twenty two years of research. Now that’s a looong time!
So why am I telling you my story? Because if you believe you have parasite or fungal related symptoms or leaky gut syndrome, and negative test results, don't necessarily believe the tests. Give your body a good digestive, colon cleanse and parasite and intestinal detox and then reassess your health.
Remember that as you clean up your body, you may want to clear out the human parasites in your life, and perhaps examine any ways in which you may have developed unhealthy parasitic relationships.
In Chinese Medicine we call this Gu Syndrome.
The physical little critters that invade our bodies are simply mirrors of the emotional and spiritual debris that we allow into our lives. We can take a lot of purgative herbs or drugs, but if we don't refill our bodies with light and love, the worms, protozoa, bacteria, viruses and fungus (like overgrown candida) etc. will creep right back in with the shadows. After all, your body wants to be full of some kind of life. So why don't you choose who or what to fill your body with?
One of the reasons all those doctors could not help me was because I knew in my heart that I had to do some very deep cleansing on many emotional and spiritual layers as well as on the physical level.
"..First you have to be in full awareness of your parasitic clinging to others; of identifying with others so as to depend on them in one way or another, You will see the ties you have so far refused to cut and could therefore not establish their roots within yourself. Once you find these areas, it will be comparatively easy, although certainly no sudden or abrupt process, to cut the ties and become yourself, and identify with yourself." The Guide, Pathwork lecture no. 113, (Identification with Self).
When you accomplish this, parasites can no longer affect you.
I have had many people tested for parasites, routinely, who appear completely healthy. Yet the results may come back showing three plus amoebae, for example, or even tape worm. These people are usually strong and vigorous, with a very healthy attitude to life. I believe that they truly are "bigger than their parasites". Their strong life force keeps the creatures in check and some form of symbiosis is occurring.
Now if they were to undergo a major stressful traumatic situation such as divorce, job loss or a car accident, their immune system might weaken and the parasites, fungus and yeasts can multiply. The human host has become off balance. The parasites become unsettled and begin to create havoc within the body.
How do you learn to stay in balance?
Listed below are suggestions to get back on track and to stay on track, on the spiritual, emotional and physical levels. I recommend that everyone does the digestive cleanse at least once a year.
· The book "Light Emerging" by one of my former teachers Dr Barbara Ann Brennan, from the Barbara Brennan School of Healing. There is an excellent section in this book on rewriting your negative relationships on the emotional and spiritual levels.
· Another book "Core Energetics" by another of my former teachers, the late psychiatrist Dr John Pierrakos, M.D. In Core Energetics therapy classes you can learn how to set your boundaries, claim your body back, along with your power and your physical space and to pull light into your body, while transforming the shadow areas. You get to cleanse your chakras and to celebrate your body and your space – all at the same time.
· Workshop: we offer a very fun Core Energetics class called “Honor Your No!” designed to empower you to take charge of your life. We’d love to see you there.
· CDs: If you can't join us, why don’t you listen to our CD of the same name. Pt 1: “Honor Your No!” based on the principles of Core Energetics as described above.
Pt 2: "Claim Back Your Life! By Releasing the Grip of the Insidious NOs ."
· Herbal formulas: many colon cleanse or anti parasitic formulas are very harsh and cannot be taken for the long periods of time necessary to help cleanse and heal the gut. The best herbs I have found in over thirty years of research are gentle enough for long term use, yet powerful enough, and very balanced.
For a free webinar on “Ancient Chinese Medicine Secrets of Healthy Digestion”, an explanation of leaky gut, allergies, chronic fatigue syndrome, candida, yeast infections and solutions go to http://www.MeridianHolistic.com/resources
Photo of India courtesy of Holliday Dines, San Diego, CA