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Some time ago, I started a file for a future article titled, “Eat Dirty.” Every time I came across a report about something that happened as a consequence of germ phobia and our modern preoccupation with cleanliness, I put it in the folder. It has gotten too big for just one post, so I’ve decided to break it up into what may become a series of posts about serious diseases for which natural cures already exist.

Food manufacturers use chemicals and processing methods that destroy all living things, at least any that could be traced back to them, even if it takes a toll on the environment and means food value is lost. Raw milk is a good example. When fresh, it contains a fat called CLA, vitamin K2, and other beneficial compounds that are lost in heating and processing. Additionally, the length of time necessary to package, store, and ship the products, allows harmful microbes to multiply, so raw dairy products are only available in the natural state to those who actually have access to the cow.  

Fresh eggs, straight from the chicken are dirty. The egg industry washes and sanitizes our eggs, removing the natural barrier that keeps the interior free of anything that might harm a developing chick. Then they spray the factory eggs with mineral oil to reseal the porous shells. But now researchers report that asthma is linked to the lack of good, natural, farm dirt, especially that from chickens. Children who spend their first year on a farm, where they are exposed to animal wastes, have a much lower risk of asthma and other auto-immune diseases. It seems that we have developed immune systems that can handle the kind of threats found in the natural world, but when we eliminate too many of them, the immune system becomes confused and attacks our body tissues and non-harmful substances instead. (There are certainly real dangers out there; we must recognize that all of us were not meant to survive. A fish will lay millions of eggs, but the balance of nature depends on having only two survive to become adults to replace their parents. Humans, all 7 billion of us, don’t like those odds.)

This post is about auto-immune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, asthma, allergies, Crone’s disease, and ulcerative colitis. There is a cure, but it’s dirty.

The Ultimate Probiotic:
Jasper Lawrence has developed an innovative treatment for autoimmune disorders: parasites. According to Lawrence, hookworms and whipworms subdue an inflammatory response better than modern medicines. “They persuade the immune system to leave them alone,” he said in an interview with Daily Finance. Intestinal parasites used to be the norm, he says, “The ape and any of the proto-humans in the fossil records all were infected with parasites, so our immune system has evolved to account for this immunomodulatory effect on inflammation…When you take those worms out of people, the immune system doesn’t develop properly and is unregulated, and the inflammatory response is stronger and misdirected…So, by reintroducing the parasites, you restore the situation that our immune systems evolved for.”

Mr. Lawrence suffered from debilitating allergies and after seeing a BBC documentary about the connection between parasites and asthma, he determined to find a way to infect himself with hookworms. You can read on his website and blog about his harrowing adventures, culminating in his walking barefoot through the latrines in Cameroon, Africa, in order to adopt his internal “pets.” He runs a unique business selling worms descended and replenished from his own digestive tract. As you might imagine, he was not allowed to operate in the US, but his remedy, including a flight to Mexico or the UK, costs a fraction of that of  5 years of treatments with current pharmaceutical drugs.

Lawrence began dispensing hookworms through Autoimmune Therapies in 2007. He claims remarkable success in treating diseases for which the medical world has no cures. He doesn’t claim that his parasites are a cure either, but according to his data, 80% of the ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease cases go into remission, and “Everyone with relapsing, remitting multiple sclerosis that we’ve treated has gone into remission or damn near remission within six months,” he says. His therapy is also being tested for treating ADHD and autism.

It hasn’t been easy to market parasites, especially in the US. “If you were in business, would you replace a drug that earned you $140,000 over five years with a parasite that might earn you $4,000, that was more effective?” explains Lawrence. And the worms can’t be patented, so if they become widely available, the  price might fall dramatically. “All the drugs that are on the market — Methotrexate, Tysabri, Humira — all these drugs would suddenly be worthless,” he says. “It’s not going to happen, is it?”

A quote from the website says: “Hookworm and whipworm are inherently safe, as a study of any parasitology text will demonstrate, at therapeutic doses. They are so safe that the American Centers for Disease Control, a branch of the National Institute of Health, advises doctors not to treat light infections. Light infections are all we sell….The worms are not contagious and your internal population will remain constant as they cannot reproduce in a human host.”

The worms do not cause anemia or other side effects except in those who are malnourished and the infestation can be eliminated quickly with one course of albendazole, from GlaxoSmithKline. Surprisingly, the hardest part is keeping them alive. They live up to 10 years and if they die before 3 years, you get new ones for free.

Most of us will happily take live probiotics (like the ones in yogurt) as long as we can’t see them. I takes a bit more courage to invite a worm into your body, even though it is a quick procedure, administered with just a band-aid on the arm. If I had MS, I’d be the first one on the plane.

(c) 2012, Judy Barnes Baker,

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Judy Barnes Baker

The working title for my first book was, “You’ll Never Know What You Are Missing.” It summed up my goal: to make eating for health synonymous with eating for pleasure. Once you discover the secret, you will find that the very best food for weight management, longevity, the treatment and prevention of disease, and over-all health and happiness is also the most sumptuous, satisfying, and indulgent way of eating the world has to offer. You are invited to the feast. Enjoy!


  1. Thank you for sharing this–extremely insightful!

  2. Very interesting! Thanks for posting.

  3. I'm totally amazed! And a little grossed out. Wow!! Thanks, Judy.

  4. We continue to learn more and more about how important the dirty, nasty stuff in the natural world is to our own health. All those creepy, crawly things that we couldn't avoid have turned out to be necessary. Maybe we shouldn't have listened to our mothers (at least not about cleanliness). Thanks for the comment, Ramona.

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