Parasites are typically seen as threatening, as well as sickening. They are usually dangerous for their hosts. Some may cause severe diseases and sometimes even death. That’s the reason why they are avoided, and no one desires any infection at any cost. But not all the parasites are the same. Some may help the host to cope with deadly infections.
Knowing when parasitism is helpful has significant implications. Diverse studies have stated that parasites can promptly evolve distinct mechanisms to protect their hosts from infections. This indicates that host protection should be universal in nature.
The world is full of living creatures, including millions of species of parasites. Some of the parasites may appear as dangerous under some conditions and helpful under others. So here are some of the beneficial impacts of parasites on humans as a host. So get ready to explore a few of them. And enhance your knowledge regarding these worthy parasites.
Benefits of Parasites:
May reduce allergies
Studies have found that early infections with parasites reduce the risk of allergy in humans. This is because parasites keep the immune system occupied.
It is claimed that a parasite called hookworm can cure allergies, fever, and asthma. But it hasn’t been proven that hookworms are the solution. Since hookworms are blood-sucking worms, so knowingly injecting this worm in the body would not be a great decision.
Parasites may boost fertility
Parasites generally do not have many benefits. But researchers have found that women with some inner worms are more productive as analyzed to others. Plus, they discovered that hookworm infections appeared to influence reproduction negatively. When women had hookworm infections, they went longer between fertilization. But ladies with roundworms got pregnant quickly and more frequently.
It may be due to how parasites modify their host’s immune systems. Studies have shown that roundworms trigger an anti-inflammatory response in humans. While for hookworms, the reply is both anti-inflammatory and pro-inflammatory.
May reduce symptoms of irritable bowel disease
A research conducted on mice showed that parasitic worms reduce symptoms of irritable bowel disease. These worms maintain the small intestines by keeping irritating bacteria at controllable levels.
The analysis also found that chronic infection with a parasite comparable to roundworm rebuilt the mucus and cell morphology. They also intimated that IBD is growing more prevalent as parasitic infections wane in the advanced world.
Parasites may heal wounds
Liver flukes generate a kind of proteid named granulin, which can produce the unchecked generation of cells that indicate cancer. But swiftly multiplying cells too can bind wounds.
In fact, as the fluke feeds into its host’s organ, it heals the wounds with a growth factor it creates. But keep in mind that some parasites may even worsen your wounds.
Medicines are not only meant to rid your body of the parasites but can also help you maintain a healthy community within your body. According to experts at Microbe Formulas, maintaining a healthy gut microbiome requires the intake of specific supplements. And if you maintain a healthy community of parasites in your body, they can surely help you maintain a healthy body in exchange.
6 useful parasites with benefits
1. Red Velvet Mite
The red velvet mite has a fleshy, hairy, cushion-like form and a bright red color. Having a blood-red color differentiates it from others and makes it scary. When fully matured as an adult, this parasite becomes a powerful predator that is more dangerous than its early stage.
Though, it is unbelievable that this mighty and scary parasite may also have benefits. Analyses have found that red velvet mite is utilized in classical Eastern medication as a remedy for male sterility and paralysis. Experimental researches have indicated that the various parts of this parasite have both anti-fungal and anti-bacterial characteristics.
2. Medicine Ant
Medicine Ant is acknowledged to be a social parasite. This parasite is kenned for stealing the haunts of other ants and making them slaves. After making them slaves, it kicks out the original queen from its nest and becomes the queen itself.
Ants have been practiced in Asian countries as folk medicine components for years. So after investigating the Medicine Ant, it has been seen that extracts from medicine ant have notable analgesic and anti-inflammatory characteristics.
Wolbachia is naturally occurring bacteria found in about half of all insect species and other invertebrates such as spiders and nematodes. Just like other parasites, it requires a host to survive. Though, this parasite has also certain benefits that you need to know.
Research from scientists has found that Wolbachia helps in fighting dengue fever. It helps in preventing the virus from replicating inside the mosquitoes that transmit the disease. The main goal of using it is to reduce infections in humans.
Cochineal extract and carmine have an abundant history as a dye for food, cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and textiles. The historical use gave reasons for its permission as a food additive for coloring purposes in all major markets. Its heat and light resistance is beneficial as compared to other natural colorants providing red hues.
Cochineal insects are a natural predator of sharp pear and shield themselves in white, fuzzy wax. It has been substituted almost entirely by artificial dyes. But still, it proceeds to be used, especially as a coloring agent in cosmetics and beverages. Its dyeing power is associated with cochineal, or carminic acid, collected by heating cochineal in water. Cochineal also carries glyceryl myristate (a fat) and coccerin (cochineal wax).
5. Tinder Fungus
The tinder fungus is usually found on beech and birch trees, though it is able to infect a wide variety of hosts. It has been practiced for about 5,000 years and has lots of amazing health benefits. Some of the health benefits include lowering blood pressure, lowering blood sugar, increasing circulation, boosting up immunity, etc.
Tinder mushroom contains lots of healing composites, including the Melanin-glucan complex that prevents infections. Also, it contains a powerful agent called Betulinic acid, which is a powerful antiviral agent. For centuries people have used this beneficial parasite to stop bleeding. Research has also analyzed that it also has some of the anti-cancer properties that do not have any side effects. In Chinese Medicine, it is honored as a prominent healing agent for throat cancer. To find more benefits, research is still being conducted on it.
Roundworms are parasites that live in our intestines. They have long round bodies and range in size. The name of the roundworm is derived from its tubular or round shape. Infections caused by roundworms are fairly common. Roundworms do pose a significant risk to humans. Contact with contaminated soil or dog feces can result in human ingestion and infection. Once infected, the worms can cause eye, lung, heart, and neurologic signs in people though it has some benefits.
Roundworms trigger an anti-inflammatory response in humans. Also, it increases the rate of fertility in women. This means that women with roundworms in her intestines may frequently get pregnant sooner and often.
So these are some of the useful parasites that may help you lead a happy and healthy life. But keep in mind that they can even be dangerous if you get closer to them. So try to maintain a definite distance from them so that they couldn’t harm you. Though, you can’t get rid of the parasites completely. But, practicing regular parasite-detox can help maintain a healthy parasite community in your body.