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PARASITES AND WORMS

Parasites and worms

Worms and other intestinal parasites which infest human beings are found in all countries of the world even in the UK. However, they are more common in tropical and subtropical areas and are widely prevalent during the rainy seasons. Children are more infested with these worms than adults.

Most natural health practitioners agree that parasitic infections are grossly underestimated as the cause of disease and suffering in humans. The majority of parasitic infections are caused by either single-celled organisms or a variety of worms from the microscopic to a metre long.

Some estimates claim that up to 75% of the world's population has some form of parasitic intestinal worm infection and parasitic infections are certainly one of the primary causes of illness and death in the developing world. The World Bank estimates that roundworm has infected 1.5 billion people, hookworm just over 1 billion and whipworm 1.3 billion people globally.

 

 

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This is not a new problem and there is evidence of human parasitic infection dating back to antiquity with 7,000 year old hookworm eggs found in remains from Brazil, 4,500 year old roundworm eggs found in Peruvian remains and tapeworm eggs found in Egyptian mummies dating back 4,000 years. Human parasitic infections were documented 5,000 years ago in Egyptian papyrus records and later in Ancient Greece both Hippocrates and Aristotle also extensively documented the problem.

It is perfectly possible for humans to have several parasitic infections and to be largely unaware of the issue as they may only suffer occasional digestive problems or headaches. Wild mammals also tend to be infected with multiple species of parasites and this is known because of pets such as dogs which have to be regularly de-wormed.

Pigs in particular tend to contract parasitic worm infections due to their undiscriminating tastes and snuffling around in the dirt and the avoidance of pork common to Judaism and Islam was probably originally good health advice due to the likelihood of contracting a parasitic infection.

Doctors still tend to think of parasitic infections as being primarily tropical diseases and it is true that parasitic infections are a huge problem in tropical regions. However, with air travel to exotic locations now commonplace for business and/or pleasure, the diagnosis of parasitic infections in often overlooked by doctors in the developed world.

Failing to recognise the true cause, doctors may attribute gastrointestinal symptoms to the woolly 'irritable bowel syndrome' and there may ensue a fruitless attempt to suppress individual symptoms. This may involve medicating the symptoms with antibiotics and/or steroids which at best may not be helpful and at worst extremely counterproductive. Meanwhile the true cause goes unidentified and untreated.

See below for natural remedies and a cleansing diet to kill and flush out worms and parasites.

More worrying still is the growing practice in allopathic medicine for actively infecting people with parasites in order to quell unwanted immune responses such as allergies and autoimmune diseases.

Parasitic worms and their larvae have evolved considerable defences with thick, armoured outer layers, fearsome mouthparts and well-developed muscles which enable them to penetrate and survive inside their host. For its part, the immune system of the body has evolved two specific responses to parasitic worm infections. One involves specialised white blood cells known as eosinophils and the other is the IgE antibody response.

The eosinophils bind to the worms and release toxins from their granules in order to kill them. Released inappropriately these substances are also responsible for allergic responses and can cause asthma and damage the lining of the airways.

IgE antibodies are found attached to mast cells where they act as receptors for any substance that may have been produced by, or is attached to, a multi-cellular parasite. If triggered, the mast cells release their cargo of compounds such as histamine. These compounds are toxic to the parasite and initiate a powerful inflammatory response in the infected tissue, causing swelling, irritation, dilation of blood vessels, the release of protein digesting enzymes and attract white blood cells to the region.

The IgE antibody response is also responsible for allergies. It is thought that, since most allergies are responses to multi-cellular organisms such as cat hair, pollen, fungi and flea saliva that these reactions are really just the body's powerful reaction to a perceived invasion by a parasite.

Causes

The eggs of these parasites are introduced into the human system through the medium of food or water, especially undercooked meat.

Microscopic parasites can be picked up through poor hygiene, contact with the soil, eating raw fruits and vegetables that have not been washed properly, from animals and from contaminated foods.

Eating sugary or stale foods or foods that are difficult to digest may make it easier for parasites to take hold and thrive.

The eggs of these worms, taken into the human body through food and water can breed in the intestines only if they find there a suitable medium for their propagation. This medium is an intestinal tract clogged with morbid matter and systemic refuse due to wrong feeding habits. A colon cleanse and detoxify program to flush out the system may help to avoid contraction of parasites and worms.

Prevention

  • Always wear shoes outside and remove them before walking inside the home.

  • Avoiding stagnant contaminated water and wear protective gloves and clothing if that is not possible.

  • Boil or purify drinking water.

  • Regularly de-worm domestic animals and pets.

  • Never allow animals onto beds or to lick the face.

  • Pay particular attention to food and personal hygiene.

  • Cook fish and meat well as high temperatures can kill parasites. Pickling or smoking will not kill fluke cysts in fish or shellfish.

  • Wash vegetables and fruit meticulously - soaking vegetables in a bicarbonate of soda and water solution then rinsing can reduce the risk of contamination.

Symptoms

Symptoms for worms vary depending on the species and where they are located in the body and are listed in detail below but here are some symptoms that can be caused by worm infestations:

  • Headache

  • Foul breath

  • Dark circles under the eyes

  • Teeth grinding

  • Nervousness

  • Sleep disturbances, restlessness at night with bad dreams

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Sporadic constipation, diarrhoea, gas and bloating

  • Irritable bowel syndrome

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Stomach pain or tenderness

  • Aches in the joints and muscles

  • Chronic fatigue or weakness

  • Allergies - environmental and chemical sensitivities

  • Rashes

  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia)

  • Anaemia

  • Flu-like symptoms

  • Long standing obesity

  • Depression

  • Changes in appetite

  • Constant desire for food and food cravings

  • Immune dysfunction

  • Weight loss

  • Passing worms, their eggs or segments in the stool.

In extreme cases, parasitic worm infestations can cause total blockage of the intestinal tract causing severe constipation. The opposite is also true with parasitic worm infections speeding 'transit time' and causing diarrhoea and also reducing the body’s opportunity to absorb the nutrients in food leading to malnutrition and weight loss.

Various nutrient deficiencies can also be caused by parasitic worm infections as the parasites absorb vital vitamins and nutrients that would normally be absorbed by the host body.

The actions of the worms can also interfere with normal digestive processes. For example, worms release protease inhibitors as a defence against the body’s protein digesting enzymes and these may impair the breakdown of other proteins intended for use by the body.

In addition, direct damage to the intestinal mucosa can cause impaired nutrient uptake, and the complex chemical imbalances caused by the body’s reaction to the worms can also affect nutrient absorption. For example, roundworm (ascaris) infections have been linked to temporarily induced lactose intolerance and to the malabsorption of vitamin A, protein and fat.

Parasitic worms also release chemicals which suppress the host's immune system in order to continue existing within the host. This, in combination with the long-term immune response triggered by worm infection may drain the body’s ability to fight other diseases, making affected individuals more prone to viral, bacterial and fungal infections. The worms also excrete toxic waste products that continuously poison the host's body taxing detoxification processes.

Worms and their larvae can also perforate organs and tissues as they migrate through the body causing inflammation, acute symptoms and interfering with their functions. Finally, parasitic clumps are often mistaken for cancerous tumours with all that implies.

Vitamin D acts as a natural antibiotic working against all types of microbes (bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses) and is therefore very important for fighting off any infestations. Many people are deficient in vitamin D due to working inside, covering themselves and constantly using sunscreens that block vitamin D production from the sun's rays. In the northern hemisphere the sun is too weak between October and April for the body to be able to manufacture vitamin D and the stores will only last up to 60 days. Therefore, it is important to have blood tests and consume foods that contain vitamin D especially from November to April.

Highest sources of vitamin D per serving listed

  • Krill oil - 1 teaspoon: 1000 IU

  • Eel - 85 g or 3 oz: 792 IU

  • Maitake mushrooms - 70 g: 786 IU

  • Rainbow trout - 85 g or 3 oz: 540 IU

  • Cod liver oil - 1 teaspoon: 440 IU

  • Mackerel - 85 g or 3 oz: 400 IU

  • Salmon - 85 g or 3 oz: 400 IU

  • Halibut - 85 g or 3 oz: 196 IU

  • Tuna - 85 g or 3 oz: 228 IU

  • Sardines - 85 g or 3 oz: 164 IU

  • Chanterelle mushrooms - 85 g or 3 oz: 155 IU

  • Raw milk - 1 glass or 8 oz: 98 IU

  • Egg yolk - 1 large: 41 IU

  • Caviar - 28g or 1 oz: 33 IU

  • Hemp seeds - 100 g or 3.5 oz: 22 IU

  • Portabella mushrooms - 85 g or 3 oz: 6 IU

NOTE: One IU is the biological equivalent of 0.3 μg or 0.3 micrograms.

A-Z of parasites and natural remedies

Dientamoeba fragilis trophozoites

Dientamoeba fragilis trophozoites is a single celled intestinal parasite that can cause symptoms in some people and none in others. Infection by this parasite is often due to antibiotic use which upsets the balance of the normal flora that resides in the intestines. This parasite is often found in the stools of people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). A huge percentage of the population is diagnosed with IBS without actually being diagnosed with a specific disease. IBS symptoms can be caused by the body’s reaction to a number of irritants in the diet including lactose and gluten intolerance or microbial infections by intestinal parasites or yeast infection such as Candida albicans. IBS can also be caused by bacterial infection or by combinations of all these factors. Someone who has an undiagnosed food allergy or intolerance and suffers from a chronic yeast infection of the intestines is much more vulnerable to infection by Dientamoeba fragilis.

Dientamoeba fragilis is extremely fragile (hence its name fragilis) and dies off outside of the body almost immediately and then is quickly broken down by bacteria and enzymes and decomposes but immediate contact with the faeces of someone who is infected can be contagious. As with many other parasites, it is mistakenly thought that infection of this parasite will only happen due to a visit to the tropics. However, it is also possible to get infected anywhere such as when using the toilet or other ways that involve coming into contact with the faeces of people who are the carriers of parasites. The risk of infection is greater for professionals who come into contact with faeces such as those in involved in nursing, care of small children, the elderly and psychiatric patients, plumbers, recyclers or staff in airports and on ships. The increase in travel has made this parasite spread far and wide and often several people within a family are infected at the same time. Pigs and waste water can be carriers of this parasite.

This parasite may also be spread in pinworms (Enterobius vermicularis) eggs.

Several organisms, including Dientamoeba fragilis, have become resistant to certain medications provided by doctors but can be weakened and eliminated through natural foods such as garlic and others below.

Symptoms:  Abdominal pain (especially in children), abdominal distension and bloating, alternating diarrhoea and constipation, fatigue, flatulence, gastritis, hair loss, irritable bowel syndrome, nutrient deficiencies, pain in joints, skin irritations, stomach cramps, vomiting and weight loss.

Natural treatment for Dientamoeba fragilis trophozoites

Chillies and curries are a good choice to consume with garlic when infected by parasites as many aromatic spices and herbs can be used in these dishes that are also antimicrobial such as:

Berberine is extracted from the amur cork tree, Chinese goldthread, goldenseal root, huang lian, oregon grape, tree turmeric and uva ursi. Uva ursi and goldenseal are often used for similar medicinal purposes because both herbs contain the chemical berberine which is known to kill this parasite.

NOTE: There may be an interaction between berberine and many prescription medications, including metformin, and it should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women due to potential for adverse effects in the newborn. Excess berberine can cause brain, kidney and liver problems and should never be taken as a supplement on its own. It has been shown to cause liver tumours in rats and people with heart problems can be induced by berberine to have arrhythmia attacks. Only use under advice from a health professional.

Black walnut hulls contain a substance which helps the body eliminate these parasites.

Elecampane is a digestive stimulant and remedy for upset stomach due to a chemical called alantolactone that can expel worms and parasites from the digestive tract. Taken before a meal, the root decoction also has a bitter component called helenin which promotes digestion, improves vitamin and mineral absorption and stimulates the appetite.

Garlic: Chop finely, or crush, four cloves of garlic and allow to stand for ten minutes to enable the chemical reaction to take place that produces the anti-parasitic compound. Then mix with one glass of liquid (water, juice or milk) and drink daily for three weeks. Also add chopped garlic to any meals such as rice and vegetable dishes or to plain yoghurt as a dip.

Chinese rhubarb root: Mix one teaspoon of rhubarb powder to one cup of water. Then, bring to boil and simmer at a reduced heat for 10 minutes. Add a little pure unblended honey to sweeten.

Grapefruit seed extract has been shown to be very effective against this parasite.

Oregano oil has been shown to a very effective killer of this parasite. Take one to two drops under the tongue or with juice three times daily. A cup of tea made by steeping the leaves and roots of the oregano herb for ten minutes may also be drunk three times a day. Add lemon juice and a teaspoon of honey for additional benefits.

Wormwood: Named for its ability to expel parasites, wormwood is known world wide for its strong killing ability as it contains the potent chemicals thujone and isothujone, which are the primary components that kill parasites. Wormwood also contains santonin, an effective remedy for parasitic diseases and sesquiterpene lactones, which work similarly to peroxide by weakening the parasites membranes therefore killing them. It can be taken as a tea, a liquid extract or as a capsule. To make a medicinal tea, soak a handful of sweet wormwood leaves in hot water for 20 minutes. Then wring out the juice and drink it all. Do not take the pure oil as it is considered to be toxic.

Other remedies that may be effective are: Black seed (Nigella sativa), cloves, gentian root (Gentiana lutea), fennel seeds, hyssop leaves, peppermint leaves, pumpkin seeds and thyme leaves. Make teas by steeping chopped leaves or grinding seeds into hot water for 15 minutes then strain and add one teaspoon of pure unblended honey and the freshly squeezed juice and zest of half a lemon and drink three times a day. Other herbs, such as anise, green tea and liquorice root, can be added for additional anti-parasitic abilities and lemon jucie and honey can be added for more health benefits and taste.

See more natural cures for parasites and worms below.
 

 

Entamoeba histolytica

 

This single-celled organism causes a disease called amoebiasis. It predominantly infects humans and other primates. It can be found in water, damp environments and in soil, and can contaminate fruits and vegetables. It spreads through faecal contamination. Other than the malarial parasite, it causes more deaths than any other protozoan. Entamoeba histolytica has a worldwide distribution, with a higher incidence of amoebiasis in developing countries.

 

Risk groups in industrialized countries include homosexual males, travellers and recent immigrants (although disease may develop months to years after exposure) and institutionalised populations.

 

Infection by E. histolytica typically occurs by ingestion of mature cysts in faecal contaminated food, water, or hands. Cysts can survive for days to weeks in the external environment. Transmission can also occur through exposure to faecal matter during sexual contact (in this case not only cysts but also the far less durable trophozoite stage could prove infective).

Symptoms: Abdominal pain, diarrhoea and liver abscesses, weakness and weight loss.

 

Natural treatment for amoebiasis

Follow the links to find out how to take each herb. For severe infections take more than one together.

 

Black seed

Cloves

Gentian root

Fennel seeds

Garlic: Take four cloves per day. Crush or finely chop and leave to stand for ten minutes then take with a glass of water or juice or add to a meal.

Ginger can be grated or sliced and added to herbal teas made from any of the other herbal remedies.

Green black walnut husks

Grapefruit seed extract

Hyssop leaves

Oregano

Peppermint leaves

Pumpkin seeds (one tablespoon per day until infection clears up)

Thyme leaves

See more natural cures for parasites and worms below
 


Filarial worms

 

Lymphatic filariasis is a debilitating disease that has plagued Egypt since the time of the pharaohs – an autopsy on the 3000-year old mummified body of Natsef-Amun, a priest during the time of Ramses XI, revealed the presence of filarial worms. Today, the disease is prevalent mainly in the Nile Delta region of the country. Transmitted by mosquitoes, the  become lodged in a person's lymph nodes

It is infection with the filarial worms, Wuchereria bancrofti, Brugia malayi or Brugia timori. These parasitic nematode worms are transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito and develop into adult worms in the lymphatic nodes and vessels, and over several years, can cause severe damage and extreme swelling (lymphoedema) and enlargement, (elephantiasis) of the limbs, breast and scrotum. It can be cured, if detected at its early stages when swelling of testis or breasts is noticed and progression into elephantiasis can be prevented.

Mosquito nets can prevent bites which pass this infection to humans.

Symptoms: chills, fever, painful lymph nodes, skin infections, swelling of the breasts or testes and thickened skin.

Nature treatment for lymphatic filariasis

Follow the links to find out how to take each herb. For severe infections take more than one together.

Bromine helps to provide a potent mechanism by which eosinophils kill multi-celled parasites such as filarial worms. Natural foods rich in bromine are:

NOTE: Over consumption of bromine and iodine, which is high in sea foods, can have adverse affects on the thyroid gland so should be taken in moderation by anyone suffering from hypothyroidism..

See more natural cures for parasites and worms below.
 

Flatworm blood fluke (Schistosoma haematobium, Schistosoma mansoni, Schistosoma japonicum)

Flukes are flatworms from a few millimetres to 2.5 cm in length (one inch) that tend to live in tissues other than the lumen of the digestive tract. The most common human parasitic flukes are liver, blood and lung flukes. Around 200 million people are infected with blood flukes of which some 20 million are severely ill and many more just show symptoms. The impact of flukes can play havoc with economic development, especially in tropical developing countries. Schistosomiasis is at present the world's second most prevalent infectious disease - second only to malaria. Schistosoma, is responsible for the second most common parasitic infection of humans: bilharzia.

Liver fluke infections have been reported in Europe and the United States, as well as the Middle East, China, Japan and Africa. Lung fluke infections are common in the Far East, South-east Asia, Africa, Central and South America, Indonesia and the Pacific Islands.

There are several types of fluke - blood flukes, liver flukes, oriental lung flukes, sheep liver flukes and intestinal flukes, tissue flukes, zoonotic flukes, lancet flukes and a host of others. The differences vary in where and how a person has been infected and where and how they will damage the system internally.

Liver, oriental lung, sheep liver, and intestinal flukes are transmitted via food; blood flukes are transmitted in swimming or bathing water. If living in the UK, Europe, North America or Canada it is likely that any fluke contamination  will have been picked up on holiday in somewhere tropical. Areas such as Africa (especially Egypt), South America, the Caribbean and China are worst affected. They can also be brought right to the table in food imported from abroad.

They have complex life cycles whereby eggs are passed through urine or faeces into fresh water, where the larva must pass though an intermediate snail host before a larval stage emerges that can infect a mammalian host by directly penetrating the skin.

The parasite causes inflammation (swelling) and damage to organs, particularly the liver. The adult worms can persist in their human host for decades, and may not cause any symptoms for years. They leave the host in faeces and spend part of their lifecycle in a snail host.

Flatworms are, as the name suggests, flat. This lack of significant depth to their body allows for direct nutrient absorption and means that they do not require a digestive system and only possess a rudimentary circulatory system.

They are contracted by eating raw or undercooked fish, animals or plants from fluke-infected fresh water. Eggs from an infected host, such as a sheep are deposited in water via the faeces and these then infect snails which in turn produce cysts which are deposited on vegetation growing in fresh water. When a human eats the infected vegetation, the cysts break open and the flukes enter the liver, lungs or in the case of the blood flukes attach to the intestinal blood vessels where they cause inflammation and destroy tissue.

Symptoms: abdominal pain, diarrhoea, nausea, weight loss and characteristic "rotten-egg" tasting burps.

 

Natural treatment for flatworm blood flukes

Follow the links to find out how to take each herb. For severe infections take more than one together.

Black seed

Cloves

Gentian root

Fennel seeds

Garlic: Take four cloves per day. Crush or finely chop and leave to stand for ten minutes then take with a glass of water or juice or add to a meal.

Ginger can be grated or sliced and added to herbal teas made from any of the other herbal remedies.

Grapefruit seed extract

Green black walnut husks

Hyssop leaves

Oregano

Peppermint leaves

Pumpkin seeds

Thyme leaves

NOTE: Do not use Cats Claw as the flatworms thrive in the environment created

See more natural cures for parasites and worms below.

Giardia (Giardia lamblia)

May result in pain in the calves and weakness in the legs. Giardia lamblia is a flagellated protozoan parasite. It lives and reproduces in the intestine, causing an infection of the small intestine known as giardiasis. When it takes up residence in a human's gut, it results in inflammation and and other damage, reducing the gut's ability to absorb nutrition and causing diarrhoea. The parasite is highly resistant to water treatment and is known to exist in drinking water.

Symptoms: abdominal pain, diarrhoea, nausea, weight loss, characteristic "rotten-egg" tasting burps.

 

Natural treatment for Giardia

Coconut: A tablespoon of the freshly ground coconut should be taken at breakfast followed by a dose of castor oil after three hours. The process may be repeated till the cure is complete.

CAUTION: Castor oil should not be given to children below five years of age.

Wormwood can be taken as a tea. Do not take the pure oil as it is considered to be toxic.

NOTE: Do not use Cats Claw as they thrive in the environment created

See more natural cures for parasites and worms below
 

Hookworms (Necator americanus)

Hookworm larvae are found in the warm, moist soil of tropical and subtropical regions and also in the south-eastern US. They can be acquired by eating food contaminated with human faeces or can enter the body directly through the skin where they travel through the blood stream to the lungs and throat where they are swallowed to end up in the small intestine.

This parasitic nematode worm begins life outside the body and is transmitted through contaminated water, or fruits and vegetables. The hookworm larvae grow inside the human intestines where they attach to the wall of the intestine and drink the blood of the host, sometimes causing a form of anaemia called anchylostomiasis.

The larvae have teeth-like hooks that attach to the intestinal wall and rob the body of blood. They can live for approximately 15 years in the human body.

Symptoms: The first symptoms are itchy patches on the skin with pimples and blisters and itching at the site of entry. Migration of the Ascaris larvae through the body can create temporary severe tissue irritation and allergic reactions such as asthma. Thereafter symptoms such as dizziness, pneumonitis, anorexia, weakness, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhoea, anaemia and nutritional disorders.

Natural treatment for Hookworms

Wormseed can be taken as a tea. Do not use concentrated wormseed oil as it is too potent.

Torrya seed can be used with basket fern and betel nut.

See more natural cures for parasites and worms below
 

Lancet Flukes (Dicrocoelium dendriticum)

Lancet flukes start life as eggs found in the dung of cattle. This dung is fed upon by snails which allow the eggs to enter the snail's intestine. Once inside, the eggs hatch and burrow into the digestive gland of the snail. The flukes reproduce in this gland and are expelled from the snail in slime trails.

Ants happen upon the slime and consume it as a source of moisture thus taking the new flukes into their system. Once inside, the parasite shows an interesting tactic. By controlling nerve centres of the ant they are able to control its behaviour. When the sun sets and temperatures drop the ant is compelled to attach itself to a tall blade of grass by its mandibles. Here it waits to be ingested by some grazing animal. If the ant survives the night the sun prompts it to return to the colony and live its life normally, until the next night. Flukes living within ants are eaten by cattle while grazing. The flukes will enter the digestive system and force their way into the cow's liver, where they will grow to adults capable of producing eggs. These eggs are then expelled in the dung of cattle to begin their life cycle.

To evidence the presence of flukes in humans a blood test will reveal an elevated white blood cell (eosiniphil) count. This is only a general indicator that the host may have other parasites such as roundworm, hookworm, toxocara, pinworms and strongyloides. Even certain drugs will raise the white blood cell count. Many doctors dismiss the elevated eosiniphil count as being caused by allergies, not realising that the primary allergen is the parasite itself. Urine testing will also evidence blood fluke eggs in the urine sediment. Since the female adult fluke lays her eggs around the anal area, the application of clear tape to the anal area first thing in the morning will recover the eggs of the blood fluke as well as those from beef and pork tapeworm.

Symptoms: abdominal pain, aching, cough, diabetes, diarrhoea, fever, fibrosis, hepatitis, lethargy, liver problems such as abscesses, swollen glands, urinary problems and vomiting and jaundice in the case of the liver flukes.

Natural treatment for the lancet fluke

Follow links to find out how to take each herb. For severe infections take more than one together.

Black seed

Cloves

Gentian root

Fennel seeds

Garlic: Take four cloves per day. Crush or finely chop and leave to stand for ten minutes then take with a glass of water or juice or add to a meal.

Ginger can be grated or sliced and added to herbal teas made from any of the other herbal remedies.

Grapefruit seed extract

Green black walnut husks

Hyssop leaves

Oregano

Peppermint leaves

Pumpkin seeds

Thyme leaves

See more natural cures for parasites and worms below
 

Pinworms (Enterobius vermicularis, threadworms)

Pinworms are a common human parasite, causing enterobiasis. Adult females range from eight to 13 millimetres in length and have a long, pin-shaped posterior, for which the worm is named. Pinworms mate by traumatic insemination - the male stabs the female with his penis - after which the male dies. They make their home in the host's intestines, but unlike many parasites they do not pass into the blood and cannot survive in other parts of the body for any length of time.

This is the most common worm infection in the US with 40 million Americans estimated to be infected with pinworm. It most commonly affects children and is contracted through contaminated water, soil, house dust and also by human-to-human contact. The adult female pinworm inhabits the intestine and moves outside the anus to lay eggs at night. The eggs can then be transferred to the mouth by the fingers after itching the anal area and infections can also be spread to other family members via bathtubs, toilet seats and bedding.

When contracted through soil, the pinworm larvae can penetrate the skin and invade the intestine wall or lungs. It can reproduce entirely in a human host or grow as a free-living worm and infections can last for 30 years.

Symptoms: The most common signs are gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating, greasy stools, diarrhoea and pulmonary disorders. May bring on intense itching in the area around the rectum at night and cause periodic bouts of diarrhoea alternating with constipation, loss of weight, cough and fever. Pinworm infection can produce an enormous range of diverse mental and behavioural symptoms including epilepsy, hyperactivity and vision problems.

NOTE: Pinworm eggs may also infect humans with the Dientamoeba fragilis trophozoites parasite. See above

Natural treatment for pinworms

Butternut this herb relieves constipation and expels intestinal worms.

NOTE: Butternut should not be taken for a long period of time.

Carrot Can eliminate pinworms from children. A small cup of grated carrot taken every morning for three days, with no other food added to this meal, can clear these worms quickly.

Chinese rhubarb root Mix one teaspoon of rhubarb powder to one cup of water. Then, bring to boil and simmer at a reduced heat for 10 minutes. Add a little pure unblended honey to sweeten and drink.

Garlic Chop finely, or crush, four cloves of garlic and allow to stand for ten minutes. Then mix with one glass of liquid (water, juice or milk) and drink daily for three weeks.

Mugwort An infusion of the dried leaves and flowers helps expel pinworms. Infusion: 28 g (1 oz) of dried herb or fresh leaves to 568 litres (one pint) of boiling water. Steep for five to ten minutes then strain and sip slowly.

Neem Leaves Grind neem leaves to a fine paste. For one week, take a marble sized ball of this paste every morning on an empty stomach. Do not take this for the second week. For the third week, take the neem leaves again as before on an empty stomach. The whole family should take this treatment together for curing pinworms.

See more natural cures for parasites and worms below.
 

Ringworm (Dermatophytosis)

Ringworm is caused by various fungi and not by parasitic worms. See the Fungi page.

Roundworms (Ascariasis lumbricoides, Strongyloides stercoralis)

These are the largest of the intestinal nematodes affecting humans, growing to 15-35 centimetres in length. They are transferred by ingestion. The eggs hatch and quickly penetrate the intestinal wall, where they enter the bloodstream. From there, the roundworm makes its way to the lungs, from where it is coughed up and swallowed, returning it to the gut.

Roundworms are more complex than flatworms, possessing not just a separate mouth and anus, but a circulatory system as well. They are spread directly to humans from contaminated soil and food and are more common in tropical and subtropical areas (especially Asia) because of the use of human faeces as a fertiliser. Roundworms also grow in the warm soil of the south-eastern USA. They are the most common intestinal parasite in the world.

Larvae penetrate through the skin of the feet and travel to the intestine where they reach maturity. Unusually, nematodes can reproduce entirely in a human host or grow free in soil. They can infect a human host for over 30 years.

Roundworm Symptoms: Many individuals do not show signs of roundworm disease but some may show inflammation of the intestine and lungs, nausea, loss of weight, fever, tiredness, allergic rash, vomiting, diarrhoea, nervousness and irritability, nerve problems, wheezing, coughing, bloating, greasy stools and pulmonary disorders.

May lead to temporarily induced lactose intolerance and to the malabsorption of vitamin A, protein and fat.

Anisakids
Anisakids is contracted through consuming undercooked or raw fish such as sushi. The larval stage infects fish like Pacific salmon, red snapper, herring, cod and haddock and the mature anisakids infect sea mammals.

Signs and symptoms: Appendicitis, Crohn's disease and other forms of intestinal inflammation.

Dog and cat roundworm (Toxocara canis, Toxocara cati)
Contracted through soil contaminated with dog faeces, cat or fox. Humans are not usually viable hosts for the mature forms, but toxocariasis is an illness of humans caused by larvae (immature worms) of either the dog or cat roundworm which can infect children.

Signs and symptoms: A high eosinophil count combined with anaemia as revealed by blood tests is typical. The larvae can hatch and travel to the lungs causing pneumonitis, to the intestines causing pain or to the liver causing enlargement in addition to the brain or eye.

Dog heartworm (dirofilaria immitis)
Contracted from a bite from an infected mosquito in tropical Africa, south-eastern Asia, South Pacific, Atlantic or the Gulf coast in the USA. Man is not a viable host for the mature worm, but larvae can remain in subcutaneous tissue or invade the lung.

Signs and symptoms: If the larvae invade the lung, they can cause a cough and the lesions can be mistaken for lung cancer.

Natural treatment for round worms

Paico Leaf can effectively eradicate roundworms in most cases.

Pumpkin: The seeds can be eaten whole or mashed and mixed with juice. Two or three hours after eating up to 25 ounces of seeds, a laxative such as senna or prunes is recommended to purge the intestines.

Cascara can be used after eating pumpkin seeds to help eliminate parasites from the body. It is milder than senna, but has a similar action. Prunes can also be consumed for the same purposes.

Wormwood can be taken as a tea. Do not take the pure oil as it is considered to be toxic.

Wormseed can be taken as a tea. Do not use concentrated wormseed oil as it is too potent.

Torrya seed can be used with chinaberry bark, quisqualis fruit and black plum.

See more natural cures for parasites and worms below
 

Tape worms (Hymenolepsis nana, Taenia solium, Vampirolepis nana)

Transmitted through infected food, a tapeworm attaches itself to its victim's intestine with hooks on its head, or scolex. They mature over three to four months, during which time the reproductive organs develop. Tapeworms can survive for up to 25 years in humans. Their eggs are excreted in faeces and can survive on vegetation, where they are then consumed by cattle or pigs and passed on to humans.

Beef tapeworm (Taenia saginata)
Contracted by consuming raw or undercooked beef. Up to a metre long with 1-2,000 proglottids these tapeworms can infect a host for up to 25 years. Only one tapeworm infects a human at any one time.

Signs and symptoms: Often there are no marked symptoms of infection other than occasionally passing segments in the stool. Other symptoms of beef tapeworm infection include diarrhoea, abdominal cramping, nervousness, nausea and loss of appetite.

Pork tapeworm (Taenia solium)
Contracted through eating raw or undercooked pork. The most dangerous of all the tapeworms, the pork tapeworm is smaller than the beef tapeworm at less than 1,000 proglottids. The larvae develop in the muscles and spread through the central nervous system and into other tissues. The scolex hooks into the lining of the small intestine and multiple pork tapeworms can infect humans at any one time.

Signs and symptoms: Can cause great harm when the immature larvae invade the muscles, heart, eye or brain when infection is often misdiagnosed as epilepsy.

Fish tapeworm (Diphyllobothrium latum)
Contracted be eating raw or undercooked freshwater migratory fish from Scandinavia, Russia, Japan, Australia, the US Great Lakes, Canada and Alaska such as Alaskan salmon, perch, pike, pickerel or American turbot. The largest human parasitic worm at over 4,000 segments. Can produce over 1 million eggs a day in its host.

Signs and symptoms: Can consume over 80% of its host's vitamin B12 producing pernicious anaemia. Other common symptoms include digestive disturbances, pain and fullness in the upper abdomen, nausea and anorexia.

Dog tapeworm (Echinococcus granulosus)
Contracted by swallowing infected dog fleas. Most common in children and adults who allow dogs to lick their face. The larvae are liberated when the fleas are swallowed and can invade many organs.

All tape worms o
ften do not cause symptoms. The only sign of tapeworm infection may be segments of the worms, possibly moving, in a bowel movement. Some symptoms can be inflammation of the intestine, nausea, weakness, diarrhea, abdominal pain, hunger or loss of appetite, fatigue, weight loss, dizziness, fits, malnutrition; vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Natural treatment for tapeworms

Asafoetida is the dried latex (gum oleoresin) exuded from the rhizome or tap root of several species of Ferula assa-foetida. To eliminate tapeworms dissolve a small piece of asafoetida in water and drink it on an empty stomach once a day for three days.

Ash gourd seeds Take a handful of ash gourd seeds and grind them. Eat it in the morning on an empty stomach. Two hours later, take two teaspoons of castor oil.

Betel nut Grind one betel nut with a small glass of milk. Take this early in the morning on an empty stomach.

NOTE: Do not give betel nut to children and avoid if suffering with cardiovascular disease or pregnant.

Black walnut hulls can be taken as an extract.

NOTE: Black walnut hulls are not recommended for infants or children.

Coconut and castor oil. A tablespoon of the freshly ground coconut should be taken at breakfast followed by a dose of castor oil after three hours. The process may be repeated till the cure is complete.

Grapefruit seed extract

Paico Leaf can effectively eradicate tapeworms in most cases.

Pumpkin the seeds of this herb can be eaten whole or mashed and mixed with juice. Two or three hours after eating up to 25 ounces of seeds, a laxative such as senna or prunes is recommended to purge the intestines.

Cascara sagrada this herb can be used after eating pumpkin seeds to help eliminate parasites from the body. It is milder than senna, but has a similar action.

Wormseed can be taken as a tea. Do not use concentrated wormseed oil as it is too potent.

Torrya seed can be used with pumpkin seed and betel nut

NOTE: Castor oil should not be given to children below five years of age.

See more natural cures for parasites and worms below
 

Threadworms See Pinworms

Toxoplasma gondii

Toxoplsma gondii is a common, crescent-shaped parasite that invades the central nervous system. Humans become infected with this organism by eating undercooked meat or by handling infected cat litter or soil where cats have defecated. Most people have been exposed to this parasite and show antibodies for it, but few individuals show symptoms. Those with a compromised immune system are more susceptible and the unborn foetus can suffer serious or fatal effects from infection.

See the Toxoplasmosis page for more details and natural remedies

Trichinella (Trichinella spiralis)

Trichinella spiralis can infect bears, horses, humans, pigs and rodents. Trichinosis can be contracted by eating undercooked or raw pork infected with these parasites. Cysts are present in infected pork and once eaten the immature roundworms are released and can travel to human muscles. They burrow into the larynx, chest, abdomen, jaw and upper arm and cause tender calcified cysts in muscles and fever.

Symptoms: Upon infection there will be two to four weeks of acute gastrointestinal symptoms, thereafter severe muscle pain plus a wide range symptoms which can masquerade as a variety of more familiar diseases. In the advanced stages the Trichinella creates cysts within muscles, causes extreme dehydration, swelling of the lips and eyelids, difficulty breathing, enlarged lymph glands, meningitis and pneumonia.

Natural treatment for Trichinella spiralis

Follow links to find out how to take each herb. For severe infections take more than one together.

Black seed

Cloves

Gentian root

Fennel seeds

Garlic: Take four cloves per day. Crush or finely chop and leave to stand for ten minutes then take with a glass of water or juice or add to a meal.

Ginger can be grated or sliced and added to herbal teas made from any of the other herbal remedies.

Grapefruit seed extract

Green black walnut husks

Hyssop leaves

Oregano

Peppermint leaves

Pumpkin seeds

Thyme leaves

See more natural cures for parasites and worms below
 

Wuchereria bancrofti See Filarial worms above.

Parasitic diseases affecting humans

Disease

Causes

African trypanosomiasis

Also known as 'sleeping sickness' caused by the protozoa Trypanosoma brucei and transmitted by the tsetse fly.

Amebiasis

Due to ingestion of water or food contaminated with amoebic cysts.

Ascariasis

Due to ingestion of food contaminated with faecal matter containing Ascaris lumbricoides (roundworm) eggs.

Babesiosis

Generally transmitted by ticks.

Chagas disease

Transmitted to humans by blood-sucking assassin bugs.

Clonorchiasis

Caused by the Chinese liver fluke.

Cryptosporidiosis

Caused by contaminated material, like earth, water, uncooked or cross-contaminated food in contact with the faeces of an infected person or animal.

Cysticercosis

Caused by larvae of tapeworm, generally found in pork.

Cystoisosporiasis (Isosporiasis)

Intestinal infection caused by the protozoa Cystoisospora belli (formerly known as Isospora belli) and usually a mild disease unless the patient is immune-compromised or also infected with the HIV/Aids virus.

Diphyllobothriasis

Generally caused by consumption of raw or pickled fish contaminated with tapeworms.

Dracunculiasis

Caused by drinking water containing infected copepods.

Echinococcosis

Fatal disease due to infection by tapeworm larvae.

Enterobiasis

An infection due to pinworms.

Fascioliasis

Caused by Fasciola hepatica (liver fluke) and Fasciola gigantica (flatworm).

Fasciolopsiasis

Caused when aquatic plants are eaten raw and by consuming contaminated water.

Filariasis

Transmitted by mosquitoes or deer fly.

Free-living amoebic infection

Caused by Naegleria fowleri (brain eating amoeba) and Acanthamoeba found in lakes, tap water, swimming pools and air-conditioning units.

Giardiasis

Caused by the flagellate protozoan and starts in the small intestine.

Gnathostomiasis

Caused by migrating immature nematodes (roundworms).

Hymenolepiasis

Caused by Hymenolepis nana (dwarf tapeworm) or Hymenolepis diminuta (rat tapeworm) and infects mammals, including humans, using insects as intermediate hosts.

Leishmaniasis

Caused by Leishmania (protozoa) and transmitted to humans by certain varieties of sand fly.

Malaria

Transmitted by female Anopheles mosquitoes. See Malaria

Metagonimiasis

 Caused by the Metagonimus yokogawai trematode (fluke worm) in the family Heterophyidae through eating contaminated undercooked or raw fish.

Microcephaly

Causes babies to be born with abnormally small heads due to an underdeveloped brain caused by the zika virus from mosquito bites See Zika Virus

Myiasis

Caused by fly larvae feeding on the host's necrotic or living tissue.

Onchocerciasis (river blindness)

Also known as Robies disease and caused by infection with the parasitic worm Onchocerca volvulus and the second leading infectious cause of blindness

Pediculosis

An infestation of lice on the human body. See Lice

Scabies

Caused by mites burrowing into the skin. See Scabies

Schistosomiasis

Due to infection of the blood with the flat worms Schistosoma (blood flukes). leading to liver and intestinal damage.

Taeniasis

Caused by Taenia solium (the pig tapeworm) and Taenia saginata (the beef tapeworm). Another species, Taenia asiatica (pig tapeworm) is only found in East Asia.

Toxocariasis

Caused by ingestion of dog or cat roundworms.

Toxoplasmosis

Due to ingestion of raw or partly cooked meat, contaminated cat faeces, drinking water containing Toxoplasma, transplacental infection in utero or infected organ transplant or blood transfusion. See Toxoplasmosis

Trichinellosis

Caused by eating raw or undercooked pork, and wild game products infected with the larvae of a species of roundworm

Trichuriasis

Infection of the large intestine by a parasite whipworm

Trichomoniasis

Sexually transmitted disease that infects the genitourinary tract.

Trypanosomiasis

Caused by parasitic protozoan trypanosoma of the genus Trypanosoma

See also the Human Skin Parasites page for information about lice, scabies and bedbugs.

Nature cures remedies to kill parasites and worms

The treatment for intestinal worms and parasites should begin with diet. Stay on an exclusive diet of fresh fruits for three days while using any of the natural treatments below. Thereafter adopt a well-balanced light diet consisting mainly of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, herbs, spices and seeds. The diet should exclude sugar and fatty foods such as butter, cream, and oil, processed or refined foods and all animal and fish products as this is what the parasites thrive upon. This diet should be continued till the parasites are completely eliminated.

In some cases, depending on the progress being made, the all-fruit diet may have to be repeated at regular intervals. In obstinate cases the patient should resort to short fasts on raw fruit and vegetable juices. This fast has to be of a fairly long duration in case of tapeworms. It would be advisable to carry on this fast treatment under the supervision of a naturopath, or better still, in a nature cure hospital. During the all-fruit diet or fasting period, the bowels should be cleansed daily with a warm water enema. See the Nature Cures Raw Juice Therapy page.

Parasites are said to become more active around the time of the full moon and some suggest starting treatment at this time. It is wise to start cautiously with low doses and to gradually increase the dose to decrease the detoxification reactions that are likely to occur as the worms die off.

Also, because of the complex life cycles it is a good idea to undertake an initial two week course of treatment and then to stop the anti-parasitic supplements for two weeks and to repeat this cycle two or three times to catch any parasites emerging from cysts. Flatworms are unable to multiply in the human body, which means that they usually clear up with one treatment without re-infecting.

Prebiotics and probiotics

Often people become much more susceptible to parasitic infections after taking antibiotic medications due to the fact these drugs also kill off beneficial bacteria that exist within the intestinal tract. To rectify this it is a good idea to consume foods that both contain these beneficial bacteria (probiotic) and the foods that feed them (prebiotic) to both avoid and help treat parasitic infections.

Prebiotic foods, containing carbohydrates such as as inulin, encourages a healthy intestinal environment to benefit probiotic intestinal flora. Prebiotic is a fairly recently coined name to refer to food components such as oligosaccharides, resistant  starch and fermentable fibre that feed certain kinds of bacteria in the colon (large intestine) that have an important influence on the rest of the body. The human digestive system has a hard time breaking down many of these carbohydrates. Almost 90% escapes digestion in the small intestine and reaches the colon where it performs a different function: that of a prebiotic.

The bacteria that feed on fermentable carbohydrate produce many beneficial substances, including short-chain fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin K2 and certain B vitamins. They also promote further absorption of some minerals that have escaped the small intestine, including calcium and magnesium and vitamin K2 which is vital to direct calcium to the bones and is needed in conjunction with vitamin D. This is why it is very important to consume both prebiotic and probiotic foods throughout life and especially when suffering from any kind of infections.

Prebiotic foods that feed the existing beneficial bacteria

Making a rich soup with any of the following ingredients and consuming daily can help to restore the balance of the intestinal flora. Add plain yoghurt, spices and herbs for added benefit.

 

  • Agave

  • Apples

  • Asparagus

  • Banana

  • Beans

  • Bran

  • Broccoli

  • Burdock root

  • Cabbage

  • Cauliflower

  • Celeriac

  • Chicory root

  • Cocoa (raw)

  • Coconut flesh

  • Dandelion root

  • Elecampane

  • Elephant foot yam

  • Garlic

  • Jerusalem artichoke

  • Jicama root

  • Kale

  • Leeks

  • Lentils

  • Mashua

  • Mugwort

  • Oats

  • Onions

  • Parsnips

  • Peas

  • Radish

  • Rampion

  • Salsify

  • Turnip

  • Swede

  • Sweet potato

  • Whole grains

  • Yacon root

  • Yams

Probiotic foods contain beneficial bacteria and come from the fermentation process that the food has been allowed to undergo. During and after any treatment with antibiotics, it is advisable to include more probiotic foods in the daily diet to replenish the friendly bacteria that are wiped out by antibiotics. It is advisable to consume probiotics at least an hour before other foods to enable enough beneficial bacteria to survive and pass through the strong stomach acids.

Probiotic foods that contain beneficial bacteria

  • Brine pickles (eggs, fruit, nuts, seeds and vegetables that have been fermented by lactic acid bacteria)

  • Kefir (fermented milk drink)

  • Kimchi (a fermented, spicy Korean side dish)

  • Kombucha (fermented black or green Asian tea)

  • Miso (a Japanese fermented seasoning made with soya beans, salt and a type of fungus called koji)

  • Sauerkraut (finely shredded cabbage that has been fermented by lactic acid bacteria)

  • Tempeh (fermented soya beans)

  • Yoghurt (with live cultures such as acidophilus)

Tempeh is a great substitute for meat or tofu and an excellent source of vitamin B12. This vegetarian food can be sautéed, baked or eaten crumbled on salads. If prepared correctly, tempeh is also very low in salt, which makes it an ideal choice for those on a low-sodium diet.

Tips to recover from and avoid parasites

  • Avoid alcohol, coffee and all refined and processed foods, sugar, white flour, animal fats, meat, fish and dairy products during the elimination treatment.

  • Consume pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and figs three times daily on an empty stomach.

  • Drink plentiful supplies of bottle mineral water.

  • Stick to a high-fibre fibre of raw vegetables and whole grains and include one teaspoon of psyllium husks per day with two large glasses of bottled mineral water.

  • Consume one citrus fruit daily including the zest of half a lemon.

  • Eat plenty of anti-parasitic foods (hot - like chilli, cumin, garlic, mustard seeds, horse radish and wasabi).

  • Drink only bottled mineral water.

  • Eat pineapple thirty minutes before meals for the parasite destructive powers of bromelain.

  • Consume papaya which contains papain which is also a protein digestive enzyme that will help restore the intestinal tract to its normal state, which makes it inhospitable to parasites. Consume some papaya thirty minutes before or after meals helps kill worms.

  • Consume oily fish containing omega-3 to protect the gastrointestinal tract. Consuming one capsule of 100 mg krill oil per day can also help to do this.

  • Eat foods rich in the vitamin A precursor beta carotene. Vitamin A is thought to increase tissue resistance to penetration by larvae.

  • Foods rich in the vitamin B Complex especially B12 to prevent parasitic anaemia.

  • Foods rich in vitamin C to enhance immune function and vitamin E at the same time to rectify mineral imbalances.

  • Foods rich in vitamin D to enhance immune function.

  • Zinc to promote healing and support the immune system.

  • Wash hands frequently.

  • Wash underwear, bed linens and towels after each use in very hot water with white wine vinegar.

  • Avoid scratching or touching the anal area.

  • Avoid close or intimate body contact at this time.

  • Never use a mouthwash that contain alcohol as this provides the perfect environment for parasites to thrive in the guts.

  • Clean the teeth with bicarbonate of soda mixed with coconut oil instead of chemical laden toothpastes. Alea vera gel fresh from the plant leaves and tea tree oil are also good to use.

A – Z of Natural Anti-parasitic Foods

Anthelmintic foods expel parasitic worms (helminths). All the following natural treatments have shown to be successful in the elimination of parasites and worms. For severe infections take more than one together.

  • Aloe vera is called the herb of immortality by the Egyptians and contains a soothing gel that helps peristalsis. Aloe vera has antibacterial and antifungal activities and destroys parasites more powerfully than any other hypoallergenic plant known.

  • Angelica contains compounds that are effective against internal parasites and worms. It may also relieve some of the side effects of parasite infestation like muscle aches and pains.

  • NOTE: Pregnant women and diabetics should not consume angelica.

  • Anise: A tea is made by adding a cup of boiled water to three teaspoons of crushed seeds, steeping for 20-minutes. Added to laxative formulas, it will reduce cramping of the bowels.

  • Asafoetida: Dissolve a small piece of asafoetida in water and drink it on an empty stomach once a day for three days.

  • Ash gourd seeds: Take a handful of ash gourd seeds and grind them. Eat it in the morning on an empty stomach. Two hours later, take two teaspoons of castor oil.

  • Barberry Make a tea with two to four grams of dried root steeped or one to two teaspoons of whole or crushed berries steeped in 150 ml of boiling water for 10 - 15 minutes and drink three times daily.

  • Basil has anti-parasitic properties. Make a tea by steeping the leaves in hot water for ten minutes. Strain then gently reheat and drink one cup three times a day. The freshly squeezed juice and grated zest of a half a lemon may be added and a teaspoon of pure honey if desired. Alternatively add basil to meals such as tomato and brown rice dishes. See the Rice Mélange recipe below.

  • Betel nut Grind one betel nut with a small glass of milk. Take this early in the morning on an empty stomach.

  • NOTE: Do not give to children and avoid if suffering with cardiovascular disease or pregnant.

  • Bicarbonate of soda Take one quarter teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda) in warm water in the evening before bed to eradicate worms and parasites. Repeat for three days. This will make the body more alkaline which is an environment parasites cannot thrive in.

  • NOTE: Bicarbonate of soda should not be used by individuals with high blood pressure due to the high sodium content.

  • Black seed For parasites and worms, mix one teaspoon of black seed powder (Nigella sativa) with honey and take three times a day, one hour before meals and one before bed. Eat four cloves of garlic each day in conjunction with the black seed and honey.

  • Black walnut hulls have been used traditionally to fight intestinal worms, especially tapeworms. It can be taken as an extract.

  • NOTE: Black walnut hulls are not recommended for infants or children.

  • Butternut bark relieves constipation and expels intestinal worms. It is especially useful for pinworms (threadworms) but should not be taken for a long period of time. Butternut is a native of the mid-western and north eastern United States and has been used since the 1800s as a laxative and in the elimination of parasites. Butternut, also called white walnut, is used to expel rather than kill worms but can also support a healthy liver function.

  • Calendula, also known as marigold, can be made into a tea to expel worms and drunk three times a day. It can also heal any tissue damage the worms have caused in the bowels.

  • Carrots can eliminate pinworms in children. A small cup of grated carrot taken every morning for three days, with no other food added to this meal, can clear these worms quickly.

  • Cascara can be used two hours after eating pumpkin seeds to help eliminate parasites from the body. This herb is a milder laxative than senna, but has a similar action.

  • Cat's claw This herb helps cleanse the intestines and can be paired with most other herbs used to treat parasitic infestations. Do not use this herb if the infestation is flatworms or giardia, as they actually thrive in the environment created.

  • Cayenne pepper can effectively kill parasites. Use liberally in various dishes or add to warm water with apple cider vinegar and drink. African cayenne is the most powerful variety of cayenne pepper, able to destroy fungus, mould and parasites on contact.

  • Chinese rhubarb root Mix one teaspoon of rhubarb powder to one cup of water. Then, bring to boil and simmer at a reduced heat for 10 minutes. Add a little honey to sweeten.

  • NOTE: Chinese rhubarb root is not suitable for pregnant or breast feeding women, children under twelve years of age, those who suffer from colitis or have intestinal obstruction or have a history of renal stones or urinary problems, or if taking anticoagulant (blood thinning) medicine or  aspirin. It is also not recommended for long term use.

  • Cloves, Syzygium aromaticum (not to be confused with garlic cloves), are an aromatic spice, often used in apple pies, that can be added to other herbal teas for additional powerful parasite killing properties. To make an infusion, use one teaspoon of powdered cloves or three whole cloves per cup of boiling water, steep 10-20 minutes and drink up to three cups a day. Cloves contain the most powerful germicidal agent in the herbal kingdom known as eugenol. It also contains caryophyllene which is a powerful antimicrobial agent. These components travel through the bloodstream, killing microscopic parasites and parasitic larvae and eggs. Cloves are tremendously effective in killing malaria, tuberculosis, cholera, scabies and other parasites, viruses, bacteria and fungi, including Candida. Cloves also destroy all species of Shigella, Staphylococcus and Streptococcus.

  • Coconut Among the numerous home remedies found beneficial in the treatment of intestinal worms, the use of coconut is most effective. It is an ancient remedy for expelling all kinds of intestinal worms. A tablespoon of the freshly ground coconut should be taken at breakfast followed by a dose of castor oil after three hours. The process may be repeated till the cure is complete.

  • CAUTION: Castor oil should not be given to children under five years of age

  • Cramp bark flushes parasites from the body's intestinal system. Cramp bark tea taken with a handful of pumpkin seeds can completely eliminate intestinal worms.

  • Cumin seeds are a spice that has traditionally been used in the Middle East, Far East and Asia as a general health aid and for its anti-parasitic, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. It also enhances the immune system.

  • Dichotomous earth (food grade) is capable of killing parasites in the blood stream and various organs such as the liver. It is rich in silica that is a known killer of parasite eggs and larvae. It also helps to clean arteries which allows more oxygen to flow through and parasites do not thrive in an oxygenated environment. Silica also has other beneficial properties that can help to promote stronger bones, nails, teeth, and gums and it also has anti-cancer properties. See silica below for other natural sources.

  • Elecampane. People have used elecampane as a digestive stimulant and remedy for upset stomach for hundreds of years due to a chemical called alantolactone which can expel worms and parasites from the digestive tract. Prepare an infusion by placing an ounce of dried elecampane root in a pint canning jar and filling the jar with boiling water; cover the jar and let the mixture brew overnight. Strain the infusion, place it in a stainless steel pot, and slowly heat the infusion until it is reduced by half. After it cools, refrigerate the decoction for two or three days in a jar. The decoction maybe mixed with honey.

  • Fagara root bark extract is known in Africa to be a very powerful anti-parasitic remedy.

  • Fennel seeds crushed and drunk as a tea can eliminate worms and parasites.

  • Garlic has been used for expelling intestinal worms and parasites from ancient times by the Chinese, Greeks, Romans, Hindus and Babylonians. Garlic is a natural anthelmintic. It is especially useful against Dientamoeba fragilis, giardia, leishmania, plasmodium, roundworms, Toxoplasmosis gondii and trypanosome. Both fresh garlic and its oil are effective. An ancient method of its medication was to place a couple of sliced cloves of fresh garlic in the shoes. As the person walks, it is crushed and the worm-killing garlic oil is absorbed by the skin and carried by blood into the intestines as it possesses the powerful penetrative force. This method is worth a trial by those who do not like the taste of garlic and cannot eat it.

  • Garlic is able to slow and kill over 60 types of fungus and 20 types of bacteria, as well as some of the most potent viruses. Garlic has a history of killing parasites and controlling secondary fungal infections, detoxifying while gently stimulating elimination and has antioxidant properties to protect against oxidation caused by parasite toxins. The active components in garlic that kill parasites are allicin and ajoene. These compounds can kill amoeba’s including one-cell varieties, as well as pinworms and hookworms. Allicin is not present in garlic in its natural state. When garlic is chopped or otherwise damaged, the enzyme alliinase acts on the chemical alliin converting it into allicin, the active component contributing for its success for killing parasites.

  • Chop finely, or crush, four cloves of garlic and allow to stand for ten minutes to enable the chemical reaction to take place. Then mix with one glass of liquid (water, juice or milk) and drink daily for three weeks. Also add chopped garlic to any meals such as rice and vegetable dishes or to plain yoghurt as a dip.

  • Chillies and curries are a good choice to consume with garlic when infected by parasites as many aromatic spices and herbs can be used in these dishes that are also antimicrobial such as: Chilli pepper, cardamom, coriander, cumin, ginger, paprika and turmeric.

  • Gentian root nourishes and strengthens the digestive system. To eliminate worms and parasites take 28 g (1 oz) of gentian root powder in a glass of any available liquid.

  • Goats rue is a wild legume used during the Middle Ages to treat the plague. It was also used to induce sweating to break fevers and to treat infections with parasitic worms and snakebite and is effective in both humans and animals alike.

  • Goldenseal: This herb can clear worm contaminations as well as bacterial infections of the mucous membranes within various human tracts like respiratory, and gastrointestinal.

  • Grapefruit seed extract is used for killing a wide variety of bacteria such as Salmonella, E.Coli, Staphylococcus  and Streptococcus, fungi including Candida, parasites and viruses such as herpes. It is effective against more than 800 bacterial and viral strains, 100 strains of fungus, as well as a large number of single and multi-celled parasites including Dientamoeba fragilis. It has also proven to be effective against food poisoning and diarrhoea.

  • Horsetail: contains silica which is lethal to the eggs of parasites and so is a good remedy to eliminate worms. It also acts as a duiretic and artery cleaner which helps with the removal of parasites.

  • Hyssop leaf For an infusion one teaspoon of dried leaves should be steeped in half a cup of hot water. Over the course of the day half to one cup should be taken slowly one mouthful at a time.

  • NOTE: The essential oil in hyssop contains pino-camphone. This ketone can cause convulsions and seizures when taken in high doses. It is therefore not advisable to take hyssop oil and other hyssop preparations internally in high doses or over a longer time than two weeks.

  • Malabar nut This Indian nut is used to treat asthma and coughs and eliminates intestinal worms.

  • Male fern: can help the body eliminate tapeworm parasites.

  • Malluca leaf The leaf juice of this Amazonian plant is consumed to eliminate worms

  • Neem leaves is a good herb for managing worms or parasites in different herbal research. Simple decoction with the Neem leaves taken early in the morning for around 15-30 days can get rid of many of the parasitic organisms present in the intestines. Neem contains a number of elements which are good for human intestinal tract but deadly to parasitic organisms. To kill intestinal parasites and worms; grind neem leaves to a fine paste. For one week, take a marble sized ball of this paste every morning on an empty stomach. Do not take this for the second week. For the third week, take the neem leaves again as before on an empty stomach. The whole family should take this treatment together.

  • Nettles: The common stinging nettle has been used for centuries to kill worms, especially in children. Make a tea by steeping the chopped leaves in hot water for ten minutes before straining and adding any other herb or spice of choice and drink one cup three times a day.

  • Oje Tree Mix the latex (one tablespoon) with one litre of water and drink one glass of this mixture every other day.

  • Olive leaf: Green olive leaves are used in tea as a treatment for parasites and worms.

  • Oregon grape: Make a tea with two to four grams of dried root steeped or one to two teaspoons of whole or crushed berries steeped in 150 ml of boiling water for 10 - 15 minutes three times daily.

  • Oregano: Make a tea with a handful of oregano leaves steeped in boiling water for 15 minutes then strain and drink three times a day. Add the freshly squeezed juice and grated zest of half a lemon and a teaspoon of honey for additional cleansing power and taste if desired.

  • Papaya: The digestive enzyme, papain, in the milk juice of the unripe papaya fruit is a powerful anthelmintic for destroying parasites especially roundworms. A tablespoon of fresh juice and equal quantity of honey should be mixed with three to four tablespoons of hot water and taken as a dose by an adult. This should be followed two hours later by a dose of 30 to 60 ml. of castor oil mixed in 250 - 375 ml. of lukewarm milk. This treatment should be repeated for two days, if necessary. For children of five to 10 years, half the above doses should be given.

  • Papaya seeds and leaves are rich in a substance called caricin which is a very effective medicine for expelling roundworms. The alkaloid carpaine found in the leaves also has the power to destroy or expel intestinal worms. Papaya seeds must be dried in the shade, powdered and kept in a bottle. Two teaspoons of powder is mixed with a glass of milk and a teaspoon of honey. Drink this at bedtime. Repeat for three consecutive days. Papaya 'milk,' that comes out when the green fruit or trunk of the tree is cut, can be collected. About three or four teaspoons of this 'milk' is mixed with an equal amount of honey and stirred into a cup of hot water. If possible, drink along with a laxative such as cascara sagrada, senna or prunes.

  • CAUTION: Castor oil should not be given give to children below five years of age.

  • Pau d'Arco is an anti-parasitic Amazonian plant that works against various parasites, including: malaria, Schistosoma and Trypanosoma.

  • Peppercorns is an excellent remedy one can take at the first sign of most diseases including worm and parasite infections. Yogis consider pepper to be one of nature's most perfect foods and useful not only to cure disease but also as a preventive, taking a dose of seven peppercorns, ground, and mixed with honey each morning. The mixture of pepper and honey is useful to overcome cold mucous diseases and sore throats. When treating acute diseases, it may be used three to four times a day. 

  • Pepper is useful for abnormal heart rate, acne, anaemia, asthma, bloating, blood pressure disorders, boils, cancer, cardiovascular diseases, colic, common cold, cough, constipation, dental care, diarrhoea, ear ache, eye problems, fever, flatulence, gangrene, indigestion, haemorrhoids, heartburn, heart disease, hernia, hoarseness, impotency, indigestion, insect bites, joint pain, liver problems, muscular strains, obesity, parasites, phlegm, pyorrhoea, rheumatism, respiratory disorders, sinus congestion, skin cancer, skin diseases, sore throat, tooth decay, whooping cough, wind and worms.

  • Peppermint leaf: Make a tea with a handful of peppermint leaves steeped in boiling water for 15 minutes then strain and drink three times a day.

  • Pomegranate: The bark, root, stems and leaves of the pomegranate tree, is well known for its anthelmintic properties of destroying parasitic worms. The root-bark is, however, preferred as it contains greater quantity of the alkaloid punicine than the stem-bark. This alkaloid is highly toxic to tapeworms. Ninety to 180 ml. of the cold decoction of bark, preferably fresh bark, should be given three times at intervals of one hour to an adult. A purgative should be given after the last dose. The dose for children is 30 to 60 ml. The decoction is used for expelling tapeworms. Crush one handful of pomegranate leaves and boil with a glass of milk. Drink half of it early in the morning on an empty stomach (before breakfast). After two hours, drink the rest of the milk. Give two tablespoons of castor oil after another two hours. Do not give the patient anything to eat before and during the treatment.

  • Propolis taken as a tincture can eliminate parasites and worms and aid healing of the intestinal tract. Add 10 ml (two teaspoons) of propolis tincture to 100 ml honey and have one teaspoon three x a day before meals. Do this for a week and then reduce to one teaspoon of propolis to 100 ml honey three x a day for the second week.

  • Pumpkin seeds contain a natural fat that is toxic to parasite eggs known as curcurbitin. It has anti-parasitic activity as it paralyses worms so they drop off the intestinal walls. Two or three hours after eating a large handful of pumpkin seeds, a laxative is recommended to purge the intestines. The Chinese used pumpkin seeds to treat acute schistosomiasis and tapeworm infestations. The seeds of the ripe pumpkin are especially useful to eliminate roundworms and tapeworms and can be eaten whole or mashed and mixed with juice. Two or three hours after eating a large handful of seeds on an empty stomach, a laxative is recommended to purge the intestines. The alternative for heavy infestations is an infusion, prepared from the seeds after they are peeled and crushed. It will be necessary to fast for a day and empty the intestines by taking the juice of boiled prunes. The next day, three or four tumblers of this pumpkin seed infusion should be taken.

  • NOTE: Avoid prunes if suffering with bladder, kidney and gallstones, joint problems, osteoporosis or thyroid problems.

  • Quassia: A tree native to Jamaica and its neighbouring islands, has traditionally been used as a remedy for roundworms and as an insecticide. It has also been used as a bitter digestive aid and a remedy for digestive disorders, other parasites and head lice.

  • Red raspberry seeds usually pass through the human system, but when ground up, contain one of the most powerful antioxidants known - ellagitannin (rllagic acid). Aside from being used very successfully in cancer treatment, ellagitannin has also been found to be a powerful destroyer of parasites. It's a very strong anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral that lowers cholesterol and protects DNA.

  • Rhubarb is used to help expel the die off of parasites, eggs and larvae. It is not addictive like other colon movement stimulants and is very powerful even in a low dosage.

  • Senna can also be used to expel the die off of parasites, eggs and larvae.

  • Soursop, also known as graviola, contains the chemical annonaceous acetogenins which is an active compound that is harmful to parasites.

  • Thyme leaf is a traditional powerful antiseptic and tonic which has been used by many cultures for its antifungal and anti-parasitic actions.

  • Turmeric is very useful to fight off parasites. Use liberally in vegetable soups, egg, fish, rice and vegetable dishes or add to warm water with apple cider vinegar and drink.

  • Wormseed is a traditional herbal remedy used in the tropics for expelling roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms.

  • Wormwood has been used for centuries to battle internal parasites. It is useful against roundworms, plasmodium, schistosoma and giardia. Wormwood can be taken as a tea, a liquid extract or as a capsule. Do not take the pure oil as it is considered to be toxic. To make a tea, soak a handful of wormwood leaves in hot water for 20 minutes. Then wring out the juice and drink it all.

Silica is a mineral that is lethal to the eggs of parasites in the body and so can help to eliminate them very quickly. The following are natural sources of silica:

Natural treatments for the symptoms of parasite infestations

Intestinal cramps, indigestion and stomach aches due to intestinal worms
Roast and powder cumin seeds. Take two teaspoons with warm water three times a day for two days at the most. This can also be used with curry, soups or live probiotic yoghurt. If pain persists or increases, seek medical help.

Diarrhoea
Chop finely, or crush, four cloves of garlic and mix with one glass of liquid (water, juice or milk). Drink one glass every two hours until diarrhoea stops and drink
coconut water and pineapple juice (stops dehydration and cleanses the colon).

Cleanse the Colon
Colon cleaning is among the most useful treatment for intestinal detoxification which can get all the parasitic organisms out of the body. This kind of cleaning comes with the use of a substantial fibre content or roughage diet plan plus activated charcoal. Also add the following to the diet:

Isopropyl alcohol can provide an environment within the body which helps parasites to thrive. Many products such as cosmetics and mouthwashes contain this ingredient and are best avoided.

Try steaming a wide selection of the vegetables listed with the herbs and spices listed and a tablespoon or two of bottled mineral water then place in a blender for a deliciously healthy potage soup and eat a small bowl before each meal.

Similarly blend a wide selection of the fruits together with nutmeg, cinnamon and honey to provide a tasty nutritious 'smoothie'.

Nature Cures Diet for parasites and worms

It is a good idea to also modify the diet, at least temporarily, whilst undertaking an intestinal parasite cleanse and choose from the following.

Vegetables
Beetroot, broccoli, butternut squash, carrots, chicory, chilli peppers, garlic, okra, parsnips, peas, radish, sweet potatoes, tomatoes and turnips.#

Grains and pseudo-grains
Amaranth, Barley, brown rice, buckwheat, oats, millet, psyllium husks, quinoa, rye and wheat.

Fruit
Bananas, berries, blackberries, blackcurrants, cherries, grapes, kiwi fruit, lemon, lime, melon, orange, papaya, pineapple, prunes, pomegranate, tangerine and soursop.

Nuts
Coconut

Seeds
Coriander, fennel, flax, grape, mustard, nasturtium, papaya, poppy, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower and watermelon.

Common Herbs
Basil, dill, marjoram, peppermint, sage and thyme.

Spices
Cardamom, chilli pepper, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, nutmeg, paprika, peppercorns and turmeric.

Derivatives
Aloe vera juice, apple cider vinegar, bicarbonate of soda, brine pickles, castor oil, flaxseed oil, green tea and miso.

Rice Mélange

This highly nutritious and cleansing coconut rice dish is ideal for digestive issues and provides a way to consume many ingredients that can help to eliminate parasites and worms and fight infections. Many ingredients are optional and can be omitted if there are allergies or taste preferences and many others can be added that are particularly required for medicinal purposes.

Ingredients

  • Eight heaped tablespoons of brown rice

  • Four spring onions (sliced)

  • Eight garlic cloves (thinly sliced)

  • Four heaped tablespoons of peas

  • Handful of sultanas

  • Two large tablespoons coconut oil (butter can be used if coconut is undesirable)

  • Two eggs

  • Handful of mixed nuts

  • Tablespoon of pumpkin seeds

  • Tablespoon of sunflower seeds

  • Tin of mackerel or other oily fish drained

  • Two teaspoons turmeric

  • Sliced fresh ginger or two teaspoons ginger powder

  • The juice and zest of one freshly squeezed lemon

  • Himalayan pink salt crystals or sea salt

  • Ground pepper

  • Parmesan cheese

Method

  • Boil the brown rice until soft (approx. 20-25 mins) stirring occasionally. Usually needs extra water added twice. Ten minutes before rice is done add the peas and sultanas.

  • While the rice is cooking, top and tail the eight garlic cloves and remove the papery skin leaving a smooth clove. Slice them very thinly and leave in a small dish to stand for ten minutes.

  • When cooked drain the rice, peas and sultanas using a sieve and pour boiling water from the kettle onto it to remove excess starch.

  • Place coconut oil into a large pan and melt. Add the rice, garlic slices, spring onions and eggs and stir well. Cook for just five minutes whilst stirring and adding the rest of the ingredients.

  • Serve in bowls with grated parmesan cheese and sprinkle with salt and pepper. A large handful of watercress on the side will add the nutrients required from a leafy green vegetable every day.

Any leftover fruit, cooked vegetables, herbs or chopped salad ingredients can be added during last five minutes of cooking. Try it with basil, dill, radishes, tomatoes, chopped green beans, apples, papaya, pineapple chunks or yellow or red peppers. Also add any spices and herbs of choice such as basil, coriander, cumin, cardamom, dill, fennel seeds, paprika and/or parsley.

Leftovers can be refrigerated overnight and gently reheated the next day in more coconut oil but should not be kept any longer than this. Add some plain yoghurt or olive oil if the dish is too dry.

CAUTION: Many herbs are powerful and can react with medications. Always check before taking at the same time as any drugs.

NOTE: Some nutritional yeasts, especially brewer’s yeast, can  also interact with medications. Those who are on monoamine oxidase inhibitor antidepressants (MAOIs) medication are especially at risk. It is also best avoided by those carrying the herpes virus as it can induce a attack as can yeast products and mushrooms.

CAUTION: Castor oil should not be given to children below five years of age.

"Nature cures not the physician..." Hippocrates 460 BC

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