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If you have ever suffered from intestinal worm infections, you would understand how they can cause a lot of discomfort and how difficult it is to get free of them.
There are numerous OTC drugs known to destroy intestinal parasites, but they come with many adverse effects. The good news is that there are various home remedies available to get rid of intestinal worms.
Home Remedies to Get Rid of Intestinal Worms
Here are a few home remedies to help resolve the issue of intestinal worms:
1. Consume raw papaya seeds
Papaya and its seeds have been studied to have anthelmintic and anti-amoebic activity. As per research, papaya seeds are effective in dealing with intestinal worms without any notable adverse effects.
The study demonstrated how air-dried papaya seeds are useful in treating intestinal worms. Therefore, consuming them proposes to be an inexpensive, natural, easily available treatment and prophylactic strategy against intestinal worms. Although more studies to examine the use of papaya in comparison with routine antiparasitic medicine are required. (1)
How to use:
Here are the steps to take raw papaya seeds as a home remedy for intestinal worms:
- Take 5–6 fresh raw papaya seeds.
- Chew the seeds thoroughly, and swallow them with water or juice.
- Alternatively, you can grind the seeds into a fine powder using a blender or mortar and pestle.
- Mix the powder with a glass of water or juice and drink it.
- Repeat this remedy once a day for 7 days.
Caution: It is not uncommon for people to experience allergic reactions, such as asthma and skin rashes, to papaya. Additionally, cross-reactivity with other substances like latex and kiwi can occur. Therefore, individuals who are allergic to papaya or substances that cross-react with it should refrain from consuming papaya. (2)
2. Drink pomegranate bark-infused water
Existing data argue that Punica granatum L. or pomegranate has various health benefits. The bark of a pomegranate tree and its root contain alkaloids that are carbon-based substances which may be helpful in dealing with intestinal worm infections.
Pomegranate bark is rich in phytochemicals like punicine, which is positively poisonous to intestinal worms. Anecdotal evidence shows that pomegranate bark was used for the treatment of worms in the human intestine. The same is also true as per the traditional medicine systems. (3)
How to use:
- Obtain dried pomegranate bark from a reputable source.
- Grind the bark into a fine powder using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder.
- Mix 1–2 teaspoons of the powder with a glass of warm water.
- Drink the mixture on an empty stomach in the morning.
- Repeat the process daily for a few days.
Caution: If you are taking any blood-thinning medication, it is advisable to talk to your doctor before consuming pomegranate products. For individuals with diabetes, it is recommended to consult with a doctor prior to consuming fruit juices, including pomegranate.
Pomegranate juice or extract should be avoided by individuals experiencing diarrhea. Pregnant women should refrain from taking pomegranate extract as it may contain fruit rind, but consuming pomegranate juice is generally considered safe. (4)
3. Take pumpkin seeds and areca nut mixture
As per a research study, a mixture of pumpkin seeds and areca nut, also known as betel nut is established to be safe and efficacious against intestinal infections like tapeworm infections.
Although mild adverse effects like nausea and dizziness in more than 40% of patients have been seen with the pumpkin seeds and areca nut treatment, all distress was only temporary and well handled.
To conclude, a combined activity of pumpkin seed and areca nut extract has been ascertained to have a positive effect on tapeworm removal. (5)
How to use:
Here are the steps to take Pumpkin Seeds and Areca Nut Mixture as a home remedy for intestinal worms:
- Take 2–3 tablespoons of raw, organic pumpkin seeds and crush them into a fine powder using a mortar and pestle.
- Take 1–2 fresh, whole areca nuts and remove the outer shell.
- Crush the areca nuts into small pieces.
- Mix the crushed pumpkin seeds and areca nut pieces together in a bowl.
- Consume the mixture on an empty stomach in the morning, followed by a glass of water.
- Wait for 2–3 hours before having your breakfast.
Caution: Areca nuts can be quite harmful and addictive if consumed by itself for a long duration. Talk to a healthcare provider before its intake especially if you suffer from diabetes, hypertension, or asthma. (6)
4. Consume garlic
Garlic has powerful antifungal and antiseptic activity. As per a study, garlic shows positive effects as a prophylactic and as a medicinal agent for intestinal worm infections.
The outcomes of the research demonstrated that garlic successfully eliminated the Cryptosporidium eggs from the stool and intestines of the infected group of mice. (7)
How to use:
Here are the steps to take garlic as a home remedy for intestinal worms:
- Crush 2–3 cloves of fresh garlic and let them sit for 10–15 minutes.
- Mix the crushed garlic with a small amount of water or honey to make it easier to swallow.
- Consume the mixture on an empty stomach, preferably in the morning.
- Repeat the process daily for at least a week.
Caution: The strong taste and smell of raw garlic may be not for some individuals. Additionally, individuals with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are often advised to limit their intake of garlic to avoid heartburn as per experts.
Individuals taking blood thinners should consult with their doctor before consuming large amounts of garlic or using garlic supplements. (8)
5. Try using coconut
Coconut is also a home remedy for dealing with intestinal worms. A research study concluded that coconut extract eradicated target parasites (tapeworms) and therefore was found to be useful in treating tapeworms.
In the study, different extracts were produced from coconut, onion, garlic, date tree, and others. These samples were experimented with both in vivo and in vitro to confirm their anthelmintic action against worms. In all in vitro examinations, the target parasites perished. It came out that the remedy of a combination of onion and coconut extracts wiped out the worms from the hosts. (9)
Coconut can be consumed in different forms to help treat intestinal worms:
- Eating a small amount of raw coconut daily on an empty stomach.
- Drinking coconut water every day.
- Consuming one to two tablespoons of coconut oil daily.
- Drinking coconut milk regularly can also help.
Caution: Make sure you do not suffer from a coconut allergy before eating coconut. (10)
6. Drink bitter gourd juice
The extracts of different plant parts of Bitter Gourd or M. charantia like the extract of leaf, fruit, and seeds have been examined and established to be therapeutically active against worms or helminths.
Many experimenters confirmed that M. charantia may demonstrate anthelmintic properties. This was concluded from in vitro and in vivo investigations and the examination of the phytochemicals present in it. So, it is safe to say that the plant M. charantia may be one of the options for treating intestinal worms. (11)
How to use:
To use Bitter Gourd Juice as a remedy for intestinal worms, follow these steps:
- Wash and chop a bitter gourd into small pieces.
- Use a juicer or blender to extract the juice from the bitter gourd.
- Drink the juice on an empty stomach first thing in the morning.
- Repeat this daily for a few weeks.
Caution: Experts advise those who are pregnant or on diabetic medication to avoid bitter gourds.
7. Use turmeric
Research suggests that turmeric, which contains the active ingredient curcumin, has an anti-parasitic effect and can significantly reduce the worm burden in mice infected with schistosomiasis mansoni, a disease-causing worm.
Although it is not as effective as praziquantel, the standard treatment for schistosomiasis, turmeric could still be considered as a potential alternative or complementary treatment option for intestinal worms. (12)
How to use:
There are different ways to use turmeric as a remedy for intestinal worms:
- Turmeric powder and honey: Mix 1–2 teaspoons of turmeric powder with honey to make a paste. Take this mixture once a day for a week.
- Turmeric milk: Mix 1–2 teaspoons of turmeric powder in a glass of warm milk. Drink this once a day for a week.
- Turmeric capsules: You can also take turmeric supplements in capsule form, following the recommended dosage on the label.
Caution: While turmeric is usually well-tolerated, even in high doses, some individuals have reported experiencing gastrointestinal side effects, such as nausea and diarrhea, and allergic reactions. It is important to note that turmeric may also increase the risk of bleeding in patients taking warfarin and antiplatelet drugs. (13)
8. Try using clove
Research suggests that clove can be used as a natural remedy for gastrointestinal worms or nematodes.
A study found that feeding ground cloves to infected ewes for seven days significantly reduced worm fecal egg counts by 40.7% compared to the control group, and was similarly effective to pumpkin seed cake supplementation.
Clove extracts were found to have a strong corrosive activity which could explain its worm-killing effect. Moreover, clove extract prevented the parasite from residing in the host and were expelled by the host. These findings support the potential use of clove as a complementary method for parasite control, thereby reducing the need for chemotherapy. (14)
How to use:
Clove can be used as a remedy for intestinal worms in various ways, including:
- Consuming whole cloves: You can chew 2–3 whole cloves daily on an empty stomach.
- Clove tea: Boil a cup of water and add 1–2 teaspoons of ground clove powder. Let it steep for 10–15 minutes, strain, and drink 2–3 times a day.
Caution: As per experts, those who suffer from bleeding disorder should avoid cloves.
How Are Intestinal Worm Infections Prevented?
Some methods to discourage and avoid getting worm infections include: (15)
- Personal hygiene – This includes washing your hands before eating and after using the bathroom, keeping your fingernails short, avoiding nail-biting, and wearing a clean pair of underwear every day.
- Adequate cooking of food – For the international traveler, the best advice is “cook it, boil it, or peel it.”
- Pet hygiene – Nowadays it is common to keep dogs and cats, but do deworm them regularly.
Most-Asked Questions About Intestinal Worms
What measures should I take if I suffer from a worm infection?
Worm infection can be very contagious. Therefore, you should take precautionary steps to avoid its spread:
- Wash your bedsheets, towels, and clothes in hot water.
- Clean your fingernails.
- Scrub all surfaces to clean them.
- Vacuum your carpets.
What places have an increased risk of soil-transmitted worm infections?
Your risk of suffering from soil-transmitted worm infections increases if you are from tropical and subtropical locations, with the highest numbers occurring in: (16)
- Sub-Saharan Africa
- East Asia
How long do you take anthelmintic drugs?
Intestinal Infections are manageable by the recommended drugs as they’re effective and the treatment usually lasts for 1–3 days. (17)
Intestinal worm infection is one of the major health issues that concern humans and livestock globally. The parasitic worms that infect the gastrointestinal tract are of various types. The manufactured drugs available for treating the same have been known to exhibit certain side effects. Moreover, the drug resistance developed by these parasites is increasing as well.
Plus when you take into account the limited availability and the dicey affordability of modern drugs, it is a no-brainer that most of the planet’s population counts on traditional medical remedies for relief.
These remedies are a good option to deal with intestinal worms but in severe cases, a doctor should be consulted.