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PINWORMS (Enterobius vermicularis, threadworms, parasite infecting humans)


Enterobius vermicularis, threadworms, parasite

Pinworms, also known as threadworms, are a common human parasite, causing enterobiasis. They are one of the most common type of worm infections in the UK and US and globally, it is estimated that infected children range from 61 per cent in India to 29 per cent in Denmark. It has been stated by doctors that possibly 50 per cent of children in the UK may be infected and, in the US, it is estimated that around 40 million Americans are infected with pinworms.

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, underwear and bedding.

They get into the body when an individual ingests the microscopic pinworm eggs that can be found on contaminated hands and surfaces such as kitchen counters, door handles and food. The eggs then pass into the digestive system and hatch in the small intestine. From the small intestine, the pinworm larvae then travel to the large intestine, where they live as parasites, with their heads attached to the inside lining of the bowel.

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.

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.

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

Symptoms of pinworm infection


The most common signs are gastrointestinal symptoms such as bloating, greasy stools, diarrhoea and pulmonary disorders. They may also 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.

Natural treatment for pinworm infection

  • Butternut (Juglans cinerea) is a herb (not related to butternut squash) that contains juglone, which effectively kills pinworms in the intestine and eliminates them from the body. 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: 28g (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

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

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