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ROUNDWORMS (Ascariasis lumbricoides, Strongyloides stercoralis,  parasite infecting humans)


Roundworm )Ascariasis lumbricoides, Strongyloides stercoralis)  parasite

Roundworms 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.

Types of roundworms

Anisakis are contracted through consuming undercooked or raw fish such as sushi and can cause anisakiasis in humans. The larval stage infects fish like Pacific salmon, red snapper, herring, cod and haddock and the mature anisakis infect sea mammals.

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

Dog and cat roundworm (Toxocara canis, Toxocara cati) are 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.

Whipworms (Trichuris trichiura) are a round worm  that causes trichuriasis when it infects a human large intestine. It is commonly known as the whipworm which refers to the shape being that of a whip. See below.

Whipworms Trichuris trichuria parasite

General symptoms of roundworm infections

Many individuals do not show signs of roundworm disease but some may show inflammation of the intestine and lungs and the following symptoms:

  • Allergic rash

  • Bloating

  • Coughing

  • Diarrhoea

  • Fever

  • Greasy stools

  • Nausea

  • Irritability and nervousness

  • Nerve problems

  • Pulmonary disorders

  • Tiredness

  • Weight loss

  • Wheezing

  • Vomiting

Infection of roundworms may also lead to temporarily induced lactose intolerance and to the malabsorption of vitamin A, protein and fat.

Natural treatment for roundworm infection

  • Black plum

  • 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.

  • Chinaberry bark

  • Paico Leaf can effectively eradicate roundworms in most cases.

  • Pumpkin seeds: 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 prunes is recommended to purge the intestines.

  • Quisqualis fruit

  • Torrya seed can be used with black plum, chinaberry bark andquisqualis frui.

  • 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.

See more natural cures for parasites and worms

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

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