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parasite worms in human intestines

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. It is estimated that roundworm has infected 1.5 billion people, hookworm just over 1 billion and whipworm 1.3 billion people globally.

This is not a new problem and there is evidence of human parasitic infection dating back to antiquity with 7000 year old hookworm eggs found in remains from Brazil, 4500 year old roundworm eggs found in Peruvian remains and tapeworm eggs and filarial worms found in Egyptian mummies dating back 4000 years. Human parasitic infections were documented 5000 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 obvious because of dometic pets, such as cats and dogs, which have to be regularly de-wormed once a month.

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. 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.

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 as the host may have other parasites such as hookworm, pinworms,  roundworm,  strongyloides, tapeworm and/or toxocara. 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.

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.

Pinworms, also known as threadworms, 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.

See Pinworms


The eggs of 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 and water sources as well as human to human contact.

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.


  • 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 or vinegar and water solution then rinsing can reduce the risk of contamination.


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:

  • Aches in the joints and muscles

  • Allergies - environmental and chemical sensitivities

  • Anaemia

  • Changes in appetite

  • Chronic fatigue or weakness

  • Constant desire for food and food cravings

  • Dark circles under the eyes

  • Depression

  • Flu-like symptoms

  • Foul breath

  • Headache

  • Immune dysfunction

  • Irritable bowel syndrome

  • Long standing obesity

  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia)

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Nervousness

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

  • Rashes

  • Sleep disturbances, restlessness at night with bad dreams

  • Sporadic constipation, diarrhoea, gas and bloating

  • Stomach pain or tenderness

  • Teeth grinding

  • Weight loss

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.

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 (plain with live cultures)

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  or meat and dairy -free diet.

Silica is a mineral that is lethal to the eggs of parasites in the body and so can help to eliminate them very quickly.

Highest sources of silica in alphabetical order

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 diet of raw vegetables and whole grains and include

  • Take 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.

  • Always wear shoes outdoors as some parasites can enter the body through the soles of the feet.

  • Avoid scratching or touching the anal area.

  • Avoid close or intimate body contact at this time.

  • 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.

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

A – Z of natural anti-parasitic remedies and foods

Anthelmintic foods and herbs expel intestinal parasitic worms (helminths). They may also be called vermifuges (stunning) or vermicides (killing). The more effective the herb is on internal parasites, the harder it is on the body, so use these powerful herbs sparingly. 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 but do not take for long periods of time.

  • Agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria L) contains many powerful anti-parasitic compounds such as catechins, palmitic acid, quercetin, silica, tannins and ursolic acid.

  • 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.

  • Andiroba oil (Carapa guianensis) Oil extracted from the nut, bark and leaves contains many compounds that are anti-parasitic such as  andirobin, arachidic acid, acetoxy-gedunins, epoxyazadiradiones, deacetoxygedunins, hydroxylgedunins, gedunins, hexadecenoic acid, palmitic acid, palmitoleic acid and stearic acid.

  • Andrographis (Andrographis paniculata) also known as Indian echinacea, has pwerful anti-parasitic compounds. NOTE: Pregnant women or those trying to conceive should avoid Andrographis. Safety during lactation is not known. Andrographis may increase glucose metabolisation which could unduly enhance blood sugar lowering medication. Those taking anticoagulant agents such as warfarin or heparin or anti-platelet agents such as ibuprofen should also avoid the andrographis herb.

  • 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 root (Ferula asafoetida)  The resin from the roots is used to eliminate parasites and worms. 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 betel nut 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 (Juglans cinerea) is a herb (not related to butternut squash) that contains juglone, which effectively kills pinworms (theadworms) in the intestine and eliminates them from the body. Butternut bark relieves constipation and expels intestinal worms 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, 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 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.

  • Forsythia fruit (Forsythia suspensa) contains forsythiaside,  lignans, phillyrin, (+)- pinoresinol o-p-d-glucoside and phenylethanoids and suspensaside which gives it effective anti-[arasitic properties.

  • Fumitory (Fumaria officinalis) contains the alkaloids (including fumarine and protopine) and fumaric acid, mucilage, resin and tannic acid which can help to eliminate parasites and worms.

  • 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 (Hydrastis canadensis): 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. 

  • Peppercorns can eliminate 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.

  • Prickly ash (Zanthoxylum clava-herculis, Zanthoxylum americanum also known as chuan jiao, Szechuan pepper, tooth ache tree, yellow wood): Both the bark and small berries contain a volatile oil compound called geraniol that has powerful anti-parasite properties and can be dried and then ground to use for this purpose.

  • 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 (Quassia amara, amargo, bitter wood, Jamaica, bitter ash): Quassia is 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. NOTE: Quassia should not be consumed during pregnancy. It has been documented to have an anti-fertility effect in studies and large amounts can cause nausea and vomiting.

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

  • Spilanthes  (Spilanthes acmella) contains powerful compounds such as spilanthol, stigmasterol, stigmasteryl-3-o-b-d-glucopyranoside and triterpenes that are anti-fungal (can treat ringworm), anti-malarial and anti-parasitic. The fresh leaves and flower buds make be chewed, steamed and eaten as salad greens. Spilanthes is traditionally taken as a tea, and can also be used as an alcohol extract.

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

  • Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) has been used since the times of the ancient Greeks to treat parasites. It contains volatile oils (up to 70% thujone), bitter glycosides, sesquiterpene lactones, terpenoids including pyrethrins, tannins and resin.

  • 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 (Chenopodium ambrosioides) 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.

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.

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:

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.

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.

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


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

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

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

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.


  • 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


  • 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.

The A-Z of parasites

More about particular parasites and remedies that work for each species can be found through the links below

Parasitic diseases affecting humans

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


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



Contracted through consuming undercooked or raw fish such as sushi and can cause anisakiasis in humans.


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


Generally transmitted by ticks.


Chagas disease
Transmitted to humans by blood-sucking assassin bugs.


Caused by the Chinese liver fluke.


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


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.


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


Caused by drinking water containing infected copepods.


Fatal disease due to infection by tapeworm larvae.


An infection due to pinworms.


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


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


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.


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


Caused by migrating immature nematodes, Gnathostoma hispidum or Gnathostoma spinigerum,


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


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


Transmitted by female Anopheles mosquitoes.


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


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.


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.


An infestation of lice on the human body. See Lice


Caused by mites burrowing into the skin.


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


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.


Caused by ingestion of dog or cat roundworms.

Due to ingestion of raw or partly cooked meat, contaminated cat faeces, drinking water containing Toxoplasma. It should be avoided by pregnant women due to transplacental infection in utero and can be transmitted by infected organ transplant or blood transfusion.

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

Infection of the large intestine by a parasite whipworm.

Sexually transmitted disease that infects the genitourinary tract.

Caused by parasitic protozoan Trypanosoma.

See also the Human skin parasites page for information about lice, scabies and bedbugs.

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

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