Worms and other intestinal parasites which infest human beings are found in all countries of the
world. 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. There are several types of intestinal
worms. The most common of these are roundworms, pinworms, threadworms, hookworms,
tapeworms and giardia.
The usual symptoms
of intestinal worms
, foul breath, dark circles under the eyes,
constant desire for food, restlessness at night with bad dreams, anaemia
Roundworms may give rise to inflammation of the intestine and lungs, nausea, vomiting, loss of
weight, fever, nervousness and irritability. Pinworms and thread worms may bring on intense
itching in the area around the rectum.
Threadworms may cause periodic bouts of diarrhoea
alternating with constipation
, loss of
weight, cough and fever. Hookworms may give rise to anaemia
and nutritional disorders. The
presence of giardia may result in pain in the calves and weakness in the legs.
The eggs of these parasites are introduced into the human system through the medium of food
or water, especially undercooked meat. Roundworms may result from dirty fingers and food.
Hookworms enter the human body through the skin from infected water. The tapeworms are
transmitted into the body through undercooked flesh foods or foods contaminated by dogs.
The real cause of intestinal worms
, however, is wrong feeding. 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.
The treatment for intestinal worms
should begin with diet. The patient should be kept on an
exclusive diet of fresh fruits for five to seven days. Thereafter he may adopt a well-balanced light
diet consisting mainly of fruits, vegetables, milk and wholemeal bread. The diet should exclude
fatty foods such as butter, cream, and oil, refined foods and all flesh foods. This dietary 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 the warm water enema.
Among the numerous home remedies found beneficial in the treatment of intestinal worms
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.
Garlic has been used for expelling intestinal worms
from ancient times by the Chinese, Greeks,
Romans, Hindus and Babylonians. It is also used by modern biological practitioners for this
purpose. Both fresh garlic and its oil are effective. An ancient method of its medication was to
place a couple of cloves of fresh garlic in its shoe. 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.
The carrot ( gajar) is valuable in the elimination of threadworms from children as it is offensive to
all parasites. A small cup of grated carrot taken every morning, with no other food added to the
meal, can clear these worms quickly.
The digestive enzyme
papain in the milk juice of the unripe papaya (papita) is a powerful
anthelmintic for destroying 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 7 to 10 years, half the above doses should be given. For children under three years, a
tablespoon is sufficient.
Papaya seeds are also useful for this purpose. They are rich in a substance called caricin which
is a very effective medicine for expelling roundworms. The alkaloid Carpaine found in the leaves
has also the power to destroy or expel intestinal worms
. They are given with honey.
The bark, both of the root and the stems of pomegranate (anar) 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.
The seeds of the ripe pumpkin ( kumra) are useful in intestinal worms
, especially tapeworms. An
infusion, prepared from the seeds after they are peeled and crushed, will kill parasites and help
in expelling the tapeworm. It will be necessary to fast for a day and empty the intestines by
taking the juice of boiled dry prunes. The next day, three or four tumblers of this pumpkin seed
infusion should be taken.