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Natural Ways to Treat Intestinal Parasites

    Natural Ways to Treat Intestinal Parasites

    When parasites take hold of the body, and they can deplete you of much-needed nutrients and cause a lot of discomfort. In extreme cases, they may even cause death. Intestinal parasites are more challenging to treat than external types. Learn how you may contract the disease and other herbal medicine for intestinal parasites.

    Parasites in the Gut

    The leading cause of parasites in the intestines is helminths and protozoa. Between the two major causes, it is protozoa that is more observed in gastrointestinal problems. On the other hand, helminths are multicellular organisms found in worm or larval form.

    Who Are Most at Risk?

    Low or middle-income countries have higher rates of morbidities due to intestinal parasites and foodborne diseases.

    According to the World Health Organization, over 200 diseases can originate from foodborne problems. From there, at least 23 and a half million people suffer from intestinal issues annually in the world. In more extreme cases, around 45,000 of these 23 million annual cases can lead to death or unfortunate demise.

    Common or popular diseases that spring from intestinal parasites include

    • Giardiasis
    • Hookworm infection
    • Threadworm

    Risk Factors

    Contaminated food is a top risk factor when it comes to intestinal parasites. Lack of safety in food handling and consumption practices among adults can lead to more problems like intestinal parasites in the body. Conversely, cooking food between temperatures of 60 to 75 degrees Celsius is found to make parasites inactive.

    Apart from directly ingesting contaminated food, unsuspecting adults should be concerned about oral exposure or fecal exposure to someone with intestinal parasite issues.

    Other additional risk factors include

    • Poor hygiene
    • International travel
    • Living in a parasite-infested area
    • Age and immunocompromised profiles (the elderly and very young are vulnerable populations that need extra precautions against this)
    • Vulnerability from HIV or AIDS
    • House pets that also have parasites are considered high risk for adults and children. A particular strain called toxoplasmosis comes from cat feces and can be fatal to fetuses of pregnant women.

    Symptoms of Intestinal Parasites in the Body

    Most of the intestinal parasites, except the eggs or worms that can come out of the body through feces, are invisible or require a microscope to view. Dormant, they can live in the body for years and go undetected because there are asymptomatic cases.

    When they do manifest symptoms in an infected child or adult, here is what you can expect:

    • Pain or tenderness in the abdomen
    • Diarrhea
    • The sensation of vomiting, vomiting, or nausea
    • Bloatedness
    • Fatigue
    • Worms coming out of your stool

    Herbal Medicine for Intestinal Parasites

    While it may be tempting to self-medicate, supervision is still required when using herbal medicine for intestinal parasites. These herbs can interact with an adult’s existing medication for parasites or other illnesses. Herbal specialists can work with patients in this matter.

    It is helpful to know the names of popular and effectively tested herbal remedies that assist in flushing out the unwanted intestinal parasites in the body. The list includes but is not limited to the following:

    • Garlic
    • Anise
    • Barberry
    • Golden Seal
    • Wormwood
    • Curled Mint
    • Oregon Grape
    • Black Walnuts

    In the Philippines, people eat fresh pineapple to help expel intestinal parasites.

    How is this Diagnosed?

    Doctors request for a stool sample, which is then checked for any protozoan growths. This sample can help identify parasites that may have potentially come from the intestines. Depending on the volume of parasites found in the sample, medical intervention can be adjusted accordingly.

    Doctors may prescribe medications such as metronidazole and chloroquine.

    Intestinal Parasites Treatment

    Hydration is important, and avoiding simple sugars or alcohol is recommended to stop intestinal parasites. Some food that can help include:

    • Beets
    • Carrots
    • Raw garlic
    • Pumpkin seeds
    • Fiber
    • Probiotic supplements

    The good bacteria from probiotic supplements help maintain a good environment inside the body’s intestines.

    Key Takeaways

    Despite the promising outcomes of herbal medicine for intestinal parasites, some cases of intestinal parasites warrant a trip to the hospital. If symptoms persist, consult your doctor or visit the nearest hospital for immediate treatment. Medications can be one-time or can have a strict schedule lasting for weeks, depending on the severity of the case.

    Learn more about Herbals & Alternatives here.

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    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Sources

    Human Intestinal Parasites, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2754014/, Accessed June 18, 2020

    Australian Government Department of Health https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/publications/publishing.nsf/Content/ohp-enhealth-manual-atsi-cnt-l~ohp-enhealth-manual-atsi-cnt-l-ch1~ohp-enhealth-manual-atsi-cnt-l-ch1.5, Accessed June 18, 2020

    World Health Organization Estimates of the Global and Regional Disease Burden of 11 Foodborne Parasitic Diseases, 2010: A Data Synthesis, https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1001920, Accessed June 18, 2020

    Intestinal Parasites, http://pennstatehershey.adam.com/content.aspx?productId=107&pid=33&gid=000097, Accessed June 18, 2020

    Inactivation of parasite transmissions stages: Efficacy of treatments on food o animal origin, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0924224418301560, Accessed June 18 2020

    Ethnophysiology and herbal treatments of intestinal worms in Dominica, West Indies, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/11472457_Ethnophysiology_and_herbal_treatments_of_intestinal_worms_in_Dominica_West_Indies, Accessed June 18, 2020

    Probiotics for the Control of Parasites: An Overview, https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jpr/2011/610769/, Accessed June 18 2020

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    Written by Stephanie Nera, RPh, PharmD Updated Jul 07, 2021