Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Natural Remedies For Internal Parasites by Nick Vassilev

A genuine conversation from last night (not over the dinner table, otherwise the reply would have been "Do we have to discuss this while we're eating?"). "Mummy, do people get worms?" "Yes, dear." "How do you get rid of them? Do you have to take the cat's worm pills?" "Umm...I'll have to find out."

Time for some research about natural remedies for treating internal parasites. Fortunately, people don't pick up internal worms too easily - the main way that you get them is through poor hygiene and not washing hands after possibly coming in contact with a bit of poo. In other words, wash your hands after playing with cats and dogs, after gardening or coming in contact with mud, and before you eat. You can also pick them up from eating improperly cooked pork (OK - stop that smug sniggering if you're Orthodox Jewish or Muslim and don't eat pork... or maybe you are entitled to a snicker or two).

How do you know you've got worms? Some of the classic symptoms are ravenous, constant hunger, with an itchy anus being the other. The constant hunger is because the worms live in your guts, which is where the body absorbs all its nutrients. Trouble is, the worms pinch the goodies first. So you feel hungry. This can lead to weight gain, but it can equally lead to weight loss. It is disgusting but true that deliberately acquiring tapeworms was once used as a weight loss method - reportedly, the opera singer Maria Callas was one who tried this method. Don't always assume tapeworms if you or someone you know is constantly hungry and eating but continually losing weight - if this is accompanied by perpetual thirst and needing to pee, then diabetes may be the problem instead.

If you suspect you have them or even if you might have them, then use a few natural remedies. The beauty about natural remedies is that you can take them even if you suspect you have them without having to swallow what, basically, is poison. I have to add that I haven't had to try these methods - good hygiene and not eating pork seems to keep me and my family worm-free in spite of owning two cats and a dog. Having a good immune system seems to play a part in keeping worms away. Our immune system seems pretty good at spotting and eliminating foreign bits and pieces at the cellular level, and does a good job at getting rid of larger invaders. So doing all the things you know you should be doing: plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, garlic, Vitamin C and exercise; don't smoke, get enough sleep, etc, etc.

You can also encourage a better class of organism to take up residence in your intestines. Some experts recommend taking probiotics and live yoghurt as a way of getting good gut health. It sounds easy enough to try, anyway.

Herbal teas are also widely used to combat internal parasites. The classic, as you might guess from the name, is wormwood (Artemisia absinthium). It works, but remember that wormwood is also a poetic term for bitterness and suffering. This is often used in conjunction with tinctures or teas made from walnut husks (the green pulpy bit around the nutshell itself). Clove oil is also sometimes added to the mixture. Other cures and treatments for intestinal worms include:

* pumpkin seeds, preferably raw.

* papaya and pineapple (they break down protein and may also break down the little beasts)

* turmeric and ginger' curry time!

* lots of dietary fibre - helps shove some types of worms out

* sage

* pine needles