Intestinal parasites are a common health concern that can cause many uncomfortable symptoms. These tiny organisms can invade our bodies through contaminated food or water, and once inside, they can wreak havoc on our digestive system.
From bloating and diarrhea to fatigue and nausea, the symptoms of intestinal parasites can be difficult to ignore. But don’t worry; there are plenty of treatments available to help you get rid of these unwanted guests.
In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what intestinal parasites are, how they spread, and what you can do to prevent and treat them. So, if you’re ready to learn more about this common health issue, let’s dive in!
Types of intestinal parasites
Many types of parasites can live freely inside the body. They come in different shapes and sizes.
1. Giardia: Giardia is a single–celled parasite that can be found in the intestines of humans and animals. It is one of the most common intestinal parasites, mainly spread through contaminated food and water. Symptoms can include abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and nausea. Treatment is typical with antibiotics or antiparasitic medications.
2. Hookworms: Hookworms are parasites that attach to the walls of the small intestine and feed off the blood of their host. They can be contracted through contact with contaminated soil or feces. Symptoms can include anemia, abdominal pain, and diarrhea. Treatment is typical with anthelmintic medications.
3. Roundworms: Roundworms are parasites that can be found in the intestines of humans and animals. They can be contracted through contact with contaminated soil or feces. Symptoms can include abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Treatment is typically with anthelmintic medications.
4. Pinworms: Pinworms are thin, white parasites that can be found in the intestines. They are highly contagious and can be spread through contact with contaminated surfaces or objects. Symptoms can include itching around the anus, loss of appetite, and insomnia. Treatment is typical with anthelmintic medications.
5. Tapeworms: Tapeworms are long, flat parasites that can be found in the intestines of humans and animals. They can be contracted through contact with contaminated food or water. Symptoms can include abdominal pain, nausea, and diarrhea. Treatment is typical with anthelmintic medications.
Signs That You Are Carrying Intestinal Parasites
1. Abdominal Pain: Intestinal parasites can cause abdominal pain, ranging from a mild, dull ache to intense cramping or a sharp stabbing sensation. Pain may be localized to the abdomen or radiate to other areas, such as the back or legs.
2. Nausea and Vomiting: People with intestinal parasites may experience nausea and vomiting, especially after eating. This can lead to dehydration and nutrient deficiencies.
3. Diarrhea: Intestinal parasites can cause frequent bouts of diarrhea, which can contain mucus and/or blood. Diarrhea may also have a foul odor.
4. Fatigue and Weakness: Parasitic infections can cause fatigue and weakness due to the body’s reaction to the infection. This can make it difficult to perform everyday tasks and lead to other health issues.
5. Weight Loss: Intestinal parasites can lead to weight loss due to the malabsorption of nutrients and the body’s reaction to the infection. This can cause a person to become malnourished.
6. Anemia: Intestinal parasites can cause anemia due to a decrease in red blood cells. Symptoms of anemia include fatigue, weakness, pale skin, and shortness of breath.
7. Intestinal Blockage: Intestinal parasites can cause an obstruction in the intestines, which can cause abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. This can be a life-threatening condition if it is not treated.
8. Fever: Intestinal parasites can cause a fever due to the body’s reaction to the infection. A fever can last for several days and can cause other symptoms, such as chills and sweating.
9. Nutrient Deficiencies: Intestinal parasites can cause nutrient deficiencies due to the malabsorption of vitamins and minerals. This can lead to anemia, fatigue, and other health issues.
10. Skin Rash: Intestinal parasites can cause a skin rash, which can appear as red, itchy bumps or raised, scaly patches. The rash may be localized to one area or can be widespread.
How to Get Rid of Intestinal Parasites with Home Remedies
Garlic is one of the most popular anti-parasitic foods that can help manage different types of intestinal worms. Raw garlic contains sulfur with amino acids, which are anti-parasitic. Garlic also contains antibacterial, antiseptic, and antifungal properties, which can assist in eliminating the microbes inside the body.
- To eliminate all parasites in the intestine, consume 3 cloves of raw garlic on an empty stomach. Do this every day for a week to achieve the best results.
- Another way is to boil 2 crushed garlic cloves in 1/2 cup milk. Drink this on an empty stomach every day for 1 week.
Coconut is considered very effective in eliminating all types of intestinal worms. It contains strong anti-parasitic properties, which can aid in parasite cleansing. Coconut oil is also effective in treating intestinal parasites.
- Eat 1 tbsp. of crushed coconut for breakfast. After 3 hours, consume 1 glass of milk mixed with 2 tbsp. Of castor oil. Do this process every day until the parasites disappear. However, those suffering from gastrointestinal disease and kids below 5 years old are not recommended to take castor oil.
- Extra virgin coconut oil is also effective in treating intestinal parasites. Take 4 to 6 tbs. of coconut oil every day. This oil is rich with medium chain triglycerides that assist in killing parasites while enhancing the immune system to combat them.
3. Pumpkin Seeds
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, pumpkin seeds can assist in the elimination of intestinal worms. Cucurbitacin, a compound in pumpkin seeds, is antiparasitic, which paralyzes the parasites. This prevents them from staying in the intestine linings so they can be flushed away.
- In 3 cups of boiling water, add 2 tbsp of crushed pumpkin seed. Let it sit for 30 minutes, and once it is cool, drink it.
- Another way is to fast for a day. Drink the juice of boiled dry prunes, then drinks the infused pumpkin seed.
- You can also mix 1 tbsp. of roasted and crushed pumpkin seeds with honey, and eat the mixture while your stomach is empty. Do this for a week. You can also include bananas and kiwi for your breakfast.
4. Unripe Papaya
Unripe papaya is a common treatment for health problems such as intestinal parasites. This fruit is packed with the enzyme papain, which has anthelmintic properties and can kill intestinal parasites. In addition, papaya seeds also contain ricin which aids in eliminating worms in the intestines.
- Add 1 tbsp. of unripe papaya juice and honey in 3 or 4 tbsp of hot water. Drink the mixture every morning before breakfast. After 2 hours, take a glass of warm milk mixed with castor oil. Do this treatment for three days. If doing this treatment for children, decrease the dosage to half.
- Another way is to make papaya seeds smoothie. Add 1 tbsp. of coconut oil, 1 cup of coconut milk, and papaya fruit. Blend it well and mix 1 tbs. of honey. Drink this smoothie every morning for 1 week until the infestation disappears.
- You can also use the papaya seeds and grind them well to make a powder. Mix the powder with warm water or milk and drink it every morning before breakfast for at least 3 days.
5. Pomegranate Tree Bark
The stems, roots, leaves, and bark of the pomegranate trees are rich in anthelmintic properties, making them an effective treatment for intestinal parasites. The pomegranate tree’s bark has alkaloid punitive, which is toxic to intestinal worms, especially tapeworms.
- Add a 2-inch piece of pomegranate tree bark to 1 cup of water. Boil until half of the water evaporates. After the mixture cools down, drink it. Do this treatment 3 times a day and eat a purgative fruit like avocado or banana to flush the intestinal parasites. Reduce the dosage to 1/3 if using this remedy for children.
6. Carom Seeds
Another effective way of getting rid of intestinal parasites is the carom seed. These seeds contain thymol which has the ability to stop the development of intestinal parasites. It is also recommended to use it with jaggery for better effect.
- Eat 1 tbsp. of jaggery every morning before breakfast. After 15-20 minutes, eat 1/2 tsp. of crushed carom seeds, then drink a glass of water. Do this treatment every day for at least two weeks to get rid of parasites.
Carrots contain beta-carotene, which can kill the eggs of intestinal worms. In addition, zinc and vitamin C in carrots also enhances the body’s immune system so your body can easily combat the parasites.
- Eat two carrots for breakfast, and make sure to chew them carefully. It is also recommended to grate them so you can chew them better. Do not eat other foods in the morning. Do this treatment daily for a week until the intestinal works are gone.
Neem or Indian lilac is another effective treatment for eliminating intestinal parasites. These contain anti-parasitic properties. Aside from that, these effectively remove the toxins the parasite left behind. Pregnant women or nursing should not eat neem.
- Fry 1 tbsp. of dry neem flowers in 1 tsp. of clarified butter. Eat it with plain rice two times a day. Repeat this treatment for at least days until the parasites disappear.
- Another way is to mix 1 tsp. of dried neem leaf powder with a glass of warm milk and drink it twice daily. Do this treatment for 1 week.
- Alternatively, grind neem leaves and make a paste. Take 1/2 tbsp. of paste and drink a glass of water. Do this treatment every morning on an empty stomach for seven days. Stop for a week, then repeat in the third week.
Turmeric is also one of the excellent natural remedies for eliminating parasites in the intestines. They contain antiseptic and antimicrobial properties that aid in purging worms. In addition, turmeric also aids in alleviating nausea, bloating, and pain in the abdomen, which are the most common symptoms of parasites in the intestines.
- Make a juice out of raw turmeric and a pinch of salt. Drink this turmeric juice every morning before breakfast. Do this treatment every day for a week until the worms are gone. If using turmeric powder, add 1/2 tsp. of turmeric powder in 1/2 cup of warm water. Add a pinch of salt. Drink the mixture every day for 5 consecutive days.
- Another way to purge the parasites is to add 1 tbsp. of turmeric juice to a glass of buttermilk. Drink the mixture. Repeat this treatment for 3 days.
Cloves contain bactericidal, antiseptic, and antiparasitic properties, which can aid in eliminating parasitic eggs while killing intestinal parasites inside the body. In addition, cloves can also prevent infestations of parasites in the future.
- Add 1 tsp. of powdered clove in one cup of hot water. Cover it and allow it to steep for at least 10 minutes. Drink it 3 times a day for 1 week. Make sure that you use fresh cloves to achieve the best results.
How to Prevent intestinal parasites?
1. Wash your hands: Washing your hands is one of the best ways to prevent intestinal parasites. Make sure to wash your hands after using the restroom, before eating, and after handling raw or undercooked meats or fish.
2. Cook food thoroughly: Cook all meats and fish thoroughly to kill any parasites that may be present. Make sure foods reach a safe internal temperature (145 °F for whole cuts of beef, pork, lamb, and veal, and 160 °F for ground meats).
3. Clean surfaces thoroughly: Kitchen surfaces that come into contact with raw or undercooked meats or fish should be cleaned thoroughly with hot, soapy water.
4. Wash fruits and vegetables: Produce should be washed thoroughly under running water (even if you plan to peel it) to remove any parasites that may be present on the surface.
5. Avoid eating raw or undercooked meats and fish: Raw or undercooked meats and fish may contain parasites that can cause intestinal issues.
6. Avoid drinking untreated water: Untreated water may contain parasites that can cause intestinal issues. If you are traveling to an area with questionable water, stick to bottled water or bring a water filter.
7. Wear gloves: When gardening or working in soil, wear gloves to avoid contact with parasites.
8. Avoid contact with feces: Avoid contact with animal or human feces if possible. If contact is unavoidable, wash your hands afterwards and avoid touching your face.
9. Practice good hygiene: Practice good hygiene, such as showering, washing clothes, and changing bedding regularly.