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Treating pinworms naturally

Who knew that pinworms are more common than lice?  According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control CDC), pinworm infestation is twice as common as head lice, and some sources estimate as much as 20% of the U.S. population is affected annually with pinwormsI had never even heard of pinworms until I received a letter from school nurse warning parents of pinworm cases. Below I’ll share with you holistic and effective ways of treating pinworms naturally.

Pinworms or threadworms are tiny, worm-like parasites that cause severe itching around the anus.

Their eggs get inside the body through the mouth after you touch something which is contaminated with pinworm eggs, then touch your hands to your mouth.

Pinworms cause intense rectal itching and are bothersome to anyone infected. The worm crawls out of the anus at night to lay its eggs. Transmission occurs easily among children who often put their fingers in their mouths. The eggs become lodged under the finger nails during scratching and then are re-ingested during eating and the cycle of infestation continues. Knowing the causes can help prevent future infection. Fortunately, home remedies abound for your child to get rid of the sinister parasites.

Causes

  1. Eating unsanitary foods. The eggs are eaten during meals or ingestion of contaminated food. The eggs travel in the intestinal tract and hatch.
  2. Unclean sheets or clothing. Sleeping in an unclean bed or wearing unwashed clothing contaminated with eggs is another way to contract a pinworm infection. Use caution when handling contaminated sheets and clothing as the eggs easily become airborne and can be inhaled or swallowed.

Symptoms

  1. Itchiness. The worm travels out of the intestine and lays eggs around the rectum at night. Itching is the result and sleep often disrupted to some degree. Itching can also occur in and around the vagina.
  2. Urinary tract infection. These worms can penetrate the vagina or urethra and result in a urinary tract infection. This is more common in females.
  3. More serious complications. Poor sleep and insomnia are the most serious complications. Obviously an infection must be treated, particularly bladder, or more serious problems may occur.
  4. Other symptoms. Bleeding is rarely an issue as the worms to not invade the wall of the intestine. Some minor bleeding from intense scratching may occur but this is rare.

Conventional Treatment

According to WebMD Pyrantel Pamoate (generic name) medication may be used to self-treat pinworm infections.

Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach/abdominal cramps, headache, drowsiness, dizziness, trouble sleeping, or loss of appetite may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, seek immediate medical attention if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of  liver disease, severe lack of nutrition (malnutrition), or anemia. Your doctor will direct you to use this medication if the benefits to you are greater than the risk of side effects.

Do not drive, use machinery, or do any activity that requires alertness until you are sure you can perform such activities safely. Limit alcoholic beverages.

During pregnancy, this medication should be used only when clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. If you are pregnant, do not use this medication to treat yourself without first consulting your doctor.

It is not known whether this drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.

The effects of some drugs can change if you take other drugs or herbal products at the same time. This can increase your risk for serious side effects or may cause your medications not to work correctly.

Effective Home Remedies

There are a variety of effective home remedies for pinworms and this list contains the most popular option.

Dietary Changes

Parasites often thrive on sugar. If your children have pinworms, you should limit the sugar and carbohydrate intake. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables and avoid high sugar and carbohydrate foods. Pinworms thrive on these types of substances and can rapidly multiply given the right nutrients. High fiber foods (see list of best sources of fiber) help add bulk to the stool and flush them from your system. Probiotics are also an important and easy way to keep your intestinal tract healthy. By helping good bacteria grow, the intestine becomes unfriendly for pinworms and is a natural way to get rid of pinworms.

Proper Hygiene

This is the key to preventing and getting rid of pinworms. Very few people wash their hands properly, in a way that would kill infection and illness-causing germs, according to new research.

Simply rinsing your hands with water, or giving a quick scrub with soap, is not enough to remove germs; you need to scrub all areas of your hands with plain soap (avoid antibacterial soap) for 15-20 seconds, then rinse under running water, to be effective.

Over-washing your hands can lead to cracks in your skin that provide an easy entrance for disease-causing germs; it’s particularly important to avoid over-washing your hands in arid environments or winter.

Actively building up and nurturing your immune system, and the makeup of beneficial microorganisms in your gut, works in tandem with hand washing to help you avoid getting sick.

Start with proper hand washing technique using non toxic soap and warm water. Be sure to clean under the nails. Wash before every meal, after each use of the bathroom and immediately upon wakening.

When handling infected clothes or sheets, wear gloves and even a mask to prevent inhalation of the eggs. Wash clothing and sheet items in hot water.

Here’s a simple starter list of what you need to make your own natural cleaning products:

  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Lemon juice
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Liquid castile soap
  • Organic essential oils (optional)
  • Mixing bowls
  • Spray bottles
  • Micro fiber cloths

For a great video on how to use these ingredients and other tips for cleaning your home without hazardous chemicals, check out How to Keep Your Home Clean Naturally.

For example, vinegar combined with hydrogen peroxide works exceptionally well as both a disinfectant and sanitizer.

Garlic

This potent natural food is excellent for getting rid of pinworms. The powdered form does not work, so try adding garlic to a variety of foods so that infected children will gain benefit from this food remedy. Make a paste by grinding a few cloves of fresh garlic until smooth and then mix with Vaseline and apply to the buttocks and rectal area to ease itching and kill any worms present.

Grapefruit Seed Extract

Mix 10 drops in a large glass of water and drink three times a day for a week. This product is commercially available and has other health benefits as well. It is available in both pill and liquid form.

Wormwood

Santonin, isothujone and thujone are active ingredients. The benefit is that these antiparasitic substances kill any other worms present in the intestinal tract.  Wormwood works by damaging the parasite’s cell membrane. Mix a few drops in a cup of water or brew tea and add drops to that. Taking it on an empty stomach is the best route and works well for kids infected with pinworms.

Coconut

This is a popular remedy in India. Take a spoonful of coconut in the morning and then follow it with castor oil two to three hours later to flush the pinworms from the body. During breakfast, take one tablespoonful of fresh coconut followed a teaspoonful of castor oil three hours later. Repeat this each day until pinworms are gone completely.

Carrots

Shredded raw carrots eaten several times a day are a natural way to purge the worms from the intestines. For picky eaters, try mixing the carrots with honey to improve the taste.

White Willow Bark

This natural remedy is rich in the same active ingredient as aspirin. The salicylic acid content is a potent agent in fighting a pinworm infection.

Pumpkins Seeds

Raw pumpkin seeds are a delicious and natural way to battle pinworms. Simmer crushed raw pumpkin seeds in water for about two hours. Strain the mixture through a filter or cheesecloth. Let it cool and take a tablespoon every fifteen minutes for a total of four doses.  Then two hours later take a laxative. Then eat a bowl of warm oatmeal two hours after than to flush the worms from the system. The dose for adults is 300 grams and children can use about 45 grams of pumpkin seeds.

Clove and Flaxseed

Crush a clove and mix with flaxseeds. The proper ratio is 1:10 and the added health benefits and worm fighting power are beneficial. Add this mixture to food once a day and alternate three days of use followed by three days off.

Squash Seeds

Boil 50 grams of crushed and smashed squash seeds for 15 minutes and then filter the water after it cools. Drink a small glass between meals throughout the day.

Onions

The naturally occurring sulfur in onions helps rid the body of pinworms. Slice a medium onion and soak in a pitcher of water over night. Then drink the liquid three times a day to rid the pinworms from your intestine.

Bitter Gourd

The bitter gourd juice is an effective way to flush both pinworms and their eggs from the body.

Apple Cider Vinegar

It is important to slightly lower the pH level of the digestive tract, to make it more unpleasant for pinworms to live in it. Mix a teaspoon or two in a glass of water and drink this daily. The acidic nature of apple cider vinegar creates an inhospitable environment for the worms and helps your body get rid of them naturally.

Diatomaceous Earth (DE)

You can use food-grade diatomaceous earth to treat pinworms infestation. It is a sedimentary, chalky rock that is made from fossilized small algae, called diatoms. Diatomaceous earth can dehydrate pinworms and kill them slowly.

It is important to get food grade diatomaceous earth. 1 tbsp daily for adults and 1 tsp daily for the children.  I added it to smoothies, applesauce, and even water. Continue giving all members of your family DE orally for 90 days.

Topical treatment

Dice several garlic cloves and mixed them with a small amount of coconut oil in a small mason jar.  It is important to store it in a warm place (the longer it sits the stronger it gets). Rub this mixture onto the anus (using a Q-Tip) before bedtime and first thing in the morning.  Doing this repels the adults from laying more eggs and kills any eggs that are present.

Do you want to prevent future pinworm outbreaks?

For the first week wash bedding and towels after one use.  This is a lot of work and uses a lot of energy.  It is important not to allow an infected person to shower or bathe with anyone else.  Clean the bathtub after every use.  No more babies running around without undies on.  Wash hands, wash hands, and wash hands some more!

Pinworms suck, they really do.  You have to be diligent when eliminating them from your home.  May sanity return back to your life soon if you are dealing with pinworms.

Please consult with your health care provider to discuss medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment AND prior taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone including me. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.  Nothing you read here should be relied upon to determine dietary changes, a medical diagnosis, or courses of treatment.

Additional resources:

http://www.md-health.com/Home-Remedies-For-Pinworms.html

http://www.earthmamasworld.com/how-to-eliminate-pinworms-naturally/

http://www.healthguidance.org/entry/15625/1/Home-Remedies-for-Pinworms.html

 

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To Your Health,

Caroline

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About Caroline

My vision is to empower you to achieve your optimal health and lead a healthy life through awareness and education. It is to bring you simple, delicious, nutritionally dense foods and easy recipes that support the wellness of your mind, body and soul. My goal is to teach the effective principles and practices of our ancestors in a modern context forliving a vibrant life.

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