Intestinal worms, liver flukes, and other internal parasites usually live in the digestive tract but may move to other parts of the body. Parasites weaken the whole system. The best defense is a strong immune system, but infestations may still occur. Other common parasites include mites, lice, and ticks. When parasites invade the body, herbs offer several effective treatments.
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Symptoms of parasite infection include fever, cramping, anemia, abdominal pain, diarrhea, gas, weight loss, bloating, and lack of energy. Just one tapeworm can cause intestinal obstruction and severe distress. Parasite infections may be caused by poor diet, poor hygiene, spoiled meat, undercooked meat, undercooked fish, kissing infected pets, and poor water quality. Parasites can come from soil, plants, animals, and other humans. Some can be seen with the naked eye. Some need to be viewed with a microscope.
Amaranth grain and pumpkin seeds can help remove parasites from the digestive tract. A good cleansing program begins with a fast -- drink only apple juice, green drinks, and water with fresh garlic cloves or garlic capsules for one day. The next day drink peppermint and weak wormwood tea (using wormwood with caution), fresh papaya or pineapple juice, and take one or two teaspoons of castor oil. Eat a handful of raw or roasted pumpkin seeds or some amaranth every four hours along with fresh vegetables and citrus fruits. On day three, resume a healthy diet including lots of onions, garlic, and water.
Eat a large cucumber followed by two cups of weak senna tea and a half cup of pumpkin seeds. Butternut bark tea can also expel worms. Do not try any of these home remedies if severely constipated or if there is possibility of a digestive blockage.
Amoebic dysentery is also caused by parasites that can live in clean looking water. For amoebic dysentery, take carrot, beet, and cucumber juice once a day to cleanse the kidneys. Drink lemon juice every morning for three days. Some old timers say to take lemon juice with a fresh egg white.Then on the fourth day, take two teaspoons of Epsom salts to purge the bowels.
Black walnut hulls are an effective remedy for worms. Other herbs to try include valerian, barberry, yellowroot, myrrh, witch hazel, and cayenne. Take tea or tincture up to six times a day. Drink extra water to flush out dead parasites. Remember - walnut hull tea, walnut hull tinctures, and walnut hull extracts contain toxic compounds that kill worms and may cause cramps in humans. Do not over do it or take if constipated or if there is a possibility of blockage.
External parasites include lice and scabies mites. Try applications of thyme oil, tea tree oil, and myrrh powder mixed with a good carrier oil like almond oil. Apply to infested area often throughout the day and before bed. Do not use essential oils near the eyes.
Ticks are also considered parasites. Remove a tick as soon as it is found. This will reduce the chance of disease transmission. Wash bite area with soap. See a healthcare professional if bull's eye rash forms around bite -- or if the tick has been attached for over 24 hours. Applications of lavender essential oil, tea tree oil, or a wash of strong yellowroot tea can help prevent infection. Also try applying a poultice containing mashed up plantain leaves with rosemary or oregano added for extra strength directly to bite area.
Sometimes liver flukes are diagnosed as liver cancer and patients are treated with radiation or chemotherapy. Liver flukes feed on blood and are difficult to kill. Building the immunity is very important in cases of these stubborn parasites. Good diet, daily exercise, and herbs like echinacea, dandelion, astragalus, yellowroot, and ginseng should be taken regularly.
* Senna is a well known, extremely effective laxative herb and must be used with caution. Do not use when pregnant. Senna should be used only a couple of days and never on a regular basis. Pregnant or nursing women and children should not use senna. Senna should not be used by people with colitis, Crohn's disease, hemorrhoids, blood vessel disease, congestive heart failure, heart disease, anemia, abdominal hernia, gastrointestinal cancer, recent colon surgery, or liver and kidney disease. Side effects from drinking senna tea may include strong cramps in the abdomen (due to muscle contractions). Senna can cause electrolyte imbalance, loss of body fluids, nausea, rash, swelling of the fingertips, and weight loss. Discontinue use immediately if you experience any side effects. Always consult with a healthcare professional before using any herbal remedy.
"The only way to really learn about herbal medicine is to touch and smell herbs, taste them, use them daily, and grow them if possible. Herbal medicine is a way of life. It is not a quick fix." ... Janice Boling, herbalist, web designer, writer, photographer
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