Information on home remedies is from:
Home Remedies: Health Care at the Doorstep World Neighbors in Action No. 18 World Neighbors, 5116 North Portland Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73112, U.S.A.
Source of other information:
Where There is No Doctor by David Werner, published by the Hesperian Foundation, (Copyright 1977)
The Hesperian Foundation, P.O. Box 1692, Palo Alto, California 94302, U.S.A.
If reproduced, please credit these sources.
There are many types of worms and other tiny creatures that live in peoples intestines and cause disease. Here are some remedies - using plants - for the treatment of hookworm, roundworm and pinworm (threadworm).
Length: 1 cm.
Hookworm infection can be one of the most damaging diseases in childhood. Hookworms may be present in the gut in large numbers without a worm ever being seen in a persons stool (faeces). Any child who is anaemic, very pale or eats dirt, may have hookworm. If possible his/her stools should be tested.
How hookworms are spread
Eat ground seeds of papaya, or chew whole seeds.
Adults: Take 1 tablespoon (15 ml.) before bedtime, after a light meal.
Children over 6 years old: Take 1 teaspoon (5 ml.)
(Pregnant women should not use this remedy.)
Treat anaemia by eating foods rich in iron. Meat, fish, chicken and eggs are high in iron. Liver is especially high. Dark green vegetables, beans, peas and lentils also have some iron.
Build and use latrines.
Do not let children go barefoot.
Ripe papayas or pawpaws (Carica papaya) are rich in vitamins and also aid digestion. Eating than is especially helpful for weak or old people who complain of upset stomaches when they eat chicken, meat or eggs. Papaya makes these foods easier to digest.
Length: 20 to 30 cm.
Colour: pink or white
Many roundworm in the intestines may cause discomfort, indigestion and weakness. Children with many roundworm often have very large, swollen bellies. Rarely, roundworm causes asthma, fits or a dangerous obstruction or blockage in the gut. When a child has a fever, the worms sometimes come out in the stools or crawl out through the mouth or nose. Occasionally, they crawl into the airway and cause gagging.
How roundworms are spread
Through lack of cleanliness, the roundworm eggs pass from one persons stools to another persons mouth. Once the eggs are swallowed, young worms hatch and enter the bloodstream. This may cause general itching. The worms then travel to the lungs, sometimes causing a dry cough or, at worst, pneumonia with coughing of blood. The young worms are coughed up, swallowed and reach the intestines, where they grow to full size.
(1) Papaya milk (the liquid that oozes out when an unripe papaya fruit is squeezed) is an adult remedy. Take 1 teaspoon (5 ml.) the first thing in the morning for 2 days.
(2) Treat with banana root ash. Mix 1 tablespoon (15 ml.) into a glass of water and allow it to stand overnight. Drink the clear fluid at the top of the glass the first thing in the morning.
Follow basic rules of cleanliness. For example:
Wash hands before eating or handling food.
Protect food from flies.
PINWORM (Threadworm, Enterobius)
Length: 1 cm.
Pinworms are not dangerous, but itching may disturb a childs sleep.
How pinworms are spread
These worms lay thousands of eggs just outside the anus (ass hole). This causes itching, especially at night. When a child scratches, the eggs stick under his/her fingernails, and are carried to food and other objects. In this way, the eggs reach the childs own mouth or the mouths of others, causing infections of pinworms.
Pinworm can be treated with ground tender leaves of the neem tree. Each morning for 7 days, adults should take 1 teaspoonful (5 ml.) and children, ½ teaspoonful (2½ ml.). Stop taking leaves for the following 7 days. Then, repeat the same treatment for 7 more days. Total duration of treatment: 21 days.
Also, put vaseline in and around the sufferers anus at bedtime to help stop itching. A child who has pinworms should wear tight nappies (diapers) or pants while sleeping to prevent scratching of anus. Cut the childs fingernails short.
The leaves of the neem tree (Azadirachta indica), when ground up or boiled, may also be used in the treatment of scabies. Add tumeric powder to the concentrate, and for 3 days apply it to the skin after bathing.
Cleanliness is the best prevention of pinworm. Even if medicine gets rid of the worms, they will be picked up again if care is not taken with personal hygiene. Pinworms only live for about 6 weeks. By carefully keeping a child clean, most of the worms will be gone within a few weeks, even without medicine. Wash the childs hands and buttocks (anal area) when he/she wakes up and after the child has a bowel movement. The child should always wash his/her hands before eating. Change the childs clothes and bathe him/her often - wash the buttocks and nails especially well.