There is a good and bad news when we think about worms. First there is infection with them, often in children, and what to do about it, but also the evolving science of helminthic therapy – deliberate innoculation with worms to lower autoimmune and allergic conditions. So let’s look at both..
There’s nothing worse than coming across a worm infection, is there?! Highly contagious, the first thing you need to do is watch the hygiene. We don’t get worms because of a lack of hygiene – they will infect the cleanest of people, but you don’t want them to spread. Don’t share towels or bedding, wash them in 90 degrees to kill anything on them and keep hands scrubbed clean, especially under fingernails.
Your GP or pharmacist will recommend drugs which will either stop the worms absorbing glucose and therefore their food so they die, or paralyse them until the bowel naturally eliminates them.
The Natural Approach
Sometimes, the problem keeps returning despite you following all the normal recommendations. In this case, you need to think about why the gut has become susceptible to parasitic infections. From my perspective, it is normally to do with an imbalance of gut bacteria and consequent lowered gut immunity. In other words, you don’t have enough of the good bacteria needed to fight off an attack or maybe gut SIgA is low, which you can check here.
I normally recommend a regime of probiotics and anti-parasitic formulas with the hygiene rules for a minimum of three months to get the problem under control.
There are many products you could choose. One of my favourites is liquid grapefruit seed extract which is normally gentle enough for small children but can pack a powerful anti-parasitic punch. Other herbs to look at include black walnut, wormwood and barberry. Even good old garlic is a great anti-parasitic. Always follow manufacturers’ recommendations as some of these wouldn’t be suitable for children.
Homeopathics are usually suitable for any age, and for animals, and I have read that Cina is a useful remedy which helps eliminate the worms. It is especially indicated if the person is irritable and constantly hungry. Other homeopathic alternatives include Teucrium (especially if itchy bottom is worse in evening and there is a crawling sensation) and Santoninum is a good standby remedy.
Ah, hang on, though: sometimes the wriggly things can help…considering Helminth Therapy
Helminthic therapy has moved on in leaps and bounds (or wriggles) in the last few years and there is much evidence that having the right worms can help suppress allergy and immune disorders. Having the right gut environment is becoming seen – even in mainstream medicine – as really key to health, and helminths, not just probiotics, are most likely a part of that.
My colleague John Scott is an expert, user and long-term reliever of severe food sensitivity. He reminded me of this fact:
A recent study found that, in atopic children infected with EV [the worm that commonly causes an itchy bottom!], there was not only a lack of any symptoms as a result of the infection, but that, “there seemed to be some indication of immunosuppression in those children with a positive history of allergic disease.”
and the results of an overview study of 700 patients using them:
“The results strongly support previous indications that helminth therapy can effectively treat a wide range of allergies, autoimmune conditions and neuropsychiatric disorders…”
(Liu et al, 2016)
For a full intro to the subject of helminthic therapy and just why worms might help rather than hinder in some cases, do see his quite extensive Wiki site here.
Hope that all helps!