Do you give your child food or drugs as a pinworm treatment?

by Paula

There are a lot of natural pinworm treatments from which you can safely choose for your children, because they are food you eat every day. Isn't it a hard choice? Food or drugs for pinworm infection?

Children often get pinworm infection no matter how much we guard them and keep strict hygiene. The sand in the playground seems to be very tasty.

When your doctor prescribes your child a conventional pinworm treatment like Albenza or Vermox instead of a natural remedy, you have to consider the stress these drugs put on your child's liver and their side effects (nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, headache, or temporary hair loss).

Your doctor won't probably prescribe you these drugs if you are pregnant, because of the worrisome teratogenic effects of these anthelmintics medications.

Roxana, my daughter, was 3 years old when I discovered white little threads in her stool. I didn't know what to make of it, but my mother's final ruling was pinworms. I was worried, but Roxana bragged to all her friends and to whomever she encountered that she had worms in her belly :)

What are pinworms

The pinworm, also known as threadworm or seatworm, is a nematode (roundworm) and a common human intestinal parasite, especially in children. They have 2-10 mm in length, resembling a white thread.

Pinworms live their entire life cycle in our gastrointestinal tract. They come out at night through the anus to lay their eggs. They generate an irritant substance which makes us scratch unconsciously, so we arrive swallowing the eggs (bleeaaahhhh, I know). That's how they multiply.

Symptoms of pinworms

Pinworms' symptoms are like one of Murphy’s laws. We think of them often, but not when they actually happen.

Only after we see the worms with our own eyes, we remember the "thread" of events and we realize that we have indeed seen the symptoms.

Nevertheless, a lot of times we take the symptoms for something else:

  • The child scratches his anus and nose very often. We think it is only a bad habit that needs to be unlearned.

  • Lack of appetite and weight loss. We think he's a bit picky.

  • The child has dark circles around the eyes and he is nervous. We think he is tired because he sleeps late and he doesn't get enough rest. All he needs is a regular skeeping schedule.

  • The child complains of belly pain. We think it is indigestion.

On top of these, the child asks for more milk late in the evening. We are glad, tough, because it makes up for them not eating as much as they should of. Actually, milk is a real treat to intestinal worms.

Nowadays, doctors recommend allopathic treatments because they are stronger and quicker than natural remedies. However, if parasites reappear at subsequent tests, medication may be too much for the child's body and natural remedies are preferred.

Besides their role as an adjunct in the pinworm treatment, herbal remedies are best used a prevention method.

Herbal pinworm treatment

1. Garlic is a great ally against intestinal parasites.

I know about the legendary vermifuge property of garlic since childhood, when my mother kept telling me "Eat, garlic will help you get rid of worms!”

Most times, this argument didn't convince me to eat it, because I hated the taste and smell of garlic. Whew, what child did not? To trick me, my mother tried to hide the garlic in my dishes, but she didn't always succeed.

The way garlic works is it contains certain substances which make worms "dizzy" so they no longer oppose the movements of the digestive tract that moves them to the rectum, and remove them.

All the garlic relatives have vermifuge properties, so eat plenty of onions and leeks. In the spring, if you find Ramsons in the forest, you can eat raw in salads.

2. Pumpkin seeds and extracts immobilize and expel intestinal worms and other parasites.

I heard opinions that pumpkin seeds are too powerful for the baby's liver, and that they should be given only to children older than 5 years of age. But I think the effort liver puts in pumpkin seeds digestion no way compares to the metabolization of pinworm drugs.

For children over 2 years take 40-50 seeds every day. We can eat even a handful of raw seeds, for a week, as breakfast. It is a very good snack, so it will feel like a delight, and not a "treatment".

Eat raw seeds (not roasted) or oil-based pumpkin supplements. Cold-pressed pumpkin oil is also excellent. Take a teaspoon in the morning on an empty stomach. It's not very pleasant to taste.

The active substances of pumpkin seeds don't kill the pinworms, but they rather paralyze them. It is therefore recommended that you eat laxative foods after the seeds.

Fiber rich seeds will help sweep the intestines contents too. Add psyllium husk to the recipes. They will quickly absorb excess water and stimulate normal bowel elimination.

3. Thyme has a volatile oil rich in thymol which is good natural pinworm treatment.

You can take thyme as a tea or tincture. Adults can take 40-50 drops of tincture once a day and children 20-30 drops, once a day.

A powerful combination of natural remedies for pinworms is thyme tea or thyme oil and pumpkin seed oil or plain pumpkin seeds.

You don't have to use thyme only in tea. Use it in dishes together with other spices effective against pinworms like basil, oregano, cinnamon or anise.

4. Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) is a powerful and effective plant against intestinal worms and parasites. It releases toxic substances for them.

Give the children 25 ml (1 oz) of wormwood tea in the morning, on an empty stomach, for 10 days. Adults can drink 1 cup of wormwood tea or two tablespoons of wormwood tincture, daily for 14 days.

Another way to take wormwood is to mix crushed dried wormwood in a little honey, and eat it in the morning, before breakfast. For children, don't exceed 5 g per day, on an empty stomach, for 10 days. This amount is not toxic or dangerous.

During this period, you need to exclude milk, rice and sweets from your diet.

Other foods with vermifuge effects that you can include in your children’s diet are carrots, cabbage, watercress, parsley, dill, rhubarb, lemons, strawberries, walnuts, prunes and fish.

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