Pinworms are a type of intestinal parasite located in the gastrointestinal system, and more specifically in the large intestine and rectal area. One gets a pinworm infection when they swallow the eggs, which then hatch inside the digestive tract. Typically, the female worms will exit the intestines and lay eggs in the anal region. This is what creates the characteristic itching sensation that accompanies a pinworm infestation.
It is important to note that pinworms spread rather fast. This is because when one itches, the eggs tend to get stuck in the fingernails, after which the eggs are spread whenever one comes into contact with other things. The most common way through which one gets a pinworm infection is the handling of contaminated items such as bedding, food, and even contact of the nails with the mouth .
The fact that the eggs survive up to 10 days makes it easier to spread the infection. For this reason, it is more prevalent in young kids. Some of the symptoms that accompany the infection include severe itching, distorted sleep patterns, irritability and general body fatigue. Mild parasitic infections of this nature may not need any medical treatment, in which case there are a handful of natural remedies that are available for the home treatment of pinworms.
1. Raw Garlic:
Time Required: 30 Min
What You Need: 3 Cloves of raw garlic, pestle and mortar and 1 glass of warm water (optional).
Raw garlic has long been used as a great remedy for a host of conditions, which is why it is recommended for treating a pinworm infection. In this treatment, the garlic works against the egg-laying parasites, thanks to the presence of sulfur compounds in the garlic. Additionally, the antimicrobial properties present in garlic create a hostile environment for harmful microorganism to survive, making it difficult for the infection to spread with ease.
- Peel the garlic cloves and wash well.
- Chop the garlic into sizable pieces and proceed to crush using the pestle and mortar.
- Transfer the garlic paste you crushed into the glass and pour the warm water over it.
- Let the mixture steep for a few minutes before drinking it.
2. Pumpkin Seeds:
Time Required: 1 Hr
What You Need: 2 Tablespoons of dried pumpkin seeds, grinder, 2 cups of boiling water and honey (optional).
Research studies indicate that pumpkin seeds make for an excellent home remedy in the management of pinworm infections. This healing power has been attributed to the presence of a compound known as cucurbitacin whose ability to destroy the parasites makes it an ideal home remedy. The compound works by destroying the functionality of the pinworms so that they are not able to latch onto the walls of the intestine. This way, the infection lasts a short while and clears faster provided proper hygiene is observed. Honey is added to compliment the seeds’ healing properties, as well as to sweeten the remedy naturally.
- Put the seeds in the grinder and turn on to crush so that you have a coarse powder.
- Place the crushed seeds in the boiling water and allow to steep for at least half an hour.
- Let the mixture cool down before you can sieve it (this is optional since some people prefer to drink it as it is).
- Use this remedy at least twice daily for the best results.
NOTE: This remedy is most effective when the mixture is taken on an empty stomach, so you may either do this first thing in the morning, or you may opt to take the remedy after a period of fasting. The idea here is to allow for the remedy’s quick action without it getting encumbered by food in the digestive tract.
3. The Bark From a Pomegranate Tree:
Time Required: 1 Hr
What You Need: 1 Piece of the pomegranate bark (approximately 5 cm long), 1 cup of water and choice fruit such as bananas. Alternatively, get the pomegranate fruits themselves.
Pomegranates are a delicious category of fruits, but did you know that the tree’s back can actually be used to treat a pinworm infection? This is because the compounds present in the bark (as well as the roots and stems) are highly anti-parasitic, therefore effective for the treatment of the infection. In addition to this, a compound known as punicine helps destroy the worms as it creates a toxic compound that ensures the worms do not survive.
For this remedy, you will need about 5 cm of the bark (this is approximately 2 inches long). The banana is added to the remedy to aid in bowel movement so that he elimination of the pinworms is faster and more effective. Note too, that for kids, the remedy administered should be half of that indicated in the directions below so that it does not overburden their digestive systems.
- Place the pomegranate tree bark in a pan and pour the water over it.
- Bring the mixture to boil so that you are left with just about half of the initial volume of water.
- Let the mixture cool before removing the bark.
- Drink the remedy at least thrice daily (or after every 2 hours if you can).
- Follow this up with your choice fruit (preferably one that firms up stool and makes it easy to pass. Bananas are a popular choice and avocados work just as well).
- Use this remedy for a couple of days to get rid of the pinworm infection.
4. Raw PawPaw:
Time Required: 45 Min
What You Need: Raw pawpaw (you may use the fruit pulp or the seeds), 1 tablespoon of honey, 1/2 glass of hot water, 1 glass of hot milk mixed with 2 tablespoons of castor oil. Alternatively, use dried pawpaw seeds, grinder, 1 cup of coconut milk, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and the fruit’s pulp.
Raw pawpaw is a popular home remedy for diverse diseases, and this is because it is rich in papain. Papain is an enzyme whose anti-parasitic nature destroys the pinworms, thus leading to their expulsion. Research has also indicated that the presence of caricin in the pawpaw helps eliminate the pinworms from the digestive tract, reducing the duration of infection. It is also important for you to note that for the most effective option in this remedy, raw pawpaw is that which has started changing its color, from green to yellow. It is not a fully ripe pawpaw, so it may not be as easy to get the pulp, but works amazingly well if you have a pinworm infection.
Using the crushed Pawpaw Seeds
- Place the dried pawpaw seeds in a grinder to crush and get a coarse powder.
- Add the powder to the coconut oil and coconut milk and stir well.
- Transfer the mixture to the blender alongside chinks of the fruit.
- Blend to get a smoothie.
- When ready, add 1 tablespoon of honey, stir and enjoy.
- Use this remedy at least once daily (preferably first thing in the morning on an empty stomach).
Using pulp from the Raw Pawpaw
- Get the pulp of the raw pawpaw and remove the seeds.
- Strain the pulp to get the pawpaw juice. You will need 1 tablespoon for this.
- Add the juice to the honey and stir before pouring in 1/4 cup of hot water.
- Sip on this mixture (preferably on an empty stomach).
- After 2 hours, take the milk + castor oil mixture to compliment the remedy’s benefits and enhance bowel movement.
- Follow the remedy twice daily for best results.
5. Garlic and Coconut Oil Mixture:
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Crushed garlic, coconut oil, mason jar and sterile cotton wool or Q-tip.
Garlic and coconut oil, separately, have been shown to aid the treatment of pinworm infections. When combined, you get one of the most reliable home remedies for getting rid of the infection. The garlic, as mentioned above, contains allicin, a potent sulfur compound that helps destroy the pinworms.
The coconut oil on the other hand, destroys any chances of the pinworms laying eggs in the anal region. This synergistic effect makes this an ideal home remedy. Note that if you would like a more potent remedy, allow the mixture in the mason jar to sit in a warm place prior to application. This remedy is best used topically as indicated in the directions below.
- Place the crushed garlic in the mason jar before adding the coconut oil. (You may need to warm the coconut oil before applying the remedy as the oil has a tendency to solidify in cool temperatures.)
- Dip the cotton wool or Q-tip in the mixture and apply carefully on the anus. This acts locally be preventing the pinworms from laying eggs there while destroying any eggs that may be present. Be careful as you do this to avoid contamination, which in turn spreads the infection.
- Use this remedy twice daily, and preferably at bedtime to reduce the nocturnal discomfort as the female pinworms try to lay their eggs.
Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1 Teaspoon of clove powder (you may use fresh clove powder) and 1 cup of hot water).
Cloves are yet another great option for the home treatment of pinworm infections. Their excellent anti-parasitic properties go a long way in destroying the laid eggs and killing the worms found in the body. Regular use of cloves has been shown to prevent future infections. For the most effective remedy, it is advisable to use freshly ground clove powder.
- Place the ground clove in a cup and pour hot water over it.
- Allow the mixture to steep for 15 minutes before drinking it.
- Use this remedy thrice daily for about 10 days to eliminate the infection.
7. Raw Onion:
Time Required: 25 Min
What You Need: Raw onions, clean piece of cloth, a string and cotton wool.
Onions are recommended for the treatment of pinworm infection as they work in pretty much the same way as garlic cloves. The compounds released in the onion juice destroy the worms as well as make the environment less conducive for the eggs to hatch. The best way to benefit from this remedy is to use it topically. By applying the juice directly on the anal region for about a week, you should start noting improvements and less itching before the infection eventually clears.
- Peel the onion and chop it into small pieces.
- Transfer the chopped onion to the small cloth and tie opposite ends with the help of the string.
- Tug the cloth in opposite directions to create opposing forces that helps release the juice.
- Soak the cotton wool in the juice and apply in the anal region.
- Use this remedy twice daily until the infection clears.
8. Observe Hygiene:
Time Required: Varies
What You Need: Cleanliness in your environment.
One of the golden rules in managing a pinworm infection is to ensure cleanliness. This not only eliminates the infection, it also helps ensure that the chances of re-infection are reduced dramatically. In fact, if even one family member is infected, it is paramount for everyone to use the natural remedies recommended above. Hygiene must be observed strictly. Below are some of the ways to do this.
- Make sure you wash all the bedding in the household, preferably in hot water.
- Items of personal nature such as underwear and towels must not be shared. It is also advisable to wash hand towels on a regular basis.
- Clean surfaces (especially kitchen and bathroom surfaces) regularly.
- Teach the young kids to avoid biting nails, and more importantly, to wash their hands after every toilet visit. In addition to this, it helps to maintain short nails for hygiene purposes.
- Wash the genital and anal regions well using soap and water everyday. This is key for small children as they are more predisposed to pinworm infections.
- Lastly, make sure that the kids are not running around naked as this allows them to come into contact with unhygienic surfaces, hence the risk of infections.