Nan Gua Zi – Pumpkin seed (with husk) – “Southern Melon Seeds”

Nature: sweet, neutral

Enters: Stomach, Large Intestine

Actions: Kills parasites (tapeworms [paralyzes the mid-section and tail], roundworms, schistosomes); benefits postpartum fluid metabolism.


• Tapeworms: take 60g (to 120g) powdered pumpkin seed with water. 2 hours later, take a decoction of 60-120g Bing lang. 30 minutes later, take 15g Mang xiao (uncooked) with water.
• Postpartum fluid metabolism dysfunction: swelling of hands and feet, also insufficient lactation.
Michael & Leslie Tierra: Effective for benign prostatic hypertrophy.
John Christopher: Anthelmintic (taeniafuge, vermifuge) [roundworms and tapeworms],
diuretic, nutritive; also for renal problems (urinary).
IBIS: Vermifuge, diuretic, nutritive.
• Dosage of raw seeds: 200-400 g (Weiss, p. 120).
• Therapy: parasites, nausea, motion sickness, benign prostatic hypertrophy.

Dose: 30-60 grams

Lei Wan – Omphalia sclerotium / Polyporus mylittae / “Thunder Ball”

Nature: bitter, cold, slightly toxic

Enters: Large Intestine, Stomach

Actions: Kills parasites (primarily tapeworms, but also hookworms, roundworms).


• For tapeworms, the herb can be taken alone, at a dose of 12-18g powder, 3 times daily with water, after meals.
• The herb must be crushed.
• The herb is less effective when cooked, and is therefore usually taken in pills and powders.
Heiner Freuhauf: A Sha Chong (kill worms or parasites) herb, important in Gu Zheng (Gu parasites) formulas.

Dose: 6-9 grams (or 12-18g taken alone as powder)

Ku Lian Pi / Ku Lian Gen Pi – Melia root bark / China Tree root bark

Nature: bitter, slightly toxic, cold

Enters: Liver, Spleen

Actions: Strongly kills parasites and fungi (particularly roundworms, hookworms, pinworms, vaginal trichomonas, scalp fungus, scabies).


• Scabies: mix with vinegar and apply topically.
• Pinworms: use as enema and anal wash with Bai bu, Wu mei.
• Roundworms, hookworms: combine with Bing lang.
• Use as a wash for fungal infections. Alcohol extractions of the herb are much more effective against dermatomycoses than are water extractions.
• Contraindicated with hepatic disease. Caution with weak constitution, with a history of gastric or peptic ulcers, or in any patient in whom vomiting would be disastrous (e.g. when there are esophageal varices).

• The bark of the stem of this plant (Ku lian mu pi) has similar effects, but is weaker.

Dose: 1-15 grams (up to 60g alone)

Fei Zi – Torreya seed

Nature: sweet, astringent, neutral

Enters: Large Intestine, Lung, Stomach

Actions: Kills parasites (various intestinal, including tapeworm, hookworm, pinworm, roundworm); moistens the Lungs, stops coughing; mild laxative.


• Hookworms: with Bai bu.
• Roundworms: with Shi jun zi.
• Pinworms: with Bian xu.
• Tapeworms: with Bing lang.
• Lung dryness: mild cough.
• This is a safe, non-toxic herb, and it does not harm the stomach Qi.
• Most effective when dry-fried and taken directly (rather than in

Dose: 9-15g (up to 30g or more)

Bing Lang – Betel nut / Areca seed

Nature: bitter, acrid, warm

Enters: Stomach, Large Intestine

Actions: Kills parasites (particularly tapeworms [pig], and also hookworms, pinworms, roundworms, flukes, Fasciolopsis); reduces accumulation, eliminates food retention; regulates Qi, promotes Qi circulation; promotes urination; slightly promotes bowel movement..

• Parasitic infection. This does not kill tapeworms, but paralyzes the head and upper body. It is often combined with Nan gua zi, which paralyzes the rear end of the tapeworm. Since this herb has a slight action to promote bowel movement, it does not need to be combined with a purgative to expel the parasites.
• Food retention and Qi stagnation in the stomach and large intestine: distention, constipation.
• Retention of harmful fluid: edema, swollen and painful legs.
• Malarial disorders.
• This herb can be drunk at a cool temperature to reduce the possibility of side effects.
• For best results against parasites, soak the herb in water for a few hours before decocting.
• This herb is an enormously popular recreational drug in India (mixed with burnt lime, areca leaf, and other additives and flavorings which may alter its effect): stimulates cholinergic receptors, especially those causing salivation; possible aphrodisiac; stimulates peristalsis, bronchoconstriction, bradycardia. Habitual use increases the appetite, diminishes the sense of taste, may cause diarrhea, increases risk of periodontal disease, and stains the oral cavity red.
Heiner Freuhauf: A Sha Chong (kill worms or parasites) herb, important in Gu Zheng (Gu parasites) formulas.
Dui Yao (Phillipe Sionneau): Breaks and downbears the Qi.
• With Mu xiang to move the Qi, disperse food stagnation, and stop pain.
For such indications as:

1. Lack of appetite, abdominal and epigastric distention and pain
aggravated by pressure, difficult defecation or dry stools due to food
stagnation in the stomach and intestines. (Bing lang should be stir-fried
until scorched.)
2. Dysentery or diarrhea with tenesmus and abdominal pain due to Qi
stagnation. (Use scorched Bing lang and roasted Mu xiang.)
3. Constipation or difficult defecation due to Qi stagnation. (Use
scorched Bing lang.)
• With Nan gua zi to expel tapeworms (and other intestinal parasites). For this indication, 15-100g Bing lang and 30-120g Nan gua zi are used. Two hours after drinking a decoction of these two herbs for tapeworm, a decoction of 10-20g Da huang is taken.

Hong-Yen Hsu (Oriental Materia Medica): Antiviral, antifungal; antimydriatic effect; stimulates parasympathetic nervous system; stimulates intestinal peristalsis.

Dose: 6-12g (60-120g alone for tapeworms)

Herbs that Kill Parasites (notes for this category)

• These herbs should be taken on an empty stomach so the parasites are hungry.
• Temporarily discontinue herbs if a patient develops a fever or severe abdominal pain.
• The non-purgative herbs in this category usually combined with a purgative to discharge the dead parasites.
• Other anti-parasitic herbs to consider: da suan, chuan lian zi, hua jiao, lu hui, ku shen, bai bu, wu me, shi liu pi,
xiong huang, xian he cao, bian xu, more…

Also see Heiner Freuhauf’s discussion and list of herbs for the complex concept of “Gu” parasites, which encompasses a broader range of potential infectious agents and difficult-to-diagnose conditions.

Here are some interesting notes on treating parasites from John Christopher (“old school” 20th century Western herbalist) from “The School of Natural Healing”:

The three most common types of worms found in the body (in the West) are: the thread or seat worms (Oxyuris vermicularis), the round worms (Ascaris lumbricoides-lumbrici), and the tape worms (Taeince-Taenia solium, bothriocephalus latus). There are also other less-common worm types that enter the body, such as hook worms for which thymol [from essential oil of Thyme] and oil of Chenopodium duodenale (American Wormseed) are specifics, and those of unclean pork, etc., which thrive on toxic conditions in the body.

The thread or seat worm is rather easily destroyed or expelled because it is usually found in the lower bowel and does
not adhere to the intestinal wall. Herbs such as cathartics, astringents, Aloes, Quassia, Calumba, apple cider vinegar,
etc., are effective against these intestinal vermin.

The roundworm is most likely to be found in and often clinging to the intestinal wall, and can cause considerable harm
and physical discomfort, especially to children. If roundworms are not checked, they may increase to the point that
they enter the stomach, and even travel up the esophagus to the pharynx, with most unpleasant and upsetting results.
You can see roundworms in the stools, and you can also know you have them because they greatly disturb the balance
of the stomach. The anthelmintic herbs are particularly useful and beneficial to eliminate roundworms and tapeworms.
The anthelmintic agents are classed as to their action against the worm parasites: Vermifuges cause the expulsion of
worms from the body. Vermicides kill worms in the body. Taeniafuges cause the expulsion of tapeworms from the
body. Taeniacides kill tapeworms in the body.

The difference in the action of a worm medicine often depends on the medicinal dosage and how soon after
administration the bowels are moved – thus a large dose of an anthelmintic, if it remains in the intestine, will destroy,
while a smaller dose will merely expel the worm. Almost all anthelmintics are potent and must be respected as such;
and concentrated preparations must always be used in wisdom. Generally, in the case of thread or seat worms, an
enema is sufficient; and, in the case of round worms, follow the following procedure:

Go on a three day cleanse/fast drinking only one type of juice and distilled water and take the anthelmintic morning
and night, preferably with Wormwood. On the morning of the fourth day, drink 6-8 ounces of Senna [Fan xie ye] tea alone to cleanse and purge the bowel of the parasites (other suitable cathartics are also acceptable).

The tapeworm is somewhat more obstinate, but the foregoing procedure will also work, using Male Fern [Guan zhong]
or Pomegranate [Shi Liu Pi, Shi Liu Gen Pi] as the anthelmintic. Continue taking the remedy a few days after the
worm sections have ceased to pass, and use Lobelia along with an antibilious cathartic.

[Dr. Shook:] Doctors generally have the patient fast for a day or two before taking tapeworm remedies, but this is
unnecessary, because the worm, being a parasite, cannot be starved. This only makes the patient feel weak and
nauseated, and when he finally takes the medicine on a starved stomach, he may throw it up. A far better way, from
our experience, is to advise the patient to eat, for a day or so, foods the tapeworm dislikes, such as onions, garlic,
pickles, and salted fish. This weakens the worm and tends to loosen its grip, so that when the medicine is taken, the
tapeworm can be expelled more easily.

Guan Zhong / Mian Ma Guan Zhong / Dryopteris crassirhizoma root & rhizome OR Woodwardia OR Osmunda OR Matteuccia (or other plants) / Shield Fern

bitter, slightly cold

Enters: Liver, Spleen

Actions: Kills parasites (lice and various intestinal parasites, including hookworms, roundworms, tapeworms, pinworms); clears heat; eliminates toxicity; cools the blood; stops bleeding (charred).

• Heat in the blood: rashes, eruptions, epistaxis, hematemesis, hemafecia, and especially uterine bleeding. The herb should be charred when used to stop bleeding.
• Heat and toxicity: mumps, epidemic disease, sores.
• Wind-heat EPI.
• Also for alopecia, head sores.
• Antiviral: influenza. Dryopteris (Dong bei guan zhong) has been taken as a preventive measure during flu epidemics. Currently used as a preventative in formulas for corona virus.
• Stimulates contraction of uterus. Used in post-partum, post-miscarriage, and post-surgical uterine bleeding.
• Do not take with fatty food: one toxic component (filmarone) is usually not absorbed from the GI tract unless the herb is taken with a very fatty meal.
John Christopher: Anthelmintic (taeniafuge, vermifuge), astringent, tonic, vulnerary.
• Tapeworms, roundworms, seat worms, pinworms.
• Wounds, rickets.

Dose: 6-15g

Shi Jun Zi – Rangoon Creeper fruit with seeds – Quisqualis – “Envoy Seeds”

Nature: sweet, warm

Enters: Stomach, Spleen

Actions: Kills parasites (particularly roundworms); eliminates food retention; strengthens the spleen; dissolves accumulations.


• Roundworms or malnutrition in children due to improper diet, weak constitution: abdominal distention, poor appetite. If roundworms are severe, this herb can be combined with Bing lang.
• Common side effects: nausea, vomiting, belching
• To reduce the herb’s toxicity, dry fry it until it is aromatic.
• Traditionally, this herb is not to be taken with hot tea (may lead to diarrhea and belching).
• Sources differ on dosage guidelines:
Liu: One piece per day for no more than 20 days (may discontinue for a week and then resume administration).
Bensky and Gamble: 1 piece per year of age, per day, not to exceed 20 pieces per day.
Li: No more than 12 pieces per day.

Dose: 4.5-12g