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.