23 Home Remedies for Tapeworms
Many people think tapeworms only affect animals, specifically pigs and cows. Whilst the infection is most common in these animals it can also affect human. Although, it’s estimated that there are fewer than 1,00 tapeworm cases in humans each year. While rare, tapeworms do happen but home remedies for tapeworms can help.
Tapeworms are flat, parasitic worms that can live and grow in your gut. You can get a tapeworm infection from eating undercooked or raw meat from an animal which had the condition.
The infection can also affect cats and dogs, although they rarely pass on the infection to humans. Your cat or dog is most likely to pick up the infection by eating a contaminated flea.
Symptoms of Tapeworms in Humans
If you consume food or water contaminated with a tapeworm or its eggs, the parasite is able to travel to your intestines where it will cause a range of different symptoms. Many tapeworm infections go undiagnosed because symptoms don’t always appear and if they do, they’re often very mild. If you do experience symptoms they’ll likely include some of the following. If any of these symptoms last for more than a few days, see a doctor to get properly diagnosed. Some of the most common symptoms are below.
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Weakness or dizziness
- Abnormal weight loss
Tapeworms usually travel to the intestines and stay in your gut, but they can also move to other areas of the body where they can cause organ and tissue damage. These cases are rare and are known as an invasive infection. If this happens you may experience other symptoms such as seizures, headaches, or cysts.
If you develop a cyst as a result of an invasive infection and it ruptures you may also experience symptoms similar to an allergic reaction, such as hives or itchy skin. Whether your symptoms are mild or extreme, it is best to see a doctor before using home remedies for tapeworms.
Home Remedies for Tapeworms
Papaya seeds can be used to infuse tea and can then be drunk to improve digestion and so help fight a tapeworm infection. Drinking a cup of papaya tea each day for two weeks should help to clear up the infection.
Pumpkin is one of the most common home remedies for tapeworms as it can be used in a variety of ways. Their seeds make a tasty snack and work as an anthelmintic, meaning they help to expel the parasite from your gut. It’s also thought that eating more pumpkin could also help flush the parasite out as well as removing any eggs or larvae to prevent more worms from developing.
Pineapple is a tropical fruit which is often considered to have benefits as a home remedy for tapeworms. This is because pineapple can be used as a diuretic and contains enzymes which can break down and destroy tapeworms. Eating a portion of raw pineapple each day for three days should help to expel the tapeworm from your gut.
Butternut sometimes referred to as white walnut, has often been used in traditional home remedies for tapeworm. The nut produces an oil which kills tapeworms, while the bark of the butternut tree is also beneficial. This is because it contains antiparasitic compounds and has laxative properties, helping your body to kill and flush out the tapeworm.
Raw garlic and the oils it produces contain allicin which has antiseptic properties. This makes garlic a great home remedy for tapeworms. Try simply chewing on three cloves of garlic each morning. Remember to brush your teeth thoroughly afterward or gargle with mouthwash to remove the smell!
Alternatively, you could also boil some crushed garlic in a saucepan of milk, allow it to cool and drink it. Continue with either of these methods for up to a week and your tapeworms should pass.
Studies have shown that cloves have anthelmintic properties which makes them highly effective at combating tapeworms. In fact, some studies suggest that they may be even more potent against the infection than garlic.
To use cloves in a home remedy for tapeworm, crush a few cloves to create a powder and add a heaped teaspoon of that powder to some hot water. Let it brew for about ten minutes before allowing it to cool so that you can drink it. This will help kill any tapeworms or eggs currently in your gut.
Buy Good Quality Meat
Well-established brands and meat suppliers are more likely to have a robust quality check in place. These checks will usually incorporate best practices designed to minimize the risk of contamination by tapeworm or their larvae.
Cook Meat Thoroughly
Beef, pork, and fish are the most common sources of tapeworm infection in humans, but any meat could carry a potential infection so it’s important to cook all meat well. Make sure you always cook meat at the recommended temperature for the advised time.
Fish should become opaque in color while meat should be cooked until the juices run clear. Ideally, it should no longer be pink either if it’s cooked all the way through. You can use a thermometer to check that the meat is fully cooked at its thickest point.
You should also take care to prevent cross-contamination when handling food by keeping cooked, ready-to-eat meat separate from the raw meat. Make sure the two are not mixed at any time.
Tapeworm larvae and eggs can’t survive properly at extremely low temperatures. This is why the National Health Service suggests that you freeze fish and meat at a temperature lower than 10°C or 14°F for at least 48 hours and defrost before eating.
Wash Up Properly
Washing your hands properly, especially after you go to the toilet and practicing good hygiene is also key to preventing any infection from spreading – including tapeworm. Make sure you wash your hand thoroughly before and after handling food, especially raw meat.
When drinking canned or bottled drinks you’re best pouring the drink into a glass of using a straw as this will help prevent the spread of tapeworm. Containers like bottles and cans may become contaminated depending on where they are stored and eggs or larvae may stay on the rims, which could then be consumed when you drink directly from the container.
Take Precautions When Traveling
If you’re visiting places which have a high risk of tapeworm infestations, like some developing countries, you should take extra precautions. Tap water may be contaminated which makes it far easier for tapeworm to spread. Therefore, you should follow these habits when traveling in high-risk areas.
- Drink bottled water (using a straw for extra caution)
- Boil fresh water before drinking
- Avoid raw fruit, vegetables, and especially raw meat
- Ensure all meat and fish has been thoroughly cooked (ideally in a hygienic kitchen)
To learn how to purify your water at home (or on the go), you can also read our article How to Purify Water.
Avoid Pork Products
Pork is one of the meats most prone to carrying parasites and worms, as pigs are not particularly picky about what they eat. Eating lots of pork products can, therefore, increase your risk of infection so it’s a good idea to limit your intake.
Consuming big salads, fresh juices, soups, or smoothies made with organic greens is a great way to prevent and tackle a tapeworm infection. This is because they are less likely to be contaminated than non-organic products and will have a boosting effect on your immune system. As a result, they can strengthen your immune system against the parasitic tapeworm.
Cut Back on Added Sugar
Sugar and grains can cause an imbalance in your gut and cause inflammation. This can negatively impact any parasitic cleanse that you try to achieve in order to treat your tapeworm infection. If you are trying to treat a tapeworm infection at home you might be better off cutting added sugar from your diet until the infection clears.
Avoid Refined Carbohydrates and Grains
Grains containing wheat or gluten can break down into sugars very quickly. This can cause a lot of intestinal inflammation which isn’t ideal in any case, but especially not if you’re trying to cleanse your body of parasitic tapeworms.
Chia seeds are a rich source of fiber and protein, both of which are needed for proper digestive and intestinal function. Eating a handful of chia seeds each day could, therefore, promote healthier digestion and make it easier to expel the tapeworm from your system.
Flax seeds are another great source of fiber and protein. This means that eating small portions of flax seeds or including them in your breakfast cereal or porridge could help make it easier to pass a tapeworm by improving your digestion.
For another great source of fiber and protein, you could try a bone broth. Boil healthy animal bones for several hours to make a meaty broth that’s full of protein and fiber and could really help when trying to pass a tapeworm.
Consuming probiotic foods like yogurt can improve the health of your gut and a healthy gut is more able to expel infections and parasites.
Drinking enough water keeps your body hydrated and helps to flush any bacteria or parasites from your body. By drinking plenty of water each day you make it easier to flush tapeworms, eggs, and larvae from your gut.
Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
When killing parasites like tapeworms, food-grade DE is a great home remedy. DE is a natural way to remove tapeworms from your body, but you need to make sure you only use it in its food-grade form.
Simply take a teaspoon a day, gradually increasing your intake until you’re taking one to two tablespoons each day. Add the DE to a glass of water and drink it. You should also follow up by drinking another glass of fresh water. Doing this for a week should kill any tapeworms in your system, but many recommend that you continue these methods for two weeks in total, just to be sure.
This method works by dehydrating the tapeworms in your system. It’s also toxic to the tapeworm. Many people find that they feel fatigued or weak when using this home remedy but this is just a part of the recovery process. Make sure you drink plenty of water on the days where you use this method so that you don’t become dehydrated and your body can easily flush out the parasites.
Coconut is a home remedy gift that just keeps on giving! It’s rich in fiber, vitamins, iron, calcium, and magnesium just to name a few. The oil is also rich in medium fatty acids which are easily absorbed by the body to get rid of parasites. Not only will the oil help remove existing parasites from your body, but it’ll also prevent any new parasite developing.
To use this home remedy to the best advantage, add a tablespoon of coconut oil to a glass of water (the oil will float on top), stir well and drink. You can then drink another glass of fresh water to balance out the taste and to help flush the tapeworm out of your gut. You could also try adding the oil to your tea as another way to consume it.
Which of these home remedies for tapeworms will you try? Comment below!
Tapeworm picture by Morgana Das Murtey and Patchamuthu Ramasamy.