Hookworm disease, a roundworm infestation, usually targets your lungs and small intestines. The National Center for Biotechnology Information reports that the worms are approximately half an inch long, and that this condition commonly occurs in people living in moist tropical or subtropical regions of the world. The Center states that this condition affects more than 1 billion people throughout the world. Certain herbs may be a helpful adjunct therapy in treating this condition. However, the use of herbal remedies should always be discussed with a knowledgeable health care professional beforehand.
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease states that hookworm disease is one of the most frequently experienced parasitic roundworm infections of your intestines. Common signs and symptoms associated with hookworm disease include mild abdominal pain or discomfort, intestinal cramps, colic, nausea and diarrhea that begins once the worms mature in your intestines. You may also notice the worms' eggs in your stool. In later stages of this disease, you may suffer severe anemia, or decreased red blood cells in your body.
Herbal Home Remedies
In her book "Herbal Medicine From the Heart of the Earth," naturopathic physician and expert herbalist Sharol Tilgner states that some herbs may possess anti-parasitic action, or the ability to destroy parasites. Examples of herbs with anti-parasitic action include fresh black walnut, clove, elecampane, garlic, rue and wormwood. Herbs that may be helpful in treating many types of worms, including hookworms, include cascara sagrada, ficus, gentian root, mugwort, slippery elm and thyme. Antiparasitic herbs should be used in combination with other, more conventional treatments for this condition.
A Commonly Used Remedy
Wormwood may be a commonly used remedy in the treatment of hookworm and other parasitic infestations. According to Phyllis A. Balch, a certified nutritional consultant and author of "Prescription for Nutritional Healing," wormwood has historically been used to eliminate worms, boost stomach acidity and reduce fever. Naturopathic physician William A. Mitchell Jr., author of "Plant Medicine in Practice," states that wormwood is an anthelmenthic, or an herbal agent that may be destructive to worms and intestinal parasites. Talk with your doctor about the efficacy of this herb before using it to treat your ailments.
Although some herbs may be a helpful adjunct treatment for worms and parasites, not all herbs may be appropriate for you and your condition. Tilgner notes that antiparasitic or anthelmenthic herbs may be toxic in humans if used in excess, and that they should always be used under the supervision of a qualified health care professional. The National Center for Biotechnology Information states that there are three serious health complications associated with hookworm disease: anemia, ascites and nutritional deficiencies. Discuss all possible treatment methods with your doctor before using herbal remedies so that you might avoid serious health complications.
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Hookworm
- National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease: Hookworm
- "Herbal Medicine From the Heart of the Earth"; Sharol Tilgner, N.D.; 1999
- "Prescription for Nutritional Healing"; Phyllis A. Balch, CNC; 2010