Once in your system, a tapeworm may reach up to 50 feet in length. It’s possible to have tapeworms without experiencing any symptoms, but if the worms migrate from the intestines (where they originate) to other areas in the body, they may cause serious damage to organs and tissue, advises the Mayo Clinic. Tapeworm diagnosis may involve physically inspecting the feces for worm segments or providing a stool sample for laboratory testing. Once diagnosed, you may use herbal treatments to get rid of tapeworms, with your doctor’s approval.
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Popular in food seasoning, garlic is an ancient remedy for killing tapeworms. Wellsphere.com reports that Greeks, Hindus and Babylonians are among the ancient civilizations that used garlic to get rid of intestinal worms. Add fresh garlic to your food or take garlic oil capsules as recommended on the package.
The "Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine" reports that additional herbal spices may be beneficial in destroying tapeworms in the intestines. These include cloves, ginger, orange peel, onion, sage and fennel. Add these herbs to your foods to fight ongoing infestations and to prevent recurring tapeworm infections.
Some herbs aren’t suitable for flavoring foods but they may still be beneficial in killing tapeworms. Most of these herbs are available from health food stores in tea form or as supplements. Follow the manufacturer’s dosage instructions. Although the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not extensively test most herbal remedies, some may contain substances that produce side effects, especially if you have allergies or if you’re currently taking medication. Consult a certified herbalist or a doctor of naturopathy before exceeding the recommended dosage on any herbal remedy and discontinue use if you experience side effects.
Among the herbal teas and supplements that may kill tapeworms, "Gale" lists bayberry bark, black walnut bark, goldenseal, citrin, butternut root bark, palmarosa, tansy, wormwood, wood betony and pinkroot.
After three or four days of using herbal treatments to kill tapeworms in the intestines, your herbalist may recommend an expellant to flush the dead parasites from your system. The juice from the aloe vera plant may produce a laxative effect, helping you empty your intestines and colon, along with the dead tapeworms. Prune juice may have a similar effect.
If you’re pregnant, do not use herbal remedies to kill or to expel tapeworms without your doctor’s approval. In addition, if the tapeworms have migrated to other areas in your body, herbal remedies may not be effective and you should seek medical advice.