Preparations derived from plants were the original therapeutic interventions used by man to control diseases (including parasites), both within humans and livestock. Development of herbal products depended upon local botanical flora with the result that different remedies tended to develop in different parts of the world. Nevertheless, in some instances, the same or related plants were used over wide geographic regions, which also was the result of communication and/or the importation of plant material of high repute. Thus, the Nordic countries have an ancient, rich and diverse history of plant derived anthelmintic medications for human and animal use. Although some of the more commonly used herbal de-dormers were derived from imported plants, or their products, many are from endemic plants or those that thrive in the Scandinavian environment. With the advent of the modern chemotherapeutic era, and the discovery, development and marketing of a seemingly unlimited variety of highly efficacious, safe synthetic chemicals with very wide spectra of activities, herbal remedies virtually disappeared from the consciousness – at least in the Western world. This attitude is now rapidly changing. There is a widespread resurgence in natural product medication, driven by major threats posed by multi-resistant pest, or disease, organisms and the diminishing public perceptions that synthetic chemicals are the panacea to health and disease control. This review attempts to provide a comprehensive account of the depth of historical Nordic information available on herbal de-warmers, with emphasis on livestock and to provide some insights on potentially rewarding areas of “re-discovery” and scientific evaluation in this field.
5 Top Herbs to Kill Parasites Naturally
With the help of top parasite-killing herbs like triphala and vidanga, you can finally get rid of the health-robbing critters.
Moreover, by combining herbs, you can take advantage of their different modes of action. For example, one may interfere with parasites’ energy production, while another may attack the critters’ nervous system.
The herbs also typically come with various side benefits, such as supporting your immune system, improving bile flow, and aiding healthy elimination.
Read on to learn more about what it takes to get rid of parasites and how 5 top herbs help kill them naturally.
Can a Parasitic Infection Go Away on Its Own?
Some parasitic infections might go away without medical treatment. This is assuming that you have good health and that your immune system immediately steps in. Your genetics may also play a role in your ability to battle parasites.
Still, parasite infections that resolve on their own are the exception and not the rule. What’s more, a chronic infection may have vague symptoms like joint pain, which you may not even link to parasites. Meanwhile, they could be multiplying inside you.
Once they find a host, microscopic protozoan parasites, such as Giardia, can increase exponentially in number. Parasitic worms (helminths) also reproduce, albeit not as quickly. So, it takes some effort to get rid of most parasites as they grow in number.
Drugs are commonly used to treat parasitic infections. These interfere with the critters’ functioning in some way. For example, they may impede the parasites’ energy metabolism or the function of their membranes. This leads to their inactivation and ultimately death.
- Drug resistance: Parasites fight to survive and may figure out how to prevent the drug from working. For example, they may turn the drug into an inactive form or keep it from binding to its target in the pathogen. The risk of this increases the more the drug is used.
- High cost and availability: Anti-parasitic drugs can be very expensive, sometimes costing hundreds or thousands of dollars per course of treatment. Insurance coverage varies. And, depending on where you live, some medications may be difficult to get.
- Side effects: Examples of common side effects of anti-parasitic drugs include digestive upset, headaches, and skin rashes. Some may also cause liver damage, deficiency of fol-ate (a B vitamin), and birth defects.
The good news is, many herbs can fight parasites in similar ways as drugs but are typically gentler on your system.
What Herbs Kill Parasites?
Are you ready to tackle the critters at the root of your health issues and do a parasite cleanse? Many herbs kill parasites naturally, and they often have several other health benefits.
Five top parasite-killing herbs you should have in your arsenal are vidanga, neem, triphala, clove, and holarrhena. Choose an herbal blend that contains all of these.
For added benefit, choose a blend that also contains extracts of fulvic acid, a Bio Active Carbon. It can help protect the herbs from your stomach acid so they can get where they need to go to kill parasites. It could also help minimize side effects from parasite killing.
Here’s a closer look at these powerful herbs, including their actions against parasites and other health benefits.
Embelia ribes is the scientific name for this little shrub that commonly grows in India. Vidanga is also known as “false black pepper” since its fruits look similar to black peppercorns.
Vidanga is a go-to herb in Ayurvedic medicine, including for treating parasites. It also has a wide range of other potential health benefits. In fact, it’s used in more than 75 different Ayurvedic remedies.
Anti-parasitic actions of vidanga
Vidanga fruits contain powerful phytochemicals, including tannins. These help prevent helminths from generating energy. The phytochemicals may also bind to proteins on the protective outer covering of helminths. These actions lead to the parasites’ death.
Research suggests vidanga is effective against tapeworms. This parasite absorbs its nutrients and expels wastes through its outer covering or tegument. So, disrupting that contributes to its demise.
Additionally, in a lab study, a vidanga fruit extract was up to 85% effective against the helminth Haemonchus contortus in the larval stage. This was similar in effectiveness to a common anti-parasitic drug.
Moreover, the larval stage is an ideal time to kill the critters since they’re too immature to reproduce. All is fair in parasite killing, right? Get the upper hand when you can.
Also known as Azadirachta indica, this fast-growing tree is nicknamed “the village pharmacy” since every part of it has potential health benefits. That includes the fruits, leaves, seeds, oil, bark, and roots of neem.
Neem nickname is fitting. It’s been used in Ayurvedic medicine for more than 4,000 years. Moreover, modern-day science shows it’s packed with more than 300 different phytochemicals. Some of these help combat parasites.
Anti-parasitic actions of neem
Both lab and animal studies have shown that neem has anti-parasitic actions against helminths, including ones that invade the digestive tract.
A phytochemical in neem called azadirachtin is toxic to the nervous system of parasites. It also promotes their excretion in your stools.
Additionally, neem is traditionally used in some African countries for the prevention and treatment of malaria. That’s a parasitic infection transmitted by mosquitoes. This antimalarial benefit has been shown in animal studies as well.
In the Sanskrit language, triphala means “three fruits.” This ancient Ayurvedic remedy is a combination of dried fruits from three herbs, which are generally used in equal proportions:
Together, they are a powerhouse combination. In Ayurvedic medicine, triphala is a go-to remedy for supporting digestive health, among many other aspects of wellness.
Anti-parasitic actions of triphala
Parasites often enter your body through your digestive system, which starts with your mouth. Once they get in, they can damage the lining of your digestive tract as they make your body their new home. In return, you may get digestive problems.
Triphala could help defend you against parasites in several ways. Studies suggest it may:
Clove, from the Syzygium aromaticum plant, may need no introduction. You likely have some in your spice cabinet. Clove comes from the buds of the plant.
This strong, aromatic spice was considered so valuable in the 13th and 14th centuries that countries went to war to control its production and distribution. Now, functional medicine practitioners are rediscovering clove as an anti-parasitic agent.
Anti-parasitic actions of clove
About 15–20% of the composition of clove is essential oil. Clove oil is effective against some nematodes, which are parasitic roundworms, and some protozoan parasites.
A test-tube study found that clove oil killed up to 30% of nematode parasites while they were still in egg form. What better time to take out your enemy than before they can attack? Still, clove may be even more effective against hatched parasites, inactivating them.
Lab research also suggests clove oil helps kill Giardia. That’s a common protozoan parasite that often spreads via contaminated water.
Holarrhena antidysenterica, sometimes called kutaj or kurchi bark, comes from a shrub and is used in Ayurvedic medicine. It’s also used in special festivals in India. That seems appropriate since you may want to throw a party once you learn how much this herb could benefit your body.