In order to get rid of tapeworm infestation in the body, some potent medication is usually required. Intake of undercooked meat and fish are well-known causes of tapeworm infection in humans. So take some simple precautions consistently by buy quality products, prepare correctly, and cook them at the right temperature to keep a tapeworm problem at bay.
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You can have tapeworm infection without exhibiting any symptoms immediately. However, when symptoms appear, they may include: abdominal pain, unexplained weight loss, or, worse, discover larvae have made their way to your brain or blocked some portion of your intestine. Apart from medications, you can prevent or get rid of tapeworm infestation by using some simple home remedies.
5 Home Remedies For Tapeworm
Here are some natural remedies that are under study for their use in curing or containing tapeworm infections in humans.
The juice of papaya is antiparasitic and good for getting rid of tapeworms naturally. Papaya latex, extracted by scoring the skin, is a potent anthelmintic which combats helminths or parasitic worms. Hence, it is able to expel tapeworms after killing them, without causing any harm to your body.
Note: This remedy can cause gastritis in some people. Also, it can cause uterine contractions in pregnant women and must be taken only after consulting a doctor.
Air dried papaya seeds also have significant antiparasitic activity on human intestinal parasites. Grind up the seeds and take two teaspoons of the seed powder with some honey on an empty stomach in the morning before meals. Alternatively, you can prepare a smoothie using a coconut milk, papaya fruit, and dried seed.
Pineapples contain protein-degrading enzymes called cysteine proteinases that can help digest the cuticles of tapeworm which is the tough protective covering on the tapeworms. Drink plenty of fresh pineapple juice for a few days on empty stomach. You can leave in some of the skin when you juice it for best results.
Raw garlic contains sulfur and its oil can be used for treating tapeworm infections due to its antiparasitic properties. Chew two to three cloves of garlic on an empty stomach in the morning. Alternatively, you could crush two raw cloves of garlic into milk, boil it, and then drink up on an empty stomach. Keep up the regimen for a few days to a week.
Cloves have shown anthelmintic activity in research. Studies found that a suspension of clove powder was 4.5 times more potent than powdered fresh garlic. It also proved to be 7.3 more active than even piperazine, an anthelmintic drug.
Grind cloves to powder and keep them in a jar. Add a teaspoon of this powder in hot water for about 10 minutes. Drink up this tea a few times a week to help destroy the eggs and worms.
- Pumpkin Seeds
In one study, test subjects with taeniasis (Taeniasis is a parasitic disease of the digestive system due to tapeworms), were given pumpkin seeds combined with areca nut extract. About 79 percent of the participants released whole tapeworms and a further 3.5 percent expelled incomplete segments. Nearly all those who expelled the worms did so within 3 hours of being given the treatment; some even passed them as early as 20 minutes.
The remedy used an areca nut immersion and peeled raw pumpkin seeds and was followed up with magnesium sulfate diluted to 30 percent in water. Treatment was on an empty stomach. Some of the participants reported dizziness and nausea as side effects.7Needless to say, in this form, the treatment will need to be administered by a trained naturopathy practitioner or doctor.
Try consuming raw pumpkin seeds by blending the seeds with coconut milk to a porridge-like consistency, followed by a tall glass of water or two to help with bowel movement. This one-time remedy should help get rid of worms in your system.
Best Practices to Fight Tapeworm Infections
Tapeworm can multiply rapidly once it is in your body, hence your first and best line of defense is to prevent tapeworm infections before they even happen. Getting rid of tapeworm as quickly as possible is important to prevent infecting others living and interacting with the infected person. To prevent tapeworm infection:
- Buy Quality Meat
The well-established brands, both big and small, are more likely to have robust quality checks that don’t just comply with food quality norms but also incorporate best practices that minimize the risk of contamination by tapeworm or larvae.
- Cook Meat Properly
While beef, pork, and fish are the most well-known offenders when it comes to sources of tapeworm infection in humans, it is important to cook all meat well. Ensure it is cooked all the way through at the recommended temperature. Fish should turn opaque, while meat must be cooked till the juices run clear when it is pricked and it is no longer red or pink.
Prevent cross-contamination by ensuring cooked, ready-to-eat meat doesn’t come in contact with raw meat at any point in time. Use a food thermometer to check the temperature of the cooked meat at its thickest part. It should hit 145°F or more for meat and 160°F for ground meat.
- Freeze It Out
Tapeworm larvae and eggs usually can’t survive at very low temperatures. As the National Health Service suggests, you could freeze your fish and meat at a temperature lower than 10°C or 14°F for 48 hours or more to kill off these larvae and eggs. Cysts are also said to die if you keep the meat at 4°C for over a month.11
- Wash Up
Always wash your hands properly, especially after you go to the toilet. Improper hygiene can pass on tapeworm infection not just via food and drink, but even through contact with contaminated surfaces like door handles.
You should also wash your hands very well before preparing food. If you handle raw meat, keep it separate. Remember to wash your hands with soap and water after you are done touching the raw meat and before you begin work on other food.
- Use Straws On Cans And Soda
When you’re drinking canned drinks or soda, or even bottled water, either pour it into a glass or use a straw. This is because the containers may get contaminated in transit or during storage and when you drink from them, the eggs or larvae on the rim can be ingested.
- Travel Safe
When you are visiting places prone to tapeworm infestations, like some places in developing countries, you should be extra cautious. Drinking water from the tap may not always be contaminant-free and sewage disposal may be less than ideal, creating prime conditions for tapeworms to thrive and spread. Here are some things you could do to stay safe:
- Always drink bottled water or boil water before drinking.
- Always wash fruit and vegetables yourself before consuming.
- Avoid raw fruit and vegetables in any form; raw meat is a strict no-no.
- Ensure the meat and fish you consume is properly cooked.
Tips To Prevent Tapeworm Infection Via Your Dog
Apart from taking precautions to prevent a tapeworm infestation, a vet should also deworm your dog. It is easy to overlook these four-legged family members, but they share your life too and can just as easily pass on an infection like anyone else in the family. Giving them anti-tapeworm medication regularly as per schedule can protect you from catching hydatid disease from dog feces infested with eggs. This infection can cause cysts to form in the vital organs of your body like liver, which can be fatal. While cat feces too may have tapeworms, it is believed to be less easily transmitted to humans.
Here are some precautions you can take if you have a pet:
- Always wear rubber gloves to dispose of dog feces.
- If your dog is infected, don’t simply toss the feces into the trash. You should either incinerate it or deeply bury the poop.
- Your dog should not defecate anywhere near your gardens or vegetable patch
- Wash your hands carefully after you handle the dog’s feces, whether your dog is infected or undiagnosed.
- Avoid feeding your pet any kind of raw meat. Use known brands of dog food.