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Causes and Symptoms: The most common parasites which infest the human intestines are : round worms, tape worms, hook worms, thread worms and giardia. The presence of these worms in the intestines gives rise to symptoms such as a voracious appetite, diarrhoea anaemia and headache. Infestation with giardia has a peculiar symptom-pain in the calves of the sufferer and a feeling of weakness in the legs. Thread worms give rise to acute itch round the anus forcing the sufferer to scrathc it. Round worms may cause cough, vomiting, nausea and loss of appetite. Hook worms may lead to anaemia since they tend to suck the blood of the sufferer.

The presence of the worms in the stools should never be neglected: their continued presence may lead to obstruction of the intestines and the bile duct, giving rise to further complications.

Remedies: The treatment for intestinal parasites must start with diet; the patient should take a light diet comprising easily digestible, fatless, bland foods. Sugar should be banned because some varieties of worms-thread worms, for example-breed on sugary foods. These worms, it may be stated, generally trouble infants and small children who subsist on milk and sugary foods; the moment they start taking food with chillies and spices, the thread worms automatically disappear.

Baheda and seeds of Palash are very good anthelmintics. Given in one teaspoonful doses thrice a day they deal with all intestinal parasites. For tape worms, boil four tolas of the bark of the root of sour Pomegranate in litre of water till litre is left. The decoction should be divided into three doses taken at one hourly intervals. After the last dose 4 tolas of Castor Oil should be taken. Alternatively, Indian Kamala (six mashas) should be mixed with whey; it will purge the intestines and all the tapeworms will be expelled. Two tolas of bark of Persian Lilac Tree (Bakayan) should be boiled in one litre of water; when half of it is left, some Jaggery should be added to it and drunk the last thing at night. Taken consecutively for three nights, tape worms are expelled from the intestines. For thread worms among infants, their anuses should be coated with neem oil. A saline solution introduced into the anus also kills thread worms.

The juice of the Indian Wild Pepper (Sambhalu) mixed with three tolas of curdled milk drunk on an empty stomach for three to four days deals with all types of intestinal worms.


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