Health: Deworming – Why It Is Important And How To Deworm

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What is deworming?

Deworming is getting rid of worm-like parasites from the body using an anthelmintic drug. Worm-like parasites, also known as helminths such as tapeworms, hookworms, flukes, and roundworms, get into the body of both adults and children orally due to poor hygiene or through contaminated food and water. These worms interfere with the absorption of nutrients in the body and can lead to adverse effects on health. 

You can easily get worm infections from eating undercooked meat from an infected animal like a pig, goat, cow, or fish. Consuming contaminated water, food or soil also causes worm infections. Additionally, coming into contact with contaminated faeces can also be a source of worm infections.

Children and adults suffering from worm infections experience such as

When should you deworm?

It is recommended that children above the age of 2 years deworm twice a year or after six months. Adults should deworm at least once a year. The most commonly used drugs to deworm are albendazole and mebendazole.  Although the recommended age to start deworming is two years, WHO recommends giving children at high-risk areas for worm infections a half-dose of albendazole for children younger than 24 months

Pets like dogs and cats are prone to worms. It’s advisable to deworm puppies and kittens every two weeks until they are three months old. After that, the frequency of deworming depends on the risk factors. It’s important to note that worms can be transmitted from pets to humans so your family should deworm regularly if you have pets.

Why is deworming important?

Getting worm infections is a common problem. Having several worms in the body can lead to infections and impaired nutrient intake. These problems associated with worms in the body system can compromise immunity. Therefore, it’s necessary to deworm frequently if you live in areas posing more risks or use the recommended deworming schedule to boost immunity and prevent infections in the digestive system of children and adults. 

Natural dewormers

Generally, when we talk about deworming, the emphasis is on oral medications. However, there are also natural remedies used to fight intestinal worms. Have a look at some of these natural dewormers.

1. Coconut 

Health experts recommend coconut when dealing with stomach infections. Coconut contains coconut water and oil, which are both helpful in clearing the stomach. Coconut oil, in particular, contains caprylic acid, which has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-parasitic properties. Further, caprylic acid acts as a disinfectant when suffering from food-borne diseases and can be used in place of antibiotics. 

7 Health Benefits Of Coconuts

2. Raw papaws

Consuming raw papaws, also known as papayas, can help to deworm. Papayas contain the enzyme papain, which has anthelmintic properties making papaws effective in getting rid of intestinal worms. You can consume the pawpaw flesh, seeds, or leaves. 

8 Health Benefits Of Papaya Fruit & Seeds

3. Pineapple

Pineapple is not only a sweet and juicy fruit, but it contains numerous health benefits. Traditionally, the pineapple was famous for treating intestinal parasites. Pineapples contain the enzyme bromelain, which helps in the breakdown of proteins. Bromelain has immune-modulating and anti-inflammatory properties, which effectively tackles bowel issues, arthritis, eczema and treats intestinal worms, especially pinworms, among other benefits.  Health Benefits Of Pineapples

4. Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are effective in purging parasites from the body. The seeds contain cucurbitacins which attack intestinal worms and paralyze them, making it easy to expel them from the body during a bowel movement. 

Additionally, pumpkin seeds contain tetracyclic triterpenes, a compound that removes parasitic helminths from the human body.  8 Amazing Health Benefits Of Pumpkin Seeds

Deworm to enjoy good health

Worms can get into the bodies of children and adults through regular activities. For example, it’s easy to get helminths from consuming undercooked meat like pork. Intestinal worms can also be transmitted through contaminated soil. Given the ease of coming in contact with these worms, one should take extra measures by deworming.

Additionally, intestinal worm infections affect overall health by compromising nutrient intake, thus affecting immunity. These tapeworms can get to the brain in some extreme cases if one swallows tapeworm eggs. It could lead to the formation of cysts resulting in epilepsy.

Deworming is therefore essential for good health. It’s recommended to follow WHO’s guidelines on the deworming schedule. You could also add the list of natural dewormers into your diet as these foods have other health benefits besides expelling parasites from the body. 

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