The thought of being infected by worms can be a little scary, but humans suffering from worm infestations are common.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Backention, pinworm is the most common type of human worm infections in the United States . These worms are thin, white and ¼ to ½ inch in length.
It is common in children between the ages of 5 and 10. Also, people who live in institutions and those who have regular, close with individuals in these groups are at a higher risk.
In some cases, a pinworm infection may not cause any symptoms. However, you may have symptoms like frequent itching of the anal area; restless sleep due to anal itching; pain, rash or other skin irritation around the anus; and the presence of pinworms in the area of the anus or stool.
Additional symptoms include irritability, restlessness, abdominal pain, nausea and loss of appetite.
A pinworm infection is highly contagious and one becomes infected by unintentionally ingesting or inhaling pinworm eggs, which are usually deposited onto a surface or object by an infected person. Pinworms can also spread through eating contaminated foods, such as undercooked meats like beef, pork or fish.
The cycle of infection begins with the ingestion of the eggs. Once ingested, the eggs remain in the intestine until they hatch and mature. The presence of these eggs in the body means you are suffering from a pinworm infestation.
Delaying treatment can put those around you at risk for this highly contagious infection. If you or other family members are plagued by the formidable parasites, you can use some home remedies to quickly put a stop to the problem and prevent the parasites from coming back.
Here are the top 10 home remedies to treat a pinworm infection.
Caution: Consult your doctor if your symptoms persist and blood is present in your urine or stool.
1. Good Hygiene
To treat and prevent pinworms from spreading, you must make adjustments to your personal hygiene and home care.
In fact, a good regimen of hygiene and household cleaning can help you completely eliminate the pinworm eggs and prevent the infestation from spreading.
- Wash your hands regularly with mild soap and hot water. Wash your hands after using the bathroom, after changing a diaper, before eating and before touching your mouth.
- Shower daily in the morning to wash away pinworm eggs that may have been deposited overnight.
- Keep your nails short, as pinworm eggs can become trapped under your nails. Also, make sure to avoid biting your nails.
- Wear tight underwear and wash them in hot water each day.
- Wash all linens and bedding in hot water.
- Change your sleepwear regularly.
- Mop or vacuum the floors in all living spaces, especially carpeted areas.
- Thoroughly clean any surfaces that may be infected, including toys, floors, countertops and toilet seats.
- Clean surfaces in the kitchen and bathroom daily, especially faucet knobs and the toilet flush handle.
2. Raw Garlic
Garlic is an excellent remedy for pinworms. The organosulfur compound allicin that is present in it works against intestinal worms.
Its antiparasitic nature can help kill any existing eggs and prevent female pinworms from laying more eggs. Not just pinworms, garlic is effective at getting rid of roundworms and hookworms, too.
- Eat 2 or 3 cloves of raw garlic on an empty stomach every day for 1 week.
- Alternatively, you can boil 2 crushed garlic cloves in ½ cup of milk and drink it on an empty stomach. Do this once daily for 1 week.
- Also, mix 2 or 3 garlic cloves (minced) with a small amount of petroleum jelly. Dip a clean cotton swab into the mixture and apply the salve on your anus before going to bed. The next morning, wash the area thoroughly with cool water.
3. Coconut Oil
Coconut has antibacterial and antiviral properties that may help get rid of a pinworm infection. It also acts as a very strong antiparasitic agent that helps expel parasites from your body and boosts your immune system to fight them.
You can use both the fruit and oil to treat a pinworm infection.
- Eat 1 tablespoon of fresh coconut flesh at breakfast. After a couple of hours, have 1 teaspoon of castor oil along with a glass of warm milk. Repeat daily until the infestation disappears.
- Alternatively, consume 1 to 2 teaspoons of extra-virgin coconut oil each morning.
- Also, before you go to bed, rub a small amount of coconut oil on your anus.
4. Pumpkin Seeds
You can use pumpkin seeds for treating pinworms.
The compound curcurbitin in pumpkin seeds has antiparasitic properties. It can paralyze the pinworms and prevent them from holding on to the intestinal walls, so they can easily be eliminated from the body.
A 2016 study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences found that pumpkin seed extracts may be used to control gastrointestinal nematode (worm) infections .
- After fasting for 12 hours, consume 2 tablespoons of dry, roasted pumpkin seeds. After 1 hour, drink a glass of warm water or milk. Do it daily for 1 week.
- Alternatively, mix together 1 tablespoon of roasted and crushed pumpkin seeds with an equal amount of honey. Eat this mixture each morning on an empty stomach for 1 week.
5. Indian Lilac
Indian lilac, also known as neem, is another effective remedy to deal with pinworms.
It has antiparasitic properties that help kill intestinal worms like pinworms. Not just that, it also helps remove the toxins they leave behind.
A 2015 study published in the Journal of Parasitic Diseases concluded that crude neem leaf powder has an anthelmintic property, and it can further be studied to isolate the active component to produce herbal anthelmintics .
- Wash 1 cup of neem leaves.
- Process the neem leaves with 1 cup of water in a blender until you have a smooth consistency.
- Strain the mixture using a muslin cloth.
- Drink this juice daily on an empty stomach for a couple of weeks.
6. Bitter Gourds
Bitter melons, also called bitter gourds, contain anthelmintic compounds that help kill intestinal worms, including pinworms. They also help get rid of the toxins that these parasites leave behind as they die.
A 2017 study published in Pharmacognosy Reviews highlights the anthelmintic activity of bitter gourd and concludes that it could be further explored for the development of a potential anthelmintic drug .
- Remove the seeds from 2 bitter gourds.
- Extract the juice from the gourds.
- Drink small amounts of the bitter gourd juice 3 or 4 times a day, for at least 1 week.
7. Green Papayas
Papayas, especially the green ones, have a strong anthelmintic property,
They contain papain, an enzyme that can help combat intestinal worms. Not just the flesh, even the seeds of green papayas have anthelmintic and anti-amoebic properties.
A 2007 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food reports that air-dried papaya seeds are efficacious in treating human intestinal parasites without significant side effects. The study says that their consumption offers a cheap, natural, harmless, readily available monotherapy and preventive strategy against intestinal parasitosis, especially in tropical communities .
- Mix 1 tablespoon each of fresh raw papaya juice and honey with 3 tablespoons of hot water. Drink it in the morning on an empty stomach. After 2 hours, drink a glass of warm milk with 2 tablespoons of castor oil mixed in it. Do this daily for 2 or 3 days.
- Alternatively, grind papaya seeds into powder form. Mix 2 teaspoons of this powder into 1 cup of warm milk. Drink it first thing in the morning on an empty stomach for 3 days.
8. Raw Carrots
Carrots are another very effective traditional remedy for pinworms.
Carrots work as a natural deworming agent, as they help expel the pinworms. Being rich in beta-carotene, a precursor for vitamin A, carrots can also destroy the eggs of pinworms. The fiber-rich carrots also improve digestion and promote bowel movements.
Plus, carrots are a great support for the immune system to help fight off parasites quickly.
According to herbalists, the vitamin A and beta-carotene present in carrots may provide resistance against worm infestation.
- Grate 2 or 3 carrots.
- Eat them on an empty stomach first thing in the morning.
- Avoid eating anything else for a few hours.
- Do this every day for 1 week to get rid of pinworms.
9. Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
Food-grade diatomaceous earth (DE) can be used to treat a variety of parasitic infections, including pinworms.
It is a sedimentary, chalky rock that is made from fossilized small algae called diatoms that can dehydrate pinworms and slowly kill them. It is effective at killing pinworm larvae as well as adult pinworms.
- Add 1 teaspoon of food-grade DE to at least 12 ounces of water.
- Drink it immediately, on an empty stomach.
- Repeat daily for 3 or 4 days.
Caution: Make sure to use only food-grade diatomaceous earth, as other varieties can be toxic to humans.
10. Dietary Changes
Another simple way to help remove pinworms from your body is making certain dietary changes.
For instance, pinworms thrive on starches and sugar, so the more starches and sugary foods that you eat, the longer they are going to hang around. So, limit the carbohydrates and sugar in your diet.
On the other hand, add more fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as high-fiber foods like bran, whole wheat or raisins to your diet. Consuming more high-fiber foods will help add bulk to your stool and flush the pinworms out of your system.
Also, include plenty of probiotics like yogurt or kefir in your diet to support the growth of good bacteria in the intestines. Good bacteria in the intestines will create a hostile environment for the pinworms to grow.
- Keep rooms well-lit during the day because eggs deposited on surfaces are sensitive to light.
- Do not shake things that may have eggs on them, such as clothing, underwear, pajamas, bed linen or towels. Instead, put them directly in the washing machine.
- Airborne eggs can land on your toothbrush, so store it in a closed cabinet.
- Avoid scratching the anal area, as it will only cause more discomfort.
- Parasites – Enterobiasis (also known as Pinworm Infection). Centers for Disease Control and Backention. https://www.cdc.gov/parasites/pinworm/gen_info/faqs.html. Published January 10, 2013.
- Evaluation of Anthelmintic Activity and Composition of Pumpkin (Cucurbita pepo L.) Seed Extracts—In Vitro and in Vivo Studies. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5037735. Published September 2016.
- Anthelmintic efficacy of crude neem (Azadirachta indica) leaf powder against bovine strongylosis. Journal of Parasitic Diseases. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4675597. Published December 2015.
- An Update Review on the Anthelmintic Activity of Bitter Gourd, Momordica charantia. Pharmacognosy Reviews. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5414453. Published 2017.
- Effectiveness of dried Carica papaya seeds against human intestinal parasitosis: a pilot study. Journal of Medicinal Food. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17472487. Published March 2007.