How to Get Rid of Worms in Humans (Including Parasite Cleanse Diet)

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Top 14 Foods and Herbs That Naturally Kill Intestinal Parasites

The thought of having worms or parasites in your body is enough to make your skin crawl. However, tapeworms, roundworms, and other types of worms and parasites in humans is a more common problem than you probably realize. Worms can infect your intestinal tract if you drink contaminated water, have poor hygiene habits, eat undercooked food, or handle pets that are infected.

Parasitic worms come in all shapes and sizes and they are tiny microscopic creatures. Parasitic infections can cause diarrhea, unexplained weight loss, abdominal cramping, itching around the anus, and nutrient deficiencies. Because these symptoms can indicate other types of infections, diagnosing parasites and worms in humans can be a challenge.


There are many home remedies for worms in humans that rid your body of parasitic organisms. For example, many parasite cleanse diets include foods that kill worms with ingredients like garlic, onions, and papaya seeds. Also, parasite cleanse supplements containing clove oil, oregano oil, or wormwood can help to kill off worms and parasites from the gut.

In this article, you will find out the best home remedies to get rid of tapeworms and other parasitic worms in humans. First of all, it’s important to learn a little more about these tiny worms and the harm that these parasites can inflict on your health.

Types of Parasites in Humans

Here are the most common types of intestinal worms and parasites that are found in the human body.

Tapeworms. These flatworms cause a common parasitic infection that affect humans, especially in developing countries.

Doctors from WebMD say that tapeworms can grow up to 30 ft (9 m) in humans!1 They are contracted from eating undercooked food or food that has been prepared by an infected person. Some types of tapeworms are Taenia solium (from pork), Taenia saginata (from beef), and Diphyllobothrium latum (from seafood). Tapeworms can cause digestive upset and weight loss.2

Roundworms. A common roundworm that affects humans is Ascaris which, according to Dr. Lars Grimmon on Medscape, can grow up to 35 cm in size and live for up to 2 years. Usually, the eggs are ingested in contaminated food. They feed on food in your digestive system and can cause vitamin and nutrient deficiencies. The worms are usually detected in feces.3

Whipworms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that whipworms (Trichuris trichiura) are about 4 cm long and infect the intestines of humans. The infection occurs from whipworm eggs in the soil that get transferred to the mouth.

The parasitic infection can happen by eating vegetables or fruits that haven’t been washed, cooked, or peeled properly. Or, not washing your hands after working with soil can cause a whipworm infection. Symptoms are painful bowel movements with mucus, water, and blood.4

Hookworms. Hookworms live in the soil and can often affect people who walk barefoot, especially in developing countries or in places where animals live.

Dr. Richard Pearson from the University of Virginia School of Medicine says that hookworm infections cause an itchy rash along with digestive problems and respiratory issues. Common types of hookworms are Ancylostoma duodenale and Necator americanus.5

Threadworms. Threadworms are tiny parasitic worms that live in the gut of humans and are between 2 mm and 13 mm (1/2 inch) long. One of the most common symptoms of a threadworm infestation is an itchy anus.

Dr. Roger Henderson on Patient.info says that scratching your rectum can cause re-infestation if some threadworm eggs get under your fingernails and are then transferred to your mouth. Getting rid of threadworms successfully involves anti-parasitic treatment and following strict hygiene habits.6

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Pinworms. According to doctors from the Mayo Clinic, pinworm infections are the most common parasitic infections in the U.S. Pinworms grow to about 13 mm in length (1/2 inch) and can lay 1,000s of eggs while you sleep.7

Common ways that pinworms (Enterobius vermicularis) get into the intestines are consuming contaminated food, drink, or not washing your hands. Female pinworms lay eggs around the anus and these can be spread by bed linen, toilet seats, and toys.

Parasites. According to the CDC, parasites (or, protozoa) are one-celled organisms and can infect a person if they come into contact with contaminated food or water.8

Doctors from the Mayo Clinic say that Giardia is a common parasite that lives in water. Common sites where these parasitic creatures live are streams, lakes, and swimming pools. Giardia infections can cause abdominal cramping, nausea, and watery diarrhea and last for up to 6 weeks.9

Causes of Parasites or Worms in Humans

Knowing the causes of parasitic infections in humans caused by worms can help you prevent infection. Let’s look at the most common ways that parasites and worms infect the human intestines.

Worms from pets

A common way that parasites get into the human body is by coming into contact with infected pets and animals.

According to a study published in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, pets are a common source of parasitic infections in humans. For example, dogs can contract parasites and worms from feces, the soil, and eating contaminated food. These can then be transferred to pet owners. Researchers found that parasite infection from dogs is common, and up to 50% of dogs that aren’t treated for worms can be infected.10

Veterinary physician, Dr. Amy Flowers says that worm infections from pets include roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms. Dr. Flowers recommends ways to prevent worm infections in humans. These include not walking barefoot in gardens where pets play and always wash your hands after handling pets that have been outdoors.11

Parasites and worms from poor hygiene

Bad hygiene practices like not washing your hands after using the bathroom is a common cause of tapeworm infections. This can result in various gastrointestinal problems ranging from stomach cramps to explosive diarrhea.

According to the journal Revue Scientifique et Technique, unhygienic practices when it comes to disposal of human and animal waste commonly causes parasitic worm infections. This can happen when the people preparing food touch contaminated products before or during food preparation.12

Parasites from undercooked food

Food, especially pork and seafood, needs to be thoroughly cooked beforehand to avoid parasitic worms infecting your intestines.

The journal Clinical Microbiology and Infection reports that undercooked pork is a common source of parasitic infections. Contaminated pork that is not cooked properly can cause protozoa Toxoplasma gondii infections as well as transmit Trichinella spp. and Taenia spp. worms.13

Eating raw seafood like sushi can also cause parasitic infections if the seafood is contaminated. The journal Clinical Microbiology Reviews reported that tapeworms and roundworms can be present in seafood that hasn’t been frozen or cooked properly. However, few people report worm infections from contaminated seafood.14

Drinking contaminated water

Various type of roundworms, tapeworms, and parasites can cause infections if you drink contaminated water. In fact, according to the journal Acta Microbiologica Polonica, there are 72 different types of parasites and worms that can cause parasitic infections in humans.15

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If you are unsure about the quality of water, you should always boil water first to kill off any parasites. Also, avoid having ice in drinks if you are in countries that have an unsafe fresh water supply.

Symptoms of Parasites or Worms in Humans

Depending on the type of parasite or worm that has infected your intestinal system, you may show varying degrees of the symptoms. Some parasitic infections cause digestive upset and some worms can cause damage to organs.

Dr. Lars Grimm says that the most common symptoms of parasitic worm infections are the following:

Of course, the above symptoms can also be signs of a stomach bug or other underlying health condition. However, if you think that you may have a parasite or worm infection, you should visit your doctor for a checkup.

Related: Warning Signs of Intestinal Parasites That are Easy to Ignore

Natural Remedies to Kill Parasites and Worms in Humans

Some natural ingredients contain compounds that help kill off tapeworms, pinworms, threadworms and other types of parasites. These are also called anthelmintic remedies.

Here is a list of some of the most effective natural remedies to treat parasite infections:

  • Diatomaceous earth. This naturally-occurring substance kills off internal parasites by destroying their exoskeletal system. Food grade diatomaceous earth is a non-toxic antiparasitic powder and can be safely ingested.
  • Garlic. Garlic is a powerful antibiotic with antiparasitic properties.
  • Papaya seeds. Ground up papaya seeds have been shown to help destroy intestinal parasites and can help cleanse your intestines.
  • Pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds can also be useful in eliminating various types of worms from your intestines.
  • Onions. Similar to garlic, onion contains sulfur compounds that have been shown to kill off intestinal parasites and worms.
  • Parasite cleansing supplements like oregano oil, clove oil and wormwood are all important tools in your fight against internal worms and parasites.

Let’s look in more detail at how to consume and use the above remedies to get rid of worms and parasites.

Home Remedies to Get Rid of Parasites and Worms in Humans

Food grade diatomaceous earth

Food grade diatomaceous earth (DE) is a non-toxic substance that you can use to get rid of intestinal parasites and worms.

Although diatomaceous earth is commonly used to get rid of bugs like fleas, roaches, and termites, it can also help to destroy parasites that live in your gut. A study in the journal Poultry Science reported that when DE was given to egg-laying hens, the number of hens with internal parasitic infections was reduced.16

That may be great for hens, but can diatomaceous earth be used by humans to get rid of parasite infections? According to the National Pesticide Information Center, humans can safely ingest food grade diatomaceous earth.17

How to use food grade diatomaceous earth for intestinal worm control:

When buying diatomaceous earth, be sure to look for a brand that is food grade, meaning that it is safe to ingest (here is one example).

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This is how to use food grade diatomaceous earth if you want to get rid of worms or parasites from your intestinal system naturally:

  1. Mix 1-2 tablespoons food grade diatomaceous earth in an 8 oz. glass of water and drink daily. As a precaution, you should start off by taking one teaspoon DE in a glass of water daily and gradually build up to the recommended dosage for parasite control.
  2. Continue taking the DE anti-parasite drink for up to 2 weeks to completely get rid of the intestinal parasites.

Parasite Cleanse Diet to Kill Parasites and Worms

A parasite cleanse diet is needed to help quickly get rid of roundworms, pinworms, tapeworms and other parasites naturally. By including certain antiparasitic foods in your diet, you can create the most effective parasite cleanse.

Garlic

A parasite cleanse should include garlic in an anti-parasite diet. Garlic is a natural medicine that is especially useful for destroying parasites like giardia and tapeworms.

Does science back up claims of using garlic to rid your body of parasites? The journal Parasitology Research published information on how a daily dose of garlic can help to kill off foodborne worms. Clinical trials showed that garlic helped to reduce the number and activity of flatworms in lab trials. The researchers concluded that garlic has potential anthelminthic activity.18

How to use garlic as a home remedy for human worms:

Here is the recipe to use garlic to eliminate worms from your intestinal system and treat the symptoms of parasitic infections naturally:

  1. Crush 2 garlic cloves and allow to stand for 10 minutes to allow the active compound allicin to form.
  2. Mix the garlic in a tablespoon or two of raw natural yogurt to help make it more palatable.
  3. Consume the garlic remedy daily to help kill the parasites in your intestine.
  4. Use for 2 weeks until symptoms of tapeworm or other parasitic worm infections have gone.

You can also boost the effectiveness of garlic for worms by consuming more garlic in your daily diet. You may be surprised that garlic will also help strengthen your immune system and you may suffer from fewer infections.

Papaya seeds

Papaya seeds are one of the foods that kill parasites and will help rid the tiny worms from your small intestine. Papaya seeds contain compounds that parasites hate and may act as a natural anthelmintic remedy.

According to scientific research into papaya seeds, there is evidence to support claims that seeds from papaya can be used as a home remedy for worms.

The Journal of Medicinal Food reported that papaya seeds have anti-amoebic and anthelmintic activity. It was found that consuming papaya seeds helped eliminate between 71% and 100% of all signs of parasites in stool. Researchers concluded that papaya seeds can be a cheap, natural strategy against intestinal parasites without any side effects.19

How to use papaya seeds as a natural cure for threadworms:

This is how to create a parasite cleanse diet with papaya seeds:

  1. Grind 5 or 6 papaya seeds and drink daily in a glass of water, milk or smoothie to eliminate parasites.
  2. Continue taking the papaya remedy for 2-3 weeks to ensure that all traces of intestinal parasites are gone for good.

If fresh papaya is difficult to buy, you can find organic papaya seed powder in reputable health stores or online. Use one teaspoon of papaya seed powder in a glass of water and drink daily.

Pumpkin seeds

One way to get rid of roundworms in humans is to consume pumpkin seeds. These have a natural anthelmintic effect on the digestive system and help flush out all types of intestinal worms.

Scientific research has shown the effectiveness of pumpkin seeds in treating internal parasites. The journal Acta Tropica reported that using pumpkin seeds alone helped to get rid of tapeworms in 75% of people in the trial. It was concluded that pumpkin seeds can be a useful natural treatment for tapeworms in humans.20

How to get rid of worms from your body with pumpkin seeds:

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To use pumpkin seeds to paralyze intestinal worms and stop them attaching to your intestines, this is what you should do:

  1. Consume a few tablespoons of pumpkin seeds a day for your parasite cleanse treatment. You can eat them as they are or sprinkle them on a salad.
  2. Alternatively, you can grind the pumpkin seeds into a powder. Add to your favorite smoothie or yogurt and consume immediately.

Onion

Onions are another natural worm killer for humans and can help get rid of parasite infection symptoms quickly.

According to a study published in the journal Parasitology Research, onion extract was effective in reducing the number of parasites in animals. In the study, ground onion was added to coconut flakes and food. The result was that all signs of parasites were nearly eliminated in stool samples.21

How to use onion as part of a parasite cleanse:

Although raw onion is unpalatable for many people, the benefits of treating stomach worms in humans can offset the pungent taste. This is what you can do:

  1. Squeeze the juice from an onion so that you have about 2 teaspoons.
  2. Mix the onion juice with some raw plain yogurt and consume daily.
  3. Continue the parasite cleanse with onions for 2-3 weeks to be sure that you completely get rid of parasites and intestinal worms.

Parasite Cleanse Supplements

There are also many natural parasite cleanse supplements that can help to get rid of intestinal worms.

Clove oil

To get rid of tapeworms and other kinds of parasites you can use clove oil parasite cleanse supplements.

The Journal of Medicinal Microbiology reported that clove oil has anti-parasite activity and can kill off parasites.22

Oregano oil

One effective home remedy for cleansing your body of parasites is taking oregano oil supplements.

A study from 2000 found that taking oregano oil supplements that contained 600 mg of emulsified oil, helped to eradicate intestinal parasites. This also improves gastrointestinal symptoms of parasitic infections.23

Wormwood

Wormwood can help to get rid of stomach worms because it is a natural anthelmintic which eliminates many parasitic infections.

The journal Trends in Pharmacological Sciences reported that wormwood extracts are now being used as a natural treatment for malaria. However, scientists have discovered that wormwood is also effective in treating many internal parasitic infections.24

Black Walnut

Tinctures and extracts of black walnut are traditionally used to kill intestinal parasites according to the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia.27

According to Drugs.com, black walnut has many traditional uses, however, there are no human trials to support these effects.28

Olive leaf extract

It was found that olive leaf extract has anti-parasitic benefits for goats infected with intestinal parasites.29 You can take olive leaf extract supplement or make your own olive leaf tea.

Does Grapefruit Seed Extract Kill Parasites?

Although some websites claim that grapefruit seed extract has antiparasitic properties, studies have not shown this to be the case. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine reported that grapefruit seed extract has antibacterial properties and didn’t show definitive toxic activity against parasites.25

Does Coconut Oil Kill Parasites?

When looking for ways to cleanse parasites from your intestine, you may have come across claims that coconut oil is a parasite cleanser.

Although coconut oil is an antibacterial and antimicrobial remedy for many ailments, research has not shown that ingesting coconut oil is an effective way to combat parasites. The journal Tropical Biomedicine reported that, after research, coconut oil was ineffective as an anthelmintic and didn’t kill off internal parasites.26

When to See a Doctor

If you or your child show symptoms of an intestinal parasitic infection and, especially if you have been out of the country recently, you should see your doctor. This is especially true if you have frequent bouts of diarrhea, vomiting, and unexpected weight loss.

Your doctor may take stool samples or blood samples to check for parasite or worm infections of your intestines.

Read my other related articles:

Medical Sources

  1. WebMD. Worms in humans.
  2. WebMD. Tapeworms in humans.
  3. Medscape. 12 common intestinal parasites.
  4. CDC. Whipworm FAQs.
  5. MerckManuals. Hookworm infection.
  6. PatientInfo. Threadworms.
  7. MayoClinic. Pinworm infection.
  8. CDC. Parasites.
  9. MayoClinic. Giardia infection.
  10. Emerg Infect Dis. 2008 Jan; 14(1): 60–63.
  11. PetsWebMD. Diseases you can get from your pets.
  12. Rev Sci Tech.2013 Aug;32(2):559-69.
  13. Clin Microbiol Infect.2013 Jul;19(7):586-94.
  14. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2010 Apr; 23(2): 399–411.
  15. Acta Microbiol Pol.2003;52 Suppl:83-96.
  16. Poult Sci.2011 Jul;90(7):1416-26.
  17. ORST. Diatomaceous earth.
  18. Parasitol Res.2017 Aug;116(8):2119-2129.
  19. J Med Food.2007 Mar;10(1):194-6.
  20. Acta Trop.2012 Nov;124(2):152-7.
  21. Parasitol Res.2014 Jan;113(1):305-10.
  22. J Med Microbiol.2014 Jan;63(Pt 1):74-85.
  23. Phytother Res.2000 May;14(3):213-4.
  24. Trends Pharmacol Sci. 2008 Oct; 29(10): 520–527.
  25. J Altern Complement Med.2002 Jun;8(3):333-40.
  26. Trop Biomed.2013 Sep;30(3):516-25.
  27. Australian Pharmacist, vol. 31, no. 2, pp. 132135.
  28. Drugs.com. Black walnut.
  29. Natural Products Chemistry & Research. ISSN: 2329-6836
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48 Responses to How to Get Rid of Worms in Humans (Including Parasite Cleanse Diet)

  1. Jme says:

    I give my dogs black walnut & wormwood oil once a week each month for heartworm preventative.

    • Brend says:

      Where do you get walnut and wormwood oil ?

      • Ruth says:

        You can get these things at the local heath food store or on line… a good combination for parasite removal is green black walnut hull tincture along with sweet wormwood and ground cloves.

    • John says:

      DO NOT give your dogs black walnuts.
      Moldy black walnuts can contain tremorgenic mycotoxins which can cause seizures or neurological symptoms. This is serious stuff; your dog could end up dying from it. It is not worth it to satisfy some natural-foodie BS that you’ve gotten into your head. Your dog does NOT need black walnuts; do not risk their lives with them.

  2. Joseph says:

    How can I eat the pumpkin seeds? Do I eat the shell as well or do I have to prepare them in some way?

  3. Alice says:

    hi Jenni thnx for all that information where can I get the recipe for the tea? Need to try it ASAP!

    • Jenny says:

      Hi Alice, I’m not sure which tea you refer to, but if you refer to wormwood tea – see instructions here. Wormwood is available in Amazon as tea bags or loose leaf.

  4. joash says:

    how do i take pumkin seeds

    • Jenny says:

      You can buy pumpkin seeds (sometimes called pepitas) in the supermarket in prepackaged containers as well as in bulk bins (when purchasing pumpkin seeds as bulk bins you have to make sure they smell fresh). You should eat them raw and not roasted as this is the best way to preserve their nutrients. Organic pumpkin seeds are preferred, as they will not be contaminated with pesticides or other harmful chemicals. You can add them to salads, yogurt, oatmeal, sprinkle on toast or just eat as is.

      • Mary says:

        So true Jenny. I sprinkle raw organic pumpkin seeds on my evening salad. I determined I was infested several months ago with what I believe to be hookworm. I was having IBS symptoms and extreme allergic reactions to something. I got some ParaGone and started flushing them out and followed up with a papaya seed, garlic, and pineapple smoothie every morning for several weeks. I am currently symptom free and feel back to normal. Still, I continue adding the pumpkin seeds to my salad as a precaution, and will do a preventive smoothie on occasion just to make it hard for them to return or reinfest as I do consume fresh raw organics on a daily basis and raw food may contain these critters if it hasn’t been well washed (and sometimes even if it has). Parasites are no joke, they are amazingly hardy and stubborn.

        • Pam says:

          Can i ask u question? How did u know u had parasites?

        • kim says:

          Hi, can I ask, how you knew you had parasites, my tests came up negative but I am almost 100 percent sure I have parasites. Is it harmful to used paragone if I don’t know for sure
          kim

  5. prexylito says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. this is very helful

  6. D'Arcy says:

    Hello, recently ive discovered that my bird cage had white flat looking worms, it was a lot! I believe they’re called Ascardidae. I dont know if these worms are contagious to humans. Should I worry?

  7. C says:

    Papaya seeds have been known to cause people to miscarry, some people use them instead of getting an abortion, you must be careful

  8. Misty says:

    Be careful with raw garlic. It helps lower blood pressure and if stomach problem it burns. I can only watched cooked garlic. I went to the hospital eating a very small piece of clove. I don’t want someone chomping 2 cloves and boom. Be careful. Side note if you have high blood pressure try raw garlic

  9. Donna Amerski says:

    None of this stuff works to kill worms. I’ve tried it and still have them,garlic does help you have higher energy though.I should know because I have had them for three yrs,now there inside my lungs,and all other organs,because my doctors wouldn’t give me anything,but i finally found a doctor who gave me something just yesterday,Feb.23,2018.

    • Vickie Jackson says:

      Dear Donna please contact me .My husband is also suffering from worms and no doctor has been helpful. Please contact me so I can get help he is getting worse.

      Thank You Sincerely Vickie

  10. Abdul Karim usman says:

    I have been infected by schistosomiasis and I want you help with home remedies to cure and it is chronic,it has last for five years and am in Ghana,de doctor’s can,t cure it,so l need a help

    • Jenny Hills, Medical Writer and Researcher says:

      Hi Abdul, I’m not a doctor and cannot give advise on specific cases, but from what I’ve read in medical websites, it is possible to treat chronic schistosomiasis with prescribed medications (see more info in medicinenet website under “What is the treatment for schistosomiasis?”.

  11. T.K. PERRIN says:

    I GAVE MY SON SOME RAW CANNED ORGANIC PUMPKIN FOR DIARRHEA AND STARTED SEEING WORM STRUCTURES IN HIS STOOL, BLOOD AND GEL SAC; NEGATIVE STOOL CULTURES ARE INFURIATING ME!!! HE HAS HAD BLOOD ALSO. HE IS SEMI-VEGETATIVE FROM A STROKE AND INCAPACITATED, DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO NEXT…

  12. Elizabeth Nichols says:

    Can I order the diatomaceous from you? Where can I get it ? I am so infested with parasites in my stomach and no doctor that I have gone to believes me. They say I have acid reflux. I never have indigestion and take no antacid. What to do!!!
    Thank you so much. Where can I buy the diatomaceous?

    • Jenny Hills, Medical Writer and Researcher says:

      You can buy food grade DE in health stores, some pharmacies or online.

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