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Remedies for recurring Pinworm / Threadworm

Hi All,

I wanted to ask everyone's advice... What herbal remedies would you recommend for a mother who has pinworm/threadworm and is breastfeeding an 18 month old? I am really cautious because I know whatever I consume he ultimately consumes too... I read a lot of treatments (like wormwood) are effective but dangerous for pregnant/nursing women so not an option for us. I have had threadworm now for 6 months and nothing seems to work.

- Apple Cider Vinegar - is this worth trying long term. I am currently taking a couple of tablespoons a day. Anything to alkalise the body and rid them that way?
- Any probiotics that will strengthen our gut flora to the point where the pinworm/threadworm eggs won't survive? I feel that this is the only way to break the cycle.
- Any herbal or natural remedies that are safe for me and my 18 month old to take? I read that pumpkin seeds will paralyse the worms if eaten in a large quantity (a cup full) but that they also contain Cyanide so too much is poisonous??

I am losing my mind over this!!

A little background:

I am in the same situation, my family have been struggling with pinworm/threadworm for 6 months now. I have taken Mebendazole (In UK this is sold as Ovex) 5 times now. After the first tablet I was bloated and but they didn't seem to go away. So I followed it with a 2nd tablet and a 3rd (in 2 week increments), only to have them return. I saw the doctor who advised my entire family (my husband and 18 month old) all take it, followed by a 2nd tablet 2 weeks later. We did this, and even travelled away from home to my parents-in-law while we did it to get away from any eggs that may be in our house. This time the worms seemed to go away and the itching stopped. But, alas, 2 and a half weeks after the last tablet they are back again!! :-(

I am on a whole foods plant based diet, have been vegan for 4 months now and don't eat a lot of sugar at all. I am worried that all this medicine (along with a change in diet) has really changed my gut flora and feel that if it was strong enough we could "Resist" the eggs and be done with this! But I am really cautious because I am breastfeeding. I REALLY didn't want to take the Mebendazole in the first place because of this, but succumbed when I realised that my 18month old son could be effected and would need the medicine anyway. It's just getting us all really down and depressed.

Any advise from those out there in the Alternative Medicine Community would be massively appreciated!! I'm due my 4th visit to the doctors this Friday and am dreading being told to take ANOTHER set of Mebendezole.... ugh.

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It's very possible the infection is being spread and spread again by your child to the rest of the family.  This is mostly found in kids, and when adults get it it's usually from their kids.  Once you've got them in your house, you've got to wash everything that touches the butt, and in hot water.  Take hot showers in the morning.  As for the med, sometimes meds do damage the very immune systems that fight against repeat infections.  Antibiotics, and anything that kills is an antibiotic, if strong enough will also kill off beneficial organisms, but this critter is still getting in because it's in your house.  I'm guessing family members are now passing it along to one another, which is why the docs want to treat the whole family.  Treating it depends on where they are -- if they've gotten inside the body, that requires internal medicines, but they can also live on the edge of the anus without being inside your colon.  Just depends.  Wormwood is found in almost all natural formulas for dealing with worms.  Is it more toxic than the med you're already using?  Don't know.  There's not a ton of it in a capsule, but treating these things naturally takes more applications and takes longer.  But if you look at worm treatments, they usually contain several herbs, so you can buy them singly.  Black walnut is one that is almost always combined with wormwood in formulas.  The best, however, in this case, might be raw garlic.  If you want a great but very expensive garlic supplement because you don't want to mince and eat a bunch of raw garlic until it works, New Chapter makes a great garlic oil cap.  It will reek of garlic, but that's what you want.  Oregano oil might help as well, but it might burn in the breast milk.  It's a hot herb.  Eclectic Institute makes a great garlic oil for topical application.  I have had recurring fungal infections in both my feet and in the groin area, and if it gets really bad I've found I've had to use the medication because the itch drives me nuts at that point, but although it works the problem comes back almost inevitably, so after I get rid of it at the very first hint of an itch I start applying the garlic oil topically and taking the garlic oil caps and oregano oil internally.  Haven't had to use medication since.  You're worms are a bit different than mine were, but it's a similar problem, and the advice will be the same -- clean, clean, clean, throw out if you need to and can afford to start over, and in this case, focus on the child, as this might be the problem.  As for your diet, do know that a vegan diet can be a fungus magnet.  I know, I know, everyone's told you vegan is healthy, but no, it's really not unless you work at it really hard.  It's very carb intensive, and carbs when not burned will turn into a certain amount of sugar even if you're not consuming any.  The way to get sugar out of your life is to eat animal food, unfortunately, because it's mostly fat and protein, but that doesn't mean you have to do that, not by any means, just know that simply being vegan is irrelevant to health -- might be better for the heart, might be worse for the pancreas and for getting fungal infections.  Life is complicated.  Make sure you're getting enough protein.  Notice that your child isn't vegan -- drinking milk, right?  It's more a political thing than a proven health thing.  A buffalo has less fat than a soy bean.  So eat the same balanced diet as a vegan as you would if you weren't and that will be fine.  Make sure you get B12 and methionine from somewhere, it's not in a vegan diet unless you're doing a lot of fresh water algae.  Too many vegans think that's enough to make them healthy -- it isn't, you still have to eat well.  If you had no sugar, you'd have no energy to burn for immediate needs.  And those worms do love sugar.  Peace.  
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