However, there is a topic relating to children’s health that is not usually discussed and is even considered hush-hush in open circles. We talk about it openly in our home. And with knowledge comes responsibility.
With many of our foster children, we have experienced illnesses where the symptoms were caused by parasitic worms that required a thorough deworming in order to heal.
It makes complete sense that people (including medical doctors) don’t talk about worms living inside our bodies because it’s downright disgusting! However, it needs to be discussed more openly because we all get them!
In fact, my MD friends are finding worms and other parasites in more and more patients than ever before.
Is it the diet? The highly processed and genetically modified foods?
Is it other factors that weaken the immune system and disrupt beneficial gut flora like environmental toxins and excessive antibiotics? The average child has 17 rounds before adulthood.
Probably all are contributing factors.
The London OB&GYN Press reports that when children suddenly experience diarrhea, it is most likely an enteric infection (infection of the intestines). These infections are viral, bacterial, and/or pathogenic. This happens to all of us, but mostly in children under 5.
Think about it. Who is closest to the ground and who puts everything in their mouth?
Children 5 and under!
So the issue is truly about how well we are eating and living.
Is our immune system strong enough to deworm and flush out parasites naturally or do the worms have a toxic environment to easily take root within us and thrive?
Fortunately, not all worms are bad! There are beneficial worms too just like there are beneficial bacteria and yeasts that guard our gut from pathogenic strains.
However, the bad worms are bad … really bad. But no need to panic! It’s fixable.
First let me share just a few of the experiences we have seen.
Parasites like worms can cause crazy things: cravings to eat obscene amounts of sugar, constant hunger pangs never abated, headaches (read #4 below), desire to eat things like dirt, laundry powder, stool or boogers (caused by the nematode), seizures, cramping in the abdomen, and head sores (lice are parasites).
Some children we have seen complain of very itchy bottoms from pin worms. One child we fostered had moving worms in his stool that could be easily seen in the toilet.
Our goal is not to create fear, but rather awareness so that our families can find health through prevention, remedies and diets that are natural (with no harmful side effects).
Deworming Prevention We Follow in Our Home
- Wash hands, especially before eating and coming home from school.
- Keep good hygiene, bathroom and shower time.
- Teach children (everyday I repeat to my children, “wash your hands”).
- Keep a relatively clean house and kitchen (does not need to be magazine clean).
- 5 minute Soak (wash your food) with water. Squeeze a lemon or 1 drop of lemon oil.
- We pray before and after we eat.
Whatever you do, don’t start looking at parasite videos online. We had nightmares from all the wriggling, menacing looking creatures! Instead, focus on the positive ways to keep your family strong and mostly free of these nasty critters.
It is important to qualify that we are constantly taking in parasites and constantly eliminating parasites. The goal is to simply maintain a body with the least bad worms and pathogens.
A Brief Deworming History
It seems that every generation prior to modern times made deworming a regular part of their lives. Even grassbased dairy farms use deworming herbs and plants for the cows grazing in the pasture.
Our generation chooses to ignore this basic practice. We recognize that people in third world countries have parasites. We also recognize that we eat animals that have parasitic worms. Somehow we disconnect and think because we live in an industrialized nation, these worms do not live within us. When I pried and asked my family, here is some information I got. Did your ancestry do any of this?
My Great-Grandfather passed down his knowledge to my Grandfather who passed information to my Dad. One story went like this:
“Three days before school, all the children would take castor oil. Within a few hours, the bowels begin to empty. We did this for 2-3 days.”
It reads like a section in Little House on the Prairie! People and society in general were more connected to their bodies and the earth around them 50-100 years ago than we are today.
Our gut flora is filled with bacteria. It is amazing! Our guts need a plethora of good bugs in order to process and digest food. But we want the good guys, not the bad guys! Thus, here are methods that we know are very effective, quick, and natural. My grandparents did not have to use toxins and chemicals to remove worms, so we shouldn’t either.
Effective Ways for Deworming the Gut
*Warning: some of these deworming methods are controversial, but they work!
- Bone Broth from organic, pastured animals. The marrow and fat in the bones is superb for deworming!
- Ferment, ferment, ferment! Get those good bugs in the gut. Let them fight the pathogens and parasitic worms.
- Green Juice. Mix spinach, garlic, apples, and more. Eliminate or reduce your solid food intake and drink juice for some of your meals for a day or two. This will starve and flush out the worms.
- Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth. I’ve heard mixed reviews, but this stuff works for us. We take 1 Tbsp of the Food Grade DTE powder and pour 2 ounces of clean water on top to mix. Drink fast, it settles at the bottom of the glass.
- Castor Oil: If we want to boost the Diatomaceous Earth to be more effective, we take 1 Tbsp of Castor Oil along with it and within a few hours, we are completely empty and clear.
- Herbs in capsules or tincture form. We use wormwood, black walnut hull, and common clove. Years ago, I read some German research that recommended this. Today it’s all over the web. You can’t take this for months (or when pregnant/nursing) but once a week or 3 consecutive days a month (around the full moon) is effective for our family. The herb combination is apparently good for killing the parasite eggs, young, and adult stage.
- Anti-parasitic essential oils (which are plants and herbs condensed into a volatile form that can pass through cell walls quickly): Cinnamon, Peppermint, Clove, Lemon, Melaleuca, Oil of Oregano, Roman Chamomile, and Thyme.
- Enemas: This is by far the fastest way to clean the bowel. Think clean, not sterile. We do these often and I get so many questions that I wrote it down for a step by step guide. For an upgrade, we periodically enlist a Colon Hydrotherapist. Colonics are a very effective flush performed by a licensed professional. Just be sure to continue the first 3 steps noted above so you keep good flora in your gut.
Note: With all of the above options except 1-3, we take supplemental minerals and amino acids. This is super important because we want our bodies to be supported nutritionally as we detox. Weak bodies can go into seizures and dehydrate without enough minerals.
Also, we have found that doing a cleanse once a month is extremely effective, strangely enough, if done during the full moon. Try it yourself and see if you notice a difference.
A Word of Caution Regarding Natural Deworming
One thing to keep in mind. Sometimes parasites can become very entrenched within the digestive system and become highly resistant to even natural methods of elimination particularly if this has been an ongoing problem for a long time. If you find this to be your situation, don’t hesitate to consult a holistic physician who can prescribe the proper, short term use medications as necessary!
May your good bugs outnumber your bad and may you and your family be strong enough to reach out and help other children who need a loving home!
NICE Clinical Guidelines, No. 84 National Collaborating Centre for Women’s and Children’s Health (UK). London: RCOG Press; 2009 Apr. ISBN-13: 978-1-906985-14-1
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Mandy Lee NTP writes at Fostering Nutrition. Her hope is to inspire health for you and your family. As a wife and Mother who has birthed, fostered and adopted wonderful children, she wants to empower you to eat well, live fully and give…because everyone deserves the right to BE HEALTHY and BELONG!!