Parasites and poisons -- using medicinal herbs like black walnut to fight invaders

Intestinal worms, liver flukes, and other internal parasites usually live in the digestive tract but may move or hatch in other parts of the body. Parasites weaken the whole system. The best defense is a strong immune system, but infestations may still occur. Besides worms, other common parasites include mites, lice, and ticks. When parasites invade the body or take up residence on the skin, time-tested herbal remedies offer several effective treatments.

Air pollution and food poisoning are other ways that our bodies are vulnerable. From environmental hazards like heavy metals, radiation, and toxic chemicals, to food contaminants like salmonella, botulism, and even rancid cooking oils, the human body is constantly bombarded by poisons and dangerous toxins. Herbs can help protect from these types of invaders, too.

Girl with puppy is not worried about worms or parasites.
© Verity Johnson | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Humans can get intestinal worms from kissing pets. Hugs are much safer.

Use black walnut rind tea or tincture to expel worms.

Black walnut rinds are an effective remedy to get rid of worms. Walnut tinctures and teas are made from the rind and leaves. The black walnut tree is considered a potent ally in herbal medicine. Its leaves are very astringent and antiseptic, using in promoting bile flow. The inner bark of the walnut tree is used as an effective laxative.

Walnut is useful in many herbal treatments.

Walnut is used to expel worms, as a digestive tonic, as a purgative, and an anti-inflammatory. Walnut rinds also contain anti-fungal properties. Infusions of the rind (hull) are good for skin problems like eczema and eyelid inflammation. Walnut tinctures and infusions are used in the treatment of athlete’s foot, acne, boils, other skin infections, cysts, respiratory problems, asthma, diarrhea, constipation, anemia, dandruff, thyroid problems, and excessive perspiration of the hands and feet.

More about black walnuts

Walnuts are one of the best things in nature. A nutritious food, the meats nourish the brain, keep the circulatory system healthy, and provide important vitamins and minerals to the diet. Walnuts are packed full of essential fatty acids and are helpful in lowering cholesterol.

Walnut tincture recipe:

Ingredients -- green walnut rinds, water, vodka

Equipment -- vegetable brush, stainless steel or glass container (bowl or pot) with tight-fitting lid, strainer, storage jar

To make walnut tincture, gather walnuts that have fallen off of the tree in late fall. Gather the greenest colored rinds that are free from cracks. Wash well with plain water (no fluoride or chlorine) and scrub with a brush if necessary to get all the dirt off. Put the walnuts with green rinds in a large, stainless steel pot or bowl with a tight-fitting lid. (Glass containers work but never use aluminum.) Completely cover the walnut rind hulls with vodka or grain alcohol. Let walnut hulls sit in alcohol for three or four days then strain and pour the brownish black liquid into tightly capped glass jars. Discard walnut hull material. Store the walnut tincture in the refrigerator for up to three years.

Some people can have an allergic reaction when handling black walnuts hulls. Black walnuts also stain the skin dark brown so use protective gloves when you handle these nuts.

Treating parasites and worms with walnut tincture

When treating stubborn parasites, dosage is five to ten drops of walnut tincture a day for up to three months. For best results, combine the walnut tincture with wormwood and freshly ground cloves. Some herbal practitioners advise their patients to take a tablespoon of the tincture once a week. Consult with a healthcare professional for exact dosage recommendations.

Black walnut tincture cautions

Remember - walnut rind tea, tinctures, and extracts contain toxic compounds that kill worms and may cause cramps in humans. Do not over do it or take if constipated or if there is a possibility of blockage.

Use walnut leaves and hulls as natural insecticide.

Walnut leaves and hulls can be soaked in water for several days and then used as a natural pest control. The resulting liquid will kill worms in the lawn or garden without harming plants. Walnut infusions can also be used as a permanent ink or hair coloring.

Walnut trees have many uses.

Walnut trees grow to a height of 60 feet with a large spreading top and thick trunk. The wood is used in furniture making and is an excellent material for gun stocks. Walnut trees must have full sun. They are draught hardy and do best when protected from the wind. Walnut trees are grown for the fruit, the wood, and the oil. Walnut oil is delicious in salad dressings. We have several large ones here on Payne Mountain Farms that provide us -- and the squirrels -- with a bountiful harvest most every fall.

Walnut leaves and fruits are used as herbal remedies.
Walnut tree with leaves and fruit growing on Payne Mountain Farms - Photo by Janice Boling

Walnut tinctures are used in the treatment of worms and parasites.

Walnut meats should be stored in the freezer.

After shelling, walnut meats become rancid in just a few weeks. Store them in the freezer for up to a year.

Other herbs help kill worms

Other herbs to try include valerian, barberry, yellowroot, myrrh, witch hazel, and cayenne. Take tea or tincture up to six times a day. Drink extra water to flush out dead parasites.

Cucumbers can help expel worms.

Eat a large cucumber followed by two cups of weak senna tea and a half cup of pumpkin seeds. Butternut bark tea can also expel worms. Do not try any of these home remedies if severely constipated or if there is possibility of a digestive blockage.

Internal parasites range from a foot long to microscopic in size.

Symptoms of parasite infection include fever, cramping, anemia, abdominal pain, diarrhea, gas, weight loss, bloating, and lack of energy. Just one tapeworm can cause intestinal obstruction and severe distress. Parasite infections may be caused by poor diet, poor hygiene, spoiled meat, undercooked meat, undercooked fish, kissing infected pets, and poor water quality. Parasites can come from soil, plants, animals, and other humans. Some can be seen with the naked eye. Some need to be viewed with a microscope.

Eat pumpkin seeds to kill parasites.

Amaranth grain and pumpkin seeds can help remove parasites from the digestive tract. A good cleansing program begins with a fast -- drink only apple juice, green drinks, and water with fresh garlic cloves or garlic capsules for one day. The next day drink peppermint and weak wormwood tea (using wormwood with caution), fresh papaya or pineapple juice, and take one or two teaspoons of cod liver oil. Eat a handful of raw or roasted pumpkin seeds or some amaranth every four hours along with fresh vegetables and citrus fruits. On day three, resume a healthy diet including lots of onions, garlic, and water.

Home remedies for amoebic dysentery

Amoebic dysentery is caused by parasites that live in water. For amoebic dysentery, one old remedy says to take carrot, beet, and cucumber juice once a day to cleanse the kidneys. Then drink lemon juice every morning for three days. Some old timers say to take lemon juice with a fresh egg white.Then on the fourth day, take two teaspoons of Epsom salts to purge the bowels. See diarrhea and dysentery for more information.

Use essential oil to rid body of external parasites.

External parasites include lice and scabies mites. Try applications of thyme oil, tea tree oil, and myrrh powder mixed with a good carrier oil like almond oil. Apply to infested area often throughout the day and before bed. Do not use essential oils near the eyes.

Treat tick bites with herbs

Ticks are also considered parasites. Remove a tick as soon as it is found. This will reduce the chance of disease transmission. Wash bite area with soap. See a healthcare professional if bull's eye rash forms around bite -- or if the tick has been attached for over 24 hours. Applications of lavender essential oil, tea tree oil, or a wash of strong yellowroot tea can help prevent infection. Also try applying a poultice containing mashed up plantain leaves with rosemary or oregano added for extra strength directly to bite area. For more information about diseases transmitted by ticks, visit the Center for Disease Control.

Use herbs daily to discourage liver flukes

Sometimes liver flukes are diagnosed as liver cancer and patients are treated with radiation or chemotherapy. Liver flukes feed on blood and are difficult to diagnose -- and to kill. Building the immunity is very important in cases of these stubborn parasites. Good diet, daily exercise, and herbs like echinacea, dandelion, astragalus, yellowroot, and ginseng should be taken regularly.

Tips for fighting poisoning and toxic chemicals with medicinal herbs

Food poisoning alone affects between 60 and 80 million people worldwide each year, resulting in approximately 6 to 8 million deaths and countless visits to hospitals. There is no telling how many people are harmed each day by air pollution and environmental poisons. These poisons build up over a period of years and are not included in statistics.

Symptoms of poisoning include diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Symptoms usually come on suddenly and may include body aches, cold sweats, severe abdominal pains, severe headaches, chills, fever, red rash on skin, weakness, limp muscles, paralysis that spreads downward, double vision, dry mouth, speech difficulty, cramps, and respiratory failure. Call the American Association of Poison Control Centers (800) 222-1222 to reach the poison control hotline if you or someone you know may have been poisoned.

These colorful mushrooms are poisonous.
© Vladimir Fedoroff | Dreamstime Stock Photos

These colorful mushrooms may look pretty, but they are poisonous and could be deadly if eaten.

Heavy metal poisoning causes increased sense of smell.

Symptoms of heavy metal poisoning include an increased sense of smell, aversion to perfumes and strong cleansers, low tolerance to alcohol, poor reaction times, seizures, psychotic behaviors, memory loss, senility, infertility, impotency, small back spots on the gums, weakness, dizziness, insomnia, nerve problems, hyperactivity, learning disabilities, bronchitis, miscarriages, bad breath, and body odor.

Try detoxing for getting rid of heavy metals.

A heavy build-up of heavy metals and environmental poisons is common in today's society. Nicotine, insecticide, herbicide, over-treated water, hair dye, aluminum cookware, household cleansers, deodorants, smoke, smog, paint fumes, and habitual use of antacids contribute to the problem. (Antacids interfere with the body's enzyme production and reduce its ability to carry off heavy metals.) Heavy metal poisoning requires detoxification. A seven day diet of vegetables, brown rice, fruits, cilantro, and lots of water can help cleanse the kidneys and liver of heavy metal poisons.

Cilantro for heavy metal detox

The following video teaches us about the top 3 health benefits of cilantro and its researched effects on detoxifying heavy metals from the body:

Use milk thistle seed to protect the liver from too much iron.

Antioxidants and vitamins are very important in the treatment of heavy metal poisoning. Vitamin E, vitamin C, and zinc should be taken in supplement form. Herbs can also help clear the body of heavy metals. Evening primrose oil, milk thistle seed, green tea, and dandelion are recommended especially for patients with iron overload disease. A hot seaweed bath is also known to remove many heavy metals from the body. Using a dry brush on skin before and after the bath also helps.

Treating mild food poisoning at home with medicinal herbs and spices

Light cases of food poison may be treated at home. Do not drink milk, juice, alcohol, or vinegar until poison is removed from the stomach. Eat some high fiber foods and yellow vegetables (like squash and sweet potato) as soon as possible. Fresh lettuce is known to neutralize many poisons. Other things that may bring relief include strong black tea, activated charcoal tablets, burnt toast (absorbs poison just like charcoal), milk of magnesia, or aloe vera juice. Plantain tea, skullcap tea, yellow dock tea, or elecampane tea may also help. Other herbs to try include ginger, cinnamon, cloves, licorice, cumin, barberry, thyme, rosemary, yellowroot, peppermint, and peony root.

Healthy immune systems can fight off poisons.

The best defense against all parasites and poisons is a strong immune system. Regular use of immunity enhancers like astragalus, garlic, ginseng, and green drinks can help strengthen, protect, and speed up the healing process.

* Walnut tincture should only be taken internally under the direction of a licensed healthcare professional. Never give raw honey to infants as it may contain botulism producing bacteria. Senna is a well known, extremely effective laxative herb that must be used with caution. Do not use when pregnant or if you could have a blockage in the digestive system. Senna should be used only a couple of days and never on a regular basis. Pregnant or nursing women and children should not use senna. Senna should not be used by people with colitis, Crohn's disease, hemorrhoids, blood vessel disease, congestive heart failure, heart disease, anemia, abdominal hernia, gastrointestinal cancer, recent colon surgery, or liver and kidney disease. Side effects from drinking senna tea may include strong cramps in the abdomen (due to muscle contractions). Senna can cause electrolyte imbalance, loss of body fluids, nausea, rash, swelling of the fingertips, and weight loss. Discontinue use immediately if you experience any side effects. Always consult with a healthcare professional before using any herbal remedy.

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Herb Articles by Janice Boling

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