Worms / Parasites
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Worms / Parasites Info
“The early bird may get the worm, but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese.”
Parasitic worms (often referred to as helminths) are a division of eukaryotic parasites. They are worm-like organisms living in and feeding on living hosts, receiving nourishment and protection while disrupting their hosts' nutrient absorption, causing weakness and disease. Those that live inside the digestive tract are called intestinal parasites. They can live inside humans and other animals.
Helminthology is the study of parasitic worms. The word helminth comes from Greek hélmins, which is a type of worm.
Helminths often find their way into a host through contaminated food or water, soil, mosquito bites, and even sexual contact. Vegetables that have been poorly washed and eaten raw, may contain eggs of nematodes. Plants may also be contaminated with worms.
Specifically, undercooked meats may transmit Taenia (pork, beef and venison,) Trichinella (pork and bear,) Diphyllobothrium and Clonorchis (both from fish) and Paragonimus (crustaceans).
Schistosomes and nematodes such as hookworms have the ability to penetrate the skin of humans.
Populations in the developing world are at particular risk for infestation with parasitic worms. Risk factors include inadequate water treatment, use of contaminated water for drinking, cooking, irrigation and to wash food, undercooked food of animal origin, and walking barefoot. Simple measures can have strong impacts on prevention. These include the use of shoe, adequate cooking of foods and sleeping under mosquito-proof nets in high risk areas.
Most parasitic infections occur due to intestinal helminths. Scholars estimate over a quarter of the world’s population is infected with an intestinal worm of some sort, with roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms infecting over one billion people on the planet.
Possible causes include: consumption of food and water that has been contaminated with human or animal faeces, eating raw or undercooked meats, poor hygiene habits such as washing or bathing infrequently, not washing your hands before eating or preparing food after using the bathroom, unsanitary living conditions, livestock such as cattle or pigs may become infected by being exposed to contaminated pastures and traveling frequently to developing countries where poor sanitary conditions exist.
Herbal remedies for parasitic infestations include pumpkin seeds, garlic, wormwood, quassia, black walnut, malefern, tansy and fennel. A dietary cleanse or fasting is a useful adjunct to herbal treatment, under the guidance of a qualified health practitioner.
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