Natural Deworming Medicines For Kids
Stop giving your kid medicines every time he suffers from symptoms of worm infestation. Try our list of natural deworming remedies to effectively get rid of worms in your child.
By Monali Bordoloi
Sujatha Dehury, mom of 7-year-old Saumen, is at a loss when her son gets up at night complaining of stomach aches and itching in his anal region. Close inspection reveals that he has intestinal worms. Before starting medicines for deworming, Sujatha decides to try out some natural remedies first.
Sujatha is not alone. There are many mothers out there whose kids suffer from worm infestation.
The process of removal of worms in the intestine with the aid of medication is known as deworming. Deworming in kids is essential for their health as it helps in relieving the symptoms and discomfort caused by worm infestation.
How do children get worms?
Kids are prone to contact with worm-infested toys, objects or dust while playing. Other kids in school may have pinworms and may transfer it to the desk, clothes or other items.
Worm eggs get lodged in the fingernails of children which are then transferred to the mouth. Once ingested, these eggs travel all the way to the small intestine where they hatch resulting in a worm infestation.
The most common type of intestinal worm is the threadworm or pinworm. These worms travel down to the anus and lay eggs around the anus which results in intense itching and scratching.
Symptoms of worms in kids
- Intense itching around the bottom at night-time
- Redness and inflammation around the bottom area from scratching
- Passing of worms in stool
- Reduced appetite
- Stomach ache and diarrhea
- Unexplained weight loss
- Irritability and crying in babies
- Not sleeping well
Doctors use various methods to diagnose whether your child is suffering from a worm infestation. Here are some of the diagnostic methods:
- Tape test: A clear tape is placed around the anus of the child. This tape is then directly examined under the microscope to check for presence of pinworms.
- Parasite stool test: Worms, larvae and eggs can be identified by examination of the stool sample.
- Endoscopy: The small intestine is directly visualized and checked for presence of parasites by inserting an optical fibre cable with a camera through the mouth and passing it through the oesophagus and stomach.
- Colonoscopy: In this method, a fibre-optic cable with a camera is inserted via the rectum into the small intestine to inspect for any parasites that are large enough to be visible.
- Blood tests: This test is performed to look for some parasites that are present in the blood.
Tips to protect your kids from worms
- Teach your child to not put dirty hands in the mouth or scratch around his bottom
- Cut your child’s fingernails short to prevent dirt from accumulating under them
- Ensure that children wash hands before eating
- Also ensure they wash hands with soap and water after using the toilet
- Make children wear shoes or slippers when venturing outside
- Make them wash hands thoroughly or take a bath after playing with pets
- Clean toilet seats and potties regularly
- Ensure the entire family practises personal hygiene
- Wash all vegetables and fruits thoroughly
- Cook meat well before eating
Home remedies for worms in kids
Before rushing to the nearest clinic for medicines, parents should try home remedies for worms in babies. Here is a list of some home remedies that you can use to deworm your child naturally:
Turmeric or haldi is long hailed as the most easily available antiseptic in any household. It is also effective in dealing with all kinds of intestinal worms.
How to have it:
Give your kid a glass of buttermilk with one spoon of turmeric once every day. Continue this for a week or so to flush out the intestinal worms. Alternatively, you can do it by putting one spoon of turmeric to a glass of warm water.
Also read: Health Benefits Of Turmeric Milk For Kids
2. Coconut oil:
The anti-parasitic properties found in coconut and its oil make it an effective treatment for worm infestation. Both coconut and its oil are used to treat intestinal worms in children.
How to have it:
Give one teaspoon of coconut oil to the child first thing in the morning for a week. It should be followed by a cup of warm water. Eating raw coconut in breakfast or a tablespoon of grated coconut daily for a week or 10 days is also said to take care of the worm infestation problem in children.
The triglycerides present in extra-virgin coconut oil help in removing the worms from the child’s body. Coconut oil also boosts child’s immunity and prevents recurrence.
3. Bitter gourd:
Traditionally, bitter gourd and its juice are used to treat parasites in the tummy. Children should be encouraged to eat bitter gourd at least once a week as a preventive measure.
How to have it:
Bitter gourd should be cut and soaked in water for an hour with salt and turmeric. It will reduce the bitterness from it. It can also be boiled along with a potato and salt. Then mash the bitter gourd with potato and feed the child. One more effective way to have bitter gourd is to make juice out of one bitter gourd and mix it with water and honey. (Honey should be given only to children above two years of age) The child suffering from worms should have it at least twice a day to get some relief.
The neem leaves are known to have strong anti-parasitical properties and can be used effectively in treating worm infestation.
How to have it:
These days, dried neem flowers are available. These can be added to rasam and sambar as tempering. Neem leaves can also be shallow fried in little oil or ghee. Sprinkle a pinch of salt or rock salt. Remove it when crisp. Try to feed these crisp leaves to your child with rice.
Also, dried neem powder can be used to cure worm problems in children. Put one teaspoon of the powder in warm milk and mix some honey. Ask your kid to drink this, preferably on empty stomach for one week. You can continue to feed your child with this drink until the worms are completely gone.
A pod of garlic is packed with many worm-fighting properties. Hailed as one of the best natural dewormer for kids, garlic can be safely used to kill parasites from the body without any side effects.
How to have it:
Crush 2-3 garlic cloves, put it in one cup of milk and bring it to a boil. Give it to your child to flush out the worms present in his tummy.
Or, soak 2-3 cloves of raw garlic in honey and give it to your child on an empty stomach.
6. Unripe papaya:
The enzyme presents in raw papaya named papain is potent enough to destroy the intestinal worms. Papaya seeds are also useful in expelling worms from the stomach.
How to have it:
Grate the firm raw papaya and mix it with warm milk along with one tablespoon of honey. Make your child drink this until he is free from worm infestation.
Ground papaya seeds mixed with warm milk or water also help in getting rid of worms. Get your child to drink it first thing in the morning, for three days in a row. You can ask your child to gulp the seeds as a whole, so that she does not taste the bitterness.
Tips to feed bitter food to your child:
- For children older than two years, we can mix neem juice with honey and feed that to the child.
- Boiled pieces of karela can be hidden inside rice balls.
- Put 2-3 cloves of raw garlic in honey for an hour and give it to your child.
- For older children, when giving bitter foods, try combining it with your child's favourite food. That way, the child would not get a chance to taste the bitterness or strong flavour of the food.
- Most likely, your child will refuse to have bitter-tasting food, but you should not lose heart and keep on trying. It is said that if you repeatedly offer bitter foods to your child, eventually, they will come around and taste it. But, remember, do not force or pressurise your child.
1. What are the signs of worms in a child?
You may notice tiny thread like worms on the undergarments of your child or in the toilet after he goes to the bathroom. Also, there will be itching around the anus during night. This causes the child to itch or scratch his bottom during sleep.
2. Can babies get worms?
Yes. Your baby can come in contact with a worm-infested surface or item while crawling or playing outdoors. Also, an infected person with improper hygiene can pass on the worms to the baby during handling.
3. How often should I deworm my child?
It is essential to get rid of worms as these nasty parasites can affect your child’s health and well-being. It is a good practice to deworm children every six months after the age of two. Repeat treatments are required as only the adult worms are eliminated but the eggs stay on in the body leading to reinfection. For more detailed information on deworming, see the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendations.
4. Why is it important to deworm children?
Worm infestation can cause children to fall sick resulting in loss of attendance in school. Also, their growth and performance is affected. Regular deworming helps to keep children in good health as well as stops the spread of infestation in the community.
Here's all you need to know about foods to give your child when she has diarrhoea.
About the expert:
Reviewed by Dr Niveditha Srinivasamurthy on 5 April 2018
Dr Niveditha Srinivasamurthy is an Ayurveda consultant based in Bengaluru, Karnataka.
About the author:
Written by Monali Bordoloi on 1 April 2018; updated on 29 June 2020
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