Close the can of worms

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Anti-parasite treatments can have bad side effects, so try these folk remedies of fruits and nuts to cleanse the body more gently

 Pomegranates and papaya are common fruits that can help clear worms through simple remedies. Photos: Thai Nguyen, Shutterstock

According to Dr. Huynh Tan Vu from the Faculty of Traditional Medicine at the Ho Chi Minh City University Medical Center, worms generally come from eating raw food, unhygienic food, and food that isn't cooked at the right temperature. Pollution and heavy drinking also weaken our intestines, making it easier for worms to grow.

Papaya, acacia seeds and pomegranates are common fruits that can help clear worms through simple remedies.


The bark of the pomegranate root is a strong remedy for tapeworms as it contains liquid alkaloids (pelletierine and isopellertierin). Combined with natural tannins, these substances then form vermifuge, a non-dissolvable substance that expels intestinal worms without causing side effects.

To make a pomegranate remedy, you need 40 grams pomegranate root bark, 4 grams of rhubarb, and 4 grams of Areca nuts. Add these to 750 grams of water and heat until around 300ml of water remains. Divide this amount into two or three portions. Before taking this remedy, users should fast the night before. After drinking the medicine, they should lie down and rest until they feel the need to have a bowel movement. To encourage the body to cleanse itself, they can sit on toilet bowl filled with warm water. However, this remedy is not to be or used by pregnant women or children.


Papaya is a fruit that provides fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, and E. It also contains a small amount of calcium, iron, riboflavin, thiamine and niacin. In order to treat pinworms, eat ripe papaya in the early morning for two or three days. According to traditional medicinal beliefs, the resin from the papaya has a strong effect on worms. Papaya resin includes the papain enzyme, which is processed to make worm treatment pills.

Papaya works on round worm, pinworm and whipworm, but not hookworm. Papaya is also full of antioxidants that strengthen the immune system. However, people who have gastric ulcer problems and young children should not eat too much papaya.

Areca nuts


Chewing pumpkin seeds is actually a beneficial habit to kill worms. Both fresh and roasted pumpkin seeds are good to eat, but the roasted seeds should not be too burnt. Pumpkin seeds contain amino acids, unsaturated fat, carbohydrates and vitamins B, C, D, E, and K, which promote our health and kill worms.

We should eat pumpkin seeds when we are hungry, but people who have stomach problems need to consult with their doctors before starting on these seeds. For adults, 100 grams of ground pumpkin seeds mixed with 50 100g of honey is the best remedy, and it's best eaten slowly over the course of an hour so the mix can be absorbed in the intestines more easily. Children can take it according to their age, with 30 grams of seeds for 3-4 years old children, and 75 grams for 5-7 years old.

Pumpkin seeds can be combined with areca nuts to form a perfect worm killer
Grind 30 grams of dried Areca nuts into powder, add two bowls of water and slowly boil it for an hour. Drink this liquid before having breakfast. Decocted Areca nut liquid paralyzes the nerves of worms, making them unable to hang on to the intestines. They are then discharged from the body via a bowel movement.

Since Areca nuts contain toxins, the amount consumed must be restricted to a maximum of 80 grams for average men, 50 60 grams for women and small-sized men, and 30 grams for children under 10 years old.

Areca nuts can also be combined with pumpkin seeds to form a perfect worm killer. Eat 40 100 grams of pumpkin seeds and drink decocted Areca nuts liquid a couple of hours later.

Other fruits

Seeds from the Takeo bushwillow (Vietnamese "trâm bu"), which grows wildly along canals in southeastern Vietnam, can be used to treat roundworm.

To make a medicinal Takeo cake, use equal amounts of Takeo seeds and skunk vine leaves ("lá mơ lông"), chop and mix them finely, add some rice flour. Steam the flour mix and eat in the early morning when hungry.

Acacia seeds also work. Roast Acacia seeds until they crack open, then grind them into powder. Add some water to drink this powder in the early morning for three continuous days. Take 25 50 grams for adults, 5 grams for children from 3 5 years old, 7 grams for children 6 10 years old and 10 grams for children 11 15 years old.

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