Anthelmintic Herbs and Tonics

Drugs which kill and expel worms are called “anthelmintic”. Worms enter the body through the skin or as ova in contaminated foods. Some can only be detected by examining the faeces for ova. Other types are indicated by such symptoms as abdominal pain and pressure, loss of weight, loss of appetite, eating without satisfying hunger, desire for strange foods or materials, yellow complexion, body swelling, and itchy anus. Treatment of intestinal worms should always be followed up with appropriate preventive care to prevent recurrence of contamination.

Anthelmintic herbs should be used with the following points in mind:

  • Prolonged worm infestation with attendant symptoms of abdominal stagnation should be treated in combination with digestives.
  • Anthelmintics are most effectively administered on an empty stomach, to insure direct contact with the worms. If patients also suffer from chronic constipation, combine treatment with cathartics or laxatives to insure thorough elimination of worms and their ova.
  • Dosages of anthelmintics should be carefully regulated, especially with highly poisonous herbs, to prevent toxification
  • When fever or acute abdominal pain is displayed, use of anthelmintics should be temporarily halted
  • These drugs should be used sparingly in pregnant women, the weak, and the elderly.




Natural distribution: China, India, Indochina.

Parts used: Fruits.

Nature: Sweet; warm.

Affinity: Spleen, stomach.

Effects: Anthelmintic; digestive.

Indications: Pains and pressure in abdomen due to stagnation caused by tapeworms; abdominal swelling and swollen limbs in children due to intestinal parasites.

Dosage: 4-8 g (1 fruit per year of age in children.)

Remarks: This is an important drug in treating parasitic contamination in children Natural.



Natural distribution: Indochina, India, Taiwan.

Parts used: Betel Nuts.

Nature: Pungent and bitter; warm.

Affinity: Stomach, large intestine.

Effects: Anthelmintic; digestive; diuretic.

Indications: All types of intestinal worms; stagnant accumulations of undigested food; irregular bowel movements; swelling in feet and legs.

Dosage: 4-10 g.

Remarks: Also used in malaria.



Natural distribution: World-wide.

Parts used: Seeds.

Nature: Sweet; warm.

Affinity: (Natural affinities not determined.)

Effects: Anthelmintic.

Indications: Intestinal worms; swelling and pain in abdomen.

Dosage: 30-50 g.

Remarks: The herb is relatively new in Chinese medicine, which is why its affinities have not yet been established; usually followed up with cathartics.



Natural distribution: World-wide.

Parts used: Rhizomes.

Nature: Bitter; slightly cold.

Affinity: Liver, stomach.

Effects: Anthelmintic; antipyretic; antidote; hemostatic.

Indications: All types of intestinal worms; pain and pressure in abdomen; inflamed and infected abscesses due to heat excess; thyroid inflammations; menorrhagia.

Dosage: 8-15 g.

Remarks: Mildly poisonous; effective preventive against contagious colds.



Natural distribution: World-wide.

Parts used: Bulbs.

Nature: Pungent, warm.

Affinity: Stomach, large intestine.

Effects: Anthelmintic; antiseptic; antidote; stomachic; tonic.

Indications: Hookworm, pin-worm; diarrhea and dysentery; tuberculosis; coughing fits; external application to early stages of abscesses and ringworm on the head.

Dosage: 3-5 cloves (fresh).

Remarks: Extracts of this family of herbs have recently become popular remedies in the West; it has been often noted that countries which consume large quantities of garlic have a lower incidence of cancer than others; the herb is by far more effective when used fresh.

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