Pinworms are a surprisingly common parasite – up to 40% of young children have them. These small, thread-like white worms live in the intestines and can cause itching around the anus, stomach cramps, and restlessness, although some people with pinworms have no symptoms. While you can go to the doctor for medicine to kill the worms, this can be a costly option, and home remedies for pinworms can work just as well if administered early on.
Garlic is one of the best-known home remedies for pinworms, and for good reason – this herb has many powerful health benefits. Aside from its well-known antifungal and antibacterial properties, garlic is also a potent parasite killer. Garlic works as a home remedy for pinworms because it kills any pinworm eggs in your intestines. Female worms also cannot lay more eggs when you have garlic in your system.
- Fresh garlic cloves
- Vaseline (optional)
One way to kill pinworms with garlic is simply to eat it. Eat a raw clove twice a day, or, if a plain clove is too strong for you, dice the clove and mix it into another food. You can also make a topical garlic salve by smashing a garlic clove into a paste, mixing the paste with Vaseline, and applying it to the anus.
2. Grapefruit Seed Extract
Grapefruit seed extract is a popular home remedy for pinworms and other parasites. Like garlic, this supplement is able to clean your digestive tract with its anti-bacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties. In fact, some travelers who visit developing countries, where parasites like pinworms are more common, take grapefruit seed extract to prevent infection during their stay.
You can buy grapefruit seed extract online or at a good drugstore or health food store. Take this supplement three times a day in doses of 3-4 drops in a glass of water.
3. Coconut oil
Coconut oil is one of the simplest home remedies for pinworms out there – you may have a jar of this healthy oil sitting your pantry already. Besides being full of nutritional goodness, coconut oil kills bacteria and parasites, making it an easy way to treat pinworms naturally at home.
Use the best-quality coconut oil you can find to treat pinworms, since low-quality oil may not be as effective. Swallow one teaspoon of plain oil in the morning and at night. You can also rub coconut oil around the anus to kill eggs and help relieve itching.
You may not know what wormwood is, but you’ve probably heard of absinthe, the famous drink made from this plant. As it turns out, wormwood has many potent antiparasitic properties in its own right. This herb contains several chemical compounds that quickly kill pinworms, roundworms, and other unwelcome visitors.
- Dried wormwood powder
- Boiling water
The best way to consume wormwood is as a tea. Steep 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of the powder in one cup of boiling water. Sip the tea slowly throughout the day to get the most benefit from it.
5. White willow bark
White willow bark contains a chemical that works like aspirin, which may be able to kill parasites like pinworms. If you’re interested in using this remedy for pinworms, do your research first. Most people can take white willow bark safely, but if you’re allergic to aspirin or taking any blood thinners, you should avoid this remedy and try a different one instead.
- White willow bark
- Boiling water
You can buy white willow bark online or at a specialty health store. Boil one to two cups of water in a saucepan and, when the water comes to a boil, add two to four teaspoons of bark. Let the mixture boil for another five minutes. Then turn off the heat and allow the tea to cool before straining and drinking it.
6. Pumpkin seeds
Raw pumpkin seeds are one of the most effective home remedies for pinworms because they contain a chemical compound that paralyzes the worms, allowing your body to get rid of them. Pumpkin seeds are used as a traditional home remedy for parasites in Germany.
The simplest version of this remedy is to just eat raw, whole pumpkin seeds. Try to consume at least 1 ounce every day. For more impact, you can also blend one cup of seeds into a paste with 1/2 cup of coconut milk and 1/2 cup of water. Eat this mixture for breakfast.
7. High-fiber foods
High-fiber foods, like whole grains and vegetables, are a good natural remedy for pinworms because they help your body excrete the worms more easily. This remedy works particularly well in combination with other home remedies for pinworms.
- High-fiber foods, such as carrots, leafy greens, and oatmeal
- Fiber supplements (optional)
Eat something high in fiber at every meal. One good method of increasing your fiber intake is to eat one or two grated carrots every morning and evening. If you’re worried about not getting enough fiber in your diet, you can also start taking a fiber supplement to help get rid of the worms.
Onions are related to garlic, and they share many of garlic’s health properties. Due to their high sulfur content, onions are very effective at killing pinworms and other parasites.
- One or two onions
- Warm water
Peel the onions and cut them up. Soak them in warm water for at least 8 hours. Drink the onion water several times a day to kill pinworms.
9. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is one of the best long-term home remedies for getting rid of pinworms. While it won’t kill the worms immediately, if you consume enough apple cider vinegar over time, it will improve your gut health, making it harder and harder for the worms to survive. For this reason, it’s a good idea to continue taking apple cider vinegar daily, even after you’ve gotten rid of the worms – the vinegar will prevent them from coming back.
- Apple cider vinegar
Don’t ever drink apple cider vinegar on its own – it’s highly acidic and could damage your stomach lining and the enamel on your teeth. Instead, mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar into a glass of water. Drink this mixture twice a day. It’s a good idea to combine this method of killing pinworms with at least one more of the home remedies for pinworms on this list.
10. Diatomaceous earth
Diatomaceous earth isn’t one of the best-known home remedies for pinworms, but it is one of the most effective. Diatomaceous earth is a chalk-like, powdery substance made of fossilized algae. It kills pinworms slowly over time by dehydrating them.
- Food-grade diatomaceous earth
- Water (optional)
- Soft foods such as applesauce or smoothies (optional)
When you buy diatomaceous earth online or at a health food store, make sure it is clearly labeled as food-grade. There are several types of diatomaceous earth available for household use, but only food-grade diatomaceous earth is safe to consume. Mix one tablespoon into a glass of water, a smoothie, or another type of soft food. Be careful not to inhale the diatomaceous earth, since it could damage your lungs.
11. Castor oil
Of all the natural remedies for pinworms available, castor oil is one of the best. Castor oil has anti-microbial and anti-parasitic properties, meaning it kills pinworms effectively. Even better, castor oil has a laxative effect, meaning that it flushes the worms out of your body quickly.
Swallow one teaspoon of castor oil once a day to expel pinworms from your system more quickly.
12. Cloves and flaxseeds
A combination of cloves and flaxseeds is one of the more unusual but effective home remedies for pinworms. For best effect, the cloves and flaxseeds should be crushed into powder and mixed together.
Mix together one part ground cloves to ten parts ground flaxseeds. Add this mixture to your food whenever you can. It’s easiest to add the mixture to soft foods like smoothies and oatmeal.
Nobody likes to think about pinworms, but they’re an unfortunate fact of life. Luckily, home remedies for getting rid of pinworms are effective and don’t involve any expensive or time-consuming trips to the doctor. These 12 home remedies can help you and your family live a healthy, parasite-free life naturally. Do you have a favorite home remedy for pinworms?