Intestinal parasites can be a problem for both humans and animals. Pinworms, tapeworms and roundworms are the most common parasites in the United States. Most parasitic infestations occur by contact with infected faeces, contaminated food or water. Pumpkin seeds are nutritious and have traditionally been used to help kill parasites and expel them from the body.
Pumpkin is a vegetable that grows on a vine and a member of the Cucurbita family. The seeds are found inside the pumpkin and can be scooped out and dried. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, raw pumpkin seeds have been used to kill and expel parasites from the human body. Some cultures eat pumpkin seeds as a preventive measure against parasitic infestations.
Parasites cause symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, weight loss, itching around the rectum and blood in the stool. Some people see parasites in their stools, as well. Some people are at an increased risk of parasitic infestations. The elderly, young children and people who travel frequently are more likely to develop a parasitic infection. Those who have weak immune systems from diseases, such as HIV or AIDS, may develop parasitic infections more often than healthy people.
Pumpkin seeds have been used to kill parasites for years. According to Mother Earth News, eating raw garlic and pumpkin seeds at night can help expel parasites, especially when followed by a dose of castor oil the next morning. Eating raw pumpkin seeds can also aid digestion and prevent parasitic infestations. Other foods, such as beets, carrots, garlic and pomegranates, may also help expel parasites or reduce the likelihood of infestation.
Raw pumpkin seeds have a long history in traditional medicine in the treatment of parasites. However, if you have parasites, your doctor should examine you and determine the best course of treatment. Older people, those with immune deficiency diseases or pregnant women are more likely to suffer serious effects of parasitic infestations and should consult their doctor for a treatment plan. Once parasites are gone, they can return, and second infestations can cause more serious health effects and complications, notes the University of Maryland Medical Center.