Although flatworms are considered the simplest of all worm groups, there are roughly 20,000 species in this group and they can do serious harm to humans. Flatworms (Red Planaria) can be microscopic or several feet long. They are typically rust-colored and thin and they do not have a skeleton or formal respiratory system.
Flatworms are either free living or parasitic. Parasitic flatworms live off of another living thing, while free living flatworms live off of the earth or other environment. The most common type of parasitic flatworm in humans is the tapeworm. If left untreated, the tapeworm can reach up to three feet long and it can have as many as 90 segments.
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Flatworms reproduce at an alarming rate because all the flatworm has to do to reproduce is split in two! There are no mating rituals and no eggs to hatch. When the flatworm splits, it immediately forms a new flatworm, and so on and so on, until you have thousands of flatworms in your system. This means that the flatworms will not only feed off of the contents of your intestines, they may feed off of different parts of your system. They might even migrate to the head area – even the scalp. There are many ways to determine if you have flatworms in your head or scalp, but the main detection method is by sight. Simply search the scalp and head area for worms. There are a number of physical symptoms to look out for as well. These include:
Loss of appetite
It is important to keep in mind that these symptoms are also common symptoms for many other diseases and conditions, so its best to consult a physician for an accurate diagnosis. A physician will test for parasites by searching the head and scalp area and by taking a feces sample. He will examine it for parasites and/or eggs. Fortunately, the vast majority of parasites can be eliminated by using some of the same techniques or by taking some of the same types of medications or antibiotics.
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Parasites can be eliminated from the body through the use of colon cleansers and/or colonics, by taking several rounds of antibiotics or medications as prescribed by a physician or by using a number of different herbal or natural remedies. It’s best to consult an herbalist for the very best herbal remedies to get rid of flatworms in the intestines and scalp. But if you want to find a remedy on your own, there are several popular (and effective) remedies consisting of the following combinations of herbs and ingredients:
Black walnut leaves, wormwood, quassia, cloves, male fern
Capsicum, wormwood, sage
Cramp bark, pumpkin seed, capsicum, thyme, garlic
Black walnut, pine needles, sassafras
In general, herbal remedies should be taken orally for a minimum of two weeks. Topical treatments typically come in the form of shampoos and sprays that contain the following active ingredients:
It is important to note that some of these ingredients are considered poisonous in high concentrations, so they are banned in certain states. Please consult your physician for an accurate diagnosis and treatment path.
Some individuals may complain of re-infection, so it is very important to change your eating habits immediately – even if you only see flatworms in the scalp. Chances are, they are also in your system. It’s best not to go back to your regular eating habits in order to prevent re-infection. Certain foods, spices, and beverages might help to ward off parasite infections or to keep you from becoming infected through food or water sources. These include:
Apple cider vinegar
Bottled or distilled water
Thoroughly cooked meats and seafood
Organic fruits and vegetables, washed thoroughly
Avoid the following foods and activities if at all possible:
Swimming in lakes, rivers, an streams
Using the microwave to cook meats
And finally, never underestimate the power of clean hands! You should always wash your hands thoroughly after using the bathroom whether it is in your home or in a public place. In addition, wash kitchen utensils and countertops with hot soapy water after each use and wear gloves when changing your cats litter box or cleaning up after your pets.