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Home » Health Remedies » Infectious diseases»Parasitic Diseases»Diseases caused by Helminths»Intestinal and Tissue Nematode Disease

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Health Remedies - Dracunculiasis (guinea Worm Disease)

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Dracunculiasis is an infection caused by the nematode Dracunculus medinensis, also known as the guinea fire worm. The larvae of guinea worms grow in fresh water fleas named copepods. Persons become infected by drinking water containing the water fleas harboring the infective stage larvae of the worms. These larvae move down the digestive tract, where they penetrate the wall of the intestine and pass into the body cavity. There they grow to adult stage and move to another site where they emerge out through skin.

The worms commonly emerge out through lower limbs. A blister develops on the skin at the site where the worm will emerge. This blister causes a very painful burning sensation and it will eventually (within 24-72 hours) rupture. For relief, persons will immerse the affected limb into water. When someone with a Guinea worm ulcer enters the water, the adult female releases a milky white liquid containing millions of immature larvae into the water, thus contaminating the water supply.

Useful herbs

Calotropis gigantea

Toothache and laxative (plant juice); altering secretion of stomach acids, in the treatment of skin diseases, asthma, elephantiasis and leprosy (flowers); paralysis, arthralgia, swellings and intermittent fevers (leaves). The tribals of South Rajasthan apply latex in the treatment of Guinea worm disease (Joshi, 1991).

Hibiscus cannabinus

In the treatment of biliousness with acidity (flower juice); to promote weight increase (seeds); in the treatment of coughs, dysentery and bilious, blood and throat disorders (leaf); in the treatment of anaemia, fatigue, lassitude, etc (stem peeling); to control intestinal Guinea worms in Africa (powdered leaf)

Leea macrophylla

Applied to wounds and sores and used for guineaworm and ringworm infection (root tubers).

Semecarpus anacardium

To treat skin diseases, vitiligo, piles, guineaworm, splenomegaly, scrofula, rheumatism, as depilatory, for regaining normal colour, as rejuvinative, as aphrodisiac, alopecia, worms, poisoning, malarial fever.

Thespesia populnea

Scabies (fruit, root and leaf); migraine and insect bites (fruit); dysentery (bark powder); for the treatment of skin diseases such as eczema, scabies, psoriasis, ringworm and guinea worm (bark, leaves, flowers and fruits); for treatment of dysentery, piles and diabetes (plant); as an external wash in the treatment of skin diseases (bark decoction); to relieve inflamed and swollen joints (leaf as poultice).

Vernonia cinerea

Useful for the purifying the blood, bile and semen, used as a specific for leucorrhoea, menorrhagia, and in the treatment of chronic skin diseases, dysuria, strangury, bladder stones, piles, worms and haematological disorders (plant); for the treatment of amoebiosis, humid herpes, eczema and ringworm and for the extraction of guinea worms, elephantiasis (leaf juice); to treat fevers, rheumatism and conjunctivitis (flowers); effective against roundworms and threadworms, leucoderma, psoriasis and other chronic skin diseases (seeds).




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