Note: If you think you have amebiasis, it is important to consult a doctor. If not treated timely, it can damage your intestines and other organs, such as the liver.
Amebiasis, also known as amoebiasis or entamobiasis, is a parasitic infection of the intestines caused by entamoeba histolytica.
This single-celled protozoan enters the body through ingestion of E. histolyticain contaminated food or water or direct contact with fecal matter. Transmission of this parasite can also occur during anal sex or colonic irrigation.
This health problem is common in tropical countries where sanitation is poor. People who have traveled to such locations and people with weak immune systems and other health problems are at a higher risk of acquiring this infection.
It can lead to severe illness and, in some cases, even death. About 70,000 people around the world die of this disease each year.
Symptoms appear within a week after ingestion of the contaminated food. Initial symptoms include loose stools and stomach cramping.
Other symptoms include bloody stools, nausea, vomiting, fever and tenderness in the upper right quadrant of the torso. It can even lead to anemia due to blood loss.
If you have some of these symptoms, consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. As an adjunct treatment, you can also try some simple home remedies to fight the parasites, ease symptoms and prevent the condition from becoming life threatening.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for amebiasis.
1. Increase Fluid Intake
Frequent watery stools and vomiting can lead to dehydration, which can worsen your condition. To prevent dehydration, make sure to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day.
At the same time, fluids will help keep your system clean, thus making your body less suitable for parasitic organisms.
- Drink 8 to 10 glasses of purified water daily.
- Along with drinking water, you can drink tender coconut water, buttermilk, black tea and herbal tea.
- Also, make an oral rehydration solution (ORS) at home by mixing ½ small spoon of salt and 6 small spoons of sugar in 4 cups of clean water. Drink it at regular intervals.
Note: If you have kidney problems, consult your doctor before increasing your fluid intake.
Coconut is a strong antiparasitic agent that can fight the parasites that cause amebiasis.
In addition, it boosts your immune system to fight against pathogens. You can use both the fruit and oil to treat this problem.
- Drink a few glasses of tender coconut water daily. It will help make up for the body’s loss of fluids due to diarrhea.
- Also, eat 2 to 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin coconut oil daily. The medium-chain triglycerides in it will help expel parasites from your body.
The antibiotic and antiparasitic properties of garlic help rid your body of harmful parasites and prevent their recurrence. In addition, it stimulates your immune system to help your body fight the infection.
- Eat 2 or 3 raw garlic cloves on an empty stomach daily for a few weeks.
- You can also take garlic supplements, after consulting your doctor.
Oregano is an herb that can help fend off the harmful parasites and treat amebiasis. Its powerful antioxidant and antibiotic properties are vital for your body to fight the infection. In addition, its antispasmodic property helps ease cramps and pain.
According to a 2000 study published in the Phytotherapy Research journal, oil of oregano helps in the inhibition of enteric parasites.
- Mix 2 or 3 drops of oregano oil and the juice of 1 lemon in a glass of water. Drink this 3 times daily until you feel better.
- Also, include fresh or dried oregano in your daily cooking.
Note: Pregnant women and small children must not take this herb.
5. Indian Lilac
Indian lilac, also known as neem or margosa, is another natural treatment for amebiasis. Its antiparasitic and antibiotic properties kill harmful parasites. It also removes toxins left behind by parasites as they die.
- Chew 5 or 6 tender leaves on an empty stomach daily for a few weeks.
- You can also drink 1 teaspoon of neem juice twice daily for a few weeks.
- You can opt to take neem capsules or supplements, after consulting a doctor.
Note: Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not consume neem.
6. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is another effective treatment for amebiasis. It helps maintain the body’s pH level, making your body uninhabitable for the parasites that cause this infection.
In addition, apple cider vinegar is rich in vitamins and minerals that strengthen your immune system to fight the infection.
- Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar to a glass of warm water.
- Mix in a little raw honey and lemon juice.
- Drink it twice daily to fight infection and maintain good health.
Pumpkin pulp and the seeds can treat amebiasis by eliminating the parasites as well as the tiny pestering eggs. Their anti-inflammatory property helps protect the intestinal lining damaged by the parasites.
In addition, they are easily digestible and do not exert strain on the gastrointestinal system.
- Chew 1 to 2 teaspoons of pumpkin seeds on an empty stomach daily for a few weeks. Make sure to drink plenty of water for proper digestion.
- You can also eat pumpkin soup, roasted pumpkin cubes or use it in your salad.
The antiseptic, antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric make it another effective home remedy.
It helps eliminate harmful parasites from the body, protects tissues from damage, prevents inflammation in the intestine and boosts the immune system to fight the infection.
- Add a pinch of salt to 1 teaspoon of raw turmeric juice. Drink it on an empty stomach once daily for 1 to 2 weeks.
- You can also include turmeric in your cooking, or take turmeric supplements after consulting a doctor.
Cloves have antiseptic, antibacterial and antiparasitic properties that help destroy the parasites as well as their eggs. They even prevent future episodes of infestation. In addition, cloves ease the abdominal discomforts.
- Add 1 teaspoon of powdered cloves to a cup of hot water. Cover and steep for 10 minutes. Drink it 3 times a day for a week.
- Also, chew a few cloves daily.
10. Eat Fiber-Rich Foods
Include more fiber-rich foods in your diet. Fiber helps cleanse the intestines where the parasites thrive. It also ensures proper and regular bowel movements, which encourages the body to expel waste products.
- Eat high-fiber foods like beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, beetroots, carrots, pears, broccoli, peas, brown rice, apples, prunes, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, nuts and whole-grain products.
- You can even take fiber supplements, but only after consulting a doctor.
Along with fiber, eat foods high in vitamin C and potassium to boost the immune system and restrict the infection.
- Proper sanitation is the key to preventing amebiasis. Always wash your hands with soap and water after using the bathroom and before handling food.
- Thoroughly wash raw fruits and vegetables before eating.
- When in tropical locations with poor sanitation, stick to bottled water and avoid drinking water from public places. At home, boil water properly before drinking it.
- Avoid milk, cheese or other unpasteurized dairy products.
- Avoid eating foods from street vendors.
- Eat a few cups of probiotic yogurt daily.
- Clean bathrooms and toilets often and avoid using public toilets.
- Avoid sugar, caffeinated beverages, processed foods and alcohol as they can worsen the infection and delay healing.
- Exercise regularly to improve your immunity.
- To prevent vomiting, suck on a small piece of ice or ginger candies.
- Apply cold compresses on the stomach to relieve stomach cramps.