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Brain Worm Parasites and Potential Herbal Remedies


The New York Times recently disclosed that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. revealed a health issue he faced in 2010, originating from a peculiar incident involving a worm that invaded his brain. This revelation emerged during his 2012 divorce proceedings, where Kennedy described severe memory loss and mental fog, initially feared to be a brain tumour.

Medical personnels initially suspected a tumour based on brain scans but later considered a different diagnosis: a parasite in Kennedy’s brain. This finding coincided with his diagnosis of mercury poisoning, said to be likely due to his fish-heavy diet. Despite acknowledging cognitive challenges in the deposition, Kennedy claimed to have overcome them.

Following this story’s media coverage, many have sought further information about brain worms. In this article, we’ll explore what brain worms are, as well as herbs that exhibit anti-parasitic properties.

What are brain worms

Brain worms are parasites known for infecting the brain and causing neurological issues. Here are two conditions initiated by worms that affect the brain:

  1. Neurocysticercosis: This condition results from the larval phase of the pork tapeworm, Taenia solium. Infection occurs when individuals inadvertently ingest eggs from contaminated food or water. Upon hatching in the intestines, the larvae enter the bloodstream and may settle in the brain, forming cysts. These cysts can prompt seizures, headaches, and localised neurological deficits, contingent on their placement.
  2. Angiostrongyliasis: This ailment arises from a roundworm parasite called Angiostrongylus cantonensis. Infection occurs by consuming raw or undercooked snails or slugs harbouring the parasite. Larvae migrate to the brain and meninges (the brain and spinal cord’s surrounding membranes), resulting in headaches, nausea, vomiting, and stiffness in the neck.

The medical treatment typically involves medication to eradicate the parasites and manage symptoms.

Herbs for parasites

There are several herbs that are traditionally utilised for their antiparasitic properties, including getting rid of worms in the body, some are listed below:

  • African Wormwood (Artemisia afra): This herb, native to southern Africa, possess antimicrobial properties effective against intestinal parasites.
  • Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium): Historically used to combat roundworms and pinworms, wormwood contains thujone, which can be toxic in high doses.
  • Black Walnut (Juglans nigra): Known for its purported antiparasitic properties, black walnut hulls contain juglone, potentially effective against certain parasites.
  • Cloves (Syzygium aromaticum): Cloves, with their active compound eugenol, have been used to address digestive issues and parasites.
  • Boldo (Peumus boldus): Indigenous to Chile, boldo serves as a digestive aid and is used to combat parasitic infections.
  • Guava leaves (Psidium guajava): Commonly used in South American traditional medicine, guava leaves are thought to have antimicrobial properties effective against parasites.
  • Pau d’arco (Tabebuia impetiginosa): Utilised by indigenous tribes for various medicinal purposes, pau d’arco’s inner bark is considered an antiparasitic agent.
  • Cinchona (Cinchona spp.): Native to the Andean region, cinchona bark contains quinine, historically used to treat parasitic infections.
  • Samento (Uncaria tomentosa): Also known as cat’s claw, this Amazonian vine has purported immune-boosting and antiparasitic properties.
  • Anamu (Petiveria alliacea): Found in the Amazon rainforest, anamu has been used in traditional medicine for various ailments, including parasitic infections.
  • Neem (Azadirachta indica): Widely distributed in Africa, neem’s leaves, bark, and seeds are believed to possess antiparasitic, antimicrobial, and insecticidal properties.
  • Papaya seeds (Carica papaya): Traditionally used in Africa to treat intestinal parasites, papaya seeds contain papain, said to have anthelmintic properties.
  • Bitter Kola (Garcinia kola): Native to West Africa, bitter kola is widely used in traditional medicine for its antimicrobial and antiparasitic properties.
  • African Pepper (Xylopia aethiopica): This spice, utilised in African traditional medicine, possesses various medicinal properties, including potential efficacy against parasitic infections.

These are some of the long list of herbs traditionally used to combat parasites.

In addition to the herbs, preventive measures, such as proper sanitation and food safety practices, are essential for reducing the risk of infection. In addition, one’s general lifestyle is important; an alkaline diet consisting primarily of uncontaminated fresh fruits and vegetables is also key to maintaining health and wellness.


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