The best of us are irked by the notion of having a tapeworm. It is like an alien growing inside our bodies. But research shows that Barberry herb kills tapeworms.
Yes, nature provides solutions, even to an alien-like growth of tapeworm.
Here we will discuss how university researchers have determined that the traditional anti-parasitic herb known as Bayberry has the ability to kill and inhibit the tapeworm parasite known to cause Echinococcis.
What is Echinococcis?
The tapeworm parasite is produced by one or multiple species of Echinococcus. Should a person ingest the eggs or a piece of the tapeworm, more eggs will collect in intestines and cysts will form. These will attach to the intestines and grow larger – feeding off the intestinal matter.
Sometimes the tapeworm cysts will penetrate the intestinal walls and infect the liver and even the lungs in advanced stages.
Typical treatment consists of surgical removal of the cysts from the intestines and organs. Anti-parasitic drugs such as mebendazole and albendazole are often prescribed, with varying degrees of success. Often these anti-parasitic drugs do not kill all the cysts and the parasites return. Sometimes the parasites adapt to the drugs – and become multi-drug resistant (MDR).
Barberry shown to inhibit Echinococcis
Medical researchers have found that a natural compound Berberis vulgaris – or the common herb Barberry – is significantly anti-parasitic.
A 2014 study found that a Barberry extract and its central compound, berberine, provided 100% inhibition against the tapeworm’s protoscoleces. This means the budding and attachment of the buds into cysts.
The researchers found the herbal extract killed the tapeworm cysts on a dose-dependent fashion. At concentrations of 0.5 milligrams per milliliter and 2 mg/ml, the extract took 10 minutes to produce its anti-parasitic effect.
A year earlier, other researchers confirmed these findings. They found parasite killing effects at 2 mg/ml and 4 mg/ml.
The researchers confirmed other research showing similar effects:
Many studies have shown that Berberis vulgaris has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiparasitic effects.”
The medical researchers also wanted to know if Barberry can kill tapeworm parasite cysts. So they removed Echinococcus cysts from the intestines of infected sheep (the most common form of Echinococcus parasitic infection for humans is from eating animal meat derived from infected animals – and an entire herd can sometimes become infected.)
The researchers exposed the parasite cysts to varying dilutions of Barberry extracts in the laboratory – duplicating the environmental conditions within the intestine. They also used saline and hypertonic saline solutions as control tests.
The researchers found that every dilution of Barberry killed cysts, and the strongest dilution of 4 milligrams per milliliter of solution also had the strongest cyst-killing ability – achieving a dose-dependent killing effect. But 2 mg/ml, 1 mg/ml and 0.5 mg/ml also killed cyst cells as well.
What is Barberry?
Barberry (Berberis vulgaris) is a thorny berry bush that grows throughout Europe and Asia, as well as Europe and the Mediterranean regions. Barberry’s berries are often made into jam and consumed as a summer fruit.
The extract of its fruits and leaves have been used traditionally for many centuries by herbalists for a variety of infections, inflammation, colds, fever and influenza.
The active constituent in Barberry is berberine, which is a potent antifungal and antibacterial ingredient. If taken in too high of a dosage, berberine can also be toxic.
A 2007 study found 22 different constituents in Barberry, including oxyacanthine and berbanine.
Berberine extracted from other herbal compounds such as Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) and Goldenthread (Coptis chinesis) and Oregon grape (Berberis aquifolium) has been shown to be antimicrobial and antifungal as well as anti-parasitic. As review from s 2000 Journal Alternative Medicine Review stated:
“Berberine extracts and decoctions have demonstrated significant antimicrobial activity against a variety of organisms including bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoans, helminths, and chlamydia.”
Barberry’s other medicinal benefits supported by other research
A number of studies over the past few years have shown Barberry’s healing effects. Multiple laboratory studies have shown it can help with kidney stones and urinary tract infections. Other studies have shown its ability to scavenge free radicals. Other research has shown its ability to protect the liver. Berberine is also known to help cardiovascular conditions.
Mahmoudvand H, Saedi Dezaki E, Sharififar F, Ezatpour B, Jahanbakhsh S, Fasihi Harandi M. Protoscolecidal Effect of Berberis vulgaris Root Extract and Its Main Compound, Berberine in Cystic Echinococcosis. Iran J Parasitol. 2014 Oct-Dec;9(4):503-10.
Rouhani S, Salehi N, Kamalinejad M, Zayeri F. Efficacy of Berberis vulgaris Aqueous Extract on Viability of Echinococcus Granulosus Protoscolices. J Invest Surg. 2013 Aug 26.
Jyothilakshmi V, Thellamudhu G, Kumar A, Khurana A, Nayak D, Kalaiselvi P. Preliminary investigation on ultra high diluted B. vulgaris in experimental urolithiasis. Homeopathy. 2013 Jul;102(3):172-8. doi: 10.1016/j.homp.2013.05.004.
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Case Adams is a California Naturopath and a Board Certified Alternative Medicine Practitioner with a PhD in Natural Health Sciences, and diplomas in Homeopathy, Aromatherapy, Bach Flower Remedies, Blood Chemistry, Clinical Nutritional Counseling and Colon Hydrotherapy. He has authored 26 books on natural healing strategies.