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Real concern or scam?

Ian Barger ibarger at northnet.com.au
Thu Oct 31 01:11:36 EST 1996

At 18:05 30/10/96 -0000, DANIEL ROBERT HOLDSWORTH wrote:

>It depends on what the herbal product is. 
>The oldest intestinal worm killer I have heard of is something which was 
>referred to colloquially as "Russian Worm Seed", which sounds like a plant 
>seed secondary chemical. What was interesting was that although the material
>was said to be effective as an anthelmintic, it was poisonous to the vertebrate
>host to the extent that when used with pigs, the pig had to be weighed and a
>bodyweight-related dose given.

Chenopodium Oil (American Wormseed)? Listed toxic effects include headache,
vertigo, tinnitus, nausea, deafness, kidney & liver damage and death!
However the need to weigh the pig or human does not disappear with less
toxic products - all anthelmintic doses are bodyweight-related.

>The only other "cure" for intestinal parasites I have heard of which is plant
>derived is one quoted by the UK-based survival expert Lofty Wiseman. This is
>an infusion of fern rhizomes; this is said to be effective, but Mr Wiseman 
>commented that the effect was that of a very severe laxative, which acted very
>quickly, hence the advice never to use the material unless you were close to
>a lavatory of some kind.

This would be male fern extract.  Nevertheless, temporary diarrhoea is
usually better than tapeworms or intestinal flukes.

>These anecdotes suggest that there aren't really any good plant-derived 
>anthelmintics which are highly toxic to the helminths, but fairly harmless to
>the vertebrate host. In the light of this, I would be highly skeptical of
>the claims of medical doctors to have a new "Miracle cure" for intestinal

Depends on your definition of "good" and "fairly", but Kamala, from Mallotus
phillipinensis, and Pomegranate bark are both used to remove tapeworms.

>Give me a modern synthetic such as one of the avermectin group any day...

The avermectins aren't really synthetics.  They were isolated from a soil
fungus found on a Japanese golf-course!  And it's very important to weigh
the pig before dosing it.


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