‘My daughter’s got headlice. Can I get rid of them without using the chemicals?’ Headlice are pretty much endemic in primary schools, and threadworms crop up from time to time as well. And yes, of course there are traditional ways to deal with them. The same applies to other kinds of parasites – usually picked up while travelling abroad – but there are drawbacks.
In the first place, the internal remedies, like Wormwood, Tansy and Male Fern, are very strong and bitter. Traditional methods often involved purging the patient, making them vomit or empty their bowels. If you don’t want this kind of drastic action, you’ll have to go by the long, slow route: low doses of herbs will make the parasites unhappy, and eventually, possibly after several weeks, they will give up and die. So if you – or your child - are prepared to keep at it, you can get results. And with headlice, you have to keep re-applying the ti-tree oil or whatever you choose, and keep using the nit comb.
In the second place, parasites have always been with us, and our bodies, like the bodies of most creatures, are adapted to live with them. It’s only if the parasite is a new one, or your immune system is weak, or you are vulnerable for some other reason, that they cause problems. But nowadays, of course, we are not prepared to make that bargain. And nor are we prepared to use the dramatic methods of the past.
So what’s to be done? Think about why you might object to the orthodox medication. If it’s the possible upset to your digestion, that can be offset with digestive herbs like Calendula, Lemon Balm and Thyme, among many others, and herbs like Dandelion or Agrimony can help your liver to process the drugs effectively. Other side-effects, too, can be warded off or minimised, so that the drugs do the job you want them to do without causing more problems. Really, if you combine the drugs with appropriate herbs, it should be a win-win situation. Except for the parasites, of course.