Natural Home Remedies for Lung Fluke Infection

Paragonimus is a flatworm, or lung fluke, that can infect lungs after a person eats infected or undercooked freshwater crab or crayfish.

Image of a crab on the beach at sunset

In serious cases, the parasite can travel to the central nervous system. Symptoms can resemble a stomach flu or pneumonia. Diagnosis is based on the presence of eggs in stool or sputum (first presents 2-3 months after infection).

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

An infected person may have any of a number of symptoms or no symptoms.

IS IT CONTAGIOUS?

It is not contagious.

PREVALENCE

This is rare in the US (but there have been cases in the Midwest), with most cases in Asia, Africa, Central America and South America.

ALLOPATHIC TREATMENT

A doctor may treat you with Praziquantel or Bithionol. Lung flukes may be more difficult to eradicate than intestinal and liver flukes. Another allopathic treatment is biltricide, but there are some things you can try at home.

SELF-TREATMENT

  • See the entries for Parasites.
  • Use a tincture of Black Walnut, using the hull surrounding the nut when it is green (and not after it has turned black). Cut the green skin off the nut and put a handful of them in alcohol for a few weeks and strain. Combine this with wormwood capsules (preferably grown and assembled yourself) and freshly ground cloves. You can make your own capsules with the powder. You can find more detailed instructions in a few places online. You need to repeat this treatment in two weeks in order to kill all the stages of the fluke.

PREVENTION

  • Cook crabs and crayfish to at least 145° F (63° C).
  • When traveling, beware of undercooked freshwater crustaceans.
  • Be sure the preparation area for crabs and crayfish is clean.
  • Avoid traditional dishes like Ceviche, in which the crab is not cooked (only marinated).

CAUTIONS

  • Left untreated, paragonimiasis can become chronic.

 

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