Can Home Remedies Treat Pinworms Overnight?

The prevalence of pinworms in children can reach as much as 50%. But with these home remedies, there is nothing much to worry. *

Medically reviewed by Sarah Spann, Adv Dip (Nut Med), mATMS
by Pooja Karkala

Pinworms are parasites that are a common source of infection in humans. These are usually about half an inch in size and can be easily seen with naked eyes. Children are at a higher risk of contracting this infection (1). However, adults can also be infected by these contagious worms if they don’t take the necessary precautions.

Is your little one harboring pinworms? Are you looking for a fast and effortless cure for this infection? Read on to know more about the causes and symptoms of pinworms and some of the simple home remedies that can be used to treat the infection.

Note: Pinworm infection may typically take one week to go away. It cannot be treated overnight. Medication is the only way to get rid of pinworms quickly. However, these remedies can be used to treat the infection without any risk factors.

What Are Pinworms?

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Pinworms are tiny and white worms that live in the colon and rectum of the infected individuals. They are also called Enterobius vermicularis, and the infection is usually known as enterobiasis or helminthiasis.

The infections caused by pinworms are highly contagious and are a result of the ingestion of the tiny eggs laid by them. While children are more vulnerable to them, they can also cause infection in adults (2).

Read on to understand the causes of this parasitic infection.

What Causes Pinworms?

Pinworm infections are solely caused due to the accidental inhalation or ingestion of the eggs by a human or animal. These eggs are usually transferred via contaminated foods, drinks, or other infected utensils. The eggs are extremely small and cannot be seen with naked eyes (3).

Once they enter your body, they hatch and turn into adult worms within weeks. The adult worms continue to move in the body and lay more eggs around the anus region of the infected person, and these become infective within a few hours. This cycle will continue until the infection is cured, and the entire household of the infected individual is disinfected.

We will now look at some of the common signs and symptoms observed in an individual infected by pinworms.

Signs And Symptoms Of Pinworms

  • Frequent itching and irritation in the anal area
  • Disturbed sleep due to an irritated anal region
  • Presence of pinworms in stools
  • Nausea and occasional abdominal pain
  • Irritability and restlessness due to lack of sleep because the worms lay their eggs at night.

Pinworms can be very irritating and troublesome in the long run. Hence, it is best to treat the condition as soon as you observe its onset. The natural and cost-effective remedies mentioned below can help you deal with pinworm infection. Some of these home remedies do not have scientific data to support their effect on pinworms. They are based on anecdotal evidence. Hence, it is important to consult a doctor. Also, make sure you are not allergic to any of the ingredients before proceeding with a remedy.

How To Get Rid Of Pinworms Naturally

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar
  2. Coconut Oil
  3. Garlic
  4. Hot Water
  5. Essential Oils
  6. Grapefruit Seed Extract
  7. Lemon Juice
  8. PineappleJuice
  9. Carrot Juice
  10. Alcohol
  11. PumpkinSeeds
  12. Vaseline
  13. Bitter Gourd Juice
  14. Yogurt
  15. Wormwood Tea
  16. Castor Oil
  17. Onions

1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar contains about 6% acetic acid, which can lower the pH of your body. This creates an uninhabitable environment for the pinworms, making their survival inside your body difficult. However, there is a lack of research on how apple cider vinegar is useful in treating pinworms.

You Will Need

  • 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 glass of water
  • Honey (optional)

What You Have To Do

  1. Add apple cider vinegar to a glass of water and mix well.
  2. Add honey for flavor and consume this solution.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this 2 times daily.

2. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil has antioxidant, antibacterial, and antifungal properties (4), (5). These properties can help eradicate pinworm infection and its symptoms.

You Will Need

  • 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil

What You Have To Do

  1. Consume a teaspoon of coconut oil every morning.
  2. Also, apply a small amount of coconut oil to the infected area every night.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this daily.

3. Garlic

Garlic is an herb that exhibits antibacterial and antifungal properties (6), (7). It also exhibited oxyuricide properties in treating pinworm infection (8). However, more studies are needed to establish its efficacy.

You Will Need

  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • Petroleum jelly

What You Have To Do

  1. You can chew on a few garlic cloves daily or add them as a seasoning to foods.
  2. You can also mince garlic cloves, mix them with petroleum jelly, and apply this paste to the affected area, preferably every night.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this once daily.

4. Hot Water

Since pinworms are highly contagious, it is of utmost importance to disinfect your entire household with hot water to get rid of them. This will also help prevent their recurrence.

You Will Need

  • Hot water
  • Soap and detergent

What You Have To Do

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water after contact with any utensils that have a possibility of being infected.
  2. Also, soak all the clothes and fabrics that might be infected in hot water for at least 30 minutes before washing them.
  3.  You can also disinfect the washrooms by cleaning them daily with hot water and soap.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this daily until you get rid of pinworms.

5. Essential Oils

a. Tea Tree Oil

The antibacterial and antifungal properties of tea tree oil can help in this regard (9). Tea tree oil also has antiparasitic properties (10). However, there are no direct studies to support its efficacy in killing Enterobius vermicularis (pinworms).

You Will Need

  • 1-2 drops of tea tree oil
  • 1-2 teaspoons of coconut oil (optional)

What You Have To Do

  1. Mix the tea tree oil with coconut oil and apply this blend to the affected area every night.
  2. You can also use tea tree oil directly, but it may irritate those with sensitive skin.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this daily.

b. Clove Essential Oil

The eugenol in clove essential oil exhibits powerful germicidal, antiseptic, and antimicrobial properties (11), (12). These may help treat pinworm infection.

You Will Need

  • 1-2 drops of clove essential oil
  • 1 teaspoon of coconut oil

What You Have To Do

  1. Apply clove essential oil directly on the infected area.
  2. Alternatively, if you have sensitive skin, you can dilute it with coconut oil to avoid irritation.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this once every night.

6. Grapefruit Seed Extract (Supplements)

Grapefruit seeds contain polyphenols that exhibit strong antimicrobial activity. (13), (14). This may help prevent pinworms.
Caution: Consult your physician before going ahead with these supplements.

You Will Need

  • 200 mg of grapefruit seed extract supplement
  • What You Have To Do
  • Consume grapefruit seed extract supplements daily.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this twice a day for a week.

7. Lemon Juice

The acidic nature of lemons lowers the pH of your body. This may make the survival of pinworms difficult. However, more scientific studies are needed to prove this effect.

You Will Need

  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 glass of water
  • Honey (optional)

What You Have To Do

  1. Squeeze half a lemon into one glass of water.
  2. Add honey for flavor and consume this drink daily.

How Often You Should Do This

Drink this juice at least once daily.

8. Pineapple Juice

Pineapples are a rich source of an enzyme called bromelain, which exhibits antimicrobial activities (15). This may help you to get rid of pinworms. However, there are no studies linking pineapples to treating pinworms.

You Will Need

  • 1/4 pineapple
  • 1 glass of water

What You Have To Do

  1. Peel and cut the pineapple.
  2. Blend the cut pineapple pieces with a glass of water.
  3. Drink this juice.

How Often You Should Do This

Drink this juice once daily.

9. Carrots

The high fiber content of carrots can help improve bowel movements and add bulk to stool (16). This can push the pinworms out of your body via your stool. However, there are insufficient scientific studies to prove the efficacy of carrots in treating pinworms.

You Will Need

  • 1 medium-sized carrot

What You Have To Do

  1. Wash the carrot thoroughly.
  2. Peel it, shred it, and have the pieces with your meal or as a snack.

How Often You Should Do This

Eat about a cup of shredded carrots 1 to 2 times daily.

10. Rubbing Alcohol

The isopropanol in rubbing alcohol has disinfecting and antimicrobial properties (17). It can help kill the pinworms and also prevent the recurrence of the infection.

You Will Need

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Cotton balls or wipes

What You Have To Do

  • Take some rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball and wipe the infected anal region with it.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this multiple times a day.

11. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkins contain compounds called cucurbitacins that are known for their anthelmintic activity (18), (19). This activity can paralyze the worms, making it easier to expel them from your body (20).

You Will Need

  • 1 cup of raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2-1 cup of water

What You Have To Do

  1. Blend the raw pumpkin seeds with enough water to make a creamy paste.
  2. Consume this on an empty stomach.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this once every morning.

12. Vaseline

The healing properties of Vaseline may help relieve itching and irritation. But this is only for temporary relief and cannot be used to prevent the pinworms on a long-term basis.

You Will Need

  • Vaseline

What You Have To Do

  1. Apply a generous amount of Vaseline on the infected area.
  2. Leave it on overnight.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this once daily.

13. Bitter Gourd

The cucurbitacin in bitter gourd possesses antiparasitic properties that may help expel worms from the body (21).

You Will Need

2 medium-sized bitter gourds

  • 1 cup of water
  • Honey (optional)

What You Have To Do

  1. Blend the bitter gourds with water.
  2. You can add honey or any fruit juice to this blend to combat the bitter flavor.

How Often You Should Do This

Drink this juice intermittently throughout the day.

14. Yogurt

Yogurt is rich in probiotics that can restore the natural balance of bacteria in your digestive system. These bacteria are capable of destroying and eliminating harmful bacteria and germs from your body (22), (23).

You Will Need

  • 1 cup of plain yogurt

What You Have To Do

  1. Consume a cup of plain yogurt.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this daily.

15. Wormwood Tea

The antiparasitic nature of wormwood extract helps kill parasites (24), (25). This may help prevent pinworms and combat the infection.

You Will Need

  • 3-4 drops of wormwood extract
  • 1 cup of hot water
  • Honey (optional)

What You Have To Do

  1. Add a few drops of wormwood extract to a cup of hot water.
  2. Consume this tea.
  3. You can also add honey for flavor.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this 3 times a day for a week.

16. Castor Oil

Castor oil is quite popular for its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that are known to destroy and eliminate harmful worms and parasites from your body. Pinworms usually hold on to the walls of your intestines and are hence not excreted from your body. Castor oil can dislodge them from your intestines due to its laxative effects (26), (27). This, in turn, may push the pinworms out of your body via excretion.

You Will Need

  • 1 teaspoon of castor oil

What You Have To Do

  1. Consume a teaspoon of castor oil.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this once daily.

17. Onions

Onions are rich in sulfur. These sulfur globules may help eliminate parasites from your system in a day or two (28). However, there is insufficient scientific evidence to prove this effect.

You Will Need

  • 1-2 medium-sized onions
  • Water

What You Have To Do

  1. Peel the onions.
  2. Wash them thoroughly and cut them into thin slices.
  3. Put them in a bowl and add a pint of water.
  4. Let the onion slices soak in the water overnight (for at least 12 hours).
  5. Strain the water using a cheesecloth.
  6. Drink this up.

How Often You Should Do This

Do this 3 times a day for 2 days.

These home remedies can help accelerate your recovery from pinworm infection. Additionally, you need to follow some tips to avoid the recurrence of the infection. They are as follows.

Tips To Prevent Pinworms

  • Include foods that are rich in fiber in your diet. Raw vegetables, such as carrots and cabbages, whole fruits, and grains can increase the efficiency of treatments against pinworms.
  • Consuming probiotic foods, like yogurt and buttermilk, can help in the elimination of pinworms from your system.
  • Everyone in an infected household must adopt hygienic practices like washing their hands before every meal, showering daily, washing clothes with hot water, and cleaning the washrooms daily to prevent the spreading of the infection.
  • The infected person’s household must be disinfected completely in every way possible. From vacuuming the carpeted areas to scrubbing the floors and changing all the sheets and towels, the entire household must be cleaned following a recovery from pinworms to avoid reinfestation.

Making these lifestyle changes will prove beneficial in the long run and prevent the recurrence of pinworms.
If left untreated for a long period, pinworms are known to lead to some complications that may range in their severity. Some of these complications are as follows.

Long-Term Side Effects Of Pinworms

  • Urinary tract infection: Pinworms can enter the urethra and infect your bladder (29).
  • Weight loss: As we are aware, pinworms are parasites that feed on the host’s nutrition. This may lead to weight loss in the affected individuals.
  • Pelvic inflammatory diseases: Pinworms may cause pelvic inflammatory diseases in females by infecting the linings of the fallopian tubes or ovaries (30).
  • Recurring infestations: One of the major drawbacks of a pinworm infection is its ability to resurface if proper hygiene is not maintained by infected individuals and their family members.

Now that you know the complications caused by pinworms when left untreated, it is better to be aware of and treat the infection at the earliest. The remedies mentioned in this article can only complement your medication and not replace it. Hence, consult your doctor to understand which remedy can help accelerate your recovery.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

How to tell if you have worms in your stool?

The presence of small, white, thread-like structures confirms the presence of worms in your stool.

What does it feel like to have worms under your skin?

If you feel an itchy and crawling sensation under your skin, there is a possibility that you are infested with worms. However, in some cases, the reason for these sensations could be a minor insect bite, diabetes, or even skin or nerve damage. Always discuss any concerns with your doctor.

30 sources

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Pooja Karkala

Pooja is a Mass Communications and Psychology graduate. Her education has helped her develop the perfect balance between what the reader wants to know and what the reader has to know. As a classical dancer, she has long, black hair, and she knows the struggle that goes into maintaining it. She believes in home remedies and grandma’s secrets for achieving beautiful, luscious hair. When she is not writing, she learns Kuchipudi, practices yoga, and creates doodles.
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