Have you ever suffered chronic diarrhea? If yes, then the reason behind it can be Giardiasis. Giardiasis is a parasitic infection popularly known as beaver fever. It is an infection in your small intestine.
If you are looking for effective home remedies to get rid of Giardiasis then you must try 18 home remedies and preventive measures mentioned here.
Giardiasis is the most common cause of gastrointestinal and water-borne diseases. It is a condition that affects the functioning of the digestive system. Giardia lamblia is the parasite that causes this infection.
It is a communicable infection that can pass through contact with an infected person. It also spreads through contaminated food or water.
You can treat Giardiasis infection with home remedies. Nevertheless, this infection clears up on its own. It may take several weeks to clear up. Your immune system fights against the parasite and removes it.
However, it is always advisable to take proper care and abolish the bacteria from your body as soon as possible. There are few natural home remedies that can treat giardiasis in few days. Scroll down, to know about them.
Causes Of Giardiasis And Risk Factors
Giardiasis is caused by protozoan Giardia lamblia as mentioned above. But how does it cause the disease? Giardia lamblia can infect humans as well as animals. It usually resides in the intestine of the host.
However, it can also survive outside the host’s body. It has two forms i.e. active and inactive form. The active form is known as trophozoite that is attached to the small intestine.
It is responsible for causing the signs and symptoms. A hard coating i.e. a cyst develops around the parasite. The cyst functions to protect the parasite outside the body. The major source of Giardia parasites is contaminated food and water.
1. Water Contaminated With G. Lamblia
Giardiasis develops if you drink water containing G. lamblia. Swimming in contaminated water bodies such as rivers, lakes, etc. also increases the risk of giardia.
Giardia parasites may also be found in pools, drinking wells, water parks, and whirlpool spas. The sources of contamination can be animal faeces, diapers, runoff, etc.
2. Contaminated Food
Consuming contaminated food may pass giardia. Contamination can be caused due to various reasons. For example, groundwater exposed to animal faeces containing parasites. One reason for contamination may be poor hygiene. Food can also be contaminated by infected workers.
Workers in restaurants and food industries should practice proper hygiene. Otherwise, people infected with giardia may pass it to the food items. They must wash their hands properly and wear gloves while working.
3. Personal Contact
Giardia may also be transmitted through human contact. It spreads through contact with the faeces of an infected person. For example- unprotected anal intercourse with the infected person can transmit giardia. It is due to the direct contact with faecal matter.
4. Agricultural Effects
Food can be washed or irrigated with contaminated water. In turn, it contaminates the food products. However, parasites are killed on cooking food. Thus, consuming raw foods is a bigger risk.
1. Domestic Care
People working with domestic or wild animals are more prone to giardiasis. It is because the animals can transfer the parasite in their feces.
Direct contact with their stools transfers the parasites. However, sometimes the stools contaminate water and crops. It will also increase the risk of developing giardia.
2. Working With Children
People working with children are at a high risk to develop giardiasis. Children are also at a higher risk to develop giardia.
Changing diapers and picking up their stools may transmit the parasite. Not only diapers but contact with contaminated tables, toys, bathroom handles may transmit giardia.
Some health problems that increase the risk of giardia are:
- Crohn’s disease
- Cystic fibrosis
- Recent surgery on the stomach
- Medicines lowering stomach acid secretion
Symptoms Of Giardiasis
- Discolored or greasy stools
- Cramps and stomach bloating
- Loss of appetite
- Getting tired easily
- Excessive gas
In many cases, there are no signs or symptoms. The symptoms appear when G.lamblia infects your intestine. The most common symptom of Giardiasis is diarrhea. But why is that so? It is the response of your body to the disease.
Basically, your body tried to eliminate parasites through feces. Diarrhea results in loss of water and electrolytes in the body.
Dehydration further worsens the condition. You may suffer from dizziness or nausea due to dehydration. People usually experience acute diarrhea.
However, sometimes it can be chronic and may last for weeks. It may also lead to nutrient deficiencies and weight loss. Some less common symptoms are vomiting, blood in stools and fever.
It gets easier to diagnose the infection if you experience its symptoms. There may be some long-term complications due to these symptoms. Lactose intolerant is one such complication that is usually temporary.
In most cases, the infection clears within 2-6 weeks. However, the symptoms may persist for longer periods.
Effective Home Remedies For Giardiasis
Garlic has numerous health benefits. It is used in the treatment of various illnesses and giardiasis is one of them. It is an effective natural remedy for digestive problems. Garlic contains a compound known as allicin. It wipes off all the harmful bacteria or parasites present in your gut.
Also, it inhibits the growth of Giardia lamblia. It also enhances digestion and balances your system. It also contains an enzyme that degrades the cell. Therefore, it will prevent the spread of the infection.
Additionally, garlic aids in hypertension, high cholesterol, and respiratory infection. However, consuming garlic may cause some side effects such as the disturbed stomach. Garlic is also one of the simple and quick home remedies.
You can chew garlic on an empty stomach. Eat 2-3 cloves of garlic in the early morning. It is no doubt the best way known to get its benefits. You can also take garlic supplements.
But consult with a doctor before using the supplement. You may also include garlic to your meals. However, most of the active compounds are destroyed during cooking. So it is not going to help with the infection. However, adding garlic to your meal is still a healthy choice.
Things You Need
- 4-5 cloves of garlic
- A cup of water
- Boil a cup of water and add the cloves of garlic to it.
- Let it steep for 5 minutes.
- Drink the water after straining it.
Do this daily once for effective results.
2. Probiotic Yogurt
Probiotics are gaining importance for health concerns. They improve the health of your digestive system. Basically, probiotics are good bacteria that kill harmful ones.
Thus, they aid in treating giardiasis by clearing your gut. Probiotic yogurt is effective in treating gut problems. Probiotic yogurt is normal yogurt with active cultures.
It helps to speed up your recovery time from the disease. Probiotics compete with the giardia parasites for nutrients. Probiotic yogurt also stimulates your immune system.
In fact, it lowers the chances of getting giardia in future. The best part is probiotic yogurt tastes delicious. Start consuming probiotic yogurt on a regular basis.
You can also add bananas to your yogurt for breakfast. But make sure to have unflavored yogurt. You can also try acidophilus yogurt, sauerkraut, and tempeh.
Generally, probiotics are healthy on a regular basis. Probiotic yogurt is also meant for weight loss and skin care. You should start taking probiotics even if you are not a giardia patient. It will prevent the chances of developing diseases.
Horseradish also helps eliminate giardia parasites from your body. It contains many antioxidants. These substances combat the damage done by free radicals.
Additionally, horseradish stimulates the functioning of the digestive system. It stimulates the secretion of digestive juices. This in turn, eliminates the parasites from the colon.
This is how it removes the infection and clears your gut. You can combine garlic with horseradish for better results. Try out this method to improve your health:
Things You Need
- 1 Oz horseradish
- 1 Oz peeled garlic cloves
- 1 glass of water
- Blend horseradish and garlic together.
- Add this mixture to a glass of water.
- Infuse this mixture for around 10 minutes.
- Shake the bottle time to time in between the infusion.
Start taking a tablespoon of this mixture after 10 days. Drink it 3 times a day 30 minutes before having your meals.
4. Beetroot Juice
Beetroot juice is one of the rare home remedies for giardiasis. The health benefits of beets get no notice of many people.
You can try drinking beet juice to clear the infection. However, beets contain antibacterial and anti-parasitic properties. This is a quick remedy which gives results within a week or so.
Drink 2-3 glasses of beet juice daily to get rid of the infection. It is better to drink beet juice before having your meal. Isn’t it the simplest remedy? It actually does not sound like a remedy.
All you have to do is enjoy some fresh beet juice. It not only improves giardia but your overall health. In fact, beetroot juice is a great option for skin care. It has a wonderful effect on your skin. here is a simple yet quick recipe to make beetroot juice.
Things You Need
- 3-4 beetroots
- A vegetable juicer
- Wash the beetroots thoroughly with clean water.
- Cut them into small pieces and add to the juicer.
- Pour the juice into a glass and enjoy.
Goldenseal is a herb popular for its health benefits. It is effective for stomach and intestinal problems. It works on the mucous membranes, particularly those found in the gut. Berberine is the active compound found in goldenseal. It has a major contribution in boosting your immunity.
Also, it has antiparasitic nature that helps treat the infection. Goldenseal is safe to use but it is better to consult a doctor before. Some other medicinal herbs containing berberine are barberry and Indian barberry.
Berberine is quite effective in clearing giardia infection. Drugs are also available that contain berberine. However, you should try medicinal herbs instead of drugs. Medicinal herbs are safer than the clinically made drugs. Thus, be on the safe side and avoid the drug abuse.
Wormwood, as the name says, is related to worms. It is effective in flushing out various worms and parasites. The parasite causing giardiasis is also on this list. Wormwood contains some sesquiterpenes that break the parasitic cell membranes.
In turn, it neutralizes the parasite and they are no more harmful. They eventually eliminate themselves through the digestive tract.
You can either drink or eat wormwood. Else, you can take one supplement daily to fight the infection. Wormwood is widely used to treat Giardia.
Wormwood can have adverse effects on people with metabolic disorders. It may irritate your stomach. Thus, always test if it works for you. Also, consult with your doctor before using wormwood.
7. Stay Hydrated
Diarrhea is one common symptom of digestive problems. It results in some other problems such as dehydration. Your body will start losing a lot of water.
Drink lots and lots of water to keep you hydrated. It will also help you with the infection. Green tea is also a good option.
You can also drink fruit juices and sports drinks. Higher the amount of fluids, higher would be the rate of recovery time. Try to avoid sugary drinks, alcohol, and other harmful drinks.
Also, avoid drinks containing caffeine because they contribute in water loss. Drinking more water will improve your overall health. You must drink at least 2 liters of water daily. It will help you beat giardia infection quickly.
Birch leaves are effective in fighting parasitic infections. You can take the tincture of birch leaves. They are particularly used for gut infections.
Additionally, birch leaves are shown to reduce gut inflammation. There are no side effects of using birch. However, it is always best to consult a doctor before. Here is a good recipe you can try:
Things You Need
- ¼ Oz of birch buds
- A glass of water
- Boil birch buds in a glass of water for 15 minutes.
- Infuse the solution for 1 hour.
Drink only half the glass of this juice 4 times a day. Continue consuming it for 10 days. After this, stop drinking this solution for the next 10 days. Repeat the whole process again.
- Pour 1 ounce of fresh birch leaves in a cup of hot water.
- Let it sit for around 5 hours.
- Consume 1-2 tablespoons two times a day.
Follow three courses of both the methods mentioned above. It is a tiresome process but it is much effective if done properly.
9. Pippali Rasayana
Pippali Rasayana is one of the best treatments for giardia. You may not have heard of this before as it is a rare Ayurvedic herb. It is made from long pepper and Palash. These two herbs are known for their health benefits.
Each of them is a great cure for giardiasis and many other diseases. When combined together, they make a wonderful treatment for giardia.
Research shows that it can treat the infection within 15 days. It was given to patients suffering from giardiasis for 15 days. Most of the patients had recovered from the infection.
Also, the symptoms of giardia were reduced. Pippali Rasayana stimulates your immune system. However, you cannot take this drug yourself. It may cause skin irritation or rashes. Thus, it needs a medical approach for administration.
Coconut is not just a fruit but package of health benefits. Coconut can also provide you relief from giardiasis. Coconut oil has been used for years.
It contains a strong anti-parasitic compound known as lauric acid. It protects the body from the attack of bacteria or virus. Thus, it is beneficial for infections such as giardiasis.
You can even consume coconut instead of coconut oil. Both the ways work out to treat the infection. Not only this, but coconut oil will also enhance your overall health. Coconut oil and fruit are affordable and easily available. Here is a simple remedy to use coconut for giardiasis.
- Take one coconut.
- Make a hole and pour out the coconut juice.
- Break the coconut and remove the grate and grind it.
- Consume ½ of the pulp for 3 days.
- Eat the pulp before your meals.
Don’t eat for 4 hours after consuming the coconut. It may cause irritation or upset stomach. Therefore, you should always the first talk to your doctor.
11. Oregon Grape
Oregon grape contains berberine which is a yellow colored alkaloid. It is also known as Mahonia aquifolium. It prevents the spread of giardiasis. It is best known for quick results and heals your infection.
Additionally, it will also combat the problems of indigestion. You can take oregano grape capsules or its tincture. However, ensure that you don’t have any other problems with using it. Do not use oregano grape if you have GI disorders.
12. Long Pepper
Long pepper is known as Piper longum scientifically. It clears your digestive tract of Giardia lamblia parasites. By removing the parasites, it eventually cures the infection.
Additionally, long pepper strengthens your immune system. A healthy immune system is capable of removing harmful parasites itself. Thus, long pepper is an effective remedy to treat giardiasis.
13. Grapefruit Juice
Grapefruit is rich in antioxidants and immune stimulating vitamins. It has anthelmintic property due to which it cleans the digestive tract.
Moreover, it does not harm any useful bacteria present in your gut. It is also rich in antioxidants and vitamin C. It is a simple remedy to try.
Combining grapefruit and beetroot juice clears the infection quickly. You can consume a grapefruit seed extract. You may not find it but it can be made at home itself. Here is a recipe using grapefruit seeds to get rid of giardia.
- Peel off the grapefruit seeds and cut into small pieces.
- Put the pieces into a glass and fill it with vodka. Let it stay for 2 weeks.
- Consume 1 teaspoon of this two times a day. It is better to take it once before breakfast and dinner.
- You can also consume half a grapefruit and 2-3 seeds.
Avoid eating grapefruits if you take contraceptive pills or antidepressants. Even if you want to eat grapefruit, consult with your doctor before.
Yes, onions make you cry but they are healing too. Onion is an effective natural remedy to treat giardia. Onions have many antioxidants that make it nutritionally beneficial.
Eating onions will flush out parasites from your gut. It quickly cleanses your intestine and thus fights the infection. Try consuming more onions in a way that you prefer. You can eat raw onions as well as cooked ones.
However, raw onions are more effective. You can eat onions in the form of salad. You can also eat either grilled or fried onions. However, too much of cooking will destroy the crucial components. Here are two methods to use onions for giardiasis.
Things You Need
- One ½ medium onion
- A cup of water
- Put the onion in the water and let it soak overnight.
- In morning, first strain the onion tincture in another cup of water.
- Squeeze the onion in this cup and have it before your breakfast.
Repeat this daily until you notice some improvement.
15. Pumpkin Seeds
Pumpkin seeds are effective in fighting giardiasis. Cucurbitacin is the active compound of pumpkin seeds. It is a laxative and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Pumpkin seeds eliminate the parasites from your gut and intestine. Moreover, they relax and soothe your overall body.
Thus, they clear your digestive tract and aid in treating giardiasis. Pumpkin seeds are affordable and easily available. Eat one teaspoon of pumpkin seeds once a day. Continue using this remedy regularly until you get effective results.
16. Intestinal Flushes
Start eating more grains and fiber. They stimulate your excretion process and the absorption of nutrients. It helps in clearing the intestines and removing the parasites. Fibers such as flaxseeds and pectin are effective for giardia patients. You will also get rid of constipation and gut problems.
It is an effective remedy for giardia. The product is collected by bees and has antibacterial properties. In a clinical trial, propolis was administered to 138 patients.
However, the concentration of propolis was different for each patient. This study showed that higher concentrations, higher cure rate.
Pineapple is a delicious yet healthy fruit. It contains an enzyme known as bromelain. This enzyme helps your body fight against the parasites.
This enzyme breaks the cell wall and cyst of G. lamblia. The parasites are no more harmful and excrete out of the body.
You can also take bromelain supplements with and between meals. But it is better to have pineapple juice than the supplements. Natural products are always better than supplements.
Change In Diet
Diet plays an important role in the health of your body. It is truly said that you are what you eat. Diet is required to strengthen your intestine and gut.
You have to add easily digestible foods to your diet. It will help produce less toxic waste and easy digestion. Don’t consume foods that may cause toxicity. Have a diet that is light, little in quantity and easily digestible. It is equally important to treat giardia.
Eat more organic fresh vegetables and fruits. Your body will get nutrients to fight the parasites. Include foods having anti-parasitic properties such as pineapple.
Keep a gap of at least 3 hours in your consecutive meals. It helps build a strong appetite. Include black pepper, dry ginger, and asafoetida to your diet. These food items enhance the functioning of your digestive system.
Focus On Lifestyle
Like the diet, lifestyle also affects the treatment. You must focus on your lifestyle and change it for the better. The major focus should be on proper hygiene.
Maintain personal hygiene in order to bid goodbye to giardia. Keep your bedrooms net and clean. Always wash your hands before and after eating. Yes, that is a saying you may have heard since childhood.
However, it still works the best. There are many other measures to change lifestyle. Below you will find some more tips on treating the infection.
What Not To Eat When You Have Giardiasis?
- Acidic liquids such as orange juice
- Caffeinated drinks like coffee
- Milk and dairy products (if you have diarrhea)
- Acidic food products such as tomatoes
- Spicy food
- Smoked meat
- Canned food
- Fast food
- Bakery products such as sweets, muffins, chocolates
- Fruits such as bananas, melon
- Raw vegetables such as mushrooms
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) such as aspirin
How Long Does It Take For Giardia To Take Away?
The symptoms arise after 1-2 weeks of infection. The symptoms may persist from 10 days to 4 weeks. However, in some cases, the symptoms may persist for longer periods.
Meanwhile, in some cases, the symptoms may recur again. It depends on the severity of the infection. It also depends on the treatment. It the infection is left untreated, it can cause some serious complications such as chronic diarrhea.
How To Prevent Giardiasis?
You can reduce your risk of developing giardia. However, you cannot prevent giardiasis.
1. Maintain Personal Hygiene
Lack of personal hygiene can cause giardiasis. Always wash your hands properly before eating or cooking food. Maintain proper hygiene especially if you work in daycare centers.
Wash your hands after using washrooms, changing diapers, and preparing food. Always keep a sanitizer with you in case water is not available.
2. Drink Purified Water
Water bodies such as lakes, ponds, and rivers are often contaminated. Avoid swallowing water from these water bodies if you go swimming there.
Also, don’t drink the surface water. Ensure that your drinking water is boiled or filtered. Take bottled water when you go trekking or camping.
3. Use Bottled Water
Avoid drinking tap water from places lacking in hygiene. You must never brush your teeth with the tap water. Always use the boiled or filtered water for brushing your teeth.
Try to avoid consuming products from the roadside. Also, avoid raw food products without rinsing them in filtered water.
4. Practice Safe Sex
Never indulge in unprotected oral and anal sex. Use a condom always to avoid developing giardia. It will not only prevent giardia but many other infections.
How Do They Test For Giardiasis?
Giardiasis is examined from the stools of the person. You will have to submit stool samples for giardia diagnosis. The presence of G. lamblia parasites is indicative of giardia.
There are other methods to test giardia such as trichrome stain of stool. Technicians may also perform microscopic examination of your stool.
Enteroscopy is another test done for giardia diagnosis. In this test, a thread is passed from your throat to small intestine. This thread is then taken up. It releases parasites in a saline solution. ELISA is a test in which 90% detection rate.
1. How Long Does Giardia Survive Outside The Body?
The giardia parasites can survive for months outside the body. They either live in water or on any surface. It is because they build a cyst around their cell. It protects them from the outside environment.
2. What Are The Long-Term Effects Of Giardia?
Giardia can cause some long-term complications and serious problems such as:
a. Dehydration– Dehydration is often due to diarrhea. It affects the normal functioning of your body.
b. Retarded development– chronic diarrhea can also lead to malnutrition, especially in children. it then affects the physical and mental development of the patient.
c. Lactose intolerance– you may develop lactose intolerance because of giardia. You will not be able to digest milk sugar. Sometimes it may persist even after the infection is gone.
3. Is Giardiasis Fatal?
Giardiasis is not at all fatal. However, it may cause some serious complications.
4. Can You Have Giardia And Be Constipated?
Yes, you may be constipated while you have giardia. Constipation is a less common symptom of giardiasis. Giardia parasites most commonly cause chronic diarrhea. However, they can also cause symptoms not linked to parasitic infection. These symptoms can be constipation, joint pain or dizziness.
As you know now giardiasis is a serious problem. You must treat in time to avoid any complication. Its diagnosis is quite simple and so its treatment.
A number of natural treatments are listed above to treat giardia. These remedies are affordable and effective too. It is true that medicines and drugs are also available. You can get a proper clinical treatment.
However, natural ingredients and medicinal herbs are safer to use. You should first use some natural remedies instead of medicines.
You should medical help if these remedies don’t work out for you. In case, you have severe giardia, go for medical help only.