THE intestinal canal is subject to various disturbances from the presence of worms. Of these troublesome tenants, there are three principal varieties.
The Ascaris, or pinworm, called also maw or thread worm, is a small, white, thread4ike worm from half an inch to an inch in length. These worms live, in great number, in the rectum, where they excite great irritation and itching.
The Lumbricus, or ascaris lumbricoides, is a round worm, about an eighth of an inch in thickness, and from an eighth to a quarter of a yard in length. Its color varies from a milky whiteness to a deep red. It generally occupies the small bowels.
The Tenia Solanum, or tapeworm, is a flat worm, with four suckers at the head, is from a few feet to some hundreds in length, and full of joints. It dwells in the small bowels, and feeds on the chyle as it comes along, before it is absorbed by the lacteals. In this way, it robs the body of nourishment, and produces great loss of flesh, and an enormous appetite.
Symptoms. In the grown person the symptoms of worms are quite obscure, except an intolerable itching within the anus, which generally indicates pinworms.
In children worms are indicated by paleness, itching of the nose, grinding of the teeth and starting in sleep, irregular appetite, bad breath, swelled upper lip, picking of the nose, hard swelled belly, and one cheek constantly flushed.
Treatment. For expelling worms various articles have been used. Among these spirits of turpentine (155) has a high reputation. The following preparation does well: Spirits of turpentine, half an ounce; essence of anise, half an ounce; castor oil, one ounce; wormseed oil, two drams. Mix. The dose for a child one or two years old is ten to twenty drops, every two or three hours. In two or three days, a brisk physic should be given. The worm powder is quite successful.
An injection composed of quassia, or aloes, or of simple sweet oil, is very effectual in removing pinworms from the lower bowel. So is an injection composed of the red iodide of mercury, one grain; iodide of potassium, half a grain; and two pints of water.
Most of the above preparations are thought to be successful in expelling all kinds of worms; but for the tapeworm, no other remedy has yet shown itself as effectual as pumpkinseeds. The seeds should be well bruised, and steeped in water. This should be drunk freely for several days, if need be. It is believed to be a sure remedy, even in cases of several years' standing. The expulsion of a worm may be hastened by having a movement over a vessel in which a quart or so of boiling water has been placed, which will have a tendency to relax parts so that the worm will loosen his hold the more readily. The drinking of the decoction of pumpkin seeds should be followed after an interval. of an hour or so by a good saline cathartic, such as one or two teaspoonfuls of Epsom salts.
In all cases of worms, the diet should be carefully chosen, and be connected with proper exercise, pure air, frequent bathing, and all those measures which tend to improve the general health.
After the expulsion of the worms, tonics should always be taken to strengthen the bowels, that the same evil may not return,
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