Greg Gunthorp asked about "organic" vermifuges for pigs. There were
a number of seed and plant foods suggested for this. I wanted to
share a few more resources.
First, the pumpkin seed vermifuge is a very old one; Hildegard of
Bingen writes about it in, what, the 12th and 13th centuries, and
that's just the earliest *written* reference I've seen. She has a
recipe that sounds similar to the one Douglas Hinds shared--hull the
seed, mush it up--in one of her medical treatises.
The other variation on this I've heard is for tapeworm: make a
porridge of smushed hulled pumpkin seed, take that in two morning
meals, several hours apart, after a 24-hour fast. Follow that some
hours later with castor oil or olive oil, to clear out the
intestines. The idea is that the pumpkin seeds don't *kill* the
tapeworm but immobilize them so they can be cleaned out. I've run
across this in many oral and written sources, up to the middle of
this century, as a way of getting tapeworm out of pregnant women
without harming them or their fetuses.
I can't imagine doing this with pigs, of course. :^) Just
mentioning it because it distinguishes between killing the worm/s
and expelling it/them live.
Hmong farmers I've known here in Madison used bitter melon (Momordia
charantia) seeds as a vermifuge; like the pumpkin, it's a cucurbit.
My good friend and master gardener Nittaya Udonsook, who died of
cancer some years ago, recommended bitter melon seeds to a friend
of mine who had a wormy dog.
I've heard of cucumber seeds used as vermifuges. Greg, my dad worked
on a pig farm as a young man. (There were pig farms on the outskirts
of Philly at that time, near Essington.) They'd seed cucumbers for
summer salads, and give the seeds to the pigs, with worming and worm
prevention as part of the reason. He didn't say whether they hulled
the seeds or not. Or whether it worked.
Here's a short list of some of the herbs I've run across used for
vermifuges or antiparasitics. This isn't a list of things you should
feed your pigs; herbalists generally use them in formulas, with other
herbs with other properties (anti-cramping, for instance).
American wormseed, Chenopodium ambrosiodes
Black horehound, Ballota nigra
Black walnut hulls, Juglans nigra
Garlic, Allium sativum (Italian and Italian-American friends in South
Philly swore by this as a summer vermifuge; even if it didn't work,
you'd have a helluva good time eating it)
Grapefruit seed, Citrus paradisi
Hyssop, Hyssopus officinalis
Ivy, Hedera helix
Juniper, Juniperus communis
Mugwort, Artemisia vulgaris
Nettles, Urtica dioica
Peppermint, Mentha piperita
Rhubarb root (or root extract), Rheum palmatum
Sage, Salvia officinalis
Sweet Annie, Artemisia annua
I wouldn't mess with any of these, even peppermint, without knowing
what I was doing. Well, except garlic.
Those of you who might like to see an early 20th century
standard on herbal medicine (i.e., healing with seed and plant
foods), might enjoy the on line version of M. Grieve's herbal:
It's got all the standard disclaimers to let readers know the
Webmasters are aware of liability and lawsuits.
Another standard herbal is Alma Hutchins' /Indian Herbology of North
America/, which has the interesting feature of comparing North
American herbs with their counterparts growing in parts of Russia
with similar climates.
Greg, if you're interested in talking to any vets who have made a
study of herbal and, excuse me, Dale, homeopathic medicine, dink me;
there are a few hereabouts.
As for fairies, I know some of those, too. One of them is 6-6, 280,
and tattooed to within an inch of black. Amazing planet we live on.
Michele Gale-Sinex, communications manager
Center for Integrated Ag Systems
UW-Madison College of Ag and Life Sciences
Voice: (608) 262-8018 FAX: (608) 265-3020
In the towers of steel, belief goes on and on
in this heartland, in this heartland soil. --U2
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