Helminthic (worm) therapy
For ARTICLES please click on the links below.
Helminthic therapy is an experimental approach to the treatment of asthma, allergies, inflammation and autoimmune diseases.
The treatment developed out of understanding gained from scientific studies showing that, while these illnesses have escalated in developed countries during the past 50-100 years, they remain much less common in parts of the world where intestinal worms are still prevalent.
Further studies have shown that the reintroduction of a controlled number of carefully selected, small, benign intestinal organisms, such as hookworm and whipworm, can rebalance a host's immune system to put these conditions into remission.
The organisms that are used in helminthic therapy had, until being eradicated in the developed world, coexisted with humans for millions of years. During this time, we have become dependent on them to the extent that our genome is now arguably incomplete without their genes, and they have become masters of the human immune system.
Helminthic therapy has already been, or is currently being studied as a treatment for a number of diseases including allergies, asthma, type 1 diabetes, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease and multiple sclerosis. Results from the completed studies are impressive, and there are anecdotal reports and/or theoretical reasons to suggest that a number of other conditions may also respond well to helminthic therapy. (John Scott)
Helminthic Therapy. A brief introduction from Wikipedia.
Helminthic Therapy Success Stories. A list of over 200 accounts of success using helminthic therapy with more than 60 different medical conditions.
Helminthic Therapy FAQ. Answers to frequently asked questions.
Don't Let Worms Give You The Squirms. Help for those who are interested in helminthic therapy but have an aversion to worms.
Distribution Graphic for Autoimmune Disorders and Helminths.
Reconstituting the Depleted Biome to Prevent Immune Disorders. An article explaining why replacing our "old friends" may be the only reasonable therapy for a wide range of immune-associated disorders, including allergy, autoimmunity and even some cases of autism.
Helminth–host Immunological Interactions: Prevention and Control of Immune-mediated Diseases. An excellent summary of the science underpinning helminthic therapy.
(The above two articles would be ideal to give to a doctor who is interested in helminthic therapy but who is lacking information.)
Helminthic Therapy Science Readings. A collection of links to 60 articles reflecting some of the medical science pertaining to helminthic therapy.
Pinterest Helminthic Therapy Pinboard. This continually-updated site features hundreds of research and news articles about helminth therapy, gut health and their relationship with autoimmune diseases.
The HT community
Yahoo Helminthic Therapy Forum. This is the oldest HT forum, with nearly 1,300 members and a searchable archive of almost 10,000 posts, which can be read by anyone. If you want to comment or ask questions, click on the "Join This Group" button to become a member.
Facebook Helminthic Therapy Support Group. This is the most active HT group and an essential source of support for all who are using helminthic therapy. It is a "closed" group, so only members can see posts. To request membership, click on the "Join Group" button, and one of the group admins will let you in.
Using helminths in young children. A forum post detailing the successful use of helminth in a 5-year old with multiple anaphylactic allergies – and a further list of posts on the use of helminths in children.
Other helminthic therapy sites
Gut Buddies. John Scott's blog.
Gut Buddies Facebook wall - daily updates about the worms and bugs that keep us well.
Autoimmune Therapies. The home site of AIT, the supplier of helminths, is one of the best sites for research into the main diseases that helminths can be used to treat, and for personal success stories.
Helminthic therapy and ME. Helminthic therapy may be especially beneficial for CFS/ME because of the impact of helminths on the gut microbiome – effectively 'weeding out' bacteria they do not want and cultivating those they do. This article on PLOS suggests that 'helminth treatment in primates can ameliorate colitis by restoring mucosal barrier functions and reducing overall bacterial attachment, and also by altering the communities of attached bacteria.' March 2013
Hookworm Timeline. What to expect after inoculating with hookworm – John Scott – March 2012
The amazing Dr Wriggly – John Scott
Reintroducing food after hookworm treatment for food allergy/intolerance– John Scott
Parasites or Cohabitants: Cruel Omnipresent Usurpers or Creative "Éminences Grises"?The history of parasites and the impact of parasitic diseases on the course of human evolution, proposing that the term "cohabitant" is more accurate, because every living being is a consortium of living beings and parasite and host together compose a new adaptive system: the parasitized-host or the cohabitant-cohabited being. The paper suggests switching the old paradigm based on attrition and destruction, to a new one founded on adaptation and living together. April 2011
Deworming mothers in East Africa fails to deliver the expected benefits, but results in double the rate of eczema in their children. Interesting article from the Wellcome Trust. November 2011
Helminths reduce Multiple Chemical Sensitivity– John Scott reports August 2011
Parasites: A user's guide – the DVD. In a 27-minute documentary about ecology, healing, and worms, filmmaker Sharon Shattuck questions the nature of our relationship with parasites, and suggests a new paradigm for the future. More at www.parasites-film.com or buy here.
A good overview of helminthic therapy thinking and research over the last 10 years from Science News. June 2006
Take Two Hookworms and call me in the Morning - Useful general article by Jennifer Fisher Wilson May 2011
For the Good of the Gut: Can Parasitic Worms Treat Autoimmune Diseases? Good report in the Scientific American of a 35-year-old man who had cured his ulcerative colitis withte help of whipworms.December 2010
Interesting blog from a wormophile - just six months into her treatment and going well. October 2011
Worms could be big business. Another article in Bloomberg Businessweek estimating annual sales of of $2 billion for parisitic treatment of Crohn's disease alone.May 2010
Gut instinct: the miracle of the parasitic hookworm. A lengthy and excellent article in the Guardian about Jasper Lawrence, founder of Autimmune Therapies, and his experiences with hookworms which he believes cured his asthma and which he now provides for other sufferers of autoimmune conditions from MS to total food allergy. May 2010
Dirt, Disease, and Depression: the hygiene hypothesis clears up a diametric difficulty. An interesting blog article suggesting major depressive disorder (MDD) is not a mental illness at all—that is, one resulting from an unbalanced brain—but is in fact a mental symptom of a dysregulated immune system and might therefore be successfully treatedby helminthic or worm therapy. For further comment.
Hookworm Honeymoon. John Scott discovers that a new relationship was all that was required to relieve his longstanding total food intolerance and reduce his chronic fatigue, but this was no ordinary relationship. November 2009
Helminthic therapy: Replacing lost worms to regain health – John Scott 2009.
Horizon allergy report: For those who did not see it, a report on the recent Horizon programme on allergies – Micki Rose 2009
An Appetite for Worms - 2008
A Survey of Self-Treatment with Helminths: Practices and Outcomes. William Parker PhD. May 2013
NB Information on this site is not a substitute for medical advice and no liability can be assumed for its use.