Giardia Lamblia infection natural treatment with vitamins, herbs, supplement, home remedy
October 24 2015 by
Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Giardia intestinalis is a protozoan parasite that infects the gastrointestinal tract of vertebrate hosts. Giardia intestinalis (also called giardia duodenalis or giardia lamblia) is one of the most common intestinal parasites in the world and it contributes to diarrhea and nutritional deficiencies in children in developing regions. Although Giardia do not contain mitochondria, they have developed pathways to perform some mitochondrial functions. Giardiasis in poorly nourished children in developing regions can lead to stunting and cognitive impairment.

Natural treatment for parasite infections
There is very little research regarding the herbal treatment for parasite infections.

Propolis has been tested for giardiasis in mice.
Garlic has any germ potential but I am not sure if consuming a few cloves a day would be helpful for this infection.
Wheat germ has been tested in humans
Pippali Rasayana is an Indian ayurvedic herbal formula prepared from Palash (Butea monosperma (Lamk) Kuntze; Leguminaceae) and Pippali (Piper longum L.; Piperaceae)

Wheat germ supplement reduces cyst and trophozoite passage in people with giardiasis.
Am J Tropical Med Hyg. 2001.
The protozoan parasite Giardia lamblia is a major cause of waterborne enteric disease worldwide. Lectins are proteins that bind to carbohydrate (sugar) moieties. Potential targets for lectins are found on the surface of most single-celled organisms. Modest concentrations of wheat germ agglutinin have been shown to inhibit Giardia lamblia excystation and trophozoite growth in vitro and can reduce cyst passage in mice infected with the closely related protozoan parasite, Giardia muris. Commercial preparations of wheat germ contain 13-53 microg of agglutinin per gram. We performed a double-masked, placebo-controlled study of dietary supplementation with wheat germ in 63 subjects with giardiasis in Montreal and Lima (25 asymptomatic patients passing cysts; 38 patients with symptoms). Asymptomatic subjects received wheat germ (2 g, 3 times a day) or placebo for 10 days, followed by metronidazole (250 mg 3 times a day) for 7 days. Symptomatic subjects received metronidazole (250 mg 3 times a day) plus either WG or placebo for 7 days. In asymptomatic subjects, both cyst passage and coproantigen levels were reduced by approximately 50% in those taking wheat germ compared with the placebo group. In symptomatic subjects, cyst passage and coproantigen levels fell precipitously in response to metronidazole therapy, and there were no clinically important differences between those receiving supplemental wheat germ or placebo. However, symptoms appear to have resolved more rapidly in the subjects taking wheat germ in addition to metronidazole. The wheat germ supplement was well tolerated in both symptomatic and asymptomatic subjects. These data suggest that components of wheat germ, possibly wheat germ agglutinin, either alone or in combination with antiprotozoal agents, can influence the course of human giardiasis.

Management of giardiasis by a herbal drug 'Pippali Rasayana': a clinical study.
J Ethnopharmacology. 1997.
Pippali Rasayana was administered at a dose of 1 g orally three times daily for a period of 15 days to patients (25 treated, 25 placebo controls) suffering from giardiasis with clinical signs and symptoms, and stools positive for trophozoites/cysts of Giardia lamblia. After 15 days of drug treatment there was a complete disappearance of Giardia lamblia (trophozoites/cysts) from the stools of 23 out of 25 patients. General signs and symptoms of ill health and abdominal discomfort, presence of mucus, pus cells and RBCs were significantly reduced. There was a marked improvement in the clinical and haematological profile of the patients. Spontaneous recovery in 20% cases was recorded in placebo controls.

Giardia symptom, what do patients feel
Patients with giardiasis do not usually have giardia symptoms but the presence of the giardia parasite may lead to a variety of clinical manifestations, including skin lesions.

Rare cause of granuloma annulare
A case of a 31-year-old female patient with skin lesions of granuloma annulare type was confirmed by a skin biopsy. She  was diagnosed with giardiasis. The clearance of the skin lesions after antiparasite treatment seems to support the correlation between dermatological symptoms and infection with Giardia intestinalis.

Giardia Treatment with prescription medications
Some giardia infections resolve on their own. Anti-microbial agents used in giardia treatment include metronidazole (Flagyl; Protostat) or quinacrine. Furazolidone (Furoxone) is generally used to treat giardiasis in children. Cure rates for giardia are generally greater than 80%. Drug resistance may be a factor in giardia treatment failures, sometimes requiring a change in antibiotic therapy.

Curr Infect Dis Rep. 2014. Treatment of giardiasis: current status and future directions. Giardiasis is a common yet neglected cause of diarrheal illness worldwide. Antimicrobial therapy is usually but not always effective and drug resistance has become an increasing concern. Several promising drug candidates have been recently identified that can overcome antibiotic resistance in Giardia. These include derivatives of 5-nitroimidazoles and benzimidazoles, as well as hybrid compounds created from combinations of different antigiardial drugs. High-throughput screening of large compound libraries has been a productive strategy for identifying antigiardial activity in drugs already approved for other indications, e.g. auranofin. This article reviews the current treatment of giardiasis, mechanisms of resistance, advances in drug and vaccine development, and directions for further research on this significant human pathogen.

Questions and feedback
Q. I was recently diagnosed with a number of different parasites in an effort to resolve long-time digestive problems. Are there any herbal treatments for parasites are as effective as drugs and which herbs can be used most effectively for giardia lamblia infections?
   A. We have not come across any specific, proven and effective natural herbal treatment studies in humans regarding treatment for giardia lamblia infections.

I am having Giardia parasite resistant to Flagyl (after 10 days of Flagyl still positive in my stool). Which product of yours and dosage would be the suggested natural treatment?

I spend time outdoors and sometimes drink water from creeks (that I shouldn't) so I contract giardia sometimes. Years ago I read someplace that old time mountain men would use tobacco for worms. I got a cigarette from the neighbor lady and cut the cigarette into several pieces and swallowed the pieces. Well it worked great. Before when I had got a prescription, it took three or four days to have any effect and then it stopped the effects of the giardia like turning off a switch. But swallowing a Lucky Strike cigarette did the same thing overnight. It is not pleasant swallowing pieces of a cigarette. I swallowed them with water like a pill. Since then I bought a can of Copenhagen snoose and if I get giardia, I put snoose in a gelatin capsule and swallow it. It works the same as the cigarette. There can be irritation to the stomach from the tobacco.