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Carum copticum L.: A Herbal Medicine with Various Pharmacological Effects - Antiparasitic activities



Type of Spiritual Experience


Parasitic worms, also known as helminths, are large macroparasites, which as adults can generally be seen with the naked eye. Many are intestinal worms that are soil-transmitted and infect the gastrointestinal tract. Other parasitic worms such as schistosomes reside in blood vessels.


Hydatid Disease (Echinococcosis) Hydatid disease (also known as Echinococcosis or cystic hydatid disease) results from infection with the larvae (a developing phase) of the tapeworm Echinococcus granulosus.

A description of the experience

Biomed Res Int. 2014; 2014: 569087.  Published online 2014 Jun 25. doi: 10.1155/2014/569087

PMCID: PMC4096002  PMID: 25089273

Carum copticum L.: A Herbal Medicine with Various Pharmacological Effects
Mohammad Hossein Boskabady, 1 ,* Saeed Alitaneh, 2 and Azam Alavinezhad 1

Carum copticum L. commonly known as “Ajwain” is cultivated in many regions of the world including Iran and India, states of Gujarat and Rajasthan. Traditionally, C. copticum has been used in the past for various therapeutic effects including bloating, fatigue, diarrhea, abdominal tumors, abdominal pain, respiratory distress, and loss of appetite. It has other health benefits such as antifungal, antioxidant, antibacterial, antiparasitic, and hypolipidemic effects. This plant contains different important components such as carbohydrates, glucosides, saponins and phenolic compounds (carvacrol), volatile oils (thymol), terpiene, paracymene and beta-pinene, protein, fat, fiber, and minerals including calcium, phosphorus, iron, and nicotinic acid (niacin). In the previous studies, several pharmacological effects were shown for C. copticum. Therefore, in this paper, the pharmacological effects of the plant were reviewed.

5.5. Antiparasitic Effects

Infection with filarial nematodes makes lymphatic filariasis and synthetic drug not adequately effective in killing these parasites. Therefore, antifilarial effects of medicinal plant, namely, fruit extract of C. copticum, were shown in vitro and in vivo. C. copticum, thymol, and carvacrol have macrofilaricidal properties against adult bovine filarial worm S. digitata in vitro. In addition, the plant increased mortality and infertility of female worm of human filarial worm Brugia malayi in vivo [65]. The effect of C. copticum seeds on treatment of leishmaniasis parasitic was also reported. Hydroalcoholic extract of C. copticum showed antileishmanial activity with IC50 15.625 μM which was less than IC50 for macrophage cell line (43.76 μM) [66].

Anthelmintic effect of C. copticum in comparison with levamisole (an anthelminthic and immunomodulator drug) on sheep infected with mixed nematode was also evaluated. C. copticum powder dose dependently caused reduction in eggs per gram of feces which was more potent compared with levamisole [67].

Plasmodium falciparum is genus of parasitic protozoa. Infection with this genus is known as malaria. Ethyl acetate extract of C. copticum seed with values of 25 μg/mL also showed in vitro antimalarial activity [68].

Pinewood nematode (PWN) makes pine wilt disease. Nematicidal activity of C. copticum oil against B. xylophilus was evaluated in vitro and mortality of nematodes after 24 h was studied. C. copticum and its components killed nematodes and likely are suitable as natural nematicides. It was also shown that thymol and carvacrol have a significant effect on nematodes [69, 70]. Considering that one of the most important worldwide parasitic diseases (especially in dirty and unsanitary areas) is hydatid cysts, it was shown that C. copticum play a significant role in the removal of hydatid cysts in vitro. In a study, Protoscoleces were exposed to essential oil of C. copticum (3, 5, and 10 mg/mL) for 10, 20, 30, and 60 min. The results showed that the higher concentration in the least time period of the study killed 100% of hydatid cyst protoscolices which was suggested to be due to its phenol compounds [71]. Coccidian protozoa such as Eimeria tenella live in intestinal tract of animal and cause coccidiosis which in severe cases lead to death. Herbal complex (containing C. copticum) with three concentrations (2, 4, and 6 g) was added to water of broiler chickens infected with Eimeria tenella and symptoms were compared with amprolium group. This herbal complex in a concentration-dependently manner improved broiler chickens with Eimeria tenella [72].

In addition, there are several studies regarding the disinfecting and insecticide effects of C. copticum extracts, such as its effects on adult male and female German cockroaches by inhibition of acetylcholine esterase (AChE). In addition, C. copticum oil, 0.1 mg/mL, caused 100% larval mortality against A. aegypti mosquito larvae. Thus C. copticum can be used as botanical insecticides [73, 74]. The effect of thymol vapor on eggs laying of malaria mosquito (Anopheles stephensi) was more effective with LD50 1.6-fold than C. copticum oil (80.77 versus 48.88 μg/mL) [75]. Table 5 summarizes antiparasitic effects of C. copticum.

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