Ayurvedic Treatment For Worm Infestation

Worm infestation (intestinal worms) is a common health complaint of the public come across in the routine practice. Irrespective of age, sex, religion and geographical area, every individual suffers from this complaint. So, it becomes mandatory to take certain kind of herbal wormicides periodically.
This write-up is to give a brief insight about the disease features, reasons, severity, important remedies, wholesome and unwholesome diet and habits related to this disease.

Clinical presentation

Pain abdomen during evening, nights, early in the morning or immediately after food intake, nausea, anal itching before or after defecation, head ache etc.

Classical features

Abdominal pain, itching and irritation in the anus, fever, vomiting, head ache, diarrhea, discomfort in the chest, pallor of the skin, nausea etc.

Reasons for manifestation

1. Indigestion (ajirna bhojana)
2. Excess intake of sweet and sour substances (Madhura-amla bhojana)
3. Excess intake of liquids/juice etc (dravapriyatwa)
4. Intake of grain flour (pishtaana)
5. Jaggery and food articles derived out of it (gudopabhoga)
6. Sedentary life (vyayama varjya)
7. Day sleep (diwa swaapa)
8. Incompatible foodstuff (viruddha bhojana)
9.Excess intake of black gram(masha), salts(lavana), green leafy vegetables(shaka), milk(kshira), curd(dadhi),fermented beverages(shukta) etc.

Origin of the disease

Due to the above reasons, the food consumed is not digested properly which ultimately results in indigestion and the worms are manifested. When they are not evacuated on time, further in association with sweet food stuffs, their count is increased due to the favorable environment. Thus results in the aggravation of the complaint of worm infection.

Types of worm infestation

Features of important kinds of worm infestation:
In Ayurveda, importantly three kinds of worm infestations are mentioned.
a)Kaphaja krimi (worms due to kapha)-In this condition, the worms are originated in the stomach; on aggravation, they move to other sites also. Such worms are flat, tiny and round. Some of the worms appear like sprouted grains, thin, long and minute (invisible), white or coppery in color.

They are of seven types namely- antrada, udarada, udaraveshta, hridayada, mahaguda, churu, darbha kusuma and sugandha (detail description of each variety of the worm is beyond the scope of this write-up).

Nausea, regurgitation, indigestion, tastelessness, syncope, vomiting, fever, abdominal distention, emaciation, sneezing and rhinitis are the special characteristic features of this kind of worms.

b) Raktaja krimi (worms due to vitiated blood) – Such worms are minute without legs, round and copper colored. They are further classified into 6 types as keshada, loma vidhwamsa, romada, udumbara, sourasa and matru.

c) Purishaja krimi (worms due to vitiated feces) – These worms are originated at large intestine. They always move downwards. If their count is increased significantly, they move towards stomach also.

In this condition, smell of the feces is complained of during regurgitation and deep breathing, by the patients.The worms are bigger, round, thin, bluish black, yellow, white or black in color.
They are of 5 kinds namely-kakeruka, makeruka, sousurada, saloona and leliha. 

Symptoms of Krumi

Sanjata Krimi Lakshanas – Symptoms Of Presence Of Worms In The Body
By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S

Many people may have intestinal worms for many years without having any symptoms related to it.

The common symptoms of presence of worms in the gut are –

  • Abdominal colic
  • Diarrhoea
  • Nausea / vomiting
  • Bloating, gases in tummy
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss due to unknown reasons
  • Pain and tenderness in the tummy
  • Dysentery
  • Rash / itch around rectum or vulva
  • Passing of worms in stools

Risk factors

Facts and Figures

According to World Health Organization (WHO), – about 10% people in developing world are infected with intestinal worms.

People in developing countries are highest risk of getting infested with worms because of

  • drinking water from contaminated sources
  • decreased sanitation levels

Sanskrit Verse

Sanjata Krimi Lakshanas – symptoms of presence of worms according to Ayurveda

  • fever
  • discolouration of a part or whole body
  • colic
  • heart disease
  • vomiting
  • giddiness
  • aversion towards food
  • diarrhoea

These symptoms point towards:

  • the existence of worms or parasites in the body
  • the invasion of worms to organs beyond the Gut
  • long standing or persisting infection
  • worms in active form
  • depletion of nutrition to the body cells by worms
  • risk to heart and circulation

These symptoms individually or collectively are a pointer towards worm / parasitic manifestation and for an early call for action.

Complications of Worm infestation

Long persisting abdominal worms may lead to the following complications –
Chronic diarrhea or constipation, severe abdominal pain, fatigue, dryness of the body, anaemia, indigestion, drowsiness, ulceration in the anus, mal absorption disorders etc

Line of treatment

In all kinds of worms, first of all, the causative factors are to be avoided. Measures are taken for proper purification of the body by purgation. Later,the wormicidal medicaments (krimighna oushadha) are prescribed. On complete remission, care is taken so as to restore the digestive fire.

Single herbs in worm infestation

Ajamoda – Trachyspermum roxburghianum (DC.) Sprague
Akhuparni – Merremia gangetica (Linn) Cufodont
Bhallataka – Semecarpus anacardium Linn
Bhringaraja – Eclipta alba (Linn) Hassk.
Chitraka – Leadwort – Plumbago zeylanica Linn.
Danti – Baliospermum montanum (Willd.) Muell. Arg.
Hingu – Asa foetida – Ferula narthex Boiss.
Indravaruni – Citrullus colocynthis Schard.
Karanja – Pongamia pinnata (L.) Pierre.
Kutaja – Holarrhena antidysenterica (Linn.) Wall. Ex. G. Don.
Lashuna – Garlic – Allium sativa Linn.
Musta – Cyperus rotundus Linn.
Nimba – Neem – Azadirachta indica A. Juss.
Palasha – Butea monosperma (Linn.) Kuntze.
Paribhadra – Erythrina variegate Linn.
Pippali – Long pepper – Piper longum Linn.
Shigru – Drumstick tree – Moringa oleifera Lam.
Trivrit – Operculina turpathum (Linn.) Silva Manso.
Vidanga – False Black Pepper – Embelia ribes Burm. F.

Ayurvedic medicines

Ayurvedic medicines for worm infestation-
Bilvadi gulika
Hingwashtaka choorna
Krimikutara rasa
Krimimudgara rasa
Mustadi kashaya
Nimbashatka kashaya
Nimbamrita kashaya
Palashabeeja choorna
Panchatikta kashaya
Vidangadi choorna

Wholesome diet and habits

Ginger, garlic, onion, astringent-pungent and bitter substances, snake gourd, ridge gourd, cucumber, ash gourd, brinjal ,bitter gourd, buttermilk etc.

According to Yogaratnakara:

Unwholesome diet and habits

Excess of milk, flesh, ghee, curd, green leafy vegetables, sour and sweet substances, cold water, sweet substances, alkaline substances, fermented gruel etc.

According to Yogaratnakara:

Milk, meat, ghee, curd, leafy vegetables, sour and sweet substances, cold water, alkaline substances, fermented gruel, etc.

Effective formulations from Sahasrayogam

a. Nirgundyadi Kashayam

Ref – Sahasrayogam, Kashaya Prakaranam, 53a

IngredientsBotanical NameMethod of usingIndications
NirgundiVitex negundoThe decoction prepared with these ingredients should be served fresh with alkali of barley and asafetidaHelps destroy and expel worms    
ChitrakaPlumbago zeylanica
VidangaEmbelia ribes
DevadaruCedrus deodara
TurmericCurcuma longa
MustaCyperus rotundus
Akhuparni Ipomoea reniformis
KshapaCurcuma longa
BharangiClerodendron serratum
TrikatuPiper longum Piper nigrum Zingiber officinale
PalashaButea monosperma
DrumstickMoringa oleifera
ChavikaPiper retrofractum
HaritakiTerminalia chebula
GarlicAllium sativum

b. Vidangadi Kashayam

Ref – Sahasrayogam, Kashaya Prakaranam, 53b

IngredientsBotanical NameMethod of usingIndications
VidangaEmbelia ribesThe decoction prepared with these ingredients should be served freshWorm infestations
Long pepperPiper longum
PepperPiper nigrum
Nirgundi mulaRoots of Vitex negundo
Roots of drumstick treeRoots of Moringa oleifera
BharangiClerodendron serratum
GingerZingiber officinale
AkhukarniIpomoea reniformis
MustaCyperus rotundus

2. Vidalin Veradi Kashayam

Ref – Sahasrayogam, Parishishta Prakaranam, 67

IngredientsBotanical NameMethod of usingIndications
Vidanga mulaRoots of Embelia ribesThe decoction prepared with these ingredients should be administered with asafetida, long pepper, rock salt and alkali of barley1.Colic 2.Destroys worms  
Apamarga mulaRoots of Achyranthes aspera
PalasaButea monosperma
GingerZingiber officinale
GarlicAllium sativum
HorsegramDolichos biflorus
BilwaAegle marmelos
AgnimanthaClerodendrum phlomidis
PrisniparniUraria picta
Eranda mulaRoots of Ricinus communis
AjamodaTrachyspermum ammi
SesameSesamum indicum
SphotaEuphorbia prostrata
MotakaFagraea ceilanica

3. Vilanga Nirgundyadi Kashayam

Ref – Sahasrayogam, Parishishta Prakaranam, 95

IngredientsBotanical NameMethod of usingIndications
VidangaEmbelia ribesThe decoction prepared with these ingredients should be served fresh with asafetida and black pepper for 3 days1. Destroys worms and parasites
NirgundiVitex negundo
HaritakiTerminalia chebula
AkhukarniMerremia gangetica
GarlicAllium sativum
SobhanjanaMoringa oleifera
GingerZingiber officinale
MustaCyperus rotundus

4. Mustakhukarnadi Kashayam

Ref – Sahasrayogam, Parishishta Prakaranam, 96

IngredientsBotanical NameMethod of usingIndications
MustaCyperus rotundusThe decoction prepared with these ingredients should be served fresh with powder of long pepper and Embelia ribes1. Destroys and expels worms located in the upper and lower portions of the body and complications caused by them  
AkhukarniMerremia gangetica
TriphalaFruits of – Terminalia chebula Terminalia bellirica Emblica officinalis
DevadaruCedrus deodara
ShigruMoringa oleifera

5. Khadiradi Kashayam

6. Krimihara Kashaya

B. Yavagu – Gruel

1. Krimihara Yavagu

Ref – Sahasrayogam, Kashaya Prakaranam, 71

IngredientsBotanical NameMethod of usingIndications
VidangaEmbelia ribesGruel should be prepared with these ingredients by processing them with buttermilk and should be administered with Sauchal salt1. Destroys and expels worms  
Pippali mulaRoots of Piper longum
ShigruMoringa oleifera
MarichaPiper nigrum

C. Churna – Powders

1. Pushyanuga Churna

2. Guggulupanchapalam Churna

3. Kalyana Ksharam

D. Other Preparations

1. Dhanwantaram Ghritam

2. Manibhadra Gudam

Anti aging medicines for intestinal parasites

I have intestinal worms (parasites). I underwent Panchakarma just now. Which rasayana medicine is good for me? 
Dr JV Hebbar: 
Usually after a Panchakarma treatment, first the oral medicines are given to treat the remnant symptoms of the disease and then anti aging therapy (Rasayana) is given.
If you ask me for the right rasayana, then probably Vidangavaleha is suited in your case. 
It is mentioned specifically as a Rasayana medicine in the rasayana chapter of Charaka Samhita.

Charaka Samhita, Chikitsa Sthana, Rasayana chapter – 1st chapter, 2nd section, Prana kameeya Rasayana pada 
9th Shloka

Ingredients and procedure:
One Adhaka (3.072 kg) of the powder of the

grains of Vidanga – Embelia ribes and
Pippali – Long pepper fruit – Piper longum,
1.5 Adhaka (4.608 Gm) of sugar,
6 Adhakas (18.432kg) of ghee, Sesame oil and honey, taken together, should be mixed well and kept inside a ghee- smeared jar.

विडङ्गतण्डुलचूर्णानामाढकमाढकं पिप्पलीतण्डुलानामध्यर्धाढकं सितोपलायाः सर्पिस्तैलमध्वाढकैः षड्भिरेकीकृतं घृतभाजनस्थं प्रावृषि भस्मराशाविति सर्वं समानं पूर्वेण यावदाशीः||९||
(इति विडङ्गावलेहः)

viḍaṅgataṇḍulacūrṇānāmāḍhakamāḍhakaṃ pippalītaṇḍulānāmadhyardhāḍhakaṃ sitopalāyāḥ sarpistailamadhvāḍhakaiḥ ṣaḍbhirekīkṛtaṃ ghṛtabhājanasthaṃ prāvṛṣi bhasmarāśāviti sarvaṃ samānaṃ pūrveṇa yāvadāśīḥ||9||
(iti viḍaṅgāvalehaḥ)
Read the full chapter of Charaka Rasayana treatment here

23 comments on “Ayurvedic Treatment For Worm Infestation

  • Gaurav

    09/10/2013 - 1:02 am

    It is my understanding that salivation (during the night) is also a symptom of worms. Kindly confirm.

    Also, is it possible to tell the ‘degree’ of acuity of the problem based on which of the symptoms are being experienced?

    Thank you,

    Reply to comment
  • tarun

    24/10/2013 - 11:22 pm

    This article is good but want to know why mahamanjistharishta hasn’t been prescribed here. It consists of several things that are listed above for remedy.

    Also, want to know whether mahamanjishtharishta is a better blood purifier or mahamanjishtadi kashayam.

    Waiting for reply doc.

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      25/10/2013 - 6:32 pm

      Dear Tarun,
      Mahamanjishtarishta is more commonly used in skin diseases. It is a good blood detoxifier and cleanser. It is less commonly used in worm infestation.
      The formula of both the arishta and Kashaya versions are same. Only thing is, arishta is prepared in fermented way.
      I would say that the Kashayam version is better than Arishta, because Kashayam has traditional reference. Making it into Arishta would add some hotness to it, which is less ideal in blood – skin disorders, which are usually Pitta dominant.
      If the skin disease is having more of Kapha involvement, with symptoms like oozing secretions, itching, heaviness etc, then the Arishta version might be more useful than the Kashayam version.

      Reply to comment
      • tarun

        25/10/2013 - 7:38 pm

        Thanks for the reply doc & sharing your views on my question.

        I think there is some difference between mahamanjistharishta & mahamanjishthadi kshayam. I am using Baidyanath mahamanjishtharishta & have checked the ingredients list on your website of mahamanjishthadi kashayam. There are few ingredients that are there in mahamanjishtharishta & not in Mahamanjishthadi kashayam & vice versa.

        Reply to comment
        • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

          25/10/2013 - 10:36 pm

          Honestly, I have not heard about Mahamanjishtarishta in any Ayurveda text books.

          Reply to comment
      • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

        03/11/2013 - 8:56 pm

        Hi, I will be explaining the medicine naming principles in Ayurveda in just about a week time.
        To answer in brief, X kwatha or x arishta might or might not mean that the medicine has maximum x. in some cases, it just means that the starting herb of the formula is x. as in case of Hingvadi Churna. where Hingu – asa foetida is the first ingredient.

        Reply to comment
  • dr shraddha

    06/11/2013 - 10:13 pm

    sir which type of worm menifest depigmented patch over face??

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      07/11/2013 - 4:31 pm

      If you are sure that the depigmentation is not due to any other factors such as vitiligo, in Ayurvedic terms, if it is due to intestinal worms, it is due to Kaphaja Krumi.

      Reply to comment
  • Gaurav

    10/11/2013 - 2:13 am

    Can an ayurvedic doctor figure out presence of worms quite easily by examination? or pulse, etc…? My doctor said digestive fire was weak, but I think he hasn’t gotten to the root cause of that yet, and I wonder if worms might be one of the factors.

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      11/11/2013 - 3:21 pm

      Very experienced and traditionally trained doctor could diagnose worm infestation by pulse (I can’t). Whether you have it or not.. Depends on symptoms

      Reply to comment
  • Eli

    04/06/2014 - 5:56 pm

    Dear Dr JV Hebbar
    blood analyses ahow that I’m positive to strogiloides stercolaris,
    what would you suggest?

    Reply to comment
  • GNLog

    10/03/2015 - 10:24 am

    My ayurvedic doctor has examined my pulse and said i have got krumis. I am sure he gave the required medicine too. But the confusion is, he has advised me to take cow milk with ginger and ghee as much as possible. Your article says excess of milk can cause krumi. Is there anything that I didn’t understand here?

    Reply to comment
    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu)

      17/05/2015 - 12:52 pm

      Hi, in your case, the active medicine is ginger. because it can increase hotness in the body, milk and ghee are advised for you. Hence, I think it is safe for you to go with your doctor’s advice.

      Reply to comment

    26/09/2017 - 10:22 pm

    Whether presence of worm causes throat obstruction ?

    Reply to comment
  • Marcin

    02/11/2017 - 2:18 am

    In my experience it does cause a feeling of obstruction in the throat.

    Reply to comment
  • Rajesh Nair

    02/09/2019 - 8:06 pm

    can worms cause fits (epilepsy)

    Reply to comment
  • Saranya

    05/02/2021 - 9:16 pm

    Hello doctor,
    What is the duration of the deworming treatment recommended by you ? I am interested in doing this treatment.

    Reply to comment
  • Jitendra kumar

    21/09/2022 - 3:44 pm

    Hello doctor…in gyanecology one of the cause of recurrent pregnany loss is torch infection, so here can we manage it by thinking as a raktaj krimi…in ayurveda it is said that krimi will cause garbhapata and garbhasarva so which type of krimi in this case we will consider…

    Reply to comment
  • Purvu

    09/10/2022 - 6:48 pm

    To get rid of worms we have eat astringent bitter and Pungent but a vata person has to ear exactly opposite. So what can a person do if he has vata vikruti and worms infestation?

    Reply to comment

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