Gulma- Abdominal Tumor- A Unique Disease In Ayurveda

Article by Prof. MS Krishnamurthy. MD (Ayu)., PhD.
We get the reference of various kinds of abdominal lumps with different names like cysts, tumour, herniation, fibroid, inflamed conditions, abscess etc. According to the site of manifestation and specific features they are termed Granthi, Arbuda, Vriddhi, Abhyantara Shopha, Vidradhi etc in Ayurvedic system of medicine.
Ayurveda refers one more specific kind of disease with the term – Gulma.
Ayurvedic scholars define it as the abdominal lump which is caused due to aggravation and encapsulation of Vata Dosha (kupita Anila moodhatwat) which does not give clue about its site of origin (Goodha Gulmodaya) which spreads widely like the shrubs (Gulmavat vishalatwaat). It is usually known as gaseous tumour of abdomen.

Causative factors

1. Excess intake of Vata aggravating foods (dry, light, rough, spicy)
2. Constipation or improper bowel habit
3. Suppression of natural urges
4. Pressure exerted by external causes like injury, hit, compression etc
5. Excess food intake
6. Grief / stress
7. Improperly carried Panchakarma treatment

Origin of the disease

The causative factors lead to severe aggravation of Vatadosha at the level of abdomen. This further vitiates Pitta and Kapha in the localized area and obstruct the passage of the channels. Due to the blockage of the morbid factor, they are stagnated and localized in abdominal organs like intestines, liver. According to the site and Dosha involvement, the features are exhibited. Usually, the condition is manifested in epigastrium, umbilicus, pelvic cavity and in lumbar/iliac regions.


1. Vataja
2. Pittaja
3. Kaphaia
4. Tridoshic
5. Raktaja(in female, refers to uterine fibroids)

abdominal pain

Stages of Gulma

1. Immature (recent onset) tumours:
Tumours are heavy, hard, situated beneath the muscles, without change or colour and fixed firmly.
2. Maturing tumours:
The Tumours are burning, painful, causing agony, loss of sleep, irritation, and fever.
3. Matured (suppurated) gaseous tumors:
The tumors are burning, bluish red in colour, palpable like bladder and severe painful in nature.

Specific features

1. Vatic Gulma

Obstruction of flatus, dryness of the throat and mouth, shivering, fever, pain in heart and abdominal sides, shoulder and head, aggravates on empty stomach and relieved on ingestion of food; the condition is worsened by dry-astringent-bitter and pungent substances.

2. Pittaja gulma

In the condition, fever, thirst, redness of the face, pain, sweating, burning and tenderness are complained by the patients.

3. Kaphaja gulma

This produces inertia, shivering, fever, body ache, nausea, cough, tastelessness, heaviness, and hard elevated non inflammatory masses.

4. Dwidoshaja and sannipataja

According to the dosha involvement mixed features are observed.

5. Raktaja gulma

Menstruating women indulging in fasting or using excess of dry food, facing the fearsome events, suppressing the natural urges, subjecting to therapies which arrest the free outgoing of blood and vomiting, suffering from uterine dysfunction etc, cause the vitiation of menstrual blood. This, in turn lead to the occurrence of Raktaja gulma (fibroid).
Here, pulsating tumour, gradually taking the shape of a round mass, with pain and producing the features or pregnancy (like amenorrhoea, pigmented nipples, morning sickness etc).
Often this produces this pain and burning sensation with the features of Pittaja Gulma.

Prognosis of Gulma

Tumor associated with the features of breathlessness, abdominal pain, thirst, anorexia, body ache, stiffness, and debility are critical; likewise, the tumor with the features of all the three Doshas is also incurable.

Management of Gulma (gaseous tumor)

All measures are undertaken to control Vata. To achieve this,
Snehana – oleation,
Swedana – sudation (sweating therapy),
Mild purgation,
Asthapana Basti – Decoction enema,
and sour mixed sweet eatables are recommended.

Single drugs recommended

1. Lashuna – garlic – Allium sativa Linn.
2. Hapusha – Juniperus communis Linn.
3. Hingu – asafetida – Ferula narthex Boiss.
4. Draksha – raisins – Vitis vinifera Linn.
5. Vacha – Acorus calamus Linn.
6. Eranda – castor- Ricinus communis Linn.
7. Ajamoda – Celery – Trachyspermum roxburghianum (DC.) Sprague.
8. Saindhava lavana – rock salt
9. Pippali-long pepper- Piper longum Linn.
10. Chavya- Piper chaba Hunter.
11. Danti – Baliospermum montanum (Willd.) Muell. Arg.
12. Haritaki – chebulic myrobalan – Terminalia chebula Retz.
13. Varuna – Crataeva nurvala Buch-Hem. etc

Ayurvedic medicines

1. Dashamoola kwatha
2. Hapushadi ghrita
3. Hingwadi choorna
4. Hingusauvarchala ghrita
5. Pippalyadi ghrita
6. Lashuna ksheerapaka
7. Shankha vati
8. Vaishwanara choorna
9. Agnimukha choorna
10. Dantiharitaki lehya
11. Chavikasava
12. Pravala Panchamrita rasa
13. Dashamoola ghrita
14. Varunadi kwatha
15. Kumaryasava
16. Ksheera Shatpala ghrita etc.

Wholesome diet and habits

1. Purana shali (old rice)
2. Kulattha (horse gram)
3. Jangala mamsa (desert animals)
4. Kooshmanada (ash gourd)
5. Amalaki (goose berry)
6. Dadima (pomegranate)
7. Eranda taila (castor oil)
8. Ardraka (ginger)
9. Jiraka (cumin seeds)
10. Hingu (asa foetida)
11. Deepana (easily digestible, carminative food) etc

Unwholesome food and habits

1. Guru ahara (heavy food)
2. Viruddha Ahara (incompatible food)
3. Vishama Ahara (improper food)
4. Shushka shaka (dry vegetable)
5. Shushka mamsa (dried meat)
6. Kanda moola (tubers and roots)
7. Matsya (fish)
8. Vegadharana (suppression of the urges) etc.

Gaseous tumor (Gulma) is a condition which is very difficult to equate any particular disease kind of modern medicinal system. Often this is found as a feature in so many acute and chronic diseased conditions. But it is commonly found in the patients who often indulge in unwholesome diet and take multiple medicaments or food varieties at a time. So, one should be careful while making the combination of medicines and food and beverages.

Addition By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) & Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S

Effective Decoctions For Abdominal Tumors From Sahasrayogam

1. Gulmahara Kashayas

a. Dasamooladi Kashayam

Ref – Sahasrayogam, Kashaya Prakaranam, 43a

IngredientsBotanical NameMethod of usingIndications
DashamulaTen rootsThe decoction prepared with these ingredients should be served fresh1. Gulma – abdominal tumors
GingerZingiber officinale
DevadaruCedrus Deodara

Read – Kashayam (Kwath) – Herbal Teas Preparation [Video], Benefits, Usage

b. Chitrakadi Kashayam

Ref – Sahasrayogam, Kashaya Prakaranam, 43a

IngredientsBotanical NameMethod of usingIndications
ChitrakaPlumbago zeylanicaThe decoction prepared with these ingredients should be served fresh1. Gulma – abdominal tumors
Pippali mulaRoots of Piper longum
ErandaRicinus communis
GingerZingiber officinale

Read – 50 Great Decoctions Explained By Master Charaka – Maha Kashaya

c. Varshabvadi Kashayam

Ref – Sahasrayogam, Kashaya Prakaranam, 43b

IngredientsBotanical NameMethod of usingIndications
Rakta PunarnavaBoerhavia diffusa, red varietyThe decoction prepared with these ingredients should be served fresh with jaggery, rock salt, Piper longum and asafetida1. Constipation 2. Indigestion 3. Severe pain in vagina 4. Pain in the cardiac region 5. Pain in flanks 6. Backache 7. Pelvic pain 8. Enlargement of prostate gland 9. Abdominal tumors 10. Enlargement of spleen
BilwaAegle Marmelos
Horse gramDolichos biflorus
CastorRicinus communis
SahacharaStrobilanthes heynianus
GingerZingiber officinale
AgnimanthaClerodendrum phlomidis

Read – Should Kashayams Be Given Necessarily Before Food?

d. Kanadi Kashayam

Ref – Sahasrayogam, Kashaya Prakaranam, 43c

IngredientsBotanical NameMethod of usingIndications
PippaliPiper longumThe decoction prepared with these ingredients should be served fresh with powder of asafetida1. Abdominal tumor caused by vitiated blood  
ShatahvaAnethum graveolens
Dwi KaranjaPongamia pinnata & Caesalpinia crista
DevadaruCedrus deodara
BharangiCerodendron serratum
Horse gramDolichos biflorus
SesameSesamum indicum / sesame
GarlicAllium sativum

Read – Sesame and Sesame Oil Benefits – Total Ayurveda Details

2. Vidaryadi Kashayam (Swasa-Kasahara Kashaya)Read more here

3. Varunadi Gana Siddha Kashayam (Vidradhihara Kashayam)

Ref – Sahasrayogam, Kashaya Prakaranam, 41

IngredientsBotanical NameMethod of usingIndications
VarunaCrateva nurvulaThe decoction prepared with these ingredients should be served fresh1. Abdominal tumors 2. Kapha disorders 3. Cures indigestion, gout, headache, internal abscesses  
Saireyaka yugmaTwo types of Barleria prionitis
ShatavariAsparagus racemosus
ChitrakaPlumbago zeylanica
MurvaMarsdenia tenacissima
BilwaAegle marmelos
KarkatashringiPistacia chinensis
BrihatiSolanum indicum
KantakariSolanum xanthocarpum
KaranjaPongamia pinnata
ChirabilvaHoloptelea integrifolia
AgnimanthaClerodendrum phlomidis / Premna integrifolia
HaritakiTerminalia chebula
ShigruMoringa oleifera
DarbhaDesmostachya bipinnata
RujakaraBarleria prionitis / Semicarpus anacardium /

Read – Ayurvedic Liquid Remedies In The Management of Shwasa, Dyspnoea

4. Chiruvilvadi Kashayam (Arshohara Kashaya)Read more here

Ref – Sahasrayogam, Kashaya Prakaranam, 35b

Read – Chirabilva- Holoptelea integrifolia, Uses, Research, Remedies, Side Effects

5. Vidal Chitramooladi Kashayam

Ref – Sahasrayogam, Parishishta Prakaranam, 65

IngredientsBotanical NameMethod of usingIndications
Roots of Vidanga Embelia ribesThe decoction prepared with these ingredients should be served fresh with rock salt and asafetida1. Cures abdominal tumors
Roots of Chitraka Plumbago zeylanica
GingerZingiber officinale
SesameSesamum indicum
Bark of Palasha Bark of Butea monosperma
Bark of Paribhadra Bark of Erythrina indica

Read – Palasha – Butea monosperma Uses, Dose, Research

6. Plasintoladi Kashayam

Ref – Sahasrayogam, Parishishta Prakaranam, 69

IngredientsBotanical NameMethod of usingIndications
Bark of Palasa Butea monosperma – 24 gramsThe decoction prepared with these ingredients should be served fresh with rock salt1. Painful abdominal tumors (relieves pain) 2. Swelling
PunarnavaBoerhavia diffusa – 16 grams
GingerZingiber officinale – 8 grams

Read – 10 Punarnava Remedies: Urinary Calculi, Pedal Edema, UTI

7. Pacchotri Kuvaladi Kashayam

Ref – Sahasrayogam, Parishishta Prakaranam, 70

IngredientsBotanical NameMethod of usingIndications
Roots of Lodhra Symplocos racemosaThe decoction prepared with these ingredients should be served fresh  1. Pain during menstruation 2. Abdominal tumors  
Roots of Bilwa moolaAegle marmelos
LicoriceGlycyrrhiza glabra
BharangiClerodendron serratum
SesameSesamum indicum

8. Trayantyadi KashayamRead more

Ref – Sahasrayogam, Parishishta Prakaranam, 111

Read – Daha Prashamana Gana – Burning Sensation Relieving Group Of Herbs

9. Pathyadi Kashayam (Mahodarahara Kashaya)

Ref – Sahasrayogam, Kashaya Prakaranam, 45

IngredientsBotanical NameMethod of usingIndications
HaritakiTerminalia chebulaThe decoction prepared with these ingredients should be served fresh with alkali of barley and asafetida1. Cures Abdominal tumors 2. Cures piles, enlargement of spleen, indigestion, enlargement of prostate, flatulence, colic caused by vata and kapha, ascites  
PutikaranjaPongamia pinnata / Holoptelea integrifolia
GingerZingiber officinale
ChitrakaPlumbago zeylanica
PippaliPiper longum
Roots of Pippali Piper longum
ChavyaPiper retrofractum
AjagandhaCleome gynandra
Rakta PunarnavaBoerhavia diffusa, red variety
BilwaAegle marmelos
Horse gramDolichos biflorus
CastorRicinus communis
SahacharaStrobilanthes heynianus
GingerZingiber officinale
AgnimanthaClerodendrum phlomidis

Click to Consult Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ayu) – Skype

10 thoughts on “Gulma- Abdominal Tumor- A Unique Disease In Ayurveda”

  1. What is something one can do on a daily basis at home to heal stomach ulcers? I have seen that taking cumin boiled water every morning helps a lot. Is there anything we can put in our daily diet such as hing, cumin and garlic that will help or something separately to be done on a daily basis

  2. Sir, gulma is different from ulcers or both are same? Curable? How long will it take to heal?
    Home remedies for curing gulma?
    Thank you


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