Every year, February 10 is observed as National Deworming Day to create awareness about the importance of deworming all preschool and school-age children between the ages of 1-19 years. Led by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, deworming is done through the platforms of schools and Anganwadi centres in order “to improve their overall health, nutritional status, access to education and quality of life”.

According to World Health Organisation (WHO), around 24 per cent of the world population is infected with soil-transmitted helminths (worms). As a result, around 241 million children between the ages of 1 and 14 years are at risk of parasitic intestinal worms in India, known as soil-transmitted helminths.

“Deworming improves immunity in children as well as adults, thereby protecting them from chronic illnesses caused by worms,” Dr Partap Chauhan, Director, Jiva Ayurveda, said.

Worm infections among children

According to Dr Chauhan, worm infections among children are caused by factors such as lack of personal hygiene, uncooked and contaminated food, and excess sweets and junk food consumption.

Symptoms

Fatigue, abdominal pain, nausea are some of the symptoms of worm infection. (Source: Pexels)

*Abdominal pain
*Diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting
*Gas/bloating
*Fatigue
*Unexplained weight loss
*Abdominal pain or tenderness

Prevention

To prevent intestinal worms, “regularly wash your hands with soap and hot water before and after using the toilet, and before preparing or eating foods,” the expert told indianexpress.com.

Ayurvedic treatment to get rid of worms in children and adults

Dr Chauhan listed a few effective Ayurvedic remedies to treat intestinal worms.

*Mix vidanga powder (Embelia Ribes) with honey or warm water and make your child drink it every day in the morning.

*Taking a concoction of dry ginger (adrak), black pepper (kaali mirch), pippali (piper longum) and honey for 15 days also reduce worms.

*Tulsi leaf juice with honey, or peach juice and honey is also helpful.

*Foods like ajwain (caraway), black pepper (kaali mirch), asafoetida (hing), black salt (kala namak), dry ginger, garlic, turmeric are good for deworming. Take ajwain mixed with a pinch of salt on empty stomach for a week to eliminate worms.

*Always drink boiled water. Give your child coconut water or water medicated with ajwain or vidang.

*For children up to the age of 4-5yrs, soak a piece of cotton in sesame oil or groundnut oil and place it at the anus to reduce itching.

*A decoction of nagarmotha, daruharidra, and drumstick bark along with the powder of piper longum and vidanga helps to remove worms as well.

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