Botanicals Usage for Control of Worms: Ruminants have long played a vital role in the economic prosperity of a country. They are important for humans as they provide us food.
These are the herbivores and graze on plants and grasses.While grazing, these animals are always at risk to parasitic exposure mainly the internal parasites referred to as worms. These worms harm the ruminants by sucking blood, reducing feed utilization efficiency, limiting their reproductive potential and ultimately causing death.
The medicines used for control of worms are known as anthelmintics and these worms have long been traditionally controlled by various chemical drugs. These chemical anthelmintics are not only expensive to use but there are also various other issues like anthelmintic resistance and the drug residues in animal products linked with the extensive use of these chemicals.
New alternative options for the control of worms are under investigation. Among these new options, botanicals are also studied for their control potential against the worms and have provided promising results. These botanicals are cheaper, have no reported resistance and find important role in organic farming.
Garlic is a plant which is easily available and has numerous health benefits. It is rich in sulphur contents which are considered to be responsible for the therapeutic properties of garlic.
It is effective against Ascaris, Enterobius and lungworm in ruminants. It inhibits hatching of eggs of worms thus preventing the development of their larvae. It can be given as feed additive for prophylactic control of worms.
Ginger is also effective for control of worms. In Europe, it has been used in cattle as an anthelmintic purge. Ginger is shown to exhibit prokinetic activity of gastro-intestinal tract by activating the cholinergic receptors.
This causes spastic paralysis of the worms thus ultimately leading to expulsion of these worms from body. Ginger is used as ethno-veterinary medicine against nematodes in sheep.
Artemisia plants are also called as wormwood referring to their deworming property. They are reported to be effective against Dictyocaulus, Bunostomum, Protostrongylus and Haemonchus contortus.
Conifer plants needles are also revealed to have deworming effect against the Ascaris infestation. They are also advised to be used prophylactically. Studies has also revealed common juniper to be effective dewormer against the liver fluke.
Fern plants have long been used for control of Taenia tapeworms in Europe. They have also been used against liver fluke infestations. Different parts of these plants like rhizomes and shoots have shown to have deworming effect.
Ajwain is a plant commonly used as spice by humans due to its various health benefits. This has been proved to have anthelmintic effect against Haemonchus contortus worms in sheep. This increases the motility of gastro-intestinal tract thus causing expulsion of worms.
Mustard plants, pumpkin seeds, carrot seeds, anise, cumin, fennel seeds and many more other plants are known to have anthelmintic effect. These plants contain various pharmacologically active substances which are responsible for their anthelmintic effect.
Additionally, these plants have other substances too which have some other added advantages. So, we can conclude that the plant based dewormers may have a bright future for the control of worms.
Mostly, the old people still use the herbal preparations for treatment of various diseases. However, there is a danger that the new generation may not be aware of this knowledge and hence there is also need for preservation of this valuable knowledge.
Authors: Dr. Muhammad Salman, Dr. Rao Zahid Abbas, Sehar Shah, Faiza Naeem
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