The difference between dysentery and diarrhoea is presence on tenesmus in the former. While the frequency of motions increases in both the disorders, in dysentery the patient needs to apply force to evacuate his bowels. This is called tenesmus. Dysentery is compared with the disease pravahika described in Ayurveda.


Dysentery is caused either by bacilli Shigella dysenteriae (called bacillary dysentery) or by parasite Entamoeba histolytica (called amoebic dysentery). These organisms usually enter the human body through contaminated foods, water and milk. Poor sanitation and uncleanlines usually provide conducive environment for their spread.


  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Frequent motions with tenesmus
  • Blood & mucus in stool

Consultation on Call


    Ayurvedic View

    The name Pravahika (as dysentery is referred to in Ayurveda) comes from the word ‘pravahan’ which means tenesmus. According to Ayurveda, pravahika is caused by vitiated kapha and vata doshas. Kapha aggravated in stomach is pulled down by the aggravated vata into the intestines. This makes the stools sticky and so the body needs to push hard to evacuate the bowels and eliminate the sticky stools. Depending upon which particular Dosha is vitiated, atisaar has been classified into Vataj, Pittaj, Kaphaj, and Raktaj types in Ayurveda. Vataj pravahika (caused mainly by vitiated Vayu) is marked by painful stikcy motions with foam. Pittaj pravahika (caused mainly by vitiated Pitta) causes motions with burning sensation at anus and thirst. Kaphaj pravahika (caused mainly by vitiated Kapha) shows sticky, oily, whitish motions and lazy feeling. Raktaj pravahika is marked by blood stained stools.

    Diet & Lifestyle Advice

    • Light, easy to digest food articles such as liquid rice, porridge are recommended. Soups made from lentils are also good in diarrhoea. Fruits like sweet lime, oranges, melons are allowed.
    • Heavy, spicy, fried food is prohibited. Non-veg items, eggs are also not allowed. Sugarcane juice is also forbidden.
    • Water is adviced to be boiled before drinking.

    Home Remedies

    • Take 1-2 teaspoons of the pulp of a ripe bael fruit with water twice a day. It is very effective in relieving dysentery.
    • Take a glassful of buttermilk with a pinch each of rock salt, black pepper, and roasted cumin seed powder twice daily with breakfast and lunch.
    • Take 1 teaspoon of powdered preparation of dried ginger root, cumin seeds, nutmeg, and black pepper in equal quantities. Add 2 teaspoons of psyllium husk and a pinch of rock salt. Have this once in the morning with buttermilk, and again later in the day with lukewarm water.
    • Make a combination of powdered dried ginger root, black pepper, long pepper and amla powder in equal quantities. Store this in glass container. Take one teaspoon of powdered mix with lukewarm water twice a day.