Nasal Myiasis in Hinduism and Contemporary Otorhinolaryngology

J Relig Health. 2017 Aug;56(4):1263-1281. doi: 10.1007/s10943-013-9817-8.


Various case reports on nasal myiasis written during the 1990s and 2000s state that nasal myiasis, which is known as peenash among South Asian natives, is a form of divine punishment in Hindu mythology, but do not provide citations from Hindu scriptures that would suggest this interpretation. This paper aims to discuss the phenomenon of peenash in a historical context by examining medical literature written during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, to identify Hindu texts contributing to the belief of some Hindus that nasal myiasis is a form of divine punishment, and to provide an overview of contemporary treatment for and management of nasal myiasis.

Keywords: Hinduism; India; Myiasis; Peenash; Worms.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Asia
  • Hinduism*
  • Humans
  • Myiasis / therapy*
  • Nose Diseases / parasitology*
  • Nose Diseases / therapy*
  • Otolaryngology / methods*
  • Punishment / psychology
  • Religion and Medicine*