Cancer and Ayurveda Treatments
Cancer is known medically as a malignant neoplasm, meaning broad groups of various diseases all involving unregulated cell growth. It doesn’t produce any sign or symptom initially but continues to grow and ulcerate. The spread of cancer cells may occur via the bloodstream or lymphatic channels or across body cavities such as pleural and peritoneal spaces.
General symptoms include unintentional weight loss, fever, excess tiredness, changes in the skin, etc. are due to the distant effects of cancer.
General Causes of Cancer
Environmental factors are the primary causes of cancer. It commonly includes tobacco, diet, obesity, infections, radiation, stress, lack of physical activity, environmental pollutants, etc. It can occur as a hereditary disease or due to some hormonal disturbances which promote cell proliferation.
Cancer and Ayurveda Treatments – The Ayurvedic Approach
The word cancer may be new to the field of Ayurveda but various types of cancer can be correlated with different diseases in Ayurvedic text such as Dushta Vrana, Dushta granthi, Barbuda, dathu Paka avastha, etc.
Ayurvedic treatment of cancer should be basically a holistic approach so as to get the eradication of morbid tissue promotion of degeneration of healthy tissue through various drug therapies, Panchakarma, and Rasayana chikitsa. If a cancer patient is taking ayurvedic treatment at the proper time before the 3rd stage of cancer will surely get relief from the disease.
The main herbs used in Ayurvedic medicinal yogas for cancer treatment are:
- Emblica Officinale: contains elacid acid which is an antioxidant and controls free radices.
- Plumbago zeylanica contains plumbagin, useful in lymphocytic leukemia.
- Aloe vera: contain emodin and lectve with anti-cancerous properties.
- With ania somnifera: a root containing withaferin, that can stop tumor growth.
- Terminalia bellerica: contain gallic acid, ellagic acid, chebulic acid which decreases the free radicals and act as antioxidant and anti-cancerous.
- Andrographis paniculata: methanolic extract retain an active component contributing to both anti-cancerous and immunostimulant activity.
Other drugs used in cancer treatment are Hemidesmus indicus, Terminalia bellerica, Solanum nigrum, Tinospora cordifolia, Curcuma longa, Ocimum sanctum, Semicarpus Anacardium, Asparagus racemosa, Moringa oleifera, etc.
The anti-tumor activity and chemopreventive potential of four ayurvedic herbs, Curcuma longa, Ocimum sanctum, Tinospora cordifolia, and Ziziphus Mauritius were evaluated using Dalton Lymphoma Ascites (DLA) tumor model Swiss albino mice in 2008. The outcome was assessed using survival time, peritoneal ascites fluid (tumor volume), and haematogal indices as parameters. These herbs were found to be very successful as anti-cancerous on the mice.
Cancer is largely considered a preventable disease. More than 30% can be prevented by voiding risk factors such as tobacco, obesity, insufficient diet, physical activity, alcohol, air pollution, etc.
Usage of red or processed meat increases breast cancer, colon cancer, and pancreatic cancer.
- Consumption of coffee is associated with a reduced risk of liver cancer.
- Include mainly vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fish in the diet.
- Skin cancer can be prevented by reducing exposure to sunlight.
It is a fact that during the 7th century BC, masters of Ayurveda like Athreya and Dhanwanthari used herbal medicine for treating the early stages of cancer and surgery in advanced stages. In the 8th century AD, Vaghbata composed Ashtanga samgraha and Ashtanga hridaya, the basic books of Ayurveda, where new methods of cancer treatments were introduced. Other ayurvedic texts such as Sarnghdara Samhita, Bhava Prakash, Rasa tharangini, etc. also explain numerous remedies to treat internal and external neoplasm. Ayurveda can be helpful in the management of cancer as a holistic approach in many ways such as prophylactic, palliative curative, and supportive ways and have no doubt, it will help to improve the quality of life of a cancer patient.