Is Cancer Curable With Ayurvedic Treatment?
10 million people die from cancer each year making cancer the second leading cause of death worldwide. Lack of access to proper treatments and financial crisis have been the two major reasons for increasing cancer deaths.
What is cancer?
Cancer is a disease in which abnormal cells proliferate and spread to other parts of the body from the part where it emerged.
Generally, cells in the body grow and multiply and on becoming old or damaged, they die so that new cells can take their place. In case of cancer, damaged cells rather than dying multiply at unnatural rates that ultimately form tumors. Tumors of 2 types –
- Cancerous tumors
- Non- cancerous tumors
Cancerous tumors or malignant tumors spread to the nearby tissues and other parts of the body and form new tumors.
Non- Cancerous tumors do not spread to the nearby tissues or body, but can be life threatening in case the tumor is very large.
Types of cancer
Symptoms of cancer
Clinical Treatments for Cancer
There are many treatment options available for cancer. You can choose anyone depending on your medical history, preference, type and stage of cancer etc. Listing down the benefits and risks of each treatment can help you determine which one is most viable for you.
List of most common treatments-
The most common option for the treatment of cancer is surgery. Surgeries are performed to remove the mass of cancerous cells and adjacent tissues. However, sometimes the aim of the surgery is to provide patients with symptom relief caused by the cancer.
It is a type of cancer treatment in which drugs are used to destroy proliferating cancer cells. Chemotherapy drugs can be given in many ways such as infusions, pills, shots and even in the form of cream in case of skin cancer.
Radiation therapy is a form of treatment that utilizes high-energy waves such as x-rays, protons and radioactive seeds to destroy cancer cells. There are 2 types of radiation therapy –
- External Beam
External itself means from outside. External ways like x-rays are used to aim at tumors.
- Internal Beam
Unlike the external beam, the internal beam aims at tumors from inside the body. This could be done by placing radioactive cells into the tumor and near it.
And more such treatments are available.
Cancer Treatment in Ayurveda
In ayurveda, ‘Charaka’ and ‘Sushruta Samitas’ explain cancer as inflammatory or non-inflammatory swelling. The 3 basics of ayurveda are-
- The nervous system (Vata or Air)
- The venous system (Pitta or Fire)
- The arterial system (Kapha or Water)
These three play an important role in maintaining normal body function. Malignant tumors create a wave of disturbance thereby making the systems lose their control and coordination. This results in tissue damage thus resulting in dire conditions. When these systems lose control they give birth to the term ‘Tridoshas’, which cause excessive metabolic crisis leading to proliferation.
Ayurvedic Treatment for Cancer
There is no scientific evidence to prove that ayurveda for cancer works. But, then why are cancer patients opting for ayurvedic treatment?
Well, western medicine is more focused towards aggressive body treatments known as chemotherapy, radiotherapy and chemically derived drugs. On the contrary, Ayurvedic treatments activate self-healing abilities of the body that help relieve the cancer symptoms.
However, ayurvedic medicine for cancer prevention is just used as a complementary treatment to western treatment and not as mainstream treatment.
The primary goal of ayurvedic treatment is obtain the cause of any illness and restore the balance between the strength and balance between the doshas whereas therapeutic approach of Ayurveda splits into four branches- Prakritisthapani chikitsa (health maintenance), Rasayana chikitsa, (restoration of normal function), Roganashani chikitsa (disease cure) and Naishthiki chikitsa (spiritual approach). Once, all the information related to a person’s sickness is collected, i.e. diagnosis, reason behind cancer, which dosh and dhatu are impaired etc, the patient is given treatment considering all these factors. Following are the ayurvedic treatments-
Rasayan herbs are used as immunomodulators in ayurvedic practice. Rayasan herbs are known for boosting immunity and hindering the uncontrolled division of cells. Heera bhasma, swarna bhasma and mercurial preparations are some of the rasayan treatments.
- Herbal medicines
Every herbal medicine plays a unique role in combating cancer cells. Ashwagandha, Amalaki, Turmeric, Shunthi, Pippali, Mandukaparni, Kalmegh Giloy, Tulsi, Triphala, Guduchi and Shatavari are used to treat cancer symptoms. Ashwagandha blocks the growth of cancer cells, turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and restricts the effects of NF kappa-b which further controls the multiplication. Turmeric and Ashwagandha also fuels p53 tumor suppressor pathways. Other herbs like Neem also stimulate tumor suppressor pathways. Neem also promotes growth of tumor-killing chemicals. Tulsi is known for its anti-diabetic and anti-stress properties.
The term constitutes two words: panch (five) and karma (procedures). It is a procedure to cleanse and rejuvenate the body. This procedure includes five actions-
- Vamanam (therapeutic emesis)
- Virechanam (purgation)
- Anuvaasan (enema using medicated oil)
- Astapana Vasti (therapeutic decoction enema)
Aromatherapy or otherwise known as the essential oils therapy is a comprehensive healing treatment that involves using essential oils and other aromatic plant extracts to boost health.
Recommended changes in diet and lifestyle
- Intermittent fasting or restricted calorie diet, any of the two could be followed to supply the body with required nutrients and immunity.
- Intake of sugar must be reduced to a day or two per week
- Avoid processed meats and refined carbohydrates.
- Take meals before 7 pm, try avoiding late night dinners
- Intake of dairy products should be regulated
- Switch to a healthy diet that not only provides nutrition but also aids in maintaining weight.
- Add vegetables and plant based food to your diet.
- Patients can switch to nutritional supplements when their consumption of food is low.
- Spices like cinnamon and curcumin are good for cancer patients and can be added to the diet in controlled quantities.
- Patients should engage in at least 20 minutes of physical activities every day.
- Stretching exercises or asanas can be performed to increase flexibility and increase flow of blood.
- Loss of balance is a common side effect of cancer and its treatment. Balancing asana can be practiced to restore the balancing abilities of the body.
- Restoring strength is one of the important objectives of cancer treatments. Therefore, strength training can help regain overall strength of the body and increase activeness.
Best Ayurvedic Treatment Centers for Cancer in India
Indeed there are several ayurvedic centers and hospitals in India that provide treatment of various cancers such as ayurvedic treatment for lung cancer, kidney cancer, breast cancer, oral cancer etc. But there are some centers that provide comprehensive ayurvedic treatment for only cancer, also for various other health problems like kidney failure, arthritis, asthma etc. and have impressive track records of successful rehabilitation. Here’s the list of our ayurvedic centers in India –
- Dr. Joshi’s multispecialty clinic – Pune, Maharashtra
- Dr. Joshi’s multispecialty clinic – Dadar West, Mumbai Maharashtra
- Dr. Joshi’s multispecialty clinic – Borivali, Mumbai Maharashtra
- Dr. Joshi’s multispecialty clinic – Thane, Mumbai Maharashtra
- Dr. Joshi’s multispecialty clinic – Vasai West, Mumbai Maharashtra
- Dr. Joshi’s multispecialty clinic – Kolhapur, Maharashtra
Side effects and risks of Ayurvedic Treatment
Conversely, it is used to cure the side effects caused by the aggressive clinical treatments. However, here are some possible side effects of ayurvedic treatment for cancer-
- Herbal medicines and special diets
Some herbal medicines do not react well with chemotherapy and radiation, and may cause trouble to the patient. Hence, patients must get the herbal medicines and special diet charts approved by the doctors when they’re undergoing clinical treatments to avoid any damage to the body.
- Detoxifying Methods
Some of these methods can cause serious issues and are not commonly used by the practitioners. If you are planning to get ayurvedic treatment, discuss with your doctor first about all the complementary treatments that you’re planning to undergo and then only move ahead with the plan.
It is a cleansing method in which impure blood is drawn out of the body. This method can be harmful considering people suffering from cancer already have low levels of blood cells.
- Forced Vomiting
This method is not approved by most practitioners as it can upset the stomach and disturb the levels of salt and minerals in the body causing the patient to feel weaker than before.
- Enemas and Laxatives
Regular doses of enemas and laxatives can be deleterious and even fatal. They cause a lot of side effects like- infections, constipations, bowel inflammation, imbalance of salt and minerals in the body etc.
Deaths that are caused by cancer are a growing concern for the economy. It is almost close to rare that cancer goes away by itself; it usually requires treatment, which is when Ayurveda and clinical treatments enter the picture. Cancer is a disease which cannot be cured easily but with right clinical treatments and Ayurveda as complementary treatment chances of survival are improved. Ayurveda basically aims at improving the overall well being of the patient by decreasing stress, reducing anxiety and lowering blood pressure thereby improving the quality of life. Some of the cancers that come under the curable list are: prostate, thyroid, testicular, melanoma and breast. Obviously, advantages come with disadvantages but that shouldn’t let you double think of getting cancer treatment in ayurveda . However, one must first try and then decide if it suits them or not. Before undergoing any treatment, consulting a doctor is a must.