While mainstream treatments focus on the affected organ, the person as a whole is often ignored. Ayurveda, on the other hand, focuses on treating the root cause of a disease in a holistic manner. Let’s explore the all-important questions: how does Ayurveda view cancer … and how effective is the treatment?
How does Ayurveda work?
1) Prakriti and Doshas
Ayurveda considers each individual has a unique nature (“Prakriti”), made up of three different energies. These energies which when combined, produce different constitutional types (“Doshas: Vata, Pitta and Kapha”). Hence, a disease occurs when there is an imbalance or breakdown in the Doshas. Therefore, healing is basically the process of restoring the balance and equilibrium. Hence, Ayurvedic Treatment for Cancer is called for.
2) Living in harmony with nature
Ayurveda propounds the principle of living naturally. It advises to live in accordance and alignment with nature and changing seasons. Thus, when an individual takes into consideration the physical, mental and emotional aspects of maintaining perfect health which includes food, lifestyle, and the environment; he or she is said to be in ‘The Healthy Circle (“Swasth Vrita”).
3) What causes diseases?
Unfortunately, modern life often violates this and increasingly so. Artificial light and air, processed and preserved food items, our polluted environment, ingestion of toxins (in many ways), overworking physically as well as mentally, fractured relationships and negative emotions are pretty much opposite to what Ayurveda recommends. Henceforth, no wonder diseases are on the rise!
4) Treating the root cause of the disease
Like other traditional systems of medicine, Ayurveda also focuses on finding and treating the root cause of a disease. It does not focus merely on the symptoms. Also, the treatments can take many forms, including herbal medications, cleansing/detoxification methods, massage therapies and in some cases, spiritual practices.
Ayurvedic Treatment for Cancer
It is obvious that cancer was known, treated and documented, from ancient times. Traditional texts like ‘Charaka Samhita’ and ‘Shushruta Samhitha’ describe and classify Cancer precisely: as a major neoplasm (“Arbudha”), a minor neoplasm (“Granthi”) and as malignant growths (“Tridosaja” and “Sannipataja”). Interestingly, there are many similarities between these descriptions and the latest scientific discoveries on the mechanisms of tumour growth.
From an Ayurvedic perspective, Cancer is the result of the body’s reaction (“Pratyahara”) to the distortion of the natural balance of the body. When impurities and toxicities build up in the blood, they aggravate our Dosha balance, which can manifest as Cancer.
What can Aggravate the Cancerous Doshas?
- Improper lifestyle and food.
- Smoking and chewing tobacco.
- Breathing of polluted air or chemicals.
- Consumption of vegetables and fruits containing pesticides.
How does Ayurveda help in Cancer?
There are 3 major principles in understanding the effect of Ayurveda as a medicine for treating Cancer:
1. Diet & Nutrition for a Cancer free life
- According to Ayurvedic perspective, toxicity builds up when we consume too much acid-forming food. Hence, proper diet & nutrition is a must for restoring the acid-alkali balance of the body.
- Diet and herbal supplements play an important role in restoring the vitamin-mineral balance.
- Use traditional ingredients (which contain antioxidants) such as Turmeric, Ashwagandha, Amla, Neem, Triphala, etc. to prevent cell damage.
- Also, make related efforts to minimise the severe effects of aggressive chemo and radiation therapies.
2. Exercise & Breathwork help in preventing Cancer
- Ayurveda emphasises on the positive impact of exercise in promoting good health.
- Thus, yoga postures (“Asanas”) and breathwork (“Pranayama”) performed regularly, provide an energy boost and also strengthen our immunity.
3. Meditative / Spiritual practices to soothe Cancer
- When we are able to manage our emotions better, we can start making ‘meaning’ of any difficult life experience.
- What steps will you take to ensure your daily diet is healthy and nutritious?
- How can you include Yoga or other forms of exercise into your regular regime?
- What if you consider and explore meditation to improve your emotional health?
This article is written by Sakshi Shah. Sakshi is a student of Communications at Mount Carmel College, Bangalore. She is a friendly people’s person and enjoys to meet new people to see how they build their ‘story’. She is a committed learner and as a strong-willed person, she always gives her fullest to the task ahead. Sakshi strongly believes in the motto “I CAN”.