Cancer is a chronic condition that occurs due to the abnormal division of cells in an organ or tissue in an uncontrollable manner. It refers to the collection of related diseases that can start in any part of the body. It involves an unregulated multiplication of the abnormal cells and their spread to the surrounding tissues. Alternative medicine for cancer in ayurveda can help to block this uninhibited division of cells and also limit the spread of the abnormal cells.
In normal cases, the body’s cells grow and divide resulting in the formation of new cells that replace the old and damaged cells. However, cancer develops when this orderly process is interrupted. This leads to the survival of the abnormal, damaged and old cells while the new cells continue to be formed. This results in an excessive growth of the tissue of the affected organ resulting in the development of a mass that is called a tumor. Alternative cancer treatments using Ayurvedic herbs can help to control the growth of the mass and thus, assist in preventing and managing different forms of cancer.
Most types of cancer form a solid tumor, which is an overgrowth of the tissue. However, the cancers of the blood, like leukemia, usually do not form a solid mass or tumor.
Malignant Tumor: A tumor is considered malignant or cancerous when it has the potential to invade or spread to the nearby tissues. Additionally, as the malignant tumor grows, some abnormal cells tend to break off and travel to the different parts of the body via blood vessels or the lymphatic system thus forming new tumors in the distant parts of the body. The malignant cells also have a tendency to grow back even after the surgical removal of the affected part of the organ. These factors make the complete recovery of the patient suffering from a cancerous tumor very difficult. They also face a risk of relapse in the future. Hence, it is also advisable to seek a holistic cancer treatment to ensure complete elimination and destruction of the cancer cells and to minimize the risk of relapse with the combination of western and holistic medicine.
Benign Tumors: Unlike cancerous tumors, the benign tumors do not invade or spread into the nearby organs. A benign tumor usually doesn’t grow back once it is surgically removed. Hence, most cases of benign tumor can be cured except the brain tumors that are known to cause life-threatening consequences. Various ayurvedic herbs, which are discussed further in this article, could help to prevent the occurrence of these types of tumors in body.
These properties of cancer cells allow them to counter the body’s natural abilities to protect itself resulting in their further growth and spread. Ayurvedic medicines work by supporting these natural abilities of the body and allowing it to enhance its defense system against the cancerous cells.
Cancer can occur due to a variety of causes. It is believed to occur due to the interplay of environmental, genetic, and lifestyle factors. For example; the women having a family history of breast cancer have a higher risk of suffering from the same. Also, the risk of lung cancer is higher in the smokers than in the nonsmokers. A malignancy may also occur due to the environmental factors such as excessive exposure to sunlight, which may lead to a type of skin cancer called melanoma. Ayurveda recommends a holistic treatment for the cancer patients that is aimed at tackling these underlying causes. It proposes healthy lifestyle changes to minimize the exposure of these triggering factors.
Apart from these, the patients may develop a few more general symptoms as given below:
An early detection of cancer based on these symptoms, physical examination of the patient, and the use of diagnostic methods such the blood parameters, x-rays, CT scan, and MRI can help to initiate the treatment at an initial stage. This can help to improve the chances of recovery of the patient.
The conventional cancer treatment is based on the type of cancer, its stage, and the extent of its spread. The goal of the treatment is to destroy as many abnormal cells as possible while minimizing the damage to the normal cells surrounding the cancerous mass. The treatment includes a combination of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. However, these conventional treatments can cause a high risk of side effects and do not ensure complete recovery of the patient. The cancer natural treatment using Ayurvedic herbal remedies, alone with conventional treatment can help in the destruction of the cancer cells without causing damage to the normal cells. These natural herbs are also devoid of any side effects if taken under the guidance of experience Ayurvedic expert.
The conventional treatments for cancer are discussed below in detail:
Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy is a common form of treatment for the cancer patients that involves the use of high-energy waves, which target and destroy the abnormal cells. The goal of radiation therapy is to inhibit the cancer cells from multiplying and growing. The success of the radiation therapy depends on the factors like the size of the tumor, the age of the patient, and the type of tumor being treated. Radiation is also recommended for the treatment of tumors that cannot be excised surgically or have spread extensively to several other parts of the body. However, this treatment may cause the destruction of the normal cells and also result in serious side effects at the site of the therapy such as redness and burns. The naturopathic cancer treatment provides the benefits of the radiation therapy without causing such side effects.
Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is another form of cancer treatment that involves the use of chemotherapeutic drugs. These medications kill the cancer cells and inhibit their growth and spread. However, since these drugs are administrated orally, intravenously, or intramuscularly; they tend to have an effect on all parts of the body. Hence, the risk of systemic side effects is higher. The herbal remedies offer natural chemotherapy alternatives and ensure complete destruction of the abnormal cells without affecting the health of the normal cells.
Surgery: Surgery is recommended when the tumor mass is localized with minimal or the complete absence of spread. It is performed to excise the cancer mass along with a part of the surrounding tissue. Different types of surgical procedures are followed depending on the location and type of cancer. However, the invasive nature of this treatment and the side effects associated with the use of anesthesia during the procedure are some of its disadvantages. Also, surgery is often not advisable when the tumor mass has spread considerably to the other organs. Hence, it is advisable to use natural remedies for treating this disease as they are non-invasive in nature and effective in all forms of cancer even when it has spread to the neighboring or distant organs.
Immunotherapy: Immunotherapy is a form of biological therapy, which works by stimulating the immune system to fight the cancer cells by using substances usually made up of living organisms. This therapy is believed to work by blocking the growth of the cancer cells and preventing them from spreading to other parts of the body. It enhances the ability of the immune system to destroy the cancer cells. Some herbal medications too work in a similar manner and help to cure the patient by boosting the natural ability of the immune system to recognize and eliminate the cancer cells.
These conventional treatments, when combined with the herbal treatment for cancer, can provide better results and allow a patient to recover faster. The use of herbs in the diet or in the form of supplements even after the cancer is completely cured can reduce the risk of relapse following surgery or chemotherapy. Often, the conventional treatments are combined with the use of herbs to prevent complication of chemotherapy naturally and enhance their effectiveness. The combination of herbal and conventional treatment can provide better results in a shorter period of time and reduce the risk of mortality associated with the illness.
According to the Ayurvedic concept of cancer, this condition can be categorized as Granthi (a minor or benign neoplasm) and Arbuda (a major or malignant neoplasm). It is believed to be an inflammatory or non-inflammatory swelling. The Ayurveda believes that cancer occurs due to the involvement of the three body-control mechanisms, which include the nervous system (Vata), the venous system (Pitta), and the circularity system (Kapha). In normal individuals, these systems coordinate to regulate the functions of the body.
A benign neoplasm occurs when one or two of these body systems are not in control. This condition is not harmful as the body still possesses the ability to coordinate the three systems. It may be caused as a result of an imbalance in any of the three doshas: Vata, Pitta or Kapha.
A malignant tumor occurs due to the imbalance in all the three doshas and can be very harmful as it involves the deregulation of all the three body systems. Due to this, the body loses its ability to prevent tissue damage leading to a morbid condition.
Ayurveda also describes the factors responsible for the aggravation of or imbalance in the doshas as given below:
The Vata aggravating factors include severe mental or emotional stress and an excessive intake of pungent, bitter, astringent, and dry foods. The common Pitta aggravating factors are an excessive intake of salty, fried or sour foods and excessive anger. The Kapha aggravating factors include an excessive intake of oily or sweet foods and a sedentary lifestyle. The Ayurvedic treatment is aimed at correcting the underlying imbalance in the dosha. This helps to improve the coordination between the body’s systems and help a person to recover faster.
The Ayurvedic cure of cancer is based on the use of herbs given below for correcting the imbalance in the dosha. The medicinal properties of these herbs also help to prevent the growth and spread of cancer cells and thus, increase the chances of complete recovery of the patient.
Lesun (Garlic): Lehsun, or Garlic, possesses natural anti-carcinogenic properties, which can help in the management of several different forms of cancers including breast cancer, stomach cancer, and colorectal cancer. The protective and anti-cancer effects of this herb can be attributed to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. It has the ability to block the effect of the carcinogenic substances in the body and thus, prevent the genetic mutations that can trigger a rapid division of the abnormal or immature cells. It also enhances the DNA repair, prevents abnormal cell proliferation, and stimulates apoptosis or the process of programmed cell death.
Giloy (Tinospora cordifolia): Giloy is an Indian herb that has been used for centuries by the ancient Ayurvedic experts for the treatment of cancer. It possesses powerful medicinal properties, which help to limit the growth and spread of the cancer cells. It offers a natural cure for breast cancer by protecting the breast tissues against the damage caused by free radicals by producing an antioxidant activity. It is also effective in the management of lung cancer, brain cancer, and colon cancer. The fresh juice of Giloy plant has been found to be useful in the treatment of certain forms of blood cancers. The anti-cancer properties of this herb are attributed to the chemical compounds present in it such as tinosporin, tinosporon, palmarin, tinosporol, and perberillin. The stem bark of this plant contains giloin, giloinin, and gilosterol that possess the ability to prevent cancer.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) : this herb provides the answer to the problem of how to cure lung cancer naturally without the risk of side effects. Ashwagandha is a potent anti-cancer herb, which can slow down the growth of several other forms of cancers including breast, colon, skin, prostate, and blood cancers.
Ashwagandha works by producing a pro-oxidant attack against the cancer cells. It also enhances the beneficial effects of radiation and chemotherapy against the cancer cells. It protects the normal cells against the damage caused by the chemotherapy drugs. It prevents the growth of the treatment-resistant cancer cells by preventing angiogenesis or the creation of new blood vessels within the tumor mass. It also binds to the proteins that the cancer cells need for their growth and survival. This wide range of action makes Ashwagandha a highly effective herb in the management of cancer.
Turmeric: The anti-cancer properties of turmeric are largely due to the presence of a compound called curcumin in it. The combined use of curcumin and chemotherapy can provide encouraging results in the treatment of bowel cancer. The combined approach has been showed to destroy the cancer cells more effectively when compared to the chemotherapy alone.
Curcumin also helps to prevent the spread of breast cancer to other parts of the body. It acts as an anti-inflammatory agent and minimizes the damage to the healthy cells during conventional treatments. It also stimulates apoptosis and ensures destruction of the abnormal cells.
Amala (Indian gooseberry): Amala has a rich content of vitamin C, which has the ability to boost the functions of the immune system. It enhances the protective effect of the immune cells and prevents damage to the healthy tissues due to the carcinogenic agents. It also allows the immune cells to recognize and attack the abnormal cancer cells selectively, thus ensuring their destruction and elimination from the body.
Bhumiamlaki (Phyllanthus nirur): Bhumiamlaki, also called Bhumyamalaki, contains strong lignans, tannins, and flavonoids, which are known to exert an antitumor effect. The oral administration of the extract of this plant can significantly reduce the tumor size. It is particularly effective in the management of lymphoma. The use of this herb can be combined with chemotherapy to reduce the risk of side effects of the chemotherapeutic drugs. The chemo-protective effect of this plant is linked to its ability to block the metabolic activation of the carcinogenic compounds, and induce the cell cycle arrest.
Guggul (Commiphora mukul): Guggul is a resinous extract from the plant, Commiphora mukul, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. These properties are beneficial in the treatment of cancer as the growth of the cancer cells is linked to the inflammatory processes and the free radical activity in the body. The rapid destruction of the body tissues due to the free radicals and a disturbed metabolism can fuel the growth of the cancer cells. The free radical scavenging property of Guggul can block these cancer-triggering processes and help to control the progress of this disease.
Bilva (Aegle marmelos): Bilva is particularly beneficial in the treatment of breast cancer. This herb produces an antiproliferative effect on the breast tissues, which helps to prevent the growth of the cancer cells and their spread to the neighboring organs. It can also be used as the natural treatment for skin cancer such as papilloma and melanoma induced by the excessive exposure to the sun or chemicals.
Tulsi (Holy Basil): The anticancer benefits of this herb are attributed to its anti-inflammatory effect. It acts as a natural COX-2 inhibitor and keeps the inflammation at bay. It also provides relief from pain and other symptoms caused due to cancer. Tulsi or Holy Basil can also repair the cells damaged by radiation and oxidation thus preventing cancers. It also has the potential to destroy the pre-cancerous lesions. The phytonutrients present in Tulsi can directly destroy the abnormal cells thus limiting the growth and spread of the cancer mass. Eugenol, an active component in the leaves of this plant, inhibits the division of the cancer cells and prevents them from invading into the normal structures.
Kachnar (Bauhinia variegata): Kachnar can be used in the treatment of uterine growths. It can reduce the symptoms of uterine cancer, fibroids, and cysts. It may also be used to treat oral cancer.
Gokshura (Tribulus terrestris): Gokshura offers an effective alternative treatment for prostate cancer. It can reduce the size of the cancer mass and thus, provide relief from the symptoms of prostate cancer such as difficulty in passing urine, inability to initiate the flow of urine and incomplete emptying of the bladder.
Neem (Azadirachta indica): The naturally-occurring compounds present in Neem can work in a variety of ways to cure cancer. These bioactive compounds can induce apoptosis in different types of cancer cells. It has been found to be an effective herbal medicine for breast cancer. It works by correcting the hormonal imbalances that can trigger the development of breast cancer. It also stimulates the immune cells to fight the breast cancer cells. Neem also produces an anti-cancer action against colon, pancreas, stomach, lung, skin, liver, oral, and prostate cancers.
One of the bioactive compounds in this herb called nimbolide has the ability to induce apoptosis in the pancreatic cancer cells and reduce the size of the cancer mass by almost 80%. The compounds in Neem can help to prevent the occurrence of cancer by producing a high level of carcinogen-detoxifying and antioxidant enzymes. Neem also acts as an anti-mutagenic agent and protects the genes against abnormal changes that can trigger the development of cancer. It also produces a chemo-preventive effect that can help in enhancing the effect of chemotherapy while also reducing its side effects.
Nagkesar (Mesua ferrea): Nagkesar has been found to be beneficial in the treatment of lung cancers. Active and passive smoking are the most common causes of lung cancer. It can cause significant damage to the lung tissues and initiate abnormal changes. Nagkesar can help in preventing this by protecting the lung tissues against these changes. It also helps by acting as a de-addiction agent. It can assist a person in his efforts to quit smoking and thus, prevent the risk of lung cancers.
Pippali (Piper longum): Pippali, or Piper Longum, contains flavonoids, which act as potent antioxidants and help in preventing cancer. This property of Pippali is beneficial in the treatment of several forms of cancers such as stomach cancer and skin cancer. These flavonoids attack the free radicals and destroy them thus protecting the healthy cells against the damage caused by them.
The electron-donating ability of these flavonoids also seems to help in terminating the lipid peroxidation chain reaction that is linked to the excessive secretion of interleukin-1, TNF, and the chemotherapeutic cytotoxic drugs. Flavonoids also offer protection against the H2O2-mediated cytotoxicity created by radiotherapy. Hence, it is advisable to couple the conventional treatment of cancer such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy with the use of Pippali to enhance their effectiveness and reduce their side effects. The use of this herb may be continued even after the conventional treatments have been stopped for better and long-lasting results.
Punarnava (Boerhaavia diffusa): Punarnava is used for an alternative colon cancer treatment and prevention. It contains an alkaloid called Punarnavine that possesses strong anti-cancer properties. It can enhance the response of the immune system and stimulate the destruction of the abnormal cells. It can also inhibit the spread of melanoma cells. The extract from this plant possesses hepatoprotective and antioxidant properties, which are beneficial in preventing liver cancer.
Punarnava has been found to be beneficial in the management of cervical cancer as well. Boeravinones, the compounds isolated from the root of this plant, have the potential to block the drug efflux action of a breast cancer resistance protein, which can cause a resistance of the cancer cells to chemotherapy. The use of Punarnava can inhibit the effect of this protein and thus, allow the chemotherapeutic drugs to work effectively.
Vasa (Adhathoda vasica): Vasa is particularly used to arrest bleeding caused due to some tumors. This herb can also be used to treat pleurisy linked to lung cancers.
Shatavari (Asparagus racemosus): Shatavari, or Asparagus racemosus, has also been found to possess effective anticarcinogenic activity that is useful in the management of breast, cervical, and ovarian cancers. An alcoholic extract of this herb can help to treat the epidermal cancer of the nasopharyngeal tissue. It can inhibit the progress and growth of chemical-induced cancer of the mammary glands. It also regulates the secretion of hormones in the body and thus, prevents the development of hormone-linked cancers.
Shilajit (Mineral Pitch): Shilajit can produce a toxic effect on various forms of cancer cells and thus, prevent them from growing. It is particularly useful in the treatment of prostate cancer. It can also be used to treat lung, breast, ovarian, colon, and liver cancers. The toxicity of this herb to the cancer cells is attributed to the presence of heavy metals in it.
Shilajit also has the ability to protect the cells and tissues from the adverse effects of radiation therapy. Hence, it is advisable to use this herb before, during and after radiation therapy to minimize the risk of its side effects. It can also protect the ovaries from the radiation-related damage and prevent ovarian cancer.
Additionally, Shilajit acts as an antioxidant, antimutagenic, anti-inflammatory and an anti-ulcerative agent. These properties combine to create a strong anti-cancer effect that helps to prevent the growth and spread of cancer.
The natural remedies for cancer not just help in the treatment and prevention of cancer, but also help in managing the different complications from radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Ayurveda considered cancer as a disease that involves all the three body humors: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, though it usually starts with the predominance of any one of them.
When the digestive fire or the enzyme reserve in the body is low; there is a build-up of toxins, which results in the creation of an environment suitable for cancer to grow. It represents a negative form of life-energy, just like a microorganism that has been established in the body. This negative form of energy is the result of numerous causes such as the toxic environment, processed and denatured foods, lack of spiritual purpose in life and sedentary lifestyle. It may also occur due to the emotional stagnation and suppressed emotions, which cause an accumulation of the toxic substances.
Ayurveda helps to prevent cancer by inhibiting these factors and creating a positive energy within the body. It also aims at maintaining the balance of three doshas. The prevention of cancer from the Ayurvedic perspective is discussed beneath:
Ayurveda recommends a curative as well as a preventative approach to cancer that encourages living in harmony with the nature’s laws of life. It believes that cancer is a sign of loss of coordination between the internal and external environment of the human. By keeping the internal environment in harmony with the external environment, people can prevent the cancer cells from taking hold.
A comprehensive treatment of cancer should be based on the knowledge gained through the scientific research and clinical studies. Ayurveda offers an effective and safe alternative to the problem of how to cure cancer naturally without the risk of side effects.
Our Ayurvedic Clinic, Pure Herbal Ayurved Clinic in Melbourne offers an integrated approach to manage this disease using herbal remedies that have been screened to validate their effectiveness as natural anti-cancerous drugs as well as their safety.
We have a team of best Ayurvedic doctors in Australia, who can help the cancer patients to recover naturally from various side effects of radiothearpy and chemothearpy. We also offer the Panchakarma detox for cancer treatment that helps to cleanse the blood and eliminate the toxins from the body, which can otherwise damage the healthy cells and trigger the development of cancer.
This treatment is aimed at preventing cancer as well as its recurrence. The Ayurvedic treatments in Australia are based on the principle that this disease occurs when there is an abuse of the nature’s law resulting in an imbalance in the human system. The management is aimed at creating the balance of the three doshas using natural herbs.
It emphasizes health as a perfectly integrated state of physical, social, psychological, and spiritual components of the person. Hence, the therapeutic approach is focused on the four parameters, which include health maintenance (chikitsa), the cure of disease (Roganashani chikitsa), the restoration of the normal functions (Rasayana chikitsa) and the spiritual approach (Naishthiki chikitsa).
Rasayana therapy works as an effective preventive measure for cancer. It helps to boost the metabolism, and enhances the regeneration of the body’s cells and tissues. The Rasayanas also prevent the conditions associated with cancer. They help to strengthen the cells and boost the immunity. Rasayana therapy may also be given to prevent the recurrence of cancer. It increases the bala or vitality of the patient and rejuvenates the body through the use of herbal preparations,
Additionally, we also recommend healthy changes in the diet and lifestyle to ensure long-term results and improve the overall health and fitness of the person.
Dr Gurnam Singh Saini
Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine
MD Alternative Medicine
Panchkarma Detox Expert
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Ayurveda stads for extensive and elaborate clinical examination to understand thenature of the disease