Ayurvedic medicine is a traditional form of treatment used in India for several decades. The prime focus is to create a balance between the mind and body. Over the ayurvedic system may include :
- Ayurvedic massage
- Cleansing of bowel system
- Education in diet management
- Yoga and breathing exercises
- Herbal medical
The practitioners in Ayurveda believe that our bodies are composed of 3 different elements known as doshas such as,
- Vata dosha - This allows the movement of air and space.
- Pitta dosha - This manages digestion and metabolism in the body.
- Kapha dosha - This manages cohesion in the body.
The objectives of ayurvedic treatment are fundamental of two types:
Preventive Medicine - It focuses on maintaining the health and longevity of an individual. This is done by creating a balance in one’s constitution by building up an everyday regimen. The prime focus is kept on a diet, exercise, herbal massages and social behaviour of a person.
Curative Medicine - This is fundamentally followed to treat a person from one or more illness.
The following measures are done in curative medicine:
- Internal measures - It includes detoxification (known as sadhana) and improvement in the quality of life (known as Shamana).
- External measures - This includes oil treatments (snehana), stem therapy with herbal steam (sedan).
- Surgical techniques - It includes removal of tissues or any abnormal growth in the body.
- Mental and spiritual therapies known as daivya chikitsa.
- Herbal therapy such as astute pharmacology.
How safe is the ayurvedic treatment?
Treatments such as yoga, breathing exercises, and massages are relatively safe. However, herbal medicines need attention when taken. This is because these medicines are extracted from different kinds of herbs and given to the patients without much research. People who have cancer often use ayurvedic therapies like massage and aromatherapy. These help the patients to cope up with cancer treatment like chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
Ayurvedic medicine generally comprises of plant-based substances having anti-cancer properties. While some of these products offer high efficacy, safety should also be taken well into consideration. This article will discuss how Ayurveda has acquired an important place in oncology. To more about Ayurveda in general, click here.
What herbs are good for cancer?
It is a common saying in India, that the kitchen is the medicinal place. There are many spices in our kitchens that have powerful antioxidant properties. They have the ability to change the cell division, cell differentiation and immunocompetence. Hence, these herbs and spices can be added to our daily meals to boost our immune function and cure illness. Some of the most efficient herbs having anti-cancer properties are:
One of the major components of turmeric is curcumin. Curcumin has the ability to restrict the growth of cancer cells in bone, breast, brain tumours, colon, stomach, bladder, liver. Kidney etc. It is also known as an effective antiseptic and antibacterial agent to treat inflammation and infection. However, it also has anti-cancer properties like apoptosis, which means planned cell death of cancer cells without harming the normal cells.
Rosemary has caffeic acid and rosemarinic acid. These components are rich in antioxidants and also act as anti-inflammatory agents. Another component called carnosol is also present in rosemary, which inhibits the formation of tumours. Rosemary is also used for detoxification of chemicals that cause breast cancer. Terpenes present in rosemary helps in the reduction of oxidative stress which ultimately is used in protecting the healthy tissue from the effects of chemotherapy.
Cinnamon has a rich history when it comes to having medicinal properties. It is useful in reducing tumour growth by inhibiting the formation of new blood vessels in the body. According to a Korean study, the cinnamon extract was able to restrict the growth of cancerous cells. These herbs work best when bought organically and have not gone through any process like fumigation or steaming.
The oil extracted from parsley is also shown to prohibit tumor formation, especially in the lungs. It is known as chemoprotective food. It also helps in neutralizing the effect of carcinogens. Additionally, parsley contains apigenin which promotes the reduction of blood vessel growth that provides nutrition to the cancerous tumours.
Ayurvedic treatment in cancer stage four
With more and more people trying to avoid the side-effects of chemotherapy or radiotherapy, Ayurveda is consistently finding new ways to cure cancer. As most of the substances used are natural, the side-effects are minimal. The most eminent ayurvedic institutions follow the given steps for cancer treatment.
The first and the foremost thing is to clean the body from waste products, toxins, free radicals which are harmful for the body. This is done in three steps:
- Internal purification - cleansing of internal organs.
- External purification - cleansing of the body from external surface by using medicinal paste known as lepa or formulated oils like burn oil.
- Blood purification - A specialized technique known as Bio-chips, which is used for insect and snake bite is used in a modified manner for blood purification.
Once the body is detoxified, a combination of ayurvedic medicines is used to specifically kill the diseased cells without causing any harm to the healthy cells. The exact duration for which the medicinal course has to be continued depends on several factors like the general well-being of the patient, stage of the cancerous condition, patient’s response to the medicine etc. The duration may last from 6 months to 1 year or even more than that. Regular lab investigations are done to have a detailed analysis and to decide whether any changes have to be made in medicine.
Before ending the treatment course, one has to make sure if the cancerous cells are killed completely. Before ending the treatment, the last phase called Rasayana is done to rejuvenate the cells. This is done to help the body getting back to the normal routine.
However, in cases, advanced cases of cancer, the prime objective of the treatment are to provide relief to the patient from pain & other symptoms and extend the life span. After this is achieved, the aforementioned steps are followed to give him/her a better life. Know more about Ayurveda and cancer.
Is Ginger Good for Cancer?
Ginger is considered to be the world’s most effective cancer-fighting herb. A study used ginger in mice to study the effect of ginger on cancerous cells. It was found that the ginger extract was able to shrink the prostate cancer tumour by 56 per cent. It was also concluded that ginger is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. The main component in ginger is gingerol which is responsible for inhibition of growth of cancerous cells in the colon. It also helps in promoting apoptosis in ovarian cancer cells.
Ginger has many other benefits to offer. It is beneficial in stomach related issues like motion sickness, diarrhoea, nausea etc. It is quite helpful post-surgically to get rid of nausea, vomiting and muscle pain or dizziness.
Is ginger safe?
It is usually safe to take it during the treatment. Though the advised dosage should not be more than 4 grams a day. Ginger might interfere with medications used for diabetes, blood thinning, or hypertension. Hence, these patients must consult the experts before taking it.
Which fruits can cure cancer?
Here is the list of some fruits and vegetables that help in fighting cancer.
Apple contains a substance called polyphenols that have high anti-cancer properties. Polyphenols are plant-based compounds used in preventing inflammation, certain infections and cardiovascular diseases. Scientists suggest that the polyphenols also have anticancer and tumour-fighting properties. It has been observed that the polyphenol phloretin prohibits glucose transporter 2, which is responsible for cell growth in advanced-stage cancer. It also inhibits the growth of breast cancer cells without affecting healthy cells.
Berries are rich in minerals, vitamins and dietary fibres. It has a lot of antioxidant properties and other health benefits. Blackberries have a substance called anthocyanin which is helpful in colon cancer. The blueberries have shown to have a preventive effect on breast cancer tumours in mice.
Vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower that contain beneficial substances like vitamin C, vitamin K, etc. Other nutrients like manganese and sulphur also contain anti-cancer properties. It has been studied that sulforaphane, when combined with a substance called genistein, is helpful in inhibiting breast cancer tumour development and reducing the size of the tumour. Sulforaphane also helps in inhibiting the production of an enzyme called histone deacetylase, which is related to cancer development.
Ayurvedic medicine for cancer prevention
The most interesting thing about Ayurveda is that it tells us the medicinal benefits of ordinary things that we eat everyday. Here is a list of some ordinary foods with extraordinary medicinal benefits.
Garlic - Garlic contains sulphur, arginine, flavonoids, and selenium. Several studies across the globe have proved that garlic is related to reduce the risk of cancer. It also acts as an antibacterial agent, having the ability to stop the formation or activation of cancer-causing agents. According to the World Health Organisation, it is recommended to take at least 2-5 grams or one bulb of garlic for adults.
Holy basil - Tulsi or basil in India is widely known for its powerful healing ability. It has certain substances known as phytochemicals which are used to prevent lung, liver, oral and skin cancer by increasing the antioxidant activity, killing the cancer cells and preventing the spread of cancer cells to other parts of the body.
Amla - It is considered as an ayurvedic superfood. It is rich in vitamin C and composed of quercetin, phyllaemblic compounds, pectin, flavonoids etc. Amla has also shown the ability to destroy and prevent further growth of cancerous cells without causing any harm to the normal cells.
Can yoga treat cancer?
Yoga is an ancient practice in India that combines meditation, breathing and postures making a connection with body and mind. Yoga has shown to reduce stress, increase strength and reduce back pain. Even though yoga cannot be directly linked to cancer treatment or any other chronic illnesses. However, it can provide several other benefits, which can contribute to a faster recovery of the patient.
Here are some of the most significant benefits of yoga:
Detoxification of the body - Yoga helps in detoxification of the body. It increases the lymphatic flow throughout the body with specific breathing and movements. Certain body postures also help in the release of body toxins. Detoxification ultimately leads to the removal of dead cells and toxins. Detoxification also happens at the mental level. Yoga helps in coping with anxiety and stress levels, which is greatly helpful in recovering from cancer treatment.
Weight management - Yoga is widely known for dealing with obesity. It not only helps to lose weight but also plays an important role in dealing with depression and stress.
Boosting the immune system - Strengthening the immune system is very crucial in cancer therapies. It has been seen that regular yoga practice of yoga and meditation had a rapid effect in cancer-fighting cells.
The cancer patients who are receiving cancer treatment mainly focus on gentle and restorative yoga techniques. Yoga can also help in weight gain and raising self-esteem.
You may also like to read: Advances in cancer treatment
Some of the most popular destinations in India for ayurvedic treatment are:
- Andhra Pradesh
What role does Vaidam health play in providing medical treatment?
Vaidam Health acts as a digital mediator for those who seek any medical treatment in India. Patients in huge numbers come to India for cancer treatment such as brain tumours, spine tumours, lung cancer, liver cancer and many more. Right from helping you choose the right cancer hospital and right cancer doctor in India, we will also assist you in visa application, airport picks up & drop off, accommodation arrangement here in India and everything else you need during your stay.
Vaidam Health is accredited with NABH (National Accreditation Board for Hospitals & Healthcare providers) and ISO certified.