The word “Cancer”, itself creates lot of fear, anxiety, and depression in the minds of the patients as well as their relatives when diagnosed with this dreadful disease due to the extent of damage it may cause and its threat to life in certain forms of cancer and when diagnosed in later stages. The patients may have mainly three options to decide about the kind of treatment they would like to go in for i.e. the conventional medicine (Allopathy), Alternative medicine and the Integrative approach.
The causes of cancer are numerous but may be caused due to smoking, viruses, alcohol consumption, radiation, cancer-causing chemicals (carcinogens), obesity, hormones, chronic inflammation and lack of exercise. The primary cause of developing most of the diseases including cancer is due to poor immunity. Ayurveda believes that poor digestion and development of ama (toxins produced from undigested food) is the basic cause of any disease.
Approaches of Ayurveda towards healing include measures dealing at physical, emotional and spiritual level. In Ayurveda, oral ingestion of herbal preparations, appropriate diet, yoga, meditation, relaxation and counselling of the patients are the steps taken to manage the disease condition thus improving the quality of life. Diet plays a very important role in cancer in terms of prevention and during treatment. Ayurveda has an extensive knowledge about diet and its effect on our body and mind. Ayurveda herbs may also be used as an adjuvant therapy to reduce the ill effects of chemotherapy and radiation like nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, fatigue after consulting their doctor. This kind of integrative approach of drug and herb therapy needs more studies and is under research. Purification therapies can be given only to patients who are strong enough as it is a reducing kind of therapy. For those who are weak, rejuvenating herbs (Rasayana therapy) can be given to fight back against the growth of cancer cells by boosting the immune system. The other herbs and diet that take care of the digestive system and keep it healthy support the healing system in the body. Cancer patients should avoid processed foods, foods containing additives, refined sugars etc., over eating, having too much of water during meals, foods that are incompatible in nature like fish and curds etc. Plenty of fruits and vegetables like cauliflower, tomatoes, citrus fruits, spices like cinnamon, cumin, pepper etc. should be included in the diet and appropriate changes in lifestyle should be made.
Healthy and Positive mind that visualizes a positive outcome will increase the chances of effective healing. Yoga and meditation have proved to enhance the healing process in cancer patients and later as a preventive measure against cancer.
This article is intended for education and awareness purpose only. Ayurveda medications, advise & treatments are always individualised. We recommend you take advice from an experienced Ayurveda doctor