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  Article: Cancer and Ayurveda - by Dr. Partap Chauhan  
     
  Over the years scientists have been trying hard to find a cure for cancer, which is incurable and fatal unless detected in its early stage. Modern researchers say cancer treatment will gradually improve and perhaps in another 30 years we may have something that works for several cancers. Since cancer panacea is long way off according to modern scientists, it is high time we explore the remedies described in other medical systems, especially Ayurveda.

Unlike other medical systems, Ayurveda focuses on finding and treating the root cause of a disease. Interestingly, there are some similarities between Ayurvedic principles and the latest findings on the growth of cancerous cells in the body.

According to Sir Paul Nurse, who received the Nobel Prize for medicine last year, cancer is caused when certain genes get damaged and the body, as a result, is unable to check a proliferation of its own cells. Why and how these genes become damaged is still a mystery for the modern medicine.

Ayurveda describes that each person has physical and mental constitution. In other words everyone is born with a unique nature or personality. In order to maintain good health, it is important to maintain this “original” prakriti or nature. This is done by eating foods and performing activities that are in harmony with our nature. Thus a state of natural balance is maintained at physical, psychological and spiritual level. However, a disturbance in the state of natural balance leads to damages in the natural set of body even at the minute level including the genes.

Ayurveda propounds the principle of natural living. This includes foods, environment, lifestyle, and the like. Modern life often violates principles of natural living. Artificial lights and air, processed and preserved food items, polluted environment, ingestion of chemicals in numerous ways, overworking physically as well as mentally, imperfect relations and negative emotions are opposite to Ayurveda’s principles of natural living.

According to Sir Walter Bodmer, who has headed the Imperial Cancer Research Fund and is now the principal of Hertford College, Oxford, there are certain chemicals that damage the DNA.  In the process of cell division the flawed DNA keeps replicating itself resulting into cancerous growth. It seems the seers of Ayurveda knew this fact thousands of years ago. Only they could not explain this in modern scientific terms because modern science did not exist then. Inventing new chemicals or drugs may actually increase the problem or create new problems on the cancer front. It is necessary to become aware of the root cause of the problem and make appropriate changes in our food, lifestyles and environment.

Ayurveda describes that in cancer, the blood becomes impure due to aggravation of one or more dosha. This impurity of the blood is actually related to the subtle part of blood (rakta dhatu), and is not detected by physical tests. The dosha may get aggravated due to a number of factors including improper food and lifestyle. Smoking, chewing tobacco, breathing in chemical fumes or eating foods and fruits that have been heavily processed with chemical during cultivation also aggravate dosha in the body.

Sir Paul Nurse in a discussion in New Delhi last week, told that while working on yeast cells, which resemble the structure of human cells, he identified the exact mechanism that controls the division of cells. Cancerous cells, however, overcome this mechanism and go on proliferating, leading to a mass of cells, known as tumor, which then break off and travel to other parts of the body. Nurse told that he is currently studying about the shapes of cells and processes that control them. Cancerous cells change their shape so that they can filter through tissues and reach all parts of the body. According to him there is no answer available as to how this happens.

According to Ayurveda this happens due to the impurity in blood (rakta dhatu). The blood along with the aggravated dosha circulates in the whole body and relocates in a region that has weak immunity. As a result the normal function of blood in that region (organ/system) is disrupted. One of main functions of blood is transporting prana (life air) to each cell, the smallest functional unit in the body.

Prana, according to Ayurveda, is not only oxygen but also contains a subtle force or energy, which empowers the cell to perform its normal functions including its division. Due to localization of improper rakta dhatu, the prana reaching the cells of that particular region also becomes impure. This leads to improper cell division, which is termed as cancer. If this is not detected at an early stage and proper measures are not taken, the impurity spreads to other regions having weak immunity. Thus the cancer spreads to other organs of the body.

At Jiva Ayurveda Centre for Incurable Diseases (JACID), we have been working on these principles to help patients suffering from various types of cancers. Purifying or cleansing the blood and blocked channels with herbal formulae and non-invasive techniques are the main treatments for cancer. A number of patients approach us only after they have tried all kinds of other therapies. Most of them come dejected from modern medicine, and quite often in an aggravated state.

In this advanced stage, in addition to the regular cleansing treatment, in the Ayurvedic rasayana or strengthening and rejuvenating therapy is quite beneficial. Although cancer is a difficult disease, Ayurveda can offer a lot of support and comfort to the patients through its natural treatments. I feel the modern science should explore the Ayurvedic principles and devise an integrative approach to cancer treatment.

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www.ayurvedic.org


 
 

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