• Dr A A Mundewadi

Ayurvedic Herbal Remedies for Cancer - An Overview

Updated: Apr 21

Cancer is defined as an uncontrolled growth of cells anywhere in the body. There are more than 200 types of cancer. Exposure to toxic chemicals, pollution, radiation and some pathogens, as well as chronic smoking, heavy alcohol abuse, and genetics, are known causes of cancer. The signs and symptoms of cancer include fatigue, unexplained weight loss, persistent low grade fever, severe or unusual body pain, nausea or vomiting, change in bowel habits, persistent sore throat or difficulty in swallowing, unusual bleeding or discharge, non-healing ulcer, thickening or lump, and noticeable changes in a wart or mole.

Cancer types include carcinomas (involving skin and coverings of internal organs), sarcomas (involving connective and supportive tissue like muscles, fat, bone, cartilage and blood vessels), leukemias (involving bone marrow and blood tissue), lymphoma and myeloma (involving the immune system), and brain and spinal cord tumours. Physical examination, a detailed medical history, and tests like X-ray, blood tests, ultrasound, CT scan, MRI and radionuclide scan can help make a presumptive diagnosis of cancer; however, a biopsy is the best way of making a definite diagnosis of cancer and its type. Treatment is usually done with a combination of surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. Staging of the cancer helps identify the severity of spread and the overall prognosis, while helping to decide the most effective treatment protocol.

Dealing with a diagnosis of cancer, and facing the prospect of costly, prolonged, and often harsh treatment procedures can be one of the most traumatic experiences of life. Most individuals may get confused about the future course of action. It is always best to take several expert opinions regarding the most suitable treatment protocol. If surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, or a combination of all three, can quickly reduce the tumor size significantly, then this is the most preferred first line of treatment.

If the overall prognosis and cure rate are excellent with conventional treatment, then in most cases nothing more need be done. It is important to educate oneself about the type of cancer, its known causes, and take all possible steps – mainly lifestyle modifications - to prevent recurrence. Keeping body immunity at optimum levels, in all possible ways, is one of the best ways to prevent recurrence.

If the cancer is known to be aggressive and has a grim prognosis, it is better to start alternative treatment concurrently with conventional treatment. The two treatments can work in synergy; conventional treatment can reduce the tumor quickly with a few sessions of treatment, while Ayurvedic herbal treatment can help boost long term immunity, as well as help reduce the cancer gradually and prevent it from spreading further or recurring later. Most individuals make the mistake of opting for alternative treatment when it is too late. Ayurvedic herbal treatment needs to be taken for at least 18-24 months in order to see significant improvement in cancer, help in complete remission, and also to prevent recurrence.

Ayurvedic treatment for cancer is multi faceted. Herbs are given to improve immunity; to target the specific organs and tissues affected with cancer; to improve general and specific metabolic activity, and lastly, to provide rejuvenation in the form of Rasayan therapy. Detoxification is also required on a general level as well as specific organ, tissue or cellular level as required.

As mentioned above, the individual needs to work on a holistic level to improve oneself at the physical, mental and spiritual level in order to achieve a complete cure and enjoy a good quality of life.

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