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Cancer, Inflammation, And Insights From Ayurveda

Cancer is one of the common non-communicable diseases spreading rapidly in developing and industrialised countries. It is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, and cancer mortality is increasing due to a limited number of effective therapies. Uncontrolled cell growth due to dysregulation of the cell cycle and apoptosis characterizes cancer. 

An interesting and recent discovery concerns the concept of “common pathology” between cancer and metabolic syndrome. A common major pathway leading to cancer and metabolic syndrome is chronic inflammation, which is a major driver of carcinogenesis. Indeed, chronic inflammation precedes most cancers and is a “feature” of the cancer process. 

Ayurveda: an ancient way of treating illness

Today, it is clear that cancer is related to environmental, dietary, unpredictable, and unstable changes in the daily lives of individuals. Ayurveda means “Science of Life” and is the oldest holistic healing system in the world that originated in the Indian subcontinent. This practice and treatment are probably more than 5000 years old. Ayurveda emphasises that it balances the ongoing connection between body, mind, and soul, and is therefore the natural harmony of each individual. Ayurveda recognizes and characterises many herbs and herbal preparations that are much talked about for the treatment of various forms and diseases of cancer. 

Modern science and allopathy believe in Ayurvedic principles. That’s why more research is there on Ayurvedic herbs and natural remedies. Many medical centers and universities are incorporating Ayurveda into their programs to combat the rise of non-communicable diseases. All medical professionals believe that prevention is better than cure. So Ayurveda paves the way for the goal of healthy and happy living.

Ayurvedic Definition of Cancer

An ayurvedic interpretation of cancer uses traditional concepts translated into a modern context. This first topic concerns inter-system exchanges. Although Vaidyas differ in some details, they all frame the pathophysiology of cancer using traditional concepts, such as tridosha theory, sapta dhatu (7 body tissues), and Agni (force) metabolically). Within the framework of Ayurvedic theory, identification of the nidana (responsible factors) is an important step in the assessment and treatment of patients

Inflammation and role of ama:

Short-term inflammation has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects, while long-term or chronic inflammation can promote disease. Preclinical and clinical research over the past decade clearly shows that chronic inflammation has associations with severe lifestyle and age-related diseases such as cancer and metabolic syndrome. 

Once the inflammatory microenvironment is created in tumours, there are mechanisms to maintain it. Activating inflammation in cells surrounding the tumour, enhances the cancer-associated inflammatory microenvironment. This long-lasting, cancer-associated “smouldering” inflammation has many tumour-promoting effects. In addition to its direct tumour-promoting effects, chronic inflammation may indirectly promote tumorigenesis. 

 Ayurveda does not consider cancer to be a separate disease or a collection of diseases. In contrast, Ayurveda states, all diseases are due to systemic imbalance and dysfunction of the three Doshas. Instead of using targeted therapies to destroy tumors, Ayurvedic drugs/treatments attempt to correct metabolic defects and restore normal tissue functions (“Sama Dhatu”) Parampara”). Like most forms of traditional medicine, Ayurvedic medicine is holistic, as immunotherapy (Rasayana Prayoga) to rejuvenate the body’s support system is an important component of cancer therapy.

 Ayurveda also considers diet and environmental factors to be important factors that modulate Agni and immunity, which in turn may increase cancer risk. We are now discussing the Ayurvedic concept of “Ama” as it relates to the origins of chronic inflammation. “Ama” is a toxic, heavy, thick, and sticky juice that comes from the waste products of digestion and metabolism. Indeed, the word “Ama” translates to “immature” or “not fully digested”. 

“Ama” accumulates in people with weak digestive systems. Blockage of microchannels by “Ama” leads to homeostasis, inflammation, and tissue damage. Accordingly, Ayurveda considers “Ama” to be the cause of several diseases because it blocks important micro-channels (Srotas) that nourish tissues (Dhatus).

Ayurvedic approach for ama balance

A deeper cleansing regimen is often required in order to draw ama out of the deep tissues. Many different cleansing techniques are outlined in our Introduction to Ayurvedic Cleansing. Some are short and simple. Others are longer, more complex, more influential, and should only be performed under the guidance of a trained practitioner. For example, Panchakarma, a characteristic cleansing of Ayurveda, is completely aimed at dissolving flax, toxins, excess Vata, Pitta, and Kapha from deep tissues, transporting them to the digestive tract, and eliminating them from the body. 

The therapeutic approach involves prakritistani chikitsa (health maintenance), Rasayana chikitsa (restoration to normal), naishthiki chikitsa (spiritual approach), and roganashani chikitsa. There was a careful assessment of the patient before selecting treatment, and, accordingly, different treatment protocols were chosen. This also involves the use of numerous herbs like Withania somnifera, Sida cordifolia, Asparagus racemosa, Vitis vinifera, Plumbago zeylanica, Tinospora cordifolia, and Zingiber officinale.

There are many options, but it is important to choose a cleaning method that feels completely manageable and can properly support the process. Otherwise, you may run into problems and your efforts will not produce the results you expect. In any case, Ayurvedic practitioners can help you and adjust your approach to address your concerns and imbalances more specifically. 

Summing up

We have gone through inflammable can be directly or indirectly associated with the proliferation of tumor cells. Not just worsening the condition, inflammation is debilitating and degrades the quality of life of the patient. Ayurveda has a solution to treat inflammation in the body. Ama is what contributes to inflammation hence balancing ama could be a key to treating inflammation and swelling. There are many practices to treat ama in Ayurveda. There are many herbs in Ayurveda to heal and balance all the doshas. This approach is surely promising for treating inflammation in cancer patients.

Expert Guidance from Cancer Coach

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