Some institutions view that ayurvedic cancer treatment may have a substancial effect on reducing cancer as a life-threatening disease.
The word Ayurveda came from ‘veda', which means science and ‘ayur', which means life span. This ancient Indian system of medicine has been practiced for centuries. It takes the psychological and physiological states of a patient of prime importance. As a traditional form of medicine, ayurvedic medicine aims to deliver cure, pain relief and extension of life span among cancer patients. It takes a different approach to achieving good health, eliminating the cause of disease through making simple changes to lifestyle and diet with the use of purification techniques that will restore the balance within the body.
In the ayurvedic thought of treatment, cancer is believed to be a condition where the three doshas are out of synch. The three doshas are the vata or wind, pitta or bile and kapha or mucus. Cancer may also be traced to the increased use or inclusion of chemicals and synthetic materials in modern diet. Such chemicals put the body at higher risk of cancer since they hinder the body from functioning properly. In addition, stress and anxiety results to increased toxins inside the body, which also lead to cancer. Since there are so many types of cancer, an ayurvedic practitioner would need to determine the cause of the disease to determine and administer the correct treatment.
Treatment begins with a thorough patient examination. To diagnose a patient, the practitioner may perform pulse examination, finding out the position of the predominant dosha. Using the patient's medical history and disease status, the practitioner will determine the protocol of treatment. The duration of the treatment would depend on the disease status and the patient's response to treatment. Also, a specific supportive therapy may also be recommended. In ayurvedic cancer treatment, the diagnosis of the disease aims to find out the root cause, which is not necessarily inside the body. For instance, stress causing factors may be surrounding the family; in school or at the workplace. This way, the treatment can better deliver permanent relief, which involves relief from physical pain, psychological stress and emotional disturbances. It promotes healing as a whole, both for the mind and body.
Once the ayurvedic practitioner determines which dosha is unbalanced, the main focus is to rebalance the three doshas using different kinds of ayurvedic treatment, which involve medicine, diet and panchakarma.
Panchakarma is a set of ayurvedic remedies; oil massage, sweat treatment, emesis (therapeutic vomiting), enema (bowel cleansing), nasal application of herbal remedies and blood-letting (drawing blood). A proper diet that will bring the three doshas back in balance and maintain sufficient energy levels are also important treatment elements. Medicines, which are made from traditional healing plants and food extracts, are used for healing and supplementation.
Some Ayurvedic cancer treatment may also compatible with Western medicine. In a study conducted by the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, ayurvedic solutions are actually helpful in controlling the side effects and problems associated with chemotherapy cancer treatment and are helpful in reducing the toxicity of cytotoxic chemotherapy for breast and gastrointestinal cancers. Hence, the inclusion of ayurvedic healing to cancer treatment can provide a synergistic effect in cancer management.