Applied Ayurveda & Cancer treatment

The main idea behind Ayurvedic medicine is that health problems happen because one’s mind, body and spirit are out of balance, which depends upon the Metabolism of body. Ayurveda aim to bring balance and harmony back into a patient’s body, which in turn prevents or cures disease.


“Swasthsya Swastha Rakshanam, Aaturasya Vikar Prashaman Cha”

The above mention sutra states that certain combinations of Ayurveda helps to:

• Increase energy and wellbeing

• Balance mind, body and spirit

• Decrease stress

• Possibly prevent and cure disease

Ayurvedic concept of cancer diathesis and its pathogenesis in terms of the theory of body tissue, the metabolism of food, channels of the body who carry the nutrition to required tissue, and the generic sequence of events in the genesis of a disease. All this depicts a new paradigm of the disease state. This paper also examines the scope of plant drugs used in the treatment of cancer.

Principles of Ayurvedic treatment:

Abuse of nature’s law upsets the human system and ends up in disease like cancer. It is again the nature, the foremost physician who brings the cure. The Ayurvedic system of medicine was well founded on the basic principles of nature and its elements after a careful and thorough study of human physiology. This is the first system to emphasize health as the perfect state of physical, psychological, social and spiritual component of a human being.

The therapeutic approach of Ayurveda has been divided into four categories as health maintenance, disease cure, restoration of normal function and spiritual approach.

Finding the cause of an illness is the basic goal of Ayurvedic therapy. Classification of disease development has been done into six stages that include Aggravation, Accumulation, Overflow, Re-Location, Build-up in a new location, and Manifestation into are cognizable diseases. Ayurveda helps diagnosing an illness at even initial stages of body imbalance and the therapeutic approach maintains a balance by supplying deficient substances as well as reducing the excessive ones. Surgery is considered only for advanced cases Cancer effects.

“Rectifying the metabolism of body helps in achieving the set target of treating the Cancer as a tumor is formed because of Cancer, which is in whole a disease tumor itself is not the disease .”

To treat Cancer we need to treat the root cause of disease, only treating the symptoms will not help in eradicating the disease completely from body, which if not done causes recurrence of the same, so recurrence can also be prevented by following Ayurvedic line of treatment for diseases including Cancer.

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Prevent Cancer with Phytonutrient Power

Phytonutrients are natural compounds found in plant foods such as vegetables, fruit, whole grain products and legumes. These plant compounds have beneficial effects working with other essential nutrients to promote good health.


Plants contain thousands of natural compounds that science has shown benefit human health and shield us against chronic diseases ranging from heart disease and stroke to diabetes, dementia and cancer. There are still thousands of yet unidentified chemical compounds in plants and vegetables we consume that likely work in synergy with existing phytonutrients that provide antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits to promote healthy metabolism and cellular homeostasis.

Many of us are well aware of macronutrients, such as carbohydrates, protein and fat, as well as micronutrients, such as the vitamins and minerals that are listed on FDA-regulated food labels. But too few of us are familiar with phytonutrients — plant-based micronutrients that offer many health benefits and may help ward off chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.


“Phyto” means plant

• Phytonutient literally means plant nutrient.

• There are hundreds of phytonutrients that are often referred to as phytochemicals also.

• Common phytonutrients include carotenoids such as lutein, flavonoids, coumarins, indoles, isoflavones, lignans, organosulfures and plant sterols.

Powerful antioxidants

• Many phytonutrients have antioxidant properties that help prevent damage to cells throughout the body.

• A number of phytonutrients have been shown to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

• Experts believe that eating plenty of phytonutrient-rich foods promotes healthy aging.

Other biological roles

• Phytonutrients may have other bioactive functions for promoting health.

• Some may have positive effects on the immune system and hormones.

• Phytonutrients may also act as antibacterial or antiviral agents.

Phytonutrient rich foods

• Red, orange and yellow vegetables and fruit (such as tomatoes, carrots, peppers, squash, sweet potatoes, peaches, mangos, melons, citrus fruits, and berries)

• Dark green leafy vegetables (such as spinach, kale, bok choy, broccoli, Swiss chard, and romaine lettuce)

• Garlic, onions, chives and leeks

• Whole grain products (such as brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, barley, wheat berries, and whole wheat whole grain breads and whole grain cereals)

• Nuts and seeds (such as walnuts, almonds, sunflower, sesame and flax seeds)

• Legumes (such as dried beans, peas, lentils, soy beans and soy products)

• Tea and coffee (such as green tea, black tea and other herbal teas)

Enjoy the rainbow

• Phytonutrients are responsible for the vibrant colours found in vegetables and fruit.

• For example the phytonutrient lycopene helps give tomatoes and watermelon their red color.

• By enjoying a rainbow of vegetables and fruit everyday, you can make the most of many of the phytonutrients nature has to offer.

The following 10 natural substances have been demonstrated to be the most effective

1. Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG): A green tea extract

2. Curcumin: The primary polyphenol in turmeric root

3. Resveratrol: A phytochemical found in grapes, peanuts, Japanese knotweed

4. Lycopene: A red carotenoid found in watermelon, pink grapefruit, and tomatoes

5. Pomegranate extracts

6. Luteolin: A flavonoid found in peppers and various green vegetables

7. Genistein: A phytochemical found in soy, red clover, and coffee

8. Piperine: A phytochemicals found in black pepper

9. β-carotene: An orange carotenoid found in various vegetables

10. Sulforaphane: A sulfurous phytochemical found in Cruciferous vegetables


“Phytonutrients , also a milestone in the improvement of cancer treatment because the synthetic anticancer drugs that are currently used are often highly toxic for healthy organs and weakens the patient’s immune system.”

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Good health is not merely absence of disease but it is a positive quality, emphasizing physical, social, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual well being. Optimum nutrition, providing all nutrients in both quality and quantity, is the cornerstone of good health and the cutting edge of prevention.

By making smart food choices, you can protect your health, feel better, and boost your ability fight off cancer and other diseases. Some foods actually increase your risk of cancer, while others support your body and strengthen your immune system.


7 super foods to prevent Cancer


Benefits of Flaxseeds

• Decreases the levels of “bad” cholesterol (LDL Cholesterol) and increase the “good” cholesterol (HDL Cholesterol) in the body

• Lowers blood pressure

• Improves digestion

• Controls blood sugar levels

• The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits of flaxseeds helps to protect against cancer especially against breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer

Daily Recommendation: Chew 2tsp (10g) raw after lunch


Fenugreek seeds (Methi Seeds)

Benefits of fenugreek seeds

• Fenugreek aids smooth digestion and reduces constipation

• Reduces bad cholesterol and triglycerides and increases good cholesterol

• Controls blood sugar level

• Reduces water retention in the body

• Protects against cancer

Daily Recommendation: Soak 2tsp overnight in water & eat in the morning on an empty stomach.



Health benefits of oats

• Reduces bad cholesterol levels increases good cholesterol

• Controls blood sugar levels

• Reduces risk of developing Hypertension

• Reduces risk of heart disease

• Protects against cancer

Daily Recommendation: Make a healthy oats porridge with nuts & fruits!



Health benefits of Turmeric

• Protects liver from toxic substances

• Increases immunity

• Improves digestion

• Reduces inflammation in the body and symptoms such as pain and stiffness in the joint

• Protects against cancer

Daily Recommendation: Add 1tsp of turmeric powder to warm milk & drink at bedtime for a good night’s sleep!


Green tea

Health benefits of green tea

• Green tea reduces the toxicities produced by heavy smoking

• Helps to maintain dental health by preventing dental caries

• Improves memory and brain function

• Protects against cancer

Daily Recommendation: 2-3 cups daily


Garden Cress Seeds

Health benefits of garden cress seeds

• Increases haemoglobin levels and treat anemia

• It is rich in omega 3 fatty acid hence protects against heart disease

• The seed also helps to control blood sugar levels

• Given to new mothers as it increases lactation

• Being rich in antioxidants it helps to protect against cancer

Recommended Intake: ½- 1tsp soaked & with lemon juice



Health benefits of water

• Removes waste and toxins

• Transports nutrients and oxygen

• Controls heart rate and blood pressure

• Regulates body temperature

• Lubricates joints

• Protects organs and tissue, including the eyes, ears, and heart


Daily Recommendation:

2-3 litres – women

3-4 litres – men

How to increase water intake?

• Make conscious effort to drink water on regular basis

• Include foods high in water content such as: Lettuce, Cucumber, tomato, broccoli Watermelon & Citrus fruits Vegetable juice & soup, Lemon & coconut water

• Avoid high sugar foods and caffeinated drinks such as fruit juice, soda, and coffee, as it dehydrates your body

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Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it.” – Plato(427-347 B.C.)


Thus comes the important role of exercise to maintain our natural health. We now know that cancer is a preventable disease; atleast 70% cancers can be prevented by just altering our life-styles. There are lots of ways by which we can prevent cancer of which one is exercise of course. More than 200 epidemiologic studies have been done to show that exercise can prevent Breast Cancer, Colon Cancer, Lung Cancer, Endometrial (Uterus) Cancer, Kidney Cancer and probably Prostate Cancer also.

~Breast Cancer:
At least 60 studies were done till 2006 on exercise to show the reduction of Breast Cancer risk. The data show that inactive women are more prone to get Breast Cancer. On an average, around 60 percent reduction of Breast Cancer risk can be obtained by physical activity in both pre-menopausal and post-menopausal women by only 30- minute exercise daily.

~Colon Cancer:
Research works revealed that risk of Colon Cancer can be reduced by 30 to 40 percent relative to those who lead the sedentary life as it is evident from more than 50 studies till 2006.

~Lung Cancer:
Similarly Lung Cancer risk is also reduced by exercise and this is shown in almost 21 studies till 2005

~Endometrical Cancer:
We have got about 20 studies till 2006, which reveal the physical activity is reducing the risk of endometrial cancer incidence by 20 to 40 percent.

~Prostate Cancer:
There are about 36 research works on the relation of Prostate Cancer and physical activity till 2006. These studies show there might be probability to reduce the risk of Prostate Cancer by exercise.

How much exercise is sufficient?
Research works show that exercise for 30 minutes daily is sufficient to reduce your cancer risk.

What kind of exercise we should do?

1) Go on cycling, dancing, skipping, walking, running, swimming etc.

2) Get off the bus or tram one stop earlier and just walk the rest to reach your destination.

3) Do your household works extensively like cleaning the rooms, gardening, mowing the lawn.

4) Do the works which need sitting and standing.

5) Instead of using lift or escalator, walk up the stairs.

6) Involve with sports like football, cricket, tennis. All sorts of indoor games, athletics etc.

7) Yoga-exercise, light jogging etc. may be preferable.

8) Join a sports-club or a team.

9) Try often to walk to visit your friends rather than send them an e-mail or s.m.s.

10) Try to vary the type of physical activity, so that you would not get bored.

11) Last of all, if your job compel you to sit for a long hours, try to get up of the chair and move for two minutes at an interval of every hour.

Please remember “Prevention is better than cure” and this is applicable to cancer also.

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Diet is an important area of intervention for primary cancer prevention. Epidemiological studies strongly suggest that high intake of food rich in beta carotene, vitamin E, vitamin C, selenium, zinc, copper and iron decrease the risk of some cancers.

Free radicals are highly reactive chemicals that have potential to harm cells. Free radicals can be hazardous and damage cells, including DNA, proteins, cell membranes. These factors play a role in the development of cancer and other health conditions.

Antioxidants or “free radical scavengers” are chemicals that interact with and neutralize free radicals, thus preventing from damage. Fruits, vegetables, and grains are rich sources of dietary antioxidants.

Vitamin E or tocopherol occurs widely in nature and is a intracellular antioxidant that protects polyunsaturated fatty acids (component of cell membranes) and prevents the formation of carcinogens from cancer causing compounds. Lycopene is the most effective singlet-oxygen quenchers, it helps in destruction of free radicals. Increase intake of lycopene has reduced the risk of oral, breast, cervix, pancreas, colon, lung cancers. Vitamin A and C, folic acid have protective role at the molecular level in cancer development. Dietary deficiencies of antioxidant are known risk factors in the pathogenesis of cancer to stop further development.


BETA CAROTENE – Green leafy vegetables, ripe yellow fruits and vegetables like papaya, musk melon, mango, pumpkin, carrots.

VITAMIN C – Citrus fruits like orange, lemon and sweet lime, guava, goose berry, sprouted pulses.

VITAMIN E – Cereals, cereal products, oil seeds, nuts.

SELENIUM, ZINC – Sea foods and cereals.

COPPER – Oysters, liver, mushroom, nuts.

IRON – Green leafy vegetables, cereals millet, pulses, green peas, soy bean, Bengal gram dhal., garden cress seeds.

LYCOPENE – Tomatoes, guava, dried apricots.

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The word cancer for people is the scariest thing in the world mostly because of lack of knowledge .What they need to understand is that Cancer is a preventable disease and on early detection is curable too.


Ways to reduce risk of cancer:

One very important factors to avert the risk of cancer is Healthy Lifestyle.

1. Diet –A healthy diet is one that contains abundance of fresh, preferably organically grown fruits and vegetables. The daily diet should be rich in fiber and low fat. Protein intake should be moderate. Sugar, pickled salted, smoked, barbecued food, microwave cooked food, canned and processed food should be avoided. Food rich in antioxidants intake should be increased Most importantly meal should be taken at proper intervals, not much gap should be there in between the meals and should be of proper quantity. There should be at least five portions of meals in a day.

2. Physical Activities – Daily exercise or any form of physical activity such as brisk walking , jogging should be the essential part of one’s routine. Get at least Half an hour of activity each day, this helps to relieve stress and eliminate toxins in your body. These activities gives peaceful and healthy mind which help the body functions properly.

3. Family History –This cannot be changed but prevention strategy can be made by consulting a doctor who will plan a your screenings and also alert you with body related changes which should be reported immediately.

4. Say ‘NO’ to smoking, alcohol and tobacco—These deadly things destroys our immune system. 90% of lung cancer is caused by smoking. Alcohol consumption leads to oral , larynx, pharynx, liver, bowel cancer.

5. Environmental factors -. Exposure to carcinogenic chemicals in the environment can occur through drinking water and pollution of indoor or ambient air. So, try and keep you environment clean and pollution free. Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly before eating. Use water which is purified via boiling , suspension of alam or UV purifier or RO.

6. Occupational Carcinogens – We should be aware of place where we work, so that we can take precaution accordingly.

7. Infections – There are few viruses and bacteria that can cause cancer.E.g Hepatitis B and C Human Papilloma Virus etc
Preventive measures include vaccination and prevention of infection and infestation.

8. Screening (search of a disease)– This means testing of a person for the presence of a disease or other condition by means of test even if the person is asymptomatic. It leads to earlier diagnosis in specific cases. Early diagnosis may lead to extended life.

9. Monitoring yourself (self examination) –Everyone should be aware of their own body so that any abnormal change that can be noticed immediately and can be reported with priority for further action..

Cancer can be beaten. Take control of your life in your hands live healthy and prevent cancer.

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Human body is made of millions of cells coming together to form different systems and performing various functions in our body. Thus in every human being cells grow and divide to form new cells. This way the older damaged cells die and new healthy cells take their place. This cycle of cell formation and destruction ensures proper function of every system in our body.

In Cancer some of the body cells begin to divide when they are not needed and some cells survive and remain in the body when they should die. This causes break down of the orderly cycle of cell formation resulting in unwanted multiplication of cells. Thus the beginning of this disease occurs with abnormal cell division and hence prevention should aim at avoiding or restricting the same.

Since cells play a major role in pathophysiology of this disease, maintaining healthy cells in our body is a way which can help us to overcome their ability of dividing abnormally.

Healthier the cells, lesser are their chances of starting abnormal division.

In an event of uncontrolled cell division these healthier cells can themselves take over the abnormally dividing cells and stop the disease process right away.

A balance diet, good physical activity like exercise, yoga etc., breathing exercises like pranayama & positive attitude in life can certainly help us nourish our body cells.

Avoiding excess exposure to harmful radiations emitted by cell phones, Wi-Fi stations etc., excess consumption of hybridized food and exposure to harmful chemicals in the form of herbicides, chemical cleansers, toxic cosmetics etc. are certain ways we can adopt to maintain the health of our body cells.

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  The Ayurveda views of our embodied nature (body, mind and soul) and how it works, the causes of disease and the treatment of disease are all connected together in a beautiful, clear, and wonderful system of optimal health and total well-being.

      The term Yoga itself means to unite, combine, harmonize, or integrate. A truly yogic approach is inherently an integrative approach, harmonizing Body, Prana, Senses, Mind, and Consciousness. Modern Yoga has defined itself primarily in terms of asana or physical postures. It largely consists of the application of Yoga asana as an adjunct physical therapy for the treatment of diseases as primarily diagnosed and treated by modern medicine.

      According to Ayurveda, Yoga therapy must consider all eight limbs of Yoga Practice known as Ashtang Yoga. Ashtang is translated as “eight-limbs”. The classical yoga as defined by Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras includes the following eight limbs. The path of yoga is most effectively practiced in this order.

    1. Yama (moral restraints) – how we relate to others
    2. Niyam (observances) – how we relate to ourselves
    3. Asana (posture)
    4. Pranayama (moderation of the movements of Prana)
    5. Pratyahara (moderation of the sense organs)
    6. Dharana (concentration)
    7. Dhyana (meditation)
    8. Samadhi (meditative absorption)

      A yogic approach to healing is not a specialization or a sideline technique but requires synthesis of all levels and aspects of healing.Yoga has an eightfold approach from life-style practices and values through asana, pranayama, to Samadhi. If we reduce Yoga to asana, we are not practicing Yoga or an integrative approach

      Yoga promotes a natural way to help us relax and cope with stress, anxiety and depression.Yoga could help to reduce anxiety, depression, fatigue and stress for some patients. And it improved the quality of sleep, mood and spiritual well being for some people.

  • Yoga & Cancer: An overview
  • Yoga used as therapy for cancer can help clear out toxins accumulated during cancer treatment more effectively.

    Yoga asana stimulate not just muscles, but also increases blood flow, balances the glands and enhances the lymphatic flow in the body, all of which enhances the body’s internal purification processes.

    The deep, relaxing breathing often emphasized in yoga for cancer therapy also increases the current of oxygen-rich blood to the cells, delivering vital nutrients to tired cells and further clearing out toxins.

    Yoga for cancer survivors and patients also provides an internal anchor of calm. Many practicing yoga therapy have discovered an interesting, subtle benefit, an increased awareness of a great, internal stillness and sense of unity.


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A well balanced plant-based diet filled with a variety of vegetables, fruits, soy, nuts, whole grains, dairy and beans can help lower your risk for many types of cancer.

  • Be in right weight:Weight gain, overweight and obesity increase the risk of a number of cancers, including bowel, breast, prostate, pancreatic, endometrial, kidney, gallbladder, oesophageal, and ovarian cancers.
  • Be physically active for at least 30 minutes every day: Physical activity decreases the risk of colon, endometrial and postmenopausal breast cancer.
  • Avoid sugary drinks and limit consumption of energy-dense food : Foods that are high in fats, added sugars, and low in fiber, such as many fast and convenience foods, as well as sodas promote weight gain that is associated with a higher cancer risk.
  • Eat more of a variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and pulses such as beans.:Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of antioxidants such as beta-carotene, vitamin C, vitamin E, and selenium.
  • Limit consumption of red meats (such as beef, pork, and lamb) and avoid processed meats.
  • Limit alcoholic drinks: Alcohol increases the risk of several cancers.
  • Limit consumption of salt and avoid moldy grains and cereals: Limit consumption of processed foods with added salt to ensure an intake of less than 2.4g sodium a day. Do not eat moldy grains or legumes.
  • Where possible, aim to meet nutritional needs through diet alone, instead of using supplements to try to protect against cancer.
  • It is best for mothers to breastfeed exclusively for up to 6 months and then add other liquids and foods. Babies who are breastfed are less likely to be overweight as children or adults.
  • After treatment, cancer survivors should follow the recommendations for cancer prevention.Follow the recommendations for diet, healthy weight, and physical activity.

A well balanced plant-based diet filled with a variety of vegetables, fruits, soy, nuts, whole grains, dairy and beans can help lower your risk for many types of cancer.

  • Author:Ms. Kalpana Rani, Dietician, DSRC Hyderabad
  • Tags:Cancer, Cancer prevention, Nutrition, Diet
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An anti-cancer diet is an important strategy you can use to reduce your risk of cancer. For example, if you eat at least two servings of fruits and three servings of vegetables daily and eat the right amount of food, drink plenty of water to stay at a healthy weight, you have achieved the half goal.

Beside this, the nature, mother of all of us, provides all the medicine for our better living & cure. To get optimum benefit of those medicinal properties of fruits & veggies, it is always suggested to eat seasonal & local.

Because Foods that are in-season generally have more nutrients than others. Almost all seasonal foods have some medicinal properties to fight several diseases. But regular & proper intake of some super foods helps better management & prevention for cancer.

Just include these five super foods in regular diet, in proper amount & get the benefit.

five super foods

  • Green tea: -Green tea has powerful antioxidants like flavonoids & EpigallocatechinGallate (EGCG) that may protect against cancer. Multiple studies show that green tea drinkers have a lower risk of various types of cancer. Regular intake:-not more than 5 cup/day.
  • Flaxseeds:-flaxseeds (also called linseeds) are a rich source of micronutrients, dietary fiber, manganese, vitamin B1, and the essential fatty acid- alpha-linolenic acid, also known as ALA or omega-3. Flax seed benefits have been proven time and time again and even including fighting breast, prostate, ovarian and colon cancer. Regular intake: – 2 tsp./day.
  • Garlic: – Add garlic to everything you eat. It contains sulfur compounds that may stimulate the immune system’s natural defenses against cancer, and may have the potential to reduce tumor growth. Studies suggest that garlic can reduce the incidence of stomach cancer. Regular intake: – 10-12 cloves/day.
  • Citrus food:-A daily dose of citrus fruits may cut the risk of mouth, throat, and stomach cancers by half. Regular intake:-2-3 citrus fruit/day.
  • Turmeric:-Recent studies show turmeric is a powerful adversary to cancer. Curcumin shows a marked ability to inhibit cancer cell growth, boost antioxidant levels and the immune system, and kill cancer cells. It seems to work on improving mitochondrial function at a cellular level, and it improves metabolism. Even against drug-resistant strains of leukemia, curcumin caused cell death of cancer cells. Regular intake: – 2 to 2.5 grams of fresh turmeric/every alternative day.

IMPORTANT:Keep in mind that seasonal foods vary depending on region, meaning priority should be given to local foods.

  • Author:Ms. Nabaruna Ganguly, Kolkata, Dietitian, D. S. Research Centre, Kolkata
  • Tags:Cancer, Cancer prevention, Nutrition, Diet
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