Ayurveda Treatment For Cancer Side Effects
How does Ayurveda view treatment of Cancer?
Research on Ayurveda treatment of cancer
Scientific studies for Ayurveda after chemotherapy
Real world outcomes from real patients
Common Ayurvedic herbs for cancer care
Ayurvedic home remedies for relief after chemo
In Ayurveda, Cancer appears to be a manifestation of aggravated Pitta dosha that includes a group of disorders related to Raktapitta (hemorrhage) and Raktadushti (vascular inflammation). Aggravated Doshas are responsible for different stages of carcinogenesis that cause impaired immunity, aberrant cell growth and ultimately cancer. Furthermore, different theories suggest that interaction between vitiated doshas and weak dhatus (body fluids) )manifest as cancers of a specific organ.
Ayurvedic approach for treating cancer is divided into four categories:
1.Prakritisthapani chikitsa :Maintenance of health
2.Rasayana chikitsa: Prevention of recurrence of disease and restoration of function
3.Roganashani chikitsa:Cure of disease
4.Naishthiki chikitsa: Spiritual therapy
All of the categories can be achieved by Vyadhiharam (removal of causative factors), pathyam (diet), aushadham (drugs) with the help of a physician and attendant. All these therapies focus on maintaining a good health of the patient while treating the medical condition with mind-body therapies to help restore normal function of the body.
Ayurvedic treatment for cancer helps the patient by improving the quality of life through rejuvenation. Ayurvedic formulations are also helpful as an adjuvant or a co-therapy along with chemotherapy or radiotherapy. In addition, Ayurvedic treatment can help minimize side effects after chemotherapy treatment. Therapies such as Panchakarma and Shirodhara have shown evidence to help cancer survivor.s deal with side effects.
Is there any research done to showcase the efficacy of Ayurvedic treatment for Cancer?
Number of scientific studies conducted on humans have proven that traditional Indian medicinal plant drugs can be successfully used in cancer treatment. In ancient times, different plant extracts have been used to help treat cytotoxicity.
In terms of Ayurveda cancer is a state that arises as a state of inflammatory or noninflammatory swelling which is termed as Arbuda. Ayurveda also believes that no disease can manifest without some imbalance in the Tridoshas which are Vata, Pitta and Kapha.
Ayurveda approach for treating a persons ailments involve use of herbal decoctions that are made of multiple herbs which possess great potential. Similarly, these herbs are also found to provide symptomatic relief in patients by targeting multiple biochemical pathways and influencing different organ systems that all together help and nourish the body as a whole by supporting body‘s defence systems.
Number of herbs have exhibited and scientifically proven their anti-cancer properties.
Some of them include:
Podophyllum hexandrum linn, This herb is the most active cytotoxic natural product that contains several lignans termed as podophyllotoxin. Podophyllotoxin possess anti-tumor property that acts as an inhibitor of microtubule assembly. This herb is used for treating cancers like testicular cancer, lung cancer, hepatoma, neuroblastoma, and other tumors.
Andrographis paniculata, Andrographolides an active component of the herb possess strong anticancer and immunomodulatory properties and is used to treat advanced stages of esophageal cancer by inhibiting the different
Esophageal cancer, inhibited the in vitro proliferation of different tumor cell lines, anticancer and immunomodulatory activities
Annona atemoya/muricata, The active components of this herb possess a very strong antioxidant and cytotoxic property. Clinical trials on this herb is known to show healing effects in patients suffering from pancreatic cancer histiocytic lymphoma, uterine cervical cancer and leukemia.
Phyllanthus niruri/amarus, P. amarus extracts: Phyllanthus amarus and its extracts possesses antimutagenic and antigenotoxic property and is used to treat various types of cancer.
Semecarpus anacardium: Semecarpus anacardium nut milk extract has shown to possess anti-cancer property and is used to treat liver cancer.
Tinospora cordifolia: T. cordifolia possess a strong free radical scavenging capacity, and can downregulate the pro-inflammatory cytokines that are found to be increased in cancer patients. Thus this herb helps improve the quality of life in patients who have undergone chemotherapy for cancer.
Piper longum: Piper longum also possess cancer protective properties by generating reactive oxygen species (ROS) to higher cancer cell and thus prevents cellular stress.
Are there any clinical trials or scientific studies that show effectiveness of Ayurvedic treatment after Chemotherapy?
A scientific study named "A case report of acute lymphoblastic leukemia - an ayurvedic approach"  that included a 4 year old patient who suffered from leukemia was treated with an Ayurvedic formulation that included a mixture of Heeraka bhasma/ Incinerated Dimond, Suvarna bhasma/ Incinerated Auram, Abhraka sahastraputi bhasma/ Incinerated Mica, Lauha bhasma/ Incinerated Iron and Tamra bhasma/ Incinerated Copper all of them mixed with the help of shyama tulsi (Oscimum sanctum), bilva leaves (Aegle marmelos) and sadaphuli (Catharanthus roseus).
Ayurvedic formulation was administered twice a week for 6 months and then followed by another 5 months to prevent possible relapse. Treatment showed the effect of bone marrow transplant and the patient got significant relief from leukemia with help of Ayurvedic medicines.
2. In another clinical trial titled Effectiveness of combinations of Ayurvedic drugs in alleviating drug toxicity and improving the quality of life of cancer patients treated with chemotherapy  that included a total of 67 patients with cancer scheduled to receive cancer therapy were randomly assigned for ayurvedic treatment..
Ayurvedic treatment for Cancer therapy was divided into three categories which included:
Mauktikyukta Praval Panchamruta (MPP) is an herbal formulation in the form of tablet or powder that is a combination of pravala bhasma and other bhasma. This formulation is useful in balancing vata and kapha dosha.
Mauktik Yukta Kamdudha (MKD) during and after chemotherapy, this is a mineral preparation that is to be taken under doctor supervision. This helps in treating various inflammatory conditions, and Suvarnabhasmadi (SBD)
In addition, the patients were given MKD, MPP and Suvarnabhasmadi (SBD) after chemotherapy for 16 weeks followed by observation for a total of 6 months.
Patients who received ayurvedic treatment before and after chemotherapy did show significant improvement in appetite, regular bowel movement , nausea, fatigue, Karnofsky score and overall improved quality of life.
Are there any success stories from real patients who used Ayurvedic treatment for cancer or its side effects?
Herbo-mineral ayurvedic treatment in a high risk acute promyelocytic leukemia patient with second relapse: 12 years follow up  documented a success case of 47-year-old diabetic male patient with high risk acute promyelocytic leukemia who was diagnosed with a second relapse. He did not want to undergo any further chemotherapy sessions and volunteered himself for a pilot ayurvedic study. He was treated with a proprietary Ayurvedic medicine that included Navajeevan, Keharuba Pisti and Kamadudha Rasa for one year. Treatment was continued for another five years followed by three months of intermittent Ayurvedic treatment every year. Patient was very happy to see the results as he achieved complete disease remission, with the help of ayurvedic treatment. Patient has so far completed 13 years of survival without noticing any adverse side effects.
Research: Herbo-mineral ayurvedic treatment in a high risk acute promyelocytic leukemia patient with second relapse: 12 years follow up
Cancer patient case study:Integrative oncology.  . https://www.ayurvedicscience.com/15.php.
A 72-year-old male suffering from metastasized Prostate cancer who had undergone a prostatectomy showed a relapse of cancer with increase in Prostate marker. His treatment with ayurvedic formulations included:Ashwagandha, Rentone, Co- Curcumin, Boswelya Plus, Neem Plus, and AmlaPlex.
After one year of treatment, prostate marker was reduced from 102 ng/mL to 16 ng/mL. He was counseled to follow a comprehensive diet therapy as well as lifestyle modifications such as like Yoga and breathing exercises as part of his daily regimen.
What are some of the common herbs and medicines in Ayurvedic Therapy for Cancer?
Ayurvedic herbs and plant extract have scientifically proven to prevent radiation-induced side effects such as; body and organ weight loss, reduced quality of life and mortality.
Herbal medicine focuses on whole health of the person including diet and lifestyle changes rather than treating only illness. Other medicinal treatments for cancer therapy include chinese herbal medications like acupuncture, massage therapy, herbal remedies, traditional breathing and movement exercises.
Some of the plant extracts that have been approved for possible cancer treatment include:
Taxotere, vincristine, vinblastine, topotecan, taxol, etoposide, teniposide navelbine and irinotecan.
In addition other plant derivatives that are under clinical trials include: monocrotaline, curcumol, curdione, lycobetaine and indirubin. Research also shows that more than 20-25% of anti-cancer drugs available are from plant extracts.
Commonly used herbs and medicine for treating cancer in Ayurveda therapy include: Narasimha Rasayana, Amritaprasham, Ashwagandha Rasayana, Chyavanaprasha, Brahma Rasayana, and Triphala. There are also a wide variety of Ayurvedic plants that are known to possess anti-cancer property that include Allium sativum, Cannabis sativa, Annona muricata, Bolbostemma paniculatum, Nervilia fordii, Gossypium hirsutum, Hypericum perforatum, Picrorrhiza kurroa, Camellia sinensis, Curcuma longa, Withania somnifera and berberine. Some other selected examples of the plants possessing anti-cancer property include Daphne mezereum, Oroxylum indicum, Rubia cordifolia, Nigella sativa, Picrorrhiza kurroa and many more.
Are there any Ayurvedic home remedies to help find relief after Chemo?
Ayurvedic therapies help in healing by reducing side effects and cancer-associated complications that come after and during chemotherapy treatment. Following a healthy diet can delay cancer progression or acceleration by protecting healthy cells. Recommended Ayurvedic foods and supplements include green tea, wheatgrass juice, broccoli, grapes, soybeans, myrrh, lycopene, and aloe vera. Scientific studies have been done on these to help remove harmful toxins from the body and regulate body metabolism. .
In addition to a balanced diet, Ayurveda physicians recommend avoiding certain foods and lifestyle habits that can cause vitiated doshas like (vata, pitta, kapha).
Panchakrama as an Ayurvedic therapy is highly effective to flush out toxins.Restoration of healthy digestive functions, Rejuvenation through rasayanas, performing yoga and exercise can help effectively in promoting optimal health.
Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy are subjected to a lot of side effects such as nausea, loss of appetite, reduced immunity and have low quality of life.
Ayurvedic therapies such as Panchalkarma and herbs as prescribed by a qualified Ayurveda practitioner can help mitigate not only side effects but can help achieve better quality of life. Ayurveda based solutions to enhance the quality of life patients and help them to cope better. Natural herbs and plant extracts used in Ayurveda formulations work on multiple biochemical pathways that occur in the body and help to balance the doshas that in turn helps to achieve optimal health.
1. Renu. R., Bharat. R., A case report of acute lymphoblastic leukemia - an ayurvedic approach.1. (2014). Ayurpharm International journal , Ayur Alli Sci., Vol.3, No.3., Pages 48 – 51.
2. Vineeta.D.,Arvind.K., Sudhir.B.,Tushar.P., Vijay.R., Sudha. G., Vasanti.G., Shrinivas.D.,Shweta.G., Sadanand.S., Effectiveness of combinations of Ayurvedic drugs in alleviating drug toxicity and improving quality of life of cancer patients treated with chemotherapy.2 (2014).
3. Balendu. P., Purvish. M., Parikh., Sanjoy K. P. Herbo-mineral ayurvedic treatment in a high risk acute promyelocytic leukemia patient with second relapse: 12 years follow up.3 (2010). J Ayurveda Integr Med. Jul-Sep; 1(3): 215–218.
4. Cancer patient case study:Integrative oncology.4. https://www.ayurvedicscience.com/15.php.
5. Kashinath.M., Praerna. C., Hemant. B., Prasad S .K., Ayurveda for chemo-radiotherapy induced side effects in cancer patients(2014).5 Journal of stem cells 8(2):115-29.
6. Paramasivan.P., Efferth.T., Ayurveda for Cancer Treatment (2016).6 Med Aromat Plants. 5:5
7. Roopesh. J., Susmit. K., Archana.T., Ayurveda and cancer.(2010).7. Pharmacognosy Res. 2(6): 393–394.
10. doi: 10.1016/j.apjtm.2017.08.009
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