Ayurveda and Cancer




Cancer is one of the most dreaded diseases of 21st century.  Approximately one in five people will develop some form of malignant cancer at some time in their life. Lung cancer being the most common form of cancer, followed by colorectal cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer.

Every day, in every person malignant cells are formed and circulate. In a healthy person these cells are destroyed by body`s immune system, but for the people with cancer, body’s ability to deal with these cells fails. Malignant cell then start to multiply out of control or invade other tissues causing the disease “CANCER”.

Ayurveda and Cancer

Classical texts have several references to cancer. “Arbuda” is the most specific terminology for cancer. “Granti” was the term often used for non-malignant tumours. They describe cancer as inflammatory and non-inflammatory swellings.

According to Ayurveda, cancer originates due to deranged metabolism and imbalance of body constituents causing faulty division of cells and improper growth. This leads to the depletion of systemic ojas or the vibrant energy.

Ancient ayurvedic physician used to diagnose cancer even at initial stages by understanding the preliminary signs and symptoms and the body’s imbalance. Treatment varied based on the nature of the patient, condition or the stage of disease and the mental strength of the person.

Ayurveda follows symptomatic anti-cancerous treatment through correction of metabolic imbalance and even immunotherapy.

Our Body-Mind-Spirit are inseparable and their harmony is the life driving force which always help create good health and encourages healing. When comes to cancer management, Ayurveda helps to bring an overall health balance, increase immunity, facilitate internal healing process and enhances recovery. Early detection and better screening plays a key role in Cancer Cure.

Healthy food habit display a much better rate of rehabilitation. Change in food habits and lifestyle, which is one of the factor for the imbalance is very much necessary, which can be the hardest part. Ayurveda focus on the nutrition or balanced diet (Pathya), when you are under cancer treatment. Warm, light and oily food is generally preferred.  There is a rich knowledge on ayurvedic classics to treat Cancer.

  • Long pepper, chitrak, calamus, turmeric, manjista are some of the healing herbs for cancer management.
  • Application of Ficus bengalensis and Saussurea lappa pacifies tumour growth on bone.
  • Habitual intake of Malabar spinach or Basella rubra was advised in malignant tumour.
  • A classical recipe Yavani Takra, fermented buttermilk prepared with seeds of Henbane/ Hyoscyamus niger is advised in the treatment of Cancer. Today the researches are on-going in relation to the Henbane effect in reducing prostate cancer.

Ancient way of treating Benign tumours

Proper purification therapies and panchakarma is employed initially to remove the vitiated body constituents. Then the herbs like  helleborus, guduchi, kusta, arjuna, bilwa are used for local application on the tumour. The tumours ripen and sometimes removed by it or by surgical means. Cauterization, leech therapy, alkaline therapy was also performed based on the nature of tumour and the area of occurrence. Wound is then washed with herbs and initiates healing by herbal decotions.

Ancient way of treating Malignant tumour

When herbal medicine fails or in advanced stages surgical treatment  was followed. Initially fomentation and cleansing  was done, then  external application of warm herbs to liquefy the contents of swelling.  Surgery was then performed by opening the malignant tumour to remove the contents and clear from its root. Further then cauterization is done to avoid the reoccurrence. Wound is then sutured and plastered with healing herbs. Proper post-operative care is given for wound healing.

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