By R.K. Bhatnagar
Cancer the dreaded disease caused by malignant tumor from uncontrolled growth in tissues with tendency to spread and recur again when removed has several manifestations. This disease has engulfed the entire mankind with little hope of cure. Some individual cases of success do appear from time to time but permanent cure is alluding the scientists. In many countries more than a quarter of the deaths reported are attributable to cancer. According to WHO report, 6.2 million people died of cancer in 2000. Global cancer deaths could further increase by 50 per cent to 15 million by 2020.
Nearly, 50 per cent cancer cases are thought to be avoidable simply by stopping the use of tobacco and tobacco products, eliminating excessive alcoholic beverages, eating more fruits and vegetable based diets, regular exercises to become more slim and fit and reducing /eliminating exposures to chemicals. Pesticides and insecticides used by farmers are among the major causes of cancer deaths in some parts of Punjab. Vegetable, water, blood and urine samples revealed the presence of a deadly concoction of heavy metals like selenium, arsenic and mercury, besides pesticides like heptachlor, ethion and chloropyrifos.
In this backdrop a ray of hope has emerged when a number of Ayurveda physicians claimed that Ayurveda possesses ?definitive cure for cancer?. A young Ayurveda physician Dr Rajiv Varma said that a large number of cancer patients including blood cancer patients under his treatment have been cured of the ?dreaded disease?. A patient in Rishikesh near Hardwar was responding ?very positively? to the herbal medicines developed by him . Dr Rajiv Varma together with Dr Balendu Shukla Ayurvedic physician to former president helped in setting up of a Regional Cancer Centre at Thiruvanthpuram. To begin with 29 patients were selected to undergo Ayurvedic treatment for various cancers. The diseases covered included acute promyleocytic, leukaemia, acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, multiple myloma, non-hodgkins lymphoma, cancer of urinary bladder, chronic pancreatitis, chronic hepatitis, ischemic heart diseases and childhood asthma. Earlier in a study on 16 patients suffering from acute promyelocytic leukaemia at the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi, Dr Shukla completed 90 days treatment and showed complete remission after the treatment, none of them showed any side effects. Ayurveda is the old traditional system of Indian medicine. It is popular in all the nooks and corners of India from Kerala to Kashmir because of its effectiveness in treating some of the chronic diseases from the root cause for which other systems have little or no cure. Further, the consumption of Ayurvedic formulations do not have any side effects.
These herbal compounds improve the digestive, assimilative process and act as immunomodulators, which are considered to be key to successful treatment.
Ayurveda has formulated some general compounds from single herbs which are beneficial in all types of cancer. These herbal compounds improve the digestive, assimilative process and act as immunomodulators which are considered to be key to successful treatment. Ayurvedic formulations target the tumour, metastasis, growths, lymphs nodes, where physicians prescribe immunomodulators and blood cleansing herbs like sariva (Hemidesmus indicus), bhallatak (Semicarpus anacardium), tumeric (curcurma longa), sadabahar (Lochnera rosea), India podophyllum (Podophyllum hexandrum), detailed in Charaka, Sushruta and Jaghbhatta samhitas. It is emphasised that if proper cleaning of the system is done through prescribed panchkarma purifying techniques, it takes little time for the herbs to act on the target cells and its structure. Early rising in the morning and doing light exercises and pranayama (breathing techniques) is advised. For bowels to function properly whole wheat porridge, high fibre diet, consumption of well and freshly cooked food advised and at the same time refined flour, polished rice added flavour and preservatives should be avoided. The Ayurvedic formulations to treat cancer are made of herbs with detoxifying, free radicals scavenging and antioxidant properties.
As far as the casts are concerned, Ayurvedic treatment is within the reach of the common man. It advises prevention and precautions after examination of prakriti (consump-tion), kala (season), bala (power). The constitution of each human being is different. Some have more resistance power and others less. Warning signals like bleeding per vagina/rectum/urethra, a non or delayed healing sore, breast lump, persistent cough, indigestion, white patches in the mouth do appear and need to be tackled with full vigour, assisted by the inner strength of the patient and outside help from the medicines. Ayurveda does not believe in pain killers but wants to pull out the disease from the grass root level. The warning signal of utmost importance include:
- a delayed or non-healing ulcer: In this the cause should be identified and treated with healing promoting herbs like khadir (acacia catachu), medicated clarified butter, triphala gugulu (a combination of three myrobalans with commiphora mukul), daruharidra ghansatva (berbris aristata).
- indigestion and loss of digestive fibre: Appetite stimulants have been found effective like saunf (foeniculum vulgare), ginger (zingeber officinalis), chitraka (plumbago zeylanicum), mustak (cyperus rotundas) pippali (piperlongum), etc.
- bleeding: Could be relieved with herbs like Lodhra (symplocos racemosus).
- persistent cough: Madhuyashti (glycyrrhiza glabra) facilitates easy expectoration, vasa (adhatoda vasica) clears air passage, pippali (piper longum), haridra (curcuma longa), sirish (albizzia lebbeka) tackles allergic and persistent cough and is very effective in carcinoma of lungs.
- lump in the breast: Should be well treated with smear of leaves over breast lump or using like poultice with medicated ghee made of eranda (ricus communis), nirgundi (vitex nirgundi), shigru (moringa olifera) and other poultices of anti inflammatory properties.
- white patch in the mouth: Herbs like khadir (acacia catechu), madhuyashti (glycyrrhiza glabra) are very much helpful in curtailing the disease process.
And in general some immunomodulators herbs like amrita (tinospora cordifolia), brahmi (bacopa monnieri), mustak (cyperus rotundas), ashwgandha (withania somnifera), bala (sida cordifolia) should be used.
(The writer can be contacted at 6 Maitri Apartments, A-3, Paschim Vihar, New Delhi-110063. Phone:25253434/Mob: 9810645736)