Cancer is a disease characterized by the uncontrollable division of abnormal cells. This division can start in almost any part of the body, and may spread to surrounding areas via the blood (rakta vaha srotas) and lymph (rasa vaha srotas). In many types of cancer, these rapidly dividing cells accumulate and form a mass or tumor. In Ayurveda, Cancer is a tridoshic disorder provoked by toxins (ama), with Kapha primarily involved in the formation and growth of a tumor.
Cancers tend to form where tissues are irritated and new cells are constantly regenerated to repair tissue (Kapha). Eventually, these cells become renegade and continue growing out of control (Pitta). In cancer, there is a breakdown of communication between the cells and the rest of the body (Tejo-Dushti). The cancer slowly "learns" how to evade the immune system. It figures out how to stimulate the growth of blood vessels in the tumor and feed itself. The aggressive nature of cancer can use up all metabolic energies of the body. This eventually depletes the body and displaces proper organ function (Vata, Ojo-Kshaya).
Ayurvedic Treatment of Cancer
Traditionally, Ayurvedic addresses cancer according to the specific doshas and imbalances of the individual. It is recommended to follow a diet that works for your unique body type (dosha). An Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle also offers a preventative approach by taking the health of the whole body into account.
As a general rule of thumb, Ayurveda addresses the root of cancer by cleansing ama, balancing blood chemistry, and supporting healthy agni. It is recommended to seek medical treatment for all forms of cancer. Ayurveda is not a substitute for medical care.
As a general rule of thumb, Ayurveda begins by cleansing toxins (ama), removing the source of irritation and any obstruction that would prevent the immune system from recognizing and destroying the cancer. Irritants can include:
Exposure to environmental toxins, pollutants, or chemical exposure
An imbalanced diet or lifestyle
Eating food with preservatives, GMO, or chemical additives
Buildup of toxins from normal bodily processes and/or stagnation
Inflammation due to parasites, infection, injury, or other disorders
Anything that irritates any part of your body
Anti Cancer Diet
Avoid food that causes gas, as this leads to ama formation. Gas is a sign of fermentation by bacteria and greatly increases ama formation due to bacterial endotoxins. Keep the bowels clean to minimize ama. The 5 cleansing therapies of Ayurveda (Panchakarma) may be recommended to cleanse ama from deep tissues. Throughout these cleansing therapies, it is important to maintain a healthy weight. Weight loss leads to poor cancer prognosis.
Generally, avoid very sweet (high glycemic) foods such as refined sugar, corn syrup, refined flour, etc. These will feed the cancer. Avoid foods with free radicals, such as burnt or charred foods. Avoid inflammatory foods such as alcohol. Reduce meat consumption to healthy levels. In summary, avoid
Foods that give you gas
High glycemic foods - White flour, refined sugar
Barbecue / charred / burnt foods
Too much meat
Inflammatory foods such as alcohol
Alteratives may help balance blood chemistry. Antioxidants can help consume DNA destroying free radicals. Alkalizing foods have been touted as beneficial to cancer. A common anti-cancer diet favors:
Fresh, green, clean, colorful foods
Alteratives - Pomegranate, Aloe vera, Apple cider vinegar, Lemon
Antioxidants - Especially red, blue, & purple berries
Bitters - Especially dandelion root, gobo root, kale, cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower
Fresh Turmeric root, Fresh Ginger, Raw Garlic
Black Pepper, Oregano
Lifestyle Approaches to Cancer
Minimize stress as this depresses immunity. From the Ayurvedic perspective, cancer is considered to be the opposite of an autoimmune disorder. Improving immunity, such as with elderberry flowers, may be supportive.
Do not massage the area of the cancer as this can lead to metastasizing. Gentle stretching, and breathing techniques restores healthy blood flow which can cleanse ama. Kapha individuals should minimize stagnation - as this creates a buildup of ama.
Mental and spiritual health can greatly contribute to overall well-being - supporting your body in its efforts to control the cancer. In cancer, the cells of your body no longer identify with the whole. On a mystical level, therefore, cancer represents an identity crisis - losing a sense of yourself.
For Kaphas, it may be helpful to reignite a sense of mission and purpose. Pittas may need to focus more on their personal life and less on mission and purpose. Vata individuals may simply need to slow down and nurture themselves. Either way, cancer is a wake up call to ask, "Who am I, really?"
Support During and After Radiation & Chemotherapy
Ayurveda may help strengthen the body during and after radiation and chemotherapy. It can play a decisive role in rebuilding strength, especially digestive strength (agni), after cancer treatments.
Please check with your medical doctor before making any changes to your health & wellness plan.
Disclaimer: 'Cancer' could be serious and should be checked by a medical doctor.
Augment your diet with these specially chosen ingredients below which may be useful for 'Cancer'.
Individual results vary depending the cause of your imbalance and by constitution.
Please research the ingredients below to find which are most helpful for you, and check with your doctor before making any changes to your health and wellness routine.
DISCLAIMER: The pathogenesis of each person's condition is unique, and so the diet must be fit to the individual and the unique root causes of the condition in your body.
The information on this page is for educational purposes only and should not be used to treat a medical condition. It is not a substitute for medical care.
Please check with your doctor before making any changes to your health and wellness routine.
HOW DOES AYURVEDA HEAL 'CANCER'?
AVOID DIETS, LIFESTYLES & HERBS THAT AGGRAVATE THESE EFFECTS
According to Ayurveda, one or more of the following
and biocharacteristics may aggravate 'Cancer'.
If you have an excess of one of these doshas or biocharacteristics below, Ayurveda recommends reducing foods and lifestyle habits that aggravate them.
Click on the biocharacteristic to learn what foods and
lifestyle habits should be reduced.
Symptoms Tell A Story
The first step to healing is learning patterns from your symptoms.
Symptoms are clues that reveal underlying imbalances.
Symptoms show you where your body is weakened.
Ultimately, all disease has a root in tissues too weak to defend itself.
Ayurveda describes these patterns of weakness using doshas & biocharacteristics.
If you notice a biocharacteristic or dosha appears next to many of your symptoms,
it helps you establish a pattern that may be systemic.
FAVOR DIETS, LIFESTYLES & HERBS WITH THESE MEDICINAL EFFECTS
Everything you eat has an effect on your body, which Ayurveda categorizes in a simple and easy way, using biocharacteristics (gunas).
Biocharacteristics are qualities (like cold and hot) that describe the effect a food or herb has on your body.
Cooling foods like cucumber, decrease metabolism.
Heating foods like chili pepper, stimulate your body and increase metabolism.
For 'Cancer', you should select foods with the following biocharacteristics.
Individual results will vary, based on your body type and the root cause of your imbalance.
FOODS TO FAVOR
CONDITION IN YOUR BODY
ABOUT CLEAR BIOCHARACTERISTIC
Clear refers to anything that cleanses or flushes out wastes, or that digests ama.
Literally, an herb that restores the proper function of the body. In practice, alteratives are usually blood cleansers and blood chemistry balancers. They were traditionally used to revitalize and detoxify after a long winter.
If you have symptoms in this category it means your imbalances have overwhelmed your body's resistance causing a full-fledged disease.
Once imbalance reaches this stage it is more likely to cause acute or chronic conditions.
You might be tempted to focus your attention on fighting symptoms in this category, but dismiss earlier warning signs of imbalance - i.e. symptoms in the stage 1 category.
It is ideal to find and address the root causes weakening your system and remove them first.
This ensures you are not adding fuel to the fire of disease.
Once the root causes are removed, you can work on addressing the disease head on along with strengthening your body.
This typically yields a quicker recovery and prevents recurrence.
Ayurveda's preventative approach suggests you pay careful attention to every stage of disease development.
REDUCE THESE RELATED SYMPTOMS & HABITS
The following symptoms & habits may be related to 'Cancer'.
See your quiz results for a computerized assessment of your body type.
Please click on the symptoms below to learn more about them.
Biocharacteristics of the 1,357 People Reporting Cancer
On average the biocharacteristics
of people reporting Cancer were less aggravated than 90% of other symptoms.
From the 1,357 people who reported Cancer in this research study of 74,671 individuals,
average deviation in biocharacteristic levels were the following:
Ayurveda strengthens the body, in addition to addressing the disorder. It take a holistic,
systemic approach, instead of focusing only on the disorder in question. Ayurveda
shows a person how to interpret signs and symptoms of imbalance, and how to address them
using materials from home, so they can optimize their health on a continual basis. You can't
take the doctor home with you, but you can take Ayurveda home with you.
Ayurveda is the most advanced and easy to use home system for self healing with an
exceptional focus on digestion.
HOW DOES AYURVEDA WORK?
Ayurveda starts by identifying your body type,
which identifies certain tendencies in your body to get sick (as well as identifying your strengths).
It uses body type to determine the likely root causes of your disorders.
Next, Ayurveda analyzes the nature of your disorder.
It fits all your signs and symptoms into a pattern, expressed as a combination of biocharaceristics (gunas).
For example, you may have a heat disorder, a cold disorder, or an oily disorder, etc.
This simple categorical approach shows you how to correct systemic imbalances and strengthen your body as a whole.
On Joyful Belly, we've created an extensive categorization of food so you can easily match food to your imbalanced biocharacteristics.
By eating an optimal diet that balances your biocharacteristics, your whole body is strengthened
and the conditions that created the disorder are removed. Once the root causes of the disease
are removed, the disease lessens in strength or disappears altogether. Additional remedies -
such as herbs and lifestyle practices - focused on the specific disorder, can greatly enhance
To get started on your Ayurvedic journey, we first recommend that your find your body
type by taking our free quiz. In Ayurveda, every solution is based on your unique body type, so
by taking this quiz, you’ll get the best results.
John Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a
healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda.
His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful.
John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda
, which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition.
John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.
John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia.
John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion.
John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing.
In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots,
and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church.
Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick.
That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.