Cancer cells, lacking oxygen (prana), represent a growth in the body outside the rule of the life-force.
In Ayurveda, cancer is a disease that often involves all three bodily humours (Vata, Pitta, Kapha), though it typically starts with a predominance of one. When an individuals digestive fire or enzyme reserves are low, allowing a build-up of toxic substances, this can create an environment for cancer to grow. Cancer represents a negative life-energy, something like a micro-organism, which has become established in the body.
Cancer has numerous causes including our toxic environment, denatured and processed foods, sedentary lifestyle, and lack of spiritual purpose or effort in life. Its most common basis is suppressed emotion or emotional stagnation, which causes accumulation of toxic material.
As many may be aware cancer, at one time, was not prevalent in North America and was considered a disease of old age. Cancer now afflicts almost one in two of all adults. Yes, we do have better diagnostic methods which may account for part of the statistical increase in cancer cases, however, the fact is these numbers keep growing. Perhaps the time has come to give more energy and money to preventative measures and educating people on ways to live healthier lives.
A Natural Preventative Approach
Foods which are full of life-force (prana) include those which are whole, fresh, sun-ripened, enzyme-rich, alkalizing, organic and are plant-based.
Eat low glycemic foods that have a low sugar content.
Avoid refined flour products.
Eat dark green leafy vegetables, especially foods that are in the cabbage family such as kale, collards, etc.
Foods which have a wonderful rejuvenative ability are fresh foods, such as sprouts, baby greens, wild greens, and enzyme-rich foods.
Enzymes are destroyed at temperatures above 118 F, therefore, prevent high cooking temperatures
Sea vegetables and algae have powerful rejuvenative properties.
Its not just what you eat that counts but also what you avoid. Avoid saturated animal fats, hydrogenated fats, heated oils, or fried foods.
Do regular rejuvenation and purification practices such as fasting, liver and gall-bladder flushes, etc. Discover your unique body-mind constitution and use herbs, spices and foods according to your unique individual needs.
Develop the capacity to listen to the signals your body is giving you. Your body is always speaking to you giving clues as to how balanced or imbalanced it is.
Spend time on a daily basis to simply be still and connect with your emotional realm. Dont let emotions build up. Journaling is a useful way of moving stuck emotions. Talk with a friend or therapist, learn good communication skill, and practice the art of gratitude. However, you do it, keep those emotional energies moving.
Exercise on a daily basis. Have a program that includes aerobic exercise, stretching, strengthening, breath work and meditation.
A Constitutional Preventative Approach
Vata Type Cancer (Vata means like ‘wind or ‘that which moves things):
In most cases, this type of cancer involves constricting emotional factors such as depression, fear and anxiety. The large intestines are a common Vata type. Common symptoms: skin appears grayish, brown or dusky in colour. Constipation and distention are high Vata symptoms.
Pitta Type Cancer (Pitta means like ‘fire or that which digests):
In most cases, this type of cancer involves fiery emotional factors such as anger, hatred or resentment. The skin, eye and liver are common Pitta types. Common symptoms: tumours become inflamed, infected and associated with burning sensation or bleeding.
Kapha Type Cancer (Kapha means like ‘water or ‘that which holds things together):
In most cases, this type of cancer involves emotional factors which result in excess sleep, congestion and involves fatigue. The lung or breast cancers are a common Kapha type. Common symptoms: a sluggish and often overweight body appears first, which may lead to benign tumours and over time may become malignant.
Constitutional Herbal Protocols:
Vata Cancer Preventive Herbs
• Colon cleansing herbs or antispasmodic: Triphala, asafoetida, skullcap
• Adaptogenic herbs or nervine tonics: Ashwagandha, Siberian Ginseng, basil, mugwort
Pitta Cancer Preventive Herbs
• Powerful alterative or blood-cleansing herbs: turmeric, yellow dock, burdock root, red clover
• Circulating stimulants or blood-moving herbs: liver hepatic and bitter herbs, milk thistle, gentian
Kapha Cancer Preventive Herbs
• Immune strengthening tonics: cleavers, echinacea
• Expectorant or phlegm-dispelling herbs: Trikatu, black pepper, ginger, cayenne, cardamom
A preventative approach to cancer can be put quite simply; the more we live in harmony with the natural laws of life, the more we are taking in the life-enhancing gifts of nature. Cancer is a sign that our internal environment is disconnected to the external environment. By keeping our internal environment harmonious, prevents the cancer cells taking hold. Prevention is the key.
Wishing you all a wonderful internal gardening season. We are all internal gardeners. May this be your most abundant and joyful gardening season.
Shantree Kacera RH., D.N., Ph.D.