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What are the Benefits of Ayurveda for Cancer?

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  • Written By: Marjorie McAtee
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 07 December 2016
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Ayurveda for cancer typically takes into account the patient's physical constitution when determining the dietary and lifestyle changes that can help treat the patient's cancer. Ayurveda is believed to be an ancient system of medicine that originated in India. Ayurvedic treatments remain popular today in many nations, and they are often accepted as alternative therapies that can complement Western cancer treatments. Ayurveda for cancer generally helps to support the patient's overall state of health, and can help support antioxidant activity within the body. Patients who wish to try ayurveda for cancer treatment are generally advised to do so under the supervision of a physician, as these treatments may be most effective as a complement to traditional Western treatments.

Alternative cancer treatments can be of great benefit to patients struggling with cancer. Ayurveda often proposes cancer treatments that generally focus on dietary changes, herbal remedies, and lifestyle changes, like meditation, to support good health. The ayurvedic system bases most of its treatments on the theory that there are three doshas, or types of physical constitutions, known as vata, pitta, and kapha. Each dosha is typically related to one or more natural elements, such as earth, fire, or water. Each person is said to display the physical characteristics of the elements associated with his dosha.

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Practitioners of ayurvedic medicine generally adjust their cancer treatment recommendations according to each individual patient's physical constitution. Some patients may have mixed doshas. These patients are believed to have more complex constitutions that display characteristics of multiple natural elements. Other patients may have only one dosha. Cancer treatments used in Western medicine, such as chemotherapy, can alter a patient's constitutional needs. Practitioners of ayurveda may adjust their treatment recommendations, to allow ayurvedic treatment to work more harmoniously with Western treatments.

The use of ayurveda for cancer treatment is said to benefit patients both mentally and physically. Ayurvedic dietary recommendations, herbal supplements, and lifestyle practices are believed to help the patient enjoy an optimum state of health while undergoing cancer treatment. Maintaining good health with diet, nutrition, exercise, and stress-management practices can help improve the efficacy of cancer treatments. Ayurveda for cancer also recommends such therapies as hyperthermia, generally through the use of hot steam baths, to help cleanse the body of toxins and support the action of antioxidants against cancer. Practitioners often recommend massage therapy for the same purpose, and point out that such therapy can also promote mental stability.

Like other types of holistic medicine, ayurveda typically considers the patient's mental and emotional state as well as his physical state. Meditation techniques are generally encouraged, for instance, to help reduce stress and the physical effects of stress.

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