This article is written by Dr. MS Krishnamurthy MD (Ayu), PhD (Ayu).
Cancer is a burning problem nowadays. The disease is more common in developed and developing countries than the undeveloped nations. It determines one strong point that modern lifestyle and food habits have direct impact over the occurrence of this illness. It does not mean that the disease was not prevalent in olden times. Because, age old Ayurveda system of medicine refers in detail regarding the name Arbuda or Karkatarbuda. Close review of the etiological factors and clinical manifestation help us to co-relate arbuda with cancerous growths.
Table of Contents
Origin and common factors of Cancer
According to Acharya Sushruta, the father of surgery, the aggravated Doshas are accumulated in a particular localised area of the body. There, they cause excess aberration in muscular tissues (mamsa pradooshana) and hence in the area, circular-stable-mild painful-larger-broad based-non suppurative growths are caused which are gradually maturing in nature. Such muscular growths will have broader (wider) base and often the base (site of origin) is not visible too. Such abnormal, prominent growths are termed as cancerous mass(Arbuda)
गात्रदेशे क्वचिदेव दोषा: सम्मूर्च्छिता मांसं अभिप्रदूष्य ।
वृत्तं स्थिरं मन्दरूजं महान्तं अनल्पमूलंचिरवृध्दिमपाकम् ॥
कुर्वन्ति मांसोच्छ्रायं अत्यगाधं तदर्बुदं शस्त्रविदो वदन्ति ॥ (सु.नि. )
Based upon the dominance of doshic factor and tissues involved, they are classified as-
1. Vataja arbuda
2. Pittaja arbuda
3. Kaphaja arbuda
6. Medo arbuda
Vitiated doshas occupy the blood (rakta) and vessels (sira). There, they compress and contract the localised area and hence an elevated bigger muscular tumour is developed. This growth often bleeds from its periphery by mere touch or abrasion. Such a condition is called Raktarbuda. This gives rise to severe emaciation and chronic anaemia.
Constant trauma or damage in any muscular part of the body leads to vitiation of localised area. Further, these tissues undergo instant transformation and quick multiplication of abnormal cells result into a tumour. This is usually painless, unctuous, vivid coloured, non suppurative, palpated like stone and stable in nature. This is caused usually in non vegetarians and such a condition (mamsarbuda) is incurable.
If such a growth is observed over the adipose tissues, it is termed as Medo arbuda.
Adhyarbuda (quickly multiplying tumours/metastasis)
If the above said varieties of tumours (benign tumour) begin to spread (disseminate) to the nearby area and hence extend the pathology there also, the condition is called Adhyarbuda.
It is actually the metastasis or malignant condition of the tumours. This is considered to be incurable.
Non-suppuration of Arbuda
Acharya Sushruta points out the reasons to non suppuration of tissues as below-
त पाकं आयांति कफाधिकत्वात् मेदोऽधिकत्वात् च विशेषतस्तु ।
दोषस्थिरत्वात् ग्रथनात् च तेषां सर्वार्बुदान् एव निसर्गत्स्तु ॥ (सु.नि ११/२१)
Due to the predominance of kapha (phlegm) and medas (adipose tissue), aggravation of doshas altogether in major amount, non-vulnerable tumour formation and natural tendency of the cell duplication, the arbuda (metastasis) does not undergo suppuration.
Management of Arbuda as per Ayurveda:
Acharya Charaka denotes that the metastasis should be treated as like the cysts or abscesses, as they have similar site of origin, aetiology, characteristic features, dosha and dooshya(tissues). The efforts should be carried to mature the growth (if possible) and later cautery is carried.
Line of treatment
Acharya Sushruta specified the following line of treatment in cancerous growths:
1. Vatic cancerous growths
a. Mild sudation
b. Oil swab application by bitter oils
c. Blood letting
2. Paittic cancerous growths
a. Mild sudation
c. Scraping by the leaves of teak
d. Application of medicated paste of Aragwadha (Cassia fistula), Gojihwa (Onosma bracteatum Wall. ), Trivrit(Operculina turpathum (Linn.) Silva Manso.) etc
3. Kaphaja cancerous growth
c. Blood letting
d. Medicinal application- Fine paste of langali(Gloriosa superba), karavira(Nerium indicum) etc
e. Application of alkali, cautery and surgery (if very essential)
Single drugs for cancer
Single drugs useful in Cancer treatment
Devadaru – Cedrus deodara (Roxb.) Loud.
Aragwadha – Cassia fistula Linn.
Trivrit – Operculina turpathum (Linn.) Silva Manso.
Karanja – Pongamia pinnata (L.) Pierre.
Madanaphala – Catunaragum spinosa (Thunb.) Trivengadum.
Langali – Gloriosa superb Linn.
Karavira – Nerium indicum Mill.
Haridra – Curcuma longa Linn.
Tankana – Borax(Sodium borate)
Kshara – Alkalis
Formulation useful for Cancerous growth:
- Arogyavardhini vati
- Triphala guggulu
- Panchatikta ghanavati
- Guduchi satwa
- Bhadradarvadi kashaya
- Gojihwadi kashaya
- Aragwadhadi kashaya
- Shivakshara pachana choorna
- Pancha valkala kwatha etc
Medicines from Sahasra yoga Text book
Panchatiktaka guggulu ghrita
Wholesome diet and habits
- Light food
- Cow’s milk
- Supernatant part of curd or buttermilk
- Liquid diet
- Red rice
- Green gram soup
- Cow’s urine
- Organic food (chemical free food)
Unwholesome diet and habits
- Heavy food
- Spicy food
- Penetrative food
- Non vegetarian diet
- Fried and oily food
- Fatty food
- Junk food etc.
Pathya – apathya according to yogaratnakara
Wholesome herbs, diet and habits
Old ghee, old red rice,barley, green gram, pointed gourd, red variety of drumstick, bitter gourd, dry, pungent and carminative substances, guggul, asphaltum etc.
Unwholesome herbs, diet and habits
Milk and milk products, sugarcane juice and its products, meat of animals of marshy lands, food items prepared from flour, sour, sweet, heavy to digest foods and foods that cause obstruction in the channel of circulation etc.
Dear readers of easyayurvedic.com, it is indeed very pitiable to see increasing number of cancer patients now a days. Proper awareness about the healthy food habits, emphasis towards the natural and organic food, avoidance of spicy, oily, fried and junk food will surely help to prevent from the disease. One should be away from chemicals, synthetic substances, corrosives, irritants, narcotics etc. Or else, the suffers should take care of their food and habits with caution.