Like most of the diseases, reasons of developing cancer too remains a mystery for modern medical science but like for every disease, Ayurveda can explain the root cause of this dreaded disease too. This blog will discuss in detail about the tridoshic physiology of cancer along with a brief on the astrological aspect.
A living body thrives when there is order in it. That order which ensures that right quantity and quality of food (through blood) is reaching the right place and right quantity of it is moving forward from that place for further metabolic processes or as waste. But what if this network becomes disordered? Growth of the body (or that specific part where this disorder is) will also become disordered and haywire. From Ayurveda’s perspective, this disorder is nothing but excessively high vata (refer figure 1.2 C) because when vata goes high it results in haywire movement of blood thereby causing haywire deposition (or say growth) of kapha on the structure as depicted in figure 1.2 C. But why does this happen? To understand that we need to dig a little deeper…
*** To understand cancer precisely, one must understand the three fundamental forces of Ayurveda called as Vata, Pitta and Kapha and how different foods act on our body and mind. So please watch these three videos…
- UNDERSTANDING VATA PITTA KAPHA BY USING SIMPLE PRINCIPLES OF ELECTRICITY (VIDEO ONE)
- HOW DIFFERENT FOODS ACT ON OUR BODY (VIDEO TWO) AND (VIDEO THREE)
So, visualize a person who is very high on prana vata, which happens when enough blood does not reach the brain (because less blood means more vata). So when the brain doesn’t get enough blood, it feels low/unexcited/depressed and automatically looks for those foods that enhance blood circulation or pacify vata (even if temporarily) which are:-
- spicy foods (even sunlight) because they increase pitta and thus blood circulation and
- Sour foods because they expand the size of blood and tissues pushing more blood into the brain and
- Salty foods because again they increase blood and tissues volume (not like sour foods though) and
- Bitter foods (called as vasodilating foods since they dilate blood vessels) since such foods provide relaxation to the muscles lining our blood vessels thereby giving temporary feeling of relaxation in a high vata (stressed out) mind and
- Sweet foods which pacify vata however in sweet foods too, a mind high on prana vata craves for sugar which provides immediate energy to a highly hungry and energy deprived mind.
- Most importantly when brain becomes devoid of fresh blood, it loses its ability to differentiate between good and bad, resulting in consumption of foods not in line with current constitution and weather.
***This post is an extract from the book THE ROOT CAUSE- Ayurveda, Astrology and beyond for a blissful life”. To pick up a copy of the book, please click the link/s mentioned at the end of this post ⇓⇓⇓⇓⇓
Now if prana vata is high due to excess kapha in the body and mind leading to poor blood circulation, then pitta increasing foods will help. However if prana vata is high because either :-
- the person was born with lesser blood towards brain (congenitally high prana vata) or
- excess consumption of pitta foods has increased his vata or
- the person has been consuming excess of bitter foods either due to stress or pitta foods or environment from the childhood,
then such people are likely to get into a vicious circle of subconscious addiction. The result would be that his/her prana vata will further increase because most of the bitter foods dilate blood vessels (that’s how they provide temporary relaxation) and thus further reduce blood in the brain and increase prana vata. The result will be that person will get trapped in having more of the foods mentioned above.
So what happens if high pungency, sourness, sweetness, salt goes into that part of the body which is high on vata? Vata has already created haywire movement of prana and therefore sweet, salt and sour tastes will grow kapha in a haywire fashion (as shown in figure 1.2 c above) , which is nothing but cancer. Pungency will increase toxins because of excessively high agni and would further increase vata. Thus cancer is tridoshic meaning it involves aggravation of all three doshas.
Thus, any part of one’s body which is extremely high on vata (naturally or acquired) can become a victim of cancer due to excess of sour/sweet/salty/bitter/pungent tastes getting pushed into that part, in case one’s mind is vata ridden pulling one into the vicious circle of consuming these tastes. Thus it is not that cancer is travelling from one place to another (which modern science calls as metastasis). Rather, a person who develops cancer in any part of the body is likely to develop it elsewhere too where vata is too high and even in brain which was the triggering factor.
*** Since high vata is the one that triggers cancer, chances of people with auto-immune disorders (again a set of diseases due to high and rather vata imbalance), developing cancer have been found to be much higher.
*** Why is it said that everyone has cancer cells is because everyone has a bit of high vata in specific parts of the body vis a vis others and almost everyone in today’s world is having high prana vata (due to indiscreet use of vasodilating foods i.e. bitter ones as mentioned above) but since the extent of this vata differs from person to person depending upon his/her condition, some people develop fully blown cancer and some don’t. Since vata increases with age, chances of acquiring cancer are relatively higher in older people.
Thus what is needed to prevent this disease from happening is :-
- Wise/Scrupulous/restricted use of highly bitter (mainly vasodilating) and astringent foods like tea, coffee, onion, garlic, chocolate, beetroot, liquor and tobacco (In fact vata minds should totally avoid them) to avoid prana vata going too high and pushing the person towards excess of sour/salty/sweet/pungent foods. Apart from increasing prana vata, they also create other serious issues. YES, Astringent, bitter and cold foods are essential during summers to battle heat and keep blood towards the core (refer to blog on effect of BP medicines as these foods too are bitter like BP medicines though not as much)
- Adherence to naturally grown food so that the person gets all nutrients, not just proteins, fats and carbs but also minerals and Vitamins. Vitamin C and E act as antioxidants and don’t let free radicals (which are produced during metabolic process as side products) create havoc inside the body by neutralizing them. Absence of vitamin C and E leads to excess inflammation leading to excess production of cholesterol (to bandage the inflamed part), leading to thickening of blood (again high vata).
- Avoid junk and fried food- as they are devoid of nutrients as mentioned above.
- Avoid chemicals used in our day today life (like shampoos, soaps, detergents, perfumes) by adhering to natural ways/products since such chemicals can increase vata by blocking blood flow (even if vata has increased due to dietary reasons these chemicals get trapped inside the body due to haywire circulation adding to cancer),
- Follow the Sun-cycle – following the Sun-cycle in all respects (i.e. waking, sleeping, eating, exercising) not only helps to ensure that food gets digested properly and doesn’t produce toxins but also helps us to get Vitamin D from the early sunlight (especially during summers). Absence of Vitamin D leads to high vata in the body as calcium present in the blood is not able to metabolize without Vitamin D resulting in thickening of blood and creating plaque (that is how calcium is found in plaque).
- Avoid harsh medicines as far as possible and instead control your disease (if any) with right food by understanding your constitution and eating in line with it. High BP meds as mentioned above create imbalances in our body and increase prana vata and therefore links have been found in between high BP meds and cancer. (check blog on how Ayurveda can cure high BP). Blood thinners like statins too are carcinogenic (cancer causing) as they don’t let the body produce cholesterol which is necessary for bandaging our internal wounds. If blood is thick, understand the root cause or approach a good Ayurvedic doctor to undo it.
Prevention is definitely better than cure however we need to be ready with strategies to combat this disease if it strikes one. Going without saying that cancer is a very complex disease since it involves all three doshas and most importantly vata imbalance, undoing which is very difficult and sometimes impossible. However since it emanates from brain, the first approach in all cases of cancer should be pacify prana vata with the help of medicines like medha vati or manas mitra. Aim should be to use this medicines only for killing inertia, however it should not be overused as excess astringency, bitterness and cold potency of these meds may exceedingly increase Vata (circulation issues in the body).
Panchkarma and Yogic therapies
Since toxins are extremely high in cancer patient, they essentially need intense and continuous detoxification procedures like Panchkarma of Ayurveda.
While Panchkarma can remove toxins from the body, it cannot undo certain Vata imbalances like difference between less blood and more blood in between upper and lower body. People with cancer usually have high Vata in brain (vis-a-vis) lower body meaning less blood towards brain than lower body making them prone to excitement/enticement and selection of wrong foods/lifestyles. Therefore, after detoxification, here comes the essential role of Asanas to undo this Vata imbalance. I strongly recommend Shivananda Yoga regime for handling such imbalances. Extremely important to remember that Asanas must be performed only after detoxification process else you will be pushing toxins deeper into the brain. Goes without saying that Panchkarma and Yogasanas must be performed under the supervision of an expert.
Staying close to nature to de-stress oneself along with therapies like meditation is a great way to keep prana vata under control. Subtle pranayama like Anulom vilom will also help to increase oxygen levels and blood circulation in the body. However intense exercises (including breathing ones) should be avoided (especially during extreme summers) as they will take ama (toxins) produced due to high VPK, deeper into the peripheral tissues of the body making it more difficult to recuperate. Light walks are good to go.
*** This also implies that a cancer patient whose prana vata is as such not high, is likely to recover from cancer very easily by just making dietary changes which are mentioned below in the second approach. In such cases agni of the brain is too high only because of high pitta foods/environment (even if prana vata is not high) leading to inflammation of that area of the body which is very high on vata thereby pushing cancer. Once pitta and sour foods are brought down, the disease too recedes.
Second approach should be to take all those measures that are needed to prevent this disease from entering us as we discussed in “Preventive Strategies” section above. So, just to reiterate, these are…to reduce pitta in the body by reducing highly pungent and sour foods and introducing slightly astringent foods like pomegranate and turmeric (yes this therapy may become a problem with those who have high vata imbalance as these foods will increase vata of the peripherals leading to chronic pains). Once sourness gets reduced, acidity will automatically reduce and alkalinity will take over because sourness and pungency increase acidity. This is the reason they say that cancer thrives in acidic environment. Abstinence from refined sugar should also be the aim since refined sugar increases vata while real sweetness, which lies in wholesome foods pacifies vata. As such once prana vata pacifies, the urge to have sour, sugary, pungent, salty and bitter foods will fade away.
No doubts that if this disease is caught at a very late stage, then surgical intervention/currently available therapies like chemotherapy or radiotherapy etc. may be the only way out.
** Since as of now, modern medical science doesn’t understand the principles of VPK and how six tastes work on our body, its approach of reducing growth hormones in the body to reduce cancer growth has a catastrophic effect on the growth of the entire body leading to excessively high vata. And therefore one must never adopt the strategy of drastically reducing ones kapha through such therapies or even diet.
Being a tridoshic disease, even astrologically cancer’s analysis needs lot of angles to be checked. Astrology considers Rahu as the karaka (significator) of cancer. This is for a simple reason that Rahu represents excess of vata and pitta (in fact it is more of vata imbalance). And if one has Rahu in first or closer to first house, then the chances of person getting this disease are higher but along with other factors some of which are mentioned below.
Common Astrological factors seen in Cancer patients
While VP (Rahu) mind (being in first or close to it) excites the person to consume more enticing/toxin laden or toxin generating foods (apart from making wrong choices not in line with constitution and weather), high VP also stimulates cells and releases already stored toxins in the body out in open leading to further build up of Ama (toxins). This results in constipation (due to increase in Vata and Pitta) leading to further build up of toxins and further increase in VP, thus taking the person in a vicious circle of more and more VP and more toxin. And cancer is nothing but a lump of toxic cells/tissues which usually shows up first in that part of the body which is already high on VPK. That is why cancer surfaces mostly in the planetary period/sub period of Rahu. However, this is a just a thumb rule to explain the principle. It may also happen during Saturn (main) Mercury (sub dasha) as this period also signifies stimulation in Vata laden body.
The obvious question would be that why everyone going through Rahu period/sub period doesn’t develop cancer. This is because of two factors. One factor determines the extent of Rahu in one’s body which doesn’t depend only on placement of Rahu but also other factors especially presence of highly stimulating and airy planets in first (or sometimes second house). For example a person with Mercury and Sun that too in 3rd zodiac in first house is bound to be a very airy personality and is bound to eat/live a very Vata Pitta laden food/lifestyle which will flare up Rahu. And Rahu means snaky movement where the blood keeps changing routes due to less volume of blood but more open vessels due to stimulated mind creating more pitta due to increased peripheral circulation. All this results in haywire circulation of blood (not straight) resulting in haywire growth.
Second factor is Saturn and Jupiter conjunction. This is because this conjunction determines Vata blocking (stagnating) Kapha inside it leading to generation of toxins as anything stagnated is bound to develop toxins which during Rahu’s period/sub period will release it in the blood stream and further increase VP/toxins as mentioned above. This conjunction could be very direct with Jupiter and Saturn parked closely in the same house or aspecting each other or could be less direct with one of them aspecting the other or in other’s zodiac. Goes without saying that stronger the conjunction, more virulent is likely to be the disease.
*** Remember these combinations may be found in D1 (main birth chart) or D9 (divisional chart) or both.
*** Above factors are good enough to state that why a cancer patient needs to consume very sattvic food with only Deepan Pachan herbs which digest toxins but donot over excite the body. Also a cancer patient must go through regular enemas to flush out stored toxins in the body so that they don’t create constipation and further build up.
*** The reason that those who have cancer donot develop Alzheimer and vice versa is because cancer is excess of VP with lot of ama roaming in the system whereas Alzheimer is due to very less of Pitta.
*** Above factors are also seen in other autoimmune diseases and the only way to undo all such diseases is very wholesome, pre-digested and alkaline food accompanied by Asanas, pranayama, meditation, discipline and regular panchkarma to remove toxins from the body and also undo Vata imbalance.
*** The silver lining of Saturn Jupiter combination does give the native the ability to retain information and connect dots but this ability fades away during Rahu times.
OF COURSE FOR THAT ALL ASTROLOGERS NEED TO UNDERSTAND BASIC PRINCIPLES OF AYURVEDA BECAUSE AYURVEDA IS THE MOTHER OF ASTROLOGY (click here to know how).
**** Strongly recommend those interested in astrological aspects of cancer disease to read CASE STUDY 5 (OF A CANCER PATIENT)- ANALYZING A BIRTH CHART (KUNDLI) FROM MEDICAL PERSPECTIVE- ASTROLOGY DECODED THROUGH AYURVEDA-XII
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