What is a brain tumour?
A brain tumour is the abnormal, uncontrolled growth of cells that make up brain tissue, which may lead to the formation of a tumour. Brain tumours rarely spread to other areas of the body. Brain tumours are categorised in two groups, primary brain tumours and metastatic brain tumours.
Brain tumours are categorised depending on where the tumour began, the growth pattern, and if the tumour is benign or cancerous. Brain tumours are also graded depending on the degree of malignancy and how likely it is to continue to grow and spread. Brain tumours can be either malignant or benign. Malignant brain tumours are also known as brain cancer.
Primary brain tumours
A tumour that begins in the brain is called a primary brain tumour, and can be grouped into benign and malignant tumour categories.
A benign tumour is a group of cells that grow very slowly, which usually have very distinct borders that rarely spread. Treatments for benign tumours are often very effective.
Malignant brain tumours tend to vary in both the way they grow and the way they respond to treatments. Some malignant brain tumours are contained within a capsule and are fairly easy to remove while other brain tumours have long, thin filaments that are spread throughout the brain, like plant roots.
Secondary brain tumours
A brain tumour that begins as cancer in another part of the body and spreads to the brain is called a secondary or metastatic brain tumours. Metastatic brain tumours tend to be malignant as they begin as cancer in other parts of the body. Metastatic brain tumours most commonly start in the breast, lungs, skin, or colon.
What causes brain tumours?
The cause of brain tumours and cancer is not known. A tumour that originates in the brain is a primary brain tumour, however if a tumour migrates from another area of the body, it is known as a secondary brain tumour.
Some of the risk factors for brain cancer are:
- Family history of tumours
- Exposure to vinyl chloride
- Medical history of tumours
- Exposure to radiation on the head
Brain tumour symptoms
The symptoms associated with brain tumours and cancer only tend to show up later in the disease when cancerous cells have collected in a large mass. These cells can push against the brain and damage it. Different symptoms may be associated with different types of brain tumour, and can include:
- Projectile vomiting
- Coordination problems
- Numbness of the body
- Trouble concentrating
- Severe headaches, with nausea and vomiting
- Visions problems i.e. blurred, hazy
Other symptoms or side-effects that are experienced may be caused by treatments used to manage the tumours.
How can Ayurveda help with a brain tumour?
Ayurveda is an ancient Indian medical system that uses herbal remedies to help treat various conditions. Ayurveda may be used to help treat brain tumours by stopping the growth of abnormal cells and helping to regenerate healthy cells. Ayurvedic herbs can also help to relieve pain and anxiety during later stages of brain tumours.
Ayurvedic herbs that can help brain tumours
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb with multiple benefits for the whole body. This herb may be used to help support the brain due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Curcumin (Curcuma longa)
Curcumin is widely used in Ayurveda to help in cases of cancer due to its rich medicinal properties. Curcumin may be helpful in treating malignant cancer. The antioxidant present in this herb may help to boost the body’s health and immune system.
Giloy may be able to naturally improve the body’s immune system. This herb may also be able to help with the management of a calcium deficiency, maintain homeostasis, and prevent diseases.
Guggul (Commiphora mukul)
Guggul is a highly potent Ayurvedic herb with rejuvenating properties. This herb may be able to revitalise and rejuvenate cells in the body. Guggul is used in many different health tonics because of its purifying properties, and are especially useful for those with low haemoglobin or anaemia.
Guggul may be useful in treating a variety of different health conditions. Guggul may be able to indirectly protect the heart from atherosclerosis or a build-up of plaque in the arteries due to the affects it has on triglyceride and cholesterol. This property of guggul may help in preventing the oxidation of cholesterol and control the hardening of the arteries. This herb may also be beneficial for treating hyperthyroid related disorders, promoting metabolism, and aiding in weight loss.
Tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum)
Tulsi is used in various herbal teas and products due to its strong aroma, and may be beneficial for treating problems in the throat and chest. Tulsi has antioxidant properties and may be able to treat common maladies such as headaches, the common cold, and the flu. Tulsi leaves may be used in teas to relieve some symptoms of the common cold, reduce stress, and maintain overall emotional balance. The anti-inflammatory properties of this herb and may be beneficial in treating respiratory inflammations such as sinusitis and rhinitis.
Please contact our clinic to make an appointment for a natural approach to treating brain tumours.
What is Panchakarma?
Panchakarma is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘five treatments’ or ‘five actions’. Panchakarma is used to treat the root cause of a problem and aids in balancing the body’s fundamental energies (tridosha). This method may be used to help maintain overall good health as well as aid in easing disease.
It is advised to undergo Panchakarma on a seasonal basis to help improve digestion, metabolic process, and cleanse the body.
Panchakarma is made up of five steps:
Vamana (medicated vomiting)
Vamana is used to remove any of the body’s five elements (doshas) that have been impaired in the upper part of the body. A herbal emetic substance is used to induce vomiting with the purpose of eliminating impaired kapha and pitta doshas.
Virechana (medicated purgation)
Virechana is the downward elimination of impaired doshas or waste products. This treatment aims to expel impaired doshas from the stomach, small intestine, liver, and gallbladder to the gastrointestinal tract for eventual expulsion.
Vasti/Basti (medicated enema)
Basti is the main treatment used for vata disorders, however, can also be used to treat other dosha disorders as well. Many different herbs and other substances can be used to make a Basti such as milk, honey, oil, broth, salt, herbal paste, and many others.
Basti can come in two parts:
- Niruha or Asthapan vasti – also known as a decoction or cleansing enema
- Anuvasana or Sneha vasti – meaning ‘that which remains inside the body for a long time without causing harm’, and mostly consists of oil
Nasya Karma (nasal medication)
Nasya is a process used to clear the head and neck region by administering medications through the nostrils. This process may aid in the prevention of ear, nose, throat diseases, and may treat hair loss or greying hair. Nasya controls all the doshas of the head and may affect the senses and motor organs in the head.
What are the benefits of panchakarma?
The benefits of panchakarma include:
- Better functionality of digestive process
- Restoration and maintenance of health
- Improvement in functionality of sense organs
- Improved skin appearance
- Increased stamina
Panchakarma may aid in boosting the body’s rejuvenation process and immunity. Please contact our Melbourne clinic on (03) 9794 8546 for more information or to set up an appointment.