What is prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells of the prostate that form a tumour. The tumours tend to be slow growing but aggressive in nature. Most prostate cancers begin in other parts of the body and spread to parts of the male reproductive system, lymph nodes, and the bones. Prostate cancer usually affects men over the age of 40, but can also affect those in younger age groups.
What causes prostate cancer?
There is no known cause of prostate cancer but there are some factors that can contribute to the abnormal tumour growth. Some of the factors that may contribute to prostate cancer are:
- Genetic causes
- Presence of an STI
- Unprotected sexual activities
- Certain medicines
- Viral factors
Prostate cancer symptoms
The symptoms of prostate cancer do not tend to present until the later stages of the disease. The symptoms of prostate cancer are very similar to those of hyperplasia of the prostate. The symptoms are:
- Painful erections
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Involuntary passing of urine
- Incomplete urge to pass urine
- Painful ejaculation
- Painful intercourse
- Blood in urine or semen
- Dribbling of urine
- Pain in testicles
- Chronic pain in back and hips
- Fever in case of infections
How can Ayurveda help treat prostate cancer?
Ayurveda in an ancient Indian medical system that uses herbs to formulate herbal remedies to improve the body’s immunity and provide strength. The herbs used in Ayurveda to treat prostate cancer help to reduce the growth of abnormal cells and regenerate healthy cell production. Herbs may be used in the later stages of prostate cancer to help relieve anxiety and pain.
Ayurvedic herbs that may help with prostate cancer
Shilajit is a popular Ayurvedic herb and is mainly used for the effects it can have on the male libido, and to improve vigour and stamina. This herb may improve mental and physical stresses. Using shilajit may be able to increase fertility rates and sperm count.
Guggul (Commiphora mukul)
Guggul has rejuvenating properties and may help to revitalise and rejuvenate cells. Guggul is used in those who are anaemic or have low haemoglobin levels. This herb may have an effect on triglyceride and cholesterol levels, and may be able to prevent hardening of the arteries.
Curcumin (Curcuma longa)
Curcumin is a widely used herb in Ayurveda when treating prostate cancer. The antioxidants in this herb may help to improve immunity and may be used to help diabetic patients. Curcumin is also used in Chinese medicine to help treat liver and digestive related disease. The anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin may be used to treat various inflammations, allergies, and infections.
Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)
Ashwagandha has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may help to promote the overall wellbeing of the body and improve the immune system. This herb may also benefit the male sexual system and facilitate longer-lasting erections.
Giloy may naturally improve the body’s immunity. Giloy may also be used to help manage a calcium deficiency, maintain balance in the body, and facilitate the prevention of disease.
Punarnava (Boerhavia diffusa)
Punarnava is an Ayurvedic herb with diuretic properties that may be able to increase blood flow. This herb has bitter, anti-inflammatory, and astringent properties, and is used to make kidney and heart tonics. Punarnava may be able to provide relief from pain and intestinal spasms.
Amalaki (Emblica officinalis)
Amalaki is known for its rejuvenating and antioxidant properties that may help in the regeneration of healthy cells and maintaining the function of the liver. This herb may also be able to soothe hyperacidity in the stomach and aid digestion.
Haritaki (Terminalia chebula)
Haritaki is one of the ingredients that make up triphala and may help treat gastrointestinal ailments, hepatomegaly, ascites, tumours, and anaemia. It is commonly used in a powder and mixed with honey and ghee aa a remedy that may be helpful for treating anaemia.
Vibhitaki (Terminalia belerica)
Vibhitaki is one of the herbs that makes up triphala and may be used to make heart tonics. It may help with thinning of the blood, and may be used in cases of low red blood cell count and low haemoglobin levels.
For a natural way to support those with prostate cancer, make an appointment at our clinic.
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.