Like all tissues and organs in the human body, the female breasts are multidimensional in function. Their most recognized function is as exocrine glands, producing breast milk for the newborn, a function common to all mammalian species. Given the multidimensional functions of the breasts, a discussion of breast health approaches could be complex. Therefore, in this article we will limit our discussion to what women can do from the Ayurvedic perspective to reduce their chances of developing the most dangerous of breast diseases: breast cancer.
The Ayurvedic Medical Information for Breast Health
First let's briefly review some simple breast anatomy.
Mammary glands are basically highly modified and specialized sebaceous glands
which derive from embryonic ectoderm. The adult breast consists of glandular
tissue, adipose tissue (fat cells), nerves, blood vessels and lymphatics.
Anatomically it overlies the pectoralis major muscle and is anchored to the
pectoralis fascia by suspensory ligaments known as Cooper's ligaments (not
shown). The breast contains about 15 to 25 lobes formed by groups of "milk
glands", or lobules. Each lobule is composed of hollow milk producing
acini (also called alveoli), and feeds into a milk duct leading to the nipples.
The ducts converge near the areola, the darker area round the nipple, to form
ampullae or milk storage cavities. Around the areola are small glands known as
Montgomery's glands which secrete an oily substance that protects the nipples
during nursing. Lymph nodes within the breast drain into the axillary lymph
nodes in the armpit-the first place to which breast cancer will typically
What Is Breast Cancer? The Western View
Cancer is fundamentally a disease of failure of regulation
of tissue growth. In order for a normal cell to transform into a cancer cell,
the genes which regulate cell growth and differentiation must be altered. A
gene is a specific sequence of DNA at a specific location within a specific
chromosome. Only 5-10% of breast cancers are inherited; the vast majority is
due to sporadic, acquired mutations.
The affected genes are divided into two broad categories.
Oncogenes are genes which promote cell growth and reproduction. Tumor
suppressor genes are genes which inhibit cell division and survival. Malignant
transformation can occur through the formation of abnormal oncogenes, the
inappropriate over-expression of normal oncogenes, or by the under-expression
or complete arrest of tumor suppressor genes. Typically, changes in many genes
are required to transform a normal cell into a cancer cell.
Large-scale mutations involve a deletion or gain of a
portion of a chromosome. Gene amplification occurs when a cell gains many
copies (often 20 or more) of a small chromosomal locus, usually containing one
or more oncogenes and adjacent genetic material. Translocation occurs when two
separate chromosomal regions become abnormally fused, often at a distinct
location. Disruption of a single gene may also result from integration of
genomic material from a DNA virus or retrovirus, and resulting in the
expression of viral oncogenes in the affected cell and its descendants, but
this is not the case in breast cancer.
The transformation of normal breast cells into cancer is
akin to a chain reaction caused by initial errors, which compound into more
severe errors, each progressively allowing the cell to escape the controls that
limit normal tissue growth. This renegade-like scenario causes an undesirable
survival of the fittest, where the natural forces of evolution become distorted
and work against the body's design and harmonious order. If the rate of DNA
damage exceeds the capacity of the cell to repair it, the accumulation of
errors can overwhelm the cell and result in early senescence, apoptosis, or
cancer. Once cancer has begun to develop, it uses the body's own design to
serve its own destructive and invasive purposes.
What Is Breast Cancer? The Ayurvedic View
The female breasts are predominantly Kapha organs, having a
fatty nature and producing milk, a Kapha fluid. Breast cancer is a tridoshic
(involving all three doshas) disorder of breast tissue. Causes are both
hereditary and acquired; the acquired causes being physical, emotional,
spiritual, and environmental. Breast cancer is ultimately caused by blockage
and flow irregularities at both the gross and imperceptibly subtle levels of
several srotamsi (channel systems).
Dietary and other physical factors can help to cause breast
cancer, or to trigger the disease in one who already has the hereditary
tendency. Breast cancer, like any malignant or degenerative disease, may be the
result of prolonged wrong diet, wrong lifestyle, or prajnaparadha (mistake of
the intellect). Wrong regimen leads first to accumulation of doshas, then in
time to acute illnesses. If those illnesses are treated improperly, that is, if
the excess doshas (the three body humors) are not expelled and ama (toxins) is
not purified, then the imbalance is driven deeper, resulting in chronic
complaints. If these chronic complaints in turn go untreated or are treated by suppressive
methods without expelling doshas or cleansing ama, then the excess doshas will
localize in the most toxic or most vulnerable tissue, in this case breast
tissue, to create sannipatika gulma, a malignant tumor.
Cancer in Äyurveda is not seen as a discrete disease, but a
milestone on the continuum of doshic aggravation, ama (toxic waste)
accumulation, and srotodushti (channel blockage). A pernicious energy gains
access to the individual through the diet, the emotions, the environment, or
even the karmic-influenced internal momentum of one's life. Although modern
medicine has disproven any appreciable connection between fibrocystic breasts
or fibroadenoma to breast cancer, Ayurveda considers both of these benign
conditions to be stages in the breast cancer samprapti. Cancer is a deepening
pattern of internal disconnection from the body-mind's greater intelligence
which eventually begins to exhibit its own warped purpose, momentum, and
Importance of Srotamsi (Channels of Circulation) in Breast
The entire fifth chapter of the Vimanasthana Section of the
Charaka Samhita is devoted to the detailed description of the srotamsi and
their importance in health and disease. The body and mind contains a large
number of srotas or channels through which the basic tissue elements, doshas,
and malas circulate. These channels are called srotas (plural srotamsi).
Srotas, meaning channels or pores, are present throughout the visible body as
well as at the "invisible" or subtle level of the cells, molecules,
atoms, and subatomic strata. It is through these channels that nutrients and
other substances are transported in and out of our physiology. It is also
through these channels that information and intelligence spontaneously flow.
When the flow of appropriate nutrients and energies through these channels is
unimpeded, there is health; when there is excess, deficiency, or blockage in
these channels disease can take root.
The channels are, to a certain extent, similar to the
different physiological systems of Western medicine (e.g. arteries, veins,
nerves, digestive tract, etc.) but also contain subtler energies comparable to
the meridian system of Chinese medicine.
The movements of energy in all srotamsi are directly
influenced by stimuli that arise in the mind, which are conveyed by the Vata
energy. Hence mental disturbances, both conscious and unconscious, can cause
disorders in any of the channels.
Excessive or deficient mental activity can cause excess or
deficient flow in the channels of the body. Emotional outbursts or lack of
mental control have effects that are analogous to surges in the channels of the
physical body and can produce such conditions as in strokes, heart attacks,
hyperventilation, tremors, etc.
Stanya vaha srota, which consists of the milk-producing
apocrine cells of the lobules, the related pituitary hormones (i.e. prolactin),
the ducts, ampullae, and nipple, is the main srota involved in breast cancer.
Artava vaha srotas, which consists of the uterus, ovaries,
fallopian tubes, their hormones (i.e. estrogen, progesterone), secretions and
connective tissues and related pituitary hormones (i.e. FSH, LH) all belong to
artava vaha srotas--the channels carrying out female reproductive functions.
The breasts are also included in this system.
Each lunar cycle between menarche and menopause, the
proliferation of epithelial cells lining the breast's lobular acini (increasing
from one to two layers) occurs during the luteal phase. The breast epithelium,
unlike the endometrium of the uterus, cannot be shed at the end of the cycle;
regression at the end of the cycle is by apoptosis (self-programmed cell
death). The apoptotic residue (ama) is plentiful within the lumens toward the
late luteal phase of the cycle. Efficient removal of this material is essential
for the breast tissue to remain healthy and vital.
Due to uncorrected exposure for a sufficient period of time
to nidanas--internal and external causes of doshic vitiation--(a few common
examples described below), the doshas can become aggravated and begin a
sequence of pathological steps culminating in the creation of a disease state.
The term "samprapti" (from the root "Ap" to cause, arrive,
reach or obtain; "sam" conjunction, union, intensity, completeness)
refers to this sequence of doshic-related pathology triggered by one or more
nidanas (causes). Let us consider a brief explanation of this sequence.
First, one or more doshas begins to accumulate somewhere in
the body and soon becomes vitiated (aggravated). Next, the aggravated dosha
spills over and begins to spread. In the case of breast cancer, it may enter
the stanya vaha srota or another associated srota. When it reaches a vulnerable
or somewhat weakened area or organ of the body, it will stagnate there and
begin to mix with and disturb the structure and function of the local tissues
including sometimes cellular DNA. The tissues of the body, when spoken of in
their healthy state are of course called the dhatus; however when we speak of
these same tissues with regard to their mixing with vitiated doshas, we always
refer to the tissues as dushyas.
This dosha-dusyas sammurcchana is the actual disease process
(sammurcchana means "interaction"). The interaction of the doshas and
dushyas, together with the specific effect from the site or organ involved
(adhisthana) leads to the development first of specific prodromal features, and
then of the main symptoms, of a disease. Involvement of primarily Kapha might
result in a fibrocystic breast condition; predominantly Kapha-Vata vitiation
might lead eventually to fibroadenoma; Pitta-Vata can be associated with
mastitis and other inflammatory states; Tridoshic vitiation can ultimately
produce cancer. Left untreated the disease will evolve its unique set of
complications and can reach a stage where it is no longer curable by any means.
Ayurvedic Prevention and Treatment Approach
The essence of the Ayurvedic approach is beautifully summed
up in one of its well-known statements, "Avert the danger from illness
before it arrives". This terse directive emphasizes the importance of
correcting imbalances while still in their earliest stages and hence very
remediable. Ayurveda accomplishes this goal through health programs uniquely
tailored to the idiosyncratic characteristics of each individual. It celebrates
our individual uniqueness while recognizing our universal Oneness. It is
through our uniquely developed human consciousness, which among other
capacities, affords us the enormous power of choice, that we can influence our
health. The positive and negative health effects of those choices have been
understood by Ayurvedic sages for thousands of years.
It must be stated at the outset of this section that, based
on current level of available Ayurvedic knowledge, Ayurveda has no place as a
primary treatment for any form of breast cancer. Ayurvedic treatment for breast
cancer are useful as complementary therapy in order reduce side effects and
sometimes bring about a more comprehensive response to conventional treatment.
Ayurvedic medicines main strength is as a strategy to prevent the initial
disease or its recurrence and to prolong survival.
That being said, current research is advancing towards a
rational use of Ayurveda as a primary intervention. Specifically, the
methanolic leaf extract of Ashwagandha leaf (Withania somnifera) was
demonstrated to restore normal p53 function in tumor cells bearing mutated
copies. p53 is a tumor suppressor protein which causes either the complete
destruction of cells which have irreparably damaged and abnormal DNA or to
temporarily arrest cell replication so that the DNA repair mechanisms can
repair the damage. Once repaired p53 then allows the cell to duplicate. How p53
chooses cell destruction or arrest is unknown; it is commonly called the
"guardian angel" of the cell.
It should be noted that today all breast cancer patients
should be under the regular care and supervision of a medical oncologist.
Practical Choices That Matter
The Ayurvedic approach to breast health centers on diet,
detoxification, lifestyle and exercise, mental health, environment and herbal
preparations. Additionally, both ancient and current Ayurvedic physicians also
emphasize early detection. Self examination of breasts, regular breast
examinations by health care professionals and mammograms if clinically
warranted are the methods.
One of Ayurveda's great recognitions is that the body and
mind naturally proceed in the direction of balance and, in fact, are designed
to achieve and maintain balance and vibrant health. The systems and organs that
make possible this remarkable state of physical and mental well-being, and the
intelligence which directs them all, exist in all of us from birth. Cancerous
changes show that, despite this inherent healthy tendency, there is an
imbalance of the tri-dosha with toxins. Food is the foundation of the tissue
formation process and health itself. Here are some of the more important
i. First and foremost, choose foods according to either your
constitutional type or your primary doshic imbalance, if known. This will help
match your diet to your agni (digestive fire). Your physician may alternatively
instruct you to eat according to the seasons if you are already in a balanced
state of health. Eat organic foods whenever possible.
ii. Construct a diet which reduces ama formation. A
predominantly vegetarian diet of foods that are light, warm, and cooked will do
this. Freshly prepared dals and soups, organic vegetables prepared with fresh
spices, whole grains such as basmati rice, barley, and amaranth, and freshly
made flat-breads are ideal.
iii. Include organic cooked prunes, figs, apples, pears,
pineapple, papaya, and cooked leafy greens, Brussels sprouts, broccoli,
cauliflower, and cabbage (cruciferous vegetables) in your diet. These foods
provide fiber, antioxidants, and detoxifying effects.There is also a burgeoning
body of evidence that curcumin, a component of turmeric, has breast cancer
iv. Avoid foods that create body ama, including leftovers;
packaged, canned, and frozen foods; foods grown with chemicals, GMO's,
pesticides and chemical fertilizers.
v. Restrict the intake of alcoholic beverages of all kinds.
vi. Visceral (abdominal) adiposity contributes to the risk
for estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer in premenopausal women.
As discussed above, ama-along with agni and the
srotamsi--has tremendous importance in the manifestation of breast cancer. Ama
is principally the result of the initial ahara rasa (nutrient juices) not being
completely digested in the amashaya (small intestines) due to abnormal
jatharagni. Ama then enters the srotamsi where it causes srotodushti (pathology
of the srota) leading to srotorodha (obstruction). This results in an abnormal
or arrested flow of doshas, nutrients and wastes.
The doshas thus retained can extravasate out of the srota
and penetrate the surrounding dhatus (now called dushyas). The site where this
interaction occurs (dosha-dushya sammurcchana) is the site where disease is
initiated. If the impairment to the srotas can be prevented or reversed,
disease will be averted.
In Ayurveda breast cancer primarily involves the channels of
the female breasts and of the reproductive system and are called the Stanya
Vaha Srotas and Artava Vaha Srotas, respectively. They include all the
reproductive tissue, breasts, hormones and all secretions including breast
milk. Keeping these channels clear of ama and all toxins is essential. The Mano
Vaha Srotas, channels of the mind, are also involved. Proper diet, lifestyle, exercise,
emotional health and select Ayurvedic herbs all help however a regular
comprehensive detoxification procedure is also advised. It forms the foundation
of preventive health in the Ayurvedic view and is often an important part of
the treatment protocol for diseases which have already occurred.
Vulnerable Breasts on a Chemical Planet
Besides the assault from endogenous toxins (ama), exogenous
toxins also have a grave effect on breast health. As a consequence of decades
of uncontrolled environmental pollution with persistent organic pollutants
(POP's), the contamination of human milk has become widespread. Polychlorinated
biphenyls (PCBs), DDT and its metabolites, dioxins, dibenzofurans, phthalates,
polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and heavy metals are among the toxic
chemicals most often found in breast milk. Whether she is pregnant or not,
these and many other chemical pose a tremendous risk to the female breast. This
is because POP's are fat-soluble "lipophilic" (i.e. affinity for fat)
chemicals which undergo bio-accumulation and concentration over time in the
breast fatty tissue. The positive news is that POP's can be significantly
removed from their sites of accumulation through regular periods of panchakarma
Ayurveda states in the Ashtanga Hridayam Sutrasthanam
"Exhaustive effort should be made to radically expel
the malas (doshas and metabolic wastes) at the right times. Uncorrected
accumulation will verily result in aggravation and cut short life itself."
"Doshas which are subdued by langhana and pachana therapies can inevitably
become re-aggravated, but those which are radically expelled by samshodhana
(purification) therapies will not become deranged again." (italics added)
Lifestyle and Exercise: Balancing the Doshas
Scientific evidence suggests about 30% of all 572,000 cancer
deaths (39,500 due to breast cancer) expected in 2011 will be related to being
obese or overweight, inadequate physical inactivity or errors in nutrition and
thus are preventable.
It is clear that only about 30-40% of all breast cancer
cases can be traced to identifiable genes or a familial tendency. Of those, 5
to 10 percent of women have inherited defective breast cancer genes, the most
common being BRCA1 or BRCA2. The remainder have forms of breast cancers in
their families that involve several genes.
That leaves 60-70% caused by unknown factors. Some are
environmental--toxins we breathe, drink, touch or are exposed to in some way.
The biggest risk factors are simply being a woman (<1 percent breast cancers
occur in men) and getting older (risk increases after age 50). We can't change
that, but we can change our lifestyles. The best recommendations are these six:
-Avoid hormone replacement therapy -Improve your diet
-Exercise regularly -Follow good detection strategies -Maintain good body
weight -Consume less or no alcohol
The state of one's mental health is a direct reflection of
how we think, feel and act as we face different life experiences. Our mental
health determines how we handle emotional stress, relate to others and make
choices. It is the emotional and spiritual resilience (atati shakti) which
enables us to achieve happiness and to survive pain, sorrow and disappointment.
Normal mental health instinctively creates an underlying belief in one's
self-worth, and in the dignity and worth of other human beings and all life
forms. Psycho-social-spiritual stress can play a role in breast health. To
refresh the mind Ayurveda suggests the classical mental balancing and rejuvenation
techniques described in Patanjali's system of Raja Yoga. Because there are
eight aspects in the Raja Yoga path to enlightenment, it is also known as
Ashtanga Yoga (eight-limbed). Patanjali's Yoga Sutras begins with the statement
yoga cittavritti nirodhah (I/2), "Yoga is for the restraint of the
activities of the mind". They proceed to describe the ways in which mind
can create false ideas and understandings, and details the eight steps that can
taken to escape from the unreal.
Meditation techniques have been shown in numerous research
studies to positively influence the physiology. The regular practice of yoga
postures (asanas), breath control techniques (pranayama), and dhyana
(meditation) is the most effective way to relieve anxiety, depression and
emotional stress, according to Ayurvedic tradition. Although the mechanism by
which meditation helps re-establish mental health is not clear, we do know that
these techniques provide periods of profound sensory and cognitive rest. The
regular dissociation of the senses from their sense objects and the withdrawal
of the attention within appears to release deep-rooted stresses that have
lodged in the structure, chemistry and energetic matrix of the mind-body.
Ayurvedic herbal medicine regimens are not conceived using
the model of a specific drug to neutralize or suppress a specific symptom or
disease (allopathic model). In fact, successful treatment depends on rational
and logical actions of a mixture of plant substances coupled with the incomprehensible
healing intelligence of Nature. The intention of herbal treatment, like all
forms of Ayurvedic therapies, is to up-regulate the innate healing capacity of
the human being. Herbal treatment may be categorized according to the following
scheme which forms a sequence for the prevention of any disease including
breast cancer and also for the treatment of many diseases.
1. Separation of Dosha and Dushya (Sammurcchana Bhanga)
2. Autodigestion of Ama (Ama pacana)
3. Clearing of the Srotasmi (Shroto Vishodhana)
4. Optimization of Agni (Dipanagni)
5. Strengthening of Immunity (Vyadhi Kshamatva)
Separation of Dosha and Dushya (Sammurcchana Bhanga)
The initial action which must be taken in the treatment of
disease is the separation of the vitiated dosha from the dushya. Since many on
the subsequent steps in treating disease are strong measures aimed at the
doshas, if separation of the healthy tissue is not achieved first, these
treatments can and will harm the tissues and the associated srotas and vital
organs. The degraded dosha and the affected tissue or organ becomes joined
together like the milk fats and ghee are joined together in milk. And just as
we heat the milk in order to separate the ghee from the milk fats, the herbal
substances which accomplish the separation of dosha from dushya (a process
called sammurchana bhanga) have the following gunas: hot (ushna), sharp
(tikshna), penetrating (sukshma), rapid onset (vyavam), purifying (punanam),
destructive (nashita), and separating (viyujate).
The following herbal and herbomineral medicines have the
action of separating dosha and dushya. This list is by no means complete.
Please note that many of these medicines can be toxic and cause
adverse reactions. They should therefore only be given for
short courses and only under expert supervision.
Trailokya Rasa Chintamani
Datura metal Boswellia serrata
Aconitum ferox Tamra Bhasma
Strychnos nux vomica Heerak Bhasma
Semicarpus anacardium Holarrhena antidysenterica
Abhrak Bhasma Embelia ribes
Autodigestion of Ama (Ama pacana)
The operative principle behind the reversal and removal of
ama is to temporarily stop providing nutrition to those parts of the body which
we wish to purge of ama. In clinical application, this is achieved most readily,
not with herbal medicines, but rather through fasting. Fasting is advocated as
a bona fide approach for the removal of ama when found to be present or to
prevent its formation. Like any other therapy, it is prescribed and supervised
by an experienced physician.
During the fasting period, no new nutritive substances are
available to the digestive system. Therefore the jathara agni and various
dhatvagnis are utilized for the digestion of the accumulated ama. The fasting
period can be as short as one or two days, or may extend for up to two weeks
under medical supervision. There are several herbs and formulations which have
been found to be effective in supporting and augmenting ama pacana:
Zingiber officinalis, Terminalia chebula, Tinospora
cordifolia, Terminalia bellerica, Berberis aristata, Coriandrum sativum, Piper
longum, Alpinia galangal.
Clearing of the Srotasmi (Shroto Vishodhana)
Whereas ama pacana is effective in transforming and
liquefying the waste materials in the tissues,
the process known as shroto vishodhana draws these
substances out of the tissues and into the appropriate channels of elimination
(i.e. Stanya Vaha Srota). In addition, this process initiates movement in the
proper direction in the srotasmi for the expulsion of the wastes. This stage
requires that no matter what the primary doshic imbalance may be (Vata, Pitta,
or Kapha), the Vata dosha needs to be in a balanced state. Thus is because Vata
dosha is what creates movement of the wastes. A balanced Vata dosha moves the
wastes in the proper and natural direction.
Medicines which act on the rasa, rakta, mamsa, meda, and
sukra dhatus and their corresponding srotas are used in promoting breast
health. These medicines will promote the elimination of doshas from the tissues
without harming the tissues and include:
Holharrhina antidysentrica, Cissampelos pareira, Tricosanthe
dioica, Cyperus rotundus, Picrorrhiza kurroa, Azadirachta indica, Hemidesmus
indicus, Triphala, Piper nigrum, Acorus calamus, Curcuma longa, Aegle marmelos.
In addition to these herbal medicines, anuvasana bastis
(oil-based enemata) or often administered during this phase to promote the
proper flow of Vata dosha in the srotas. Also there are specialized techniques
of breast massage which are performed with specific oils (i.e. Narayana,
Vishagarbha, Chandanbala Laxadi) and can be taught to patient to perform at
Optimization of Agni (Dipanagni)
There is not a single biological process occurring within
our bodies and mind which does not depend on agni. Our intelligence, awareness,
energy, appearance, perception, immunity, and life itself is kindled by its
power. There are thirteen forms of agni as we have outlined earlier. The most
important is jathara agni--which presides over and creates all the others. Any
disturbance in jathara agni will result in incomplete and improper digestion
and the formation of ama. Some of the herbal medicines which help to stimulate
and balance the jatharagni and, indirectly, all the agnis of the body are as
Strengthening of Immunity (Vyadhi Kshamatva)
The capacity to resist disease depends prominently on a
substance known as ojas. Ojas is formed from the best and purest parts of each
of the seven bodily dhatus; it is said to be the quintessence of human tissue
metabolism. Like bees make honey by gathering the essence of several species of
flowers, ojas is formed from the saptadhatus. There are certain plant-medicines
which increase ojas and are therefore called jÄ«vanÄ«ya gana aushadhi,
medicines which sustain Life. Some of these include:
Withania somnifera, Curculigo orchiodes, Asparagus racemosus
Phaseolus trilobus Hemidesmus indicus Ocimum sanctum Tinospora cordifolia
Eclipta alba Emblica officinalis Shilajitu
Glycerrhiza glabra Terminalia chebula
In addition, medicines like Triphala Guggulu, Kanchnaar
Guggulu, Arogyavardhini, Maha-manjishthadi kwath, Guduchi (Tinospora
cordifolia), Gokshur (Tribulus terrestris) as well as the two most renowned
Ayurvedic compound preparations Triphala and Chywanprash are used on a long
term basis to prevent recurrence.
Medicines like Medhohar-Guggulu, Chandraprabha-Vati, and
Trivang-Bhasma are also used according to the presentation of symptoms.
To prevent or reduce side effects from chemotherapy and
radiation therapy, Ashwagandha, Shatavari, Kamadudha, Shankhbhasma vati, Laghu
sutshekhar vati and Shunthi (Zinziber officinale) can be used.
Patwardhan and Gautum5 summarize the results of preclinical
studies on the cytoprotective potential of W. somnifera and its constituents.
They include reports on the inhibition of breast and colon cancer cell lines
compared to doxorubicin after the administration of withaferin A and an
increase in the response to radio-resistant tumors when radiotherapy is
combined with withaferin A treatment, among others studies.
Triphala is an Ayurvedic herbal rasayana formula consisting
of equal parts of three myrobalan fruits: Amalaki (Emblica officinalis),
Bibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica), and Haritaki (Terminalia chebula). Rasayana
preparations are adaptogens and can be taken for life without fear of side
effects. Triphala was recently found to dose-dependently induce apoptosis in
human breast cell cancer lines (MCF-7) and mouse thymic lymphoma (barcl-95).
Treatment did not affect neither normal human breast epithelial and peripheral
blood mononuclear cells nor mouse liver and spleen cells. Direct oral feeding
of triphala to mice (40 mg/kg for 13 days) resulted in significantly (P <
0.05) reduced tumor growth and more than three times higher levels of apoptosis
in excised tumor tissue. According to the researchers, increases in
intracellular reactive oxygen species appeared to be involved with induced
cytotoxicity, supporting the hypothesis that the antioxidant effect of triphala
fruits is at least partly responsible for this anticancer activity (Sandhya et
Oxygen radicals are continuously generated within our cells.
This is a result of normal breathing which creates something called hydroxyl
radicals. These molecules damage your DNA, producing the mutations that
initiate and sustain health issues later on. Studies suggest that a diet that
is rich in antioxidants may help to support breast health. This has led to the
current nutritional recommendation that we all should consume at least five
portions of fruits or vegetables each day.
Chyawanprash is significantly more powerful than other
single antioxidant; it is up to 1,000 times more effective per dose than
comparable amounts of Vitamin C and Vitamin E in scavenging free radicals and
preventing damage to the body. It provides full-spectrum, super-antioxidant
power. Traditional literature states that Chywanprash improves cardiovascular
and neurological functioning, reduces toxicity of the dhatus, improves
immunity, balances emotions, and improves mental clarity.
All matter is energy vibrating at different rates. The
fundamental state of the universe contains all possible forms of
undifferentiated matter (i.e. energy) vibrating in coherent harmony. Human
beings, because we are a part of the natural universe, also have a fundamental
vibration that harmonizes with the rest of the creation. Illness, including
cancer, is a manifestation of disharmony which arises in the individual's core
vibration due to stress, environmental changes, emotional distress, physical
injury, dietary indiscretion, or an infinite number of physical, mental, or
spiritual factors. Healing is therefore initiated by restoring the normal
vibratory state to the individual as a whole and to the vulnerable or diseased
body part. The Ayurvedic therapies mentioned in this paper are not the only
methods available from this comprehensive science, but will help us begin to
understand how our mothers, wives, sisters and daughters can keep their bodies
free from toxins and impurities and their immunity high even in modern times
and thus avert the scourge of breast cancer.