Ayurvedic take on cervical cancerPublished: 26.04.2017.
Cervical cancer, although treatable, is the 3rd leading cause of death of women worldwide. According to the data of Croatian Health Agency, around 350 Croatian women are diagnosed yearly and as much as 35% of them looses the battle. Such a devastating percentage of deaths is due to late detection of condition, whose early symptoms are easily mistaken for common menstrual cycle problems. That is why regular PAP smears, that are able to detect early changes to the cells, are of utmost importance.
Modern medicine habitually links cervical cancer with HPV infections. Additional risk factors for cervical cancer include:
- early sexual activity
- multiple sexual partners
- sexually transmitted diseases – women with genital herpes and Chlamydia trachomatis infection are at greater risk for developing cervical cancer
- smoking – women who smoke are about twice as likely to develop cervical cancer as women who do not smoke
- a weak immune system – due to unhealthy life style, surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, HIV infections etc.
Ayurveda has a lot to offer in terms of prevention and treatment of cervical cancer. Ayurvedic personal approach to nutrition, as well as following a healthy daily routine are the first line of defense when it comes to dealing with all diseases, including cancer.
Recent researches have proved that many of the spices used in Ayurvedic cooking have anticancerous effects. Curcumin, the compound that gives turmeric its yellow color, is a powerful antioxidant, which neutralizes free radicals that increase the risk of cancer and is said to inhibit the growth of cancerous cells. The omnipresent ginger is particularly significant for cancers which show high levels of inflammation, a characteristic of cervical cancer. Holy Basil (H. Ociumum gratissimum), a traditional Ayurvedic herb rich in Ursolic Acid – in that aspect similar to local herbs: rosemary, sage, thyme and oregano – is regularly included in a cancer fighting diet.
Another preventive action is Ayurvedic vaginal douching, performed with herbal remedies prepared according to each woman’s personal needs. The procedure is highly recommended to all women suffering from recurring vaginal flora problems.
When dealing with cervical cancer, Ayurveda takes on a very broad approach that aims at treating the cancer and its symptoms, preventing the spread of the cancer, reducing the side effects of conventional treatment, boosting immunity and prolonging survival.
An Ayurvedic gynecological procedure Agnikarma, precursor to modern electrocauterization, has shown great capability in treating various ailments related to the cervix. It is especially efficient in treating cervical erosion, a state that does not influence the development of cervical cancer, but can influence its proper diagnosis.
Natural, personalized Ayurvedic therapy is a great way of prevention but it can also be used as additional therapy to conventional treatment.
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