Palliative care for cancer patients

Radiation to cure cancer affected parts of the body can leave a patient feeling drained of energy and feeling low in spirits. In the early stages various measure can be taken to holistically prevent cancerous tumours from developing such as herbal oils and pastes with heath therapy as well as the internal cleansing treatments of pancha karma to reduce deep seated toxins in the body. Treatments are tailored for the particular type of arbuda (cancer) and care is advised based on the individuals doshic constitution. If allopathic treatment has already taken place then palliative care can be given to improve the quality of life.

Ayurvedic treatment focuses on improving the immunity by strengthening the digestive power and metabolism of the patient. Treatment would start with eliminating the damaged tissues and then protection of the healthy tissues cells from becoming damaged and then regeneration of healthy tissues.

Diet is very much a part of the wellness programme when it comes to an Ayurvedic treatment. Though not an extensive list, supportive foods include, ghee, goats milk, abundance of fresh seasonal fruit and vegetables suitable for your dosha, these can includes soups, stews, sprouted beans, raw soaked nuts and semi-dried fruits such as dates, figs, raisins etc. Tailor-made herbal decoctions are given to control cancerous growths. Foods to avoid of course include lifeless foods that come in tinned, fried, junk and fast foods forms as well as over spiced and vata aggravating foods. Practitioners can give advice on specific food choices based on the type of cancer, for example liver patients would be advised a reduced fat diet and renal patients would be advised a reduced salt diet.

Support for the patients mind and emotions are just as important as the physical. Staying positive is a key component in improving the quality of life and the healing process. Uplifting books, activities that make the patient happy turn the focus away from dwelling on the disease itself. It’s a perfect time to adopt breathing exercises and meditation that create inner stillness and increase prana. The healing power of our mind and attitudes is incredible. Gentle exercise can be stimulating both physically and mentally. Two easily available herbs that can enhance immunity are withania somnifera and tinospora cordifolia. Consult a practitioner before use.