All posts by Dr. Rajesh Vishwanathan

About Dr. Rajesh Vishwanathan

Hi, I am Dr. Rajesh Vishwanathan. I am a Family Physician with a deep interest in Diabetes and Alternative Medicine. I live and practice in Mumbai, India. My aim is to make the world a better place by introducing Alternative medicine with the main stream, so as to have an Integrative System of Medicine, that is both gentle and holistic.

Cancer prevention and diet.

Introduction:

To put it very simply, Cancer refers to a large number of diseases categorized by unregulated replication of cells.  There are many studies, which suggest that dietary ingredients can reduce the risk of developing cancer. It is also true that certain life style habits can contribute to the increased incidence of cancer.

Instituting some dietary changes may be helpful:

Alcohol and cancer:

It has been seen that alcohol consumption significantly increases the risk of cancers of the mouth, throat and voice box particularly in conjunction with cigarette smoking. It is very apparent from most studies that former drinkers have significantly lower risks for these cancers compared with current drinkers. There is a strong correlation between alcohol consumption and the risk of having liver cancer. Little however is known about the effect of alcohol intake on the risk of female cancers other than breast cancer.

Fiber in the diet:

Whole grains such as rye, brown rice, and whole wheat contain high amounts of insoluble fiber—the type of fiber some scientists believe may help protect against a variety of cancers. People who eat relatively high amounts of whole grains were reported to have low risks of lymphomas and cancers of the pancreas, stomach, colon, rectum, breast, uterus, mouth, throat, liver, and thyroid.

The best way out is to consume diet that is high in insoluble fiber. This is achieved by switching from polished rice to brown rice, from bakery goods containing white flour to whole wheat bread, whole rye crackers and whole grain pancakes.  This lifestyle modification is healthy and can prevent cancers.

A vegetarian diet protects against cancer:

Eating meat is associated with a risk of cancer. It is believed that vegetarians have a stronger immune system. It is also seen that female vegetarians have lower estrogen levels compared with meat-eating women, possibly explaining a lower incidence of uterine and breast cancers.  If we study the comparative anatomy of carnivores versus herbivores, it is seen that herbivores have a long small and large intestine. Man is also created to be a herbivore. His small and large intestine is long, so that he can digest the complex carbohydrates found in a vegetarian diet. That is why meat-eating humans are more prone to intestinal and abdominal cancer. It is seen that carnivores have a very short large intestine, so that they can quickly eliminate the toxins in meat.  In one report, high consumption of hot dogs was associated with an almost tenfold increase in the risk of childhood leukemia when compared with low consumption.  In another report, maternal consumption of hot dogs and childhood consumption of hamburgers or hot dogs at least once per week were associated with a doubling of the risk of cancers in children. It is also true that children who took meat and vitamin supplements had lesser incidents of cancer. Processed meats, such as hot dogs, contain nitrates and nitrites—precursors to carcinogens. Antioxidants found in multivitamins keep nitrates and nitrites from converting into dangerous carcinogens.


However fish eaters have been reported to have low risks of cancers of the mouth, throat, stomach, colon, rectum, pancreas, lung, breast, and prostate. It is widely believed that the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish have a protective effect against cancer.

Fruits and vegetables:

Consumption of fruits and vegetables is widely accepted as lowering the risk of most common cancers.  Many doctors recommend that people wishing to reduce their risk of cancer eat several pieces of fruit and several portions of vegetables every day.  Most doctors also recommend that people should not consider supplements as substitutes for the real thing. Some of the anticancer substances found in produce have probably not yet been discovered, while others are not yet available in supplement form. Fruits and vegetables contain beta-carotene and flavonoids and these substances have anti-cancer properties. Protective flavonoids are found in herbs and plant foods. Quercetin is a flavonoid found in onions and apples and has been found to be protective against cancer.

Vegetables like tomato contain Lycopene, which is an antioxidant and it is considered to inhibit cancer proliferation.

There is enough evidence to support that the protective effect for tomato consumption was strongest for cancers of the prostate, lung, and stomach, but some evidence of a protective effect also appeared for cancers of the pancreas, colon, rectum, esophagus (throat), mouth, breast, and cervix.

Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower have potent anti-cancer activity.  These vegetables exert their protective effects because they contain indole-3 carbinol, glucaric acid and sulforaphane.

Too much coffee is not good:

 It is believe that increased coffee consumption leads to a higher the risk of pancreatic cancer. Coffee drinking is also associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer.

Calories and Cancer:

Scientists have known for many years that severe restriction of calories dramatically reduces the risk of cancer in laboratory animals.  In one report, adults with cancer were more likely to have consumed more calories during childhood compared with healthy adults. In other reports, attempts to find associations between reduced intake of calories and cancer have produced mixed results. Only severerestriction in caloric intake provides significant protection in animal studies.  As most people are unlikely to severely restrict calories, the association between caloric restriction and protection from cancer may ultimately prove to only be of academic interest.

Dietary Fat and cancer:

Excess of saturated fat in the diet, as found in eggs and animal fat does point out to an increased incidence of cancer. It is seen that a higher dietary intake of fat does predispose to a risk of cancer. In humans it has been found that poly unsaturated fatty acid intake, which is found in nuts, seed and vegetable oils is not associated with cancer risk.

Refined sugar and refined salt and their risk for cancer:

There is an indication that taking refined sugar increases the risk of gall bladder cancer. Refined salt intake is shown to increase the rates of stomach cancer.  Associations between foods preserved with salt and the risk of cancers of the head and neck have also been reported.

Conclusion:

The incidence of cancers is definitely on the increase. We can definitely change our dietary habits and lead a healthy lifestyle.

Anthroposophic medicine

Introduction:

The concept of anthroposophy was developed by the Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) and explores the extent to which a person has achieved awareness of their inner life and lives in harmony with the surrounding natural and social world.

The Dutch doctor Ita Wegman (1876-1943), co-founder of Weleda, further influenced the development of anthroposophic medicine. The system is based on the results of scientifically-oriented (also called ‘conventional’) medicine and the knowledge and methods of anthroposophy. It is an integrative medicine which is not identified as an ‘alternative medicine’. As part of a range of special therapeutic systems, which also include homeopathy and herbal medicine, anthroposophic medicine aims to build on conventional medicine by using specific therapeutic methods and medicines.

What are the principles?

Anthroposophic medicine always starts with a conventional diagnosis – but the physician or therapist is not guided simply by the symptoms of an illness. Instead, they examine psychological, mental and spiritual aspects of the patient’s experience, the capacity for self-healing and the ability for continuous development.

The bridge between the physical and emotional element in diagnosis and treatment is only one of the unique founding principles of anthroposophic medicine.  In addition, the doctor or therapist observes the patient’s whole personality and characteristics, including aspects of physical build and body language – flow of movement, type of handshake, sleep patterns, heat and cold intolerance, respiration and physical rhythms.

The human being is seen and understood on four planes:

  1. The material or physical plane, examinable physically or technically as in conventional medicine
  2. The life forces plane, or vitality of the individual
  3. The mental plane – which can be understood as the psychological or emotional realm
  4. The individual plane – the spiritual individuality or character of the person, sometimes known as the ego.

When creating a detailed medical history and making the resulting choice of individually-tailored medication, co-operation between doctor and patient is essential for recovery. Recovery is a collaborative process in which the doctor includes the patient at every step and in which the patient will actively participate.

How are the medicines made?

Anthroposophic medicines are produced according to anthroposophic pharmaceutical principles and processes, some of which they share with homeopathy, while some are non-homeopathic processes reflecting the inter-relation between people and the world of nature. Their manufacture is governed by standards of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), and their quality controlled by the criteria and parameters of official pharmacopoeias.

Benefits:

Anthroposophical medicine can be used to treat any health condition. It is particularly recommended for preventive care, infections, inflammatory conditions such as arthritis, and the treatment of cancer and chronic degenerative diseases associated with aging. It is also recommended for pediatric (child) care, with its avoidance of toxic drugs, and is beneficial for children’s conditions such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and developmental problems.

Side effects:

AM medications are safe and non-toxic. During treatment, some patients may experience what doctor’s call “healing crises.” During these, patients may temporarily experience a worsening of symptoms as part of the healing process, including fever, headaches, nausea, weakness, muscle soreness, and other symptoms.

Conclusion:

Patients treated by anthroposophic physicians after an initial prolonged consultation had long-term reduction of chronic disease symptoms and improvement of quality of life.

Autogenic training.

Introduction:

Autogenic training (AT) is a relaxation technique developed by German psychiatrist Johannes Heinrich Schultz and was first published in 1932. Since that time, it has been widely used in clinical practice and research to foster the mind’s ability to produce relaxation in this reflects the ability to self-produce a relaxed feeling of warmth and heaviness throughout the body by saying various verbal phrases aimed at encouraging a state of physical relaxation and emotional calm. It is considered a form of self-hypnosis and is used to increase relaxation and restore balance in the body. It is a technique often recommended when a health issue is present and when stress is a contributing factor to producing or maintaining health issues. The body. Autogenic means self-generating, or produced from within.

Specific phases of Autogenic training:

The core of AT is standard exercises that focus on six physical manifestations of relaxation in the body:

  1. Heaviness in the musculoskeletal system
  2. Warmth in the circulatory system
  3. Awareness of the heartbeat
  4. Slowing down the breath
  5. Relaxing the abdomen
  6. Cooling the forehead

How is it taught?

AT can be taught in individual sessions, and it is frequently used in group treatment. Training is best done while sitting or lying in a comfortable position, as it allows the mind and body to switch off the sympathetic fight/flight/freeze stress response and restore the parasympathetic rest, recuperation, and recovery response. It is recommended that a person learn AT with a licensed professional. They can help explore positive relaxation responses experienced with AT, process any possible negative initial relaxation responses, and examine ways to enhance motivation for practice. It typically takes several training sessions to master AT, and without regular practice, it is not likely to have an effect. Success with AT requires motivation and commitment to practice regularly.

Benefits of Autogenic training:

Autogenic training could consistently and significantly reduce some symptoms of anxiety. Conditions such as social anxiety disorder (SAD), general anxiety disorder (GAD), depression, and insomnia can benefit from autogenic training, Autogenic training is also helpful in managing daily stress and it can even be helpful during panic attacks.

Drawbacks:

Autogenic training should not replace your current treatment plan. If you’re participating in psychotherapy or taking medication for anxiety, autogenic training should be used in addition to your current treatment.

Conclusion:

Autogenic training is a relaxation technique that can help lower stress levels and promote a feeling of calm in the mind and body.

Although this method is useful on its own for minor stress reduction and basic relaxation exercises, autogenic training should not replace psychotherapy or medication for mental health conditions.

Animal assisted therapy.

Introduction:

Animal therapy or pet therapy refers to the use of animals as a way to help people cope with and recover from some physical and mental health conditions.

Animals may be able to provide comfort, alert others if someone is in danger, or even perform direct actions to help a person’s condition when they are in need. It is a type of complementary or alternative therapy. It should augment but not replace other treatments

Animal assisted therapy helps the patients by:

  • reducing boredom
  • increasing movement and activity through walks and play
  • providing companionship and decreasing loneliness
  • increasing social interactions
  • improving mood and general well-being

Goals of Animal assisted therapy:

Animal therapy can have several goals, and these will determine how it works. The type of therapy and target for this therapy may change depending on the condition and the type of aid that a person needs. Some examples include:

  • providing comfort and reducing levels of pain
  • improving movement or motor skills
  • developing social or behavioral skills
  • increasing motivation toward activities such as exercise or interacting with others

Improves physical health:

Some forms of animal therapy may also help with markers of physical conditions, including:

  • epilepsy
  • heart failure
  • pain from cancer treatment
  • postoperative recovery
  • recovery after a major stroke or another condition that causes a person to lose motor skills

Improves mental health

  • decreasing anxiety and stress
  • decreasing perceptions of pain
  • reducing feelings of fear or worry
  • increasing feelings of social support
  • providing motivation, stimulation, and focus
Risks of animal assisted therapy:

While animal therapy may be helpful for people with certain health issues, it may not be right for everyone.

Some people may be allergic to the animals that commonly play a role in therapy.

Others may simply be uncomfortable with or afraid of the animals. They may not choose this type of therapy as it would cause them more stress.

Conclusion:

Animal therapy is a complementary treatment. It is not a basis for the treatment of any condition and should only enhance or complement other treatment. It is not a replacement for other forms of therapy, such as psychotherapy or physical therapy.

This form of therapy might not suit everyone, however. People who do not respond well to animal therapy or are not interested in trying it may ask about other options. These alternatives will vary depending on the person’s condition.

What is Bibliotherapy?

Introduction:

Bibliotherapy is a therapy where the use of literature helps people cope with emotional problems, mental illness, or changes in their lives.  The underlying foundation of bibliotherapy is that clients identify with literary characters similar to themselves, an association that helps the clients release emotions, gain new directions in life, and explore new ways of interacting. Teenage readers, for example, may feel relief that they are not the only ones facing a specific problem. They learn vicariously how to solve their problems by reflecting on how the characters in the book solve theirs

Basic stages in bibliotherapy:

Generally, activities in bibliotherapy are designed to:

  • provide information
  • provide insight
  • stimulate discussion about problems
  • communicate new values and attitudes
  • create awareness that other people have similar problems
  • provide realistic solutions to problems

Benefits and limitations of bibliotherapy:

In addition to the “how” of conducting bibliotherapy, practitioners also need to be aware of potential benefits and pitfalls associated with this procedure. Bibliotherapy has obvious value in that it provides the opportunity for the participants to recognize and understand themselves, their characteristics, and the complexity of human thought and behavior. It may also promote social development as well as the love of literature in general, and reading in particular.  It reduces feelings of isolation that may be felt by people with problems.

The effectiveness of bibliotherapy, however, may be limited by the accessibility of materials on certain topics, as well as the lack of client readiness and willingness to read. It may backfire when subjects project their own motives onto characters and thus reinforce their own perceptions and solutions.  In addition, participants may be defensive, thus discounting the actions of characters and failing to identify with them, or even end up using them as scapegoats.

Conclusion:
Bibliotherapy is a potentially powerful method for school teachers and counselors to use on many levels and in every school grade. In order to establish a strong bibliotherapy program in an institution, practitioners must present the procedure as a non-threatening one; by let us say calling the process biblioguidance.  They must also solicit the input and advice of colleagues, parents, and administrators. In addition, they must always be vigilant to the limitations of bibliotherapy.

GENETICS AND HOLISTIC MEDICINE.

Tremendous strides have been made in Genetics recently.  There has been an explosion of information regarding the D.N.A. & R.N.A. (DEOXYRIBONUCLEIC ACID AND RIBONUCLEIC ACID).  Cloning experiments have conclusively proved that all the necessary information required for the creation of the human body is stored in the Genes.  Now experiments are being done to complete the Genome mapping of the human body and a day is not far away when gene therapy will cure cancers, diabetes, collagen disorders and will identify whether an unborn fetus is likely to be a genius or an idiot and what disease it is likely to suffer from in the future. It will also be possible for creating a human race with perfect bodies.  Genetics has recognized that it is a faulty gene that causes cancers and several incurable crippling diseases and fatal diseases.

There have also been tremendous strides in HOLISITIC MEDICINE.  More and more people are taking recourse to Alternative Medicine; like Yoga, Meditation, Relaxation techniques, making diet and life style changes and there is conclusive evidence that these therapies work and scores of patients have had miraculous remissions from cancers and other serious diseases.  Of course, this makes Allopaths very uneasy, and the term spontaneous remission is commonly used to explain these so called ‘miraculous cures’.

Disease according to Holistic Medicine is an unnatural condition of the body, because Holism believes that the body was created by nature to experience bliss and not pain or suffering.  Holistic experts believe that negative emotions and living a life not in tune with nature is the main cause of disease.

The purpose of this human life is to attain liberation and bliss.  To that end both Genetics and Holistic Medicine pursue the same goal.  Although, there are no clear cut answers yet, it is clear that Holistic Medicine somehow corrects the faulty genes and compels the DNA-RNA to make the necessary changes to affect a cure. Time has come for Holistic Medicine to be taken more seriously and be integrated with Orthodox medicine so that it can be researched and practiced objectively.

Integration of Complementary Therapies in Geriatric Care.


Introduction:

Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) is catching the attention of older adults and health care givers alike. Complementary medicine often is gentler, safer and addresses the health conditions of the elderly in a holistic manner. All Alternative therapy practitioners aim to encourage good health practices in their elderly patients so that the immunity is boosted, healing ability of the body is strengthened and the elder are benefited way beyond mere symptom management.

Often, the Alternative therapists act like friends, philosophers and guides to the elderly and care for their body, mind and soul.  Alternative therapists spend more time with their patients and give them the attention that the elderly lack.  They encourage self-care, provide knowledge, skills and the encouragement the elderly need during illness.

Alternative therapies are not without risks in the elderly:

Complementary therapies can sometimes be risky in the elderly.

  • An injudicious choice of herbal remedies can create a host of problems for the elderly. The pharmaco-kinetics of herbs can be extremely unpredictable in the elderly.
  • There could be herb-to-herb interactions.
  • Some elderly patients can develop what is called as ‘Serotonin Syndrome’ while taking St. John’s wort.  St. John’s wort is a commonly used herbal anti-depressant. The symptoms of the ‘Serotonin Syndrome’ mimic an infection and thus can be mistreated.
  • Ginseng a very popular rejuvenation tonic can cause a potentially life threatening skin rash called as Steven-Johnson syndrome.
  • Ginkgo biloba, which is used in the elderly for memory loss has anti-coagulant like effects.
  • Massage and manipulation therapies are very dangerous and can lead to severe sprains or even fractures in the elderly because they have a poor muscle mass and osteoporosis.
  • Sometimes, the vital force of the elderly patients is low and trying Complementary medicines such as Homeopathy may be fruitless and frustration both for the patient and the physician.
  • Spiritual healing is another controversial subject. Sometimes Christian patients take offense to Hindu Reiki practitioners and vice versa. So great care should be taken in choosing a therapist, so that we do not hurt the spiritual sentiments of the elderly patients.

Conclusion:

It is very important to find out if the elderly patients are taking any complementary therapy before starting another one for them. Elderly patients often have very poor memories and extra efforts must be made to elicit a proper history. Extra time must also be spent if some pharmacological prescriptions are written and care should be taken to see that the proper dose is taken at the proper time.

Time must be spent explaining about possible side effects.  Often, the elderly are in touch with similarly afflicted patients of their age and may have surfed the Internet and they may have erroneous beliefs. The Alternative therapist should take all the precaution and make every effort to answer all questions sincerely, as truthfully and tactfully as possible.

Some of the elderly may not have adequate insurance or financial resources and in these cases every effort must be taken to prescribe safer and cheaper medications.

Navigating thorough the maze of Alternative therapy options can be very challenging both for the physician and the elderly patient with multiple health conditions. Both the Alternative physician and the patient should realize that they should adopt a flexible approach and weigh the pros and cons of conventional versus Complementary therapy so that the most appropriate system of medicine is used at the most appropriate time during the care of the geriatric patient.

References:

McCaleb RS, Leigh E, Morien K. The Encyclopedia of Popular Herbs: Your Complete Guide to the Leading Medicinal Plants. Roseville, Calif: Prima Publishing; 2000.

Krohn J, Taylor FA. Finding the Right Treatment. Modern and Alternative Medicine: A Comprehensive Reference Guide That Will Help You Get the Best of Both Worlds. Point Roberts, Wash: Hartley & Marks Publishers; 2002.

Huebscher R, Shuler PA. Natural, Alternative, and Complementary Health Care Practices. St. Louis: Mosby; 2004.

www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.

www.medscape.com.

Alternative Treatments for Mesothelioma

Introduction:

Mesothelioma is a form of lung cancer that is almost always caused by asbestos exposure and is most commonly found in the outer lining of the lungs called the mesothelium.  The majority of people who develop mesothelioma contract this cancer through breathing in asbestos fibers or being exposed to asbestos dust while on the job.


There are a number of reasons that make diagnosing mesothelioma in its early stages extremely difficult. The symptoms of mesothelioma can have a latency period of anywhere between 20 to 50 years after the initial asbestos contact, which means by the time the symptoms begin to show, the cancer is already within its advanced stages.

The success of treatment for mesothelioma is dependent on the stage in which the cancer is found.  Mesothelioma treatments can be very frustrating as the diagnosis is made in advanced stages.

Studies show that when found within either stage I or II, treatment for mesothelioma – usually with a combination of radiation and chemotherapy – is successful in extending the patient’s life for five years at a rate of 74.6%.

Although the Allopathic medical community frowns upon Alternative Medicine for mesothelioma, many patients have found them to be effective in combating symptoms of the disease.

Many of these treatments are what most people would describe as “holistic” in nature.  They’ll treat the patient not only physically, but also mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.  Others use these alternative therapies as a complement to traditional therapies, hoping to use every resource available to them to achieve as much success as possible in fighting the disease and its troublesome symptoms.

Alternative treatments for mesothelioma include:

Acupuncture – The art of acupuncture has been used for centuries in China to relieve pain.  Mesothelioma victims seek acupuncture treatments to decrease the intense pain often caused by the disease so that they may enjoy a better quality of life. 

Massage– various forms of massage therapy are used by mesothelioma patients in order to reduce both pain and stress. Many maintain that massage is by far the best way for patients with terminal diseases to enjoy some time of relaxation. Massage works by applying tension, pressure, and motion to the soft tissues of the body, which include tendons, muscles, ligaments, and lymphatic tissue.

Massage therapy may also aid is reducing nausea, which is often a side effect of cancer treatments such as chemotherapy. Patients can seek a specially trained massage therapist for these treatments, which may also be administered by a chiropractor.

Herbs and Nutritional Supplements– Most often used as a complement to traditional therapies, the use of herbs and nutritional supplements have proven helpful to some mesothelioma patients. Though they’re efficacy is not verified by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), some herbs and supplements claim to boost the immune system while others attest to slowing the progression of cancers such as pleural mesothelioma. Some herbs may reduce the potency of certain chemo drugs.)

Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) involves the placing of electrodes on the nerve pathway, which then produce an electrical current that is said to stimulate the production of a morphine-like substance in the brain. This substance may serve to reduce pain. Many mesothelioma patients seeking a fairly non-invasive form of palliative treatment have tried TENS therapy, with some success.

Meditation – Proponents of meditation claim that it increases the body’s immune function, but most patients use it to reduce stress and pain, not unlike massage. Meditation has been an important part of many Eastern religions for more than 5,000 years and involves bringing about a healthy state of relaxation for the individual involved in meditating. Mesothelioma patients who meditate are taught how to be aware of the mind and the attitudes that produce stress.

Aromatherapy is a type of therapy that falls under the guise of alternative medicine, typically through the use of different essential oils derived from plants. Though aromatherapy as use of essential oils for treatment purposes has roots in ancient times, aromatherapy as it exists today is a decidedly Western idea.

Hypnotherapy: Both guided and self-hypnosis may be done to ease the pain.

Conclusion:

According to statistics published by the American Cancer Society, the five-year relative survival rate for patients with mesothelioma is approximately 10 percent.

The mesothelioma prognosis for an individual who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma is not good; not so long ago, mesothelioma sufferers were generally told that they could expect to live eight to 18 months beyond the diagnosis. However, with new mesothelioma diagnostics and medical treatments, the lives of many mesothelioma patients have been extended significantly.

Reference:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/cancer-treatment.

www.medicalnewstoday.com.

www.mesotheliomatreatmentcenters.org.

The Alternative Method of Treating Cancer.

Introduction:

Many people with cancer are interested in trying anything that may help them, including complementary and alternative cancer treatments. If cancer makes you feel as if you have little control over your health, alternative cancer treatments may offer some feeling of control. But many alternative cancer treatments are unproved and some may even be dangerous. However, in recent times there has been a concerted effort to research alternate therapies and there are many promising options for cancer sufferers.
A list of Homeopathic remedies those are useful in cancer:
Carbo Animalis
Cancer of the breast with burning, drawing pains through chest. Cancer of the uterus, glands of stony hardness. Buboes

Carcinosinum:
Suicidal tendency and cancer diathesis. Anaemia acute pernicious, thirstless, wasting.

Castoreum:
Hysterical individual; antisycotic, cured pedunculated vegetation around the anus, few drops of the blood escape from the uterus with sort of uterine tenesmus.

Chelidonium
Bruised, aching pain at the interior angel of the right scapula. The dirty yellow complexion produced by chelidonium with other signs of cachexia, strongly suggest cancer

Conium Maculatum
Cancer with glandular enlargement and diminution of the senses. Dizziness is aggravated by moving the head sideways and when lying down.

Sabadilla
Sore throat with a sensation of lump in the throat and a constant necessity to swallow.

Samucus Nigra
Edema, especially of legs, instep, and feet. Obstruction of nose.

Scirrhinum
A tremendous sinking at navel. Dr Burnett used scirrhinum in breast tumor

Secale Cornutum
Haematuria, bloody urine, aluminous urine, thick black blood.
There are more than 200 Homeopathic Remedies from Plants or Vegetable Kingdom, Mineral and Animal Kingdom, that are useful in treating Cancer, here are some of them :-

1. Ammomia Carb 2. Astacus Fluviatilis 3. Anacardium Orientale 4. Antracinum 5. Cinnamomum 6. Cistuc Can 7. Calc Iod. 8. Cubeba 9. Copaiva 10. Camphor 11. Cina 12. Gastein 13. Grindelia 14. Hedera Helix 15. Heloderma 16. Jaborandi 17. Juglan Regia 18. Lacerta 19. Murex 20. Myristica Seb. 21. Myrica Ceri 22. Nat. Ars.23. Nux Moschata 24. Physostigma 25. Raphagus 26. Ruta 27. Sinapis 28. Scrohularia 29. Teurinum 30. Terebinthina 31. Urea 32. Verat. Alb. 33. Vinca Minor.

 Ayurvedic drugs with Anti-cancer properties:

1. Ashwagandha (Latin: withania somnifera) – The roots of ashwagandha are used as a medicine. Ashwagandha is bitter, sweet, astringent, light and unctuous. It stimulates digestive power and promotes expulsion of gases, increases quantity of urine, reduces swelling, pain and congestion of uterus. It is useful in cough, asthma, wrinkling of skin and pain in legs, back and waist. It is a tonic for muscles and generative organs and increases the quantity of semen. Withaferrin is the active ingredient in the roots of ashwagandha. If its paste is applied on the surface, the tumor stops growing, it protects bones from the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Dose: Ashwagandha powder is taken in dose of 3 to 6 grams per day. Ashwagandharistha is taken as 20 ml. It is contraindicated in persons with pitta constitution.

2. Anantamoola (Latin: sariva hemidesmus indicus) – The root is used as medicine. It is sweet, unctuous, heavy, cold and fragrant, and subdues all the 3 doshas. To introduce doshas, there are five fundamental elements that make up the universe–space (akasha), air (vayu), fire (Agni), water (apu) and earth (prithvi) and as per the Human view there are three doshas Vata, Pitta and Kapha and each of them use a combination of two of the above elements. Vata dosha combines space and air, Pitta dosha is made up of fire and water and Kapha dosha is a combination of water and earth.

Anantamoola purifies blood and increases the quantity of urine and sweat. It is a tonic and increases the quantity of semen. It is useful in fever, skin diseases, itching, burning, edema and bleeding tendency. It contains active ingredients which have anticancer properties to some extent and is particularly useful to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Dose: Anantamool powder 3 to 6 grams.

3. Amalaka (Latin: emblica officinale) – Amalaka is the best tonic i.e. rasayana nad subdues all the three doshas. It is a good tonic for all the tissues and all the age groups. Amalaka and pomegranate though sour subdue pitta. It is useful in bleeding disorders, prameha (Diabetes), haematuria (appearance of blood in the urine), burning sensation, fever and jaundice. Amalaka contains tannin, terbechin, korilagin and elagic acid. Elacid acid is an antioxidant and controls free radicals. It is useful to reduce the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Dose of amalaka powder is 3 to 6 gms per day or 10 to 20 ml juice twice a day.

4. Hareetaki (Latin: termialia chebula) – Hareetaki subdues vata because of sweet and sour tastes. It subdues pitta because of sweet and astringent tastes. It subdues kapha because of pungent and bitter tastes. The qualities and actions of amalka and hareetaki are similar. Amalaka is cold while hareetaki is hot. It is useful in cough, asthma, heart disease, prameha, edema and obesity. It promotes intellect and is good for eyes. It contains tannin and terbechin. It reduces the free radicals and it’s a great antioxidant. It is also useful in reducing the side affects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Dose is 3 to 6 gms powder per day.

5. Bibheetaka (latin: terminalia bellerica) – Its fruits are used and it is astringent, dry, light, hot and acts as an eye tonic. It is useful in cold, cough, asthma, hoarseness of voice and blood in sputum. It contains gallic acid, elgic acid, chebulic acid and cystosteral which decreases the free radicals and acts as antioxidants. It is useful in reducing the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Dose is 3 to 6 gms per day.

6. Triphala – it is a mixture of powders of amalaka, karretaki and bibheetaka. All these protect the patient from free radicals. It acts as a tonic and postpones ageing and slows the growth of cancer.

Dose is 2.5 to 3 gms per day.

7. Kumara (Latin: korphad-aloe vera) – Its leaves are thick and contains sticky thick white colored juice. It is sweet, heavy, unctuous, sticky, cold, and subdues kapha and pitta. It is useful in cough, asthma, enlargement of liver and spleen, enlarged lymph glands, urinary disorders and bleeding disorders. It has 23 polypeptides of this emodin and lectve have anti-cancer properties. Kumara increases the number of T – lymphocytes and the number of cytokines in lymphocytes. It is useful in all cancers except cancer of brain and pancreas. It reduces the size of tumors which could not be done without operation otherwise.

Dose is 10 to 20 ml of juice of leaves per day.

8. Kutaki, katuka (Latin: picrorrhiza kurroa) – The roots of kutaki are used as medicine. It is bitter, dry, light, cold and subdues pitta and kapha. In small doses it stimulates liver function and is choleritic. In large doses it acts as purgative. It is useful for jaundice and cancer of skin and liver.

Dose is ½ to 1 ½ gm per day.

9. Kakamachi (Latin: solanum nieurum) – Its leaves, fruits, roots, flowers and bask i.e., the entire plant is used as medicine. It is bitter, light, and unctuous which tones the voice. The glycosides in kakamachi inhibit the growth of cancer of uterus. It is worth trying for the cancer of larynx. If taken in excess it produces vomiting, diarrhea, pain in abdomen and headache. Medicines and diet which subdues pitta are helpful.

Dose: of its juice is 10 to 20 ml. per day.

10. Ghaneri – narakya amrutya – It contains quinolone alkaloids, camplothocin which are known to have anticancer properties.

11. Guduchi (Latin: tinospora cordifolia) – It is a parasite which grows on trees of mango or kadu nimbi (Neem/Azadirachta indica). The steam of guduchi is used as medicine. It is bitter, astringent, pungent, hot, and stimulates digestive power. It subdues all the three doshas and acts as a tonic. It is useful in jaundice, disease of liver and spleen, diabetes, burning and fever. It prevents neutropenia which is a side effect of cancer therapy with cyclophosphamide. It improves the function of G.M.C.S.F. it reduces the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Dose: 3 to 6 gms of powder per day. Guduchi satva is taken as 1 to 2 gms of powder per day. While its decoction is taken in dose of 50 to 100 ml per day.

12. Chitrak (Latin: plumbago zevalnica) – The skin of roots of chitrak is used as medicine. It is pungent, light, hot, penetrating, and dry and increases appetite and digestive power. It is useful in curbing of enlargement of liver and spleen and piles. Plumbagin is the active principle of chitrak and is useful in lymphocytic leukemia.

Its dose is 1 to 30 gms of powder (of its skin of roots) per day. If given in larger doses, it gives rise to burning in stomach and burning micturation. It may cause abortion if given to pregnant woman.

13. Tagara (latin: valeriana wallichii DC) – Again this herb also has been reported to have anticancer properties.

14. Bala (Latin: sida cordifolia linn) – The roots, leaves and seeds of bala are used as medicine. It is sweet, light, unctuous, and cold and is a tonic for hair and generative organs. It is useful in thin, lean and weak people and for weakness in cancer. An anticancer ingredient is found in bala.

Dose is 3 to 6 gms of powder per day or 10 to 20 ml of juice per day.

15. Tulsi (Latin: holy basil ocimum sanctum) – The leaves, roots and seeds of holy basil are used as medicine. It is pungent, bitter, light, dry, hot deodorant and a heart stimulant. It is useful in cold, cough, fever, asthma, vomiting and backache. The seeds of tulsi increase the quantity of urine and decrease the burning sensation. The leaves of tulsi contain ozone. If in spite of adequate supply of glucose, the supply of oxygen is less, the normal cells get converted into carcinogeni cells. It is useful in cancer because of ozone. It is likely to be useful in cancer of lungs.

Its dose is 3 to 6 gms of seeds or 10 to 20 ml of its fresh juice.

16. Bhallataka – marking nut (Latin: semicarpus anacardium) – The marking nut tree is 20 to 40 feet tall. Its fruits are used as medicine. Bhallataka is pungent, bitter, light, unctuous, and hot. It subdues kapha and vata and increases pitta. “kaphajow na cha rogostiya yum na bhallatakum jayatey’’ which denotes that there is no disease caused by kapha which is not cured by bhallataka. As cancer is a disease when kapha dosha is dominant, bhallataka should be tried in all varieties of cancer. It should not be given to patients in whom symptoms of pitta like fever, burning sensation, bleeding are present. It should not be given to pregnant women and individuals with pitta constitution. It is useful in curbing of enlargement of liver and spleen, enlargement of glands and hemi paralysis. Marking nut should be held with forceps on a flame of a candle. As it melts, oil starts dribbling. The oil drops should be allowed to fall in a cup of milk 5 to 10 drops of the oil should be stirred in the cup of milk and the milk should be drunk daily.

Its dose is 5 to 10 drops of its oil with milk per day. In powder form it is taken as 1 to 10 gms after boiling it with milk. Remember that marking nut is notorious as it causes irritation and allergic reactions. And these are very common. So, one should use it with care and under guidance of an experienced ayurved-acharya. This medicine should be treated with butter, ghee and coconut applied locally and taken internally to reduce its side effects and increase the potency.

17. Bhoomyamalaki (Latin: phyllanthus amorus) – The entire plant is used as medicine. It is bitter astringent, dry, light and cold. It is useful in jaundice, bleeding disorder, skin diseases, burning sensation in body, urinary disorders, enlargement of liver and spleen and disease of uterus. It is useful in cancer of skin and liver. Its dose is 3 to 6 gms in powder form or can be taken as juice form in dose of 10 to 20 ml per day.

18. Shatavari (Latin: asparagus racemosa) – The tubers of medicine is used. Shatavari is sweet, bitter, heavy, unctuous and cold. It promotes growth of fetus. It is a tonic for breast and female generative organs. It is given to mothers to increase the milk supply. It reduces the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Its dose is 5 to 10 gms per day or juice can be taken in 10 to 20 ml dose per day.

19. Garlic – Its cloves are used as medicine. It is pungent, bitter, salty, and sweet in taste. It is hot, penetrating, unctuous, and sticky, it increases pitta. It promotes intellect and increases quality of semen. It acts as a tonic for bones and breasts. It is useful in cold, cough, asthma, rheumatism, heart diseases, hyperlipedemia and in all sorts of diseases caused by vata dosha. It also helps in diseases predominant in pitta dosha like stomatitis, fever and diarrhea. Preferably should be consumed in winter and spring. It should not be taken in summer and sharad ritu (post monsoon season). It is useful in cancer of esophagus, stomach and lungs.

It is taken as powder form in dose of 3 to 6 gms per day with ghee or 2 drops of its oil per day with ghee (clarified butter).

20. Shilajit – It is bitter, pungent and rasayana. It is useful in edema, anemia, breathlessness, prameha, curbing of enlargement of liver, spleen, glands and prostate. It is useful in obesity, piles, urinary stone, obesity and rheumatism.

Its dose is 250 mg to 1 gm per day.

21. Guggul – It is a gum collected from the barks or trunks of the tree. It burns the skin as it is an irritant to the skin. It gets melted in heat and gives white color to solution when dissolved in water. It is light, dry, minute, fragrant, unctuous, sticky, bitter, pungent and hot. It increases red and white blood cells and subdues all the three doshas. It is useful in rheumatism, curbing enlarged lymph glands, skin diseases, prameha, obesity, edema, piles, and urinary stone. As gugggul is hot, one should avoid eating pungent and sour food items, alcoholic drinks, sex, and exercise, sitting in sun, and getting angry.

Herbal remedies in cancer:

We will describe some of the most important herbs useful for immunity.

Garlic

Garlic is a natural antibiotic that stimulates the immune system and increases the effectiveness of white blood cells and T cells. It blocks toxin production by germs. It also possesses broad-spectrum bacteriostatic and bactericidal properties. Garlic is a key to achieving optimal immunity.

Echinacea

Echinacea is one of the best-known immune- enhancing herbs. 
It is effective against a wide range of microbes, including many viruses, bacteria, and fungi.

Chinese Ginseng (Panax ginseng)

Herbalists say that ginseng affects the immune control centers of the central nervous system, directly and indirectly through adrenocortical hormones, toning, increasing output, or simply restoring equilibrium.

Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceous)

Astragalus increases the production of interferon, an immune factor that inhibits viral growth. One study demonstrated that chronic bronchitis patients experience significant reduction in symptoms when using astragalus.

Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza glabra)

According to herbalists, licorice is one of the two or three most important herbs in the world. To the Chinese, there is no other herb that acts on such a grand scale except, perhaps, ginseng. Licorice root is found in more medicinal combinations in Chinese Medicine than any other herb including ginseng.

Wild Indigo (Baptisia tinctoria)

Wild indigo has been used for centuries as a natural antibiotic against infections. Wild indigo has an antibiotic effect on a wide range of microbes. It kills the microbe by preventing it from multiplying in the body. Wild indigo also has an immune-enhancing effect. It is also a strong decongestant.

Conclusion:

Approximately one-third of adults in the United States use complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) yet less than 40 percent disclose such use to their physician and other health care providers. Women are more likely than men to use CAM therapies… Some forms of CAM are being incorporated into services provided by hospitals; covered by health maintenance organizations; delivered in conventional medical practitioners’ offices; and taught in medical, nursing, and other health professions schools. Insurance coverage of CAM therapies is increasing and integrative medicine centers and clinics are being established.

HOMEOPATHY AND ARTHRITIS.

Homeopathy interprets diseases and sickness as caused by disturbances in a hypothetical vital force or life force. The vital force is a dynamic force. It sees these disturbances as manifesting themselves as unique symptoms. Homeopathy maintains that the vital force has the ability to react and adapt to internal and external causes, which homeopaths refer to as the ”law of susceptibility”.  The law of susceptibility implies that a negative state of mind can attract hypothetical disease entities called ”miasms” to invade the body and produce symptoms of diseases.

Hahnemann’s “Law of similars”

Hahnemann observed from his experiments with cinchona bark, used as a treatment for malaria, that the effects he experienced from ingesting the bark were similar to the symptoms of malaria.

He therefore reasoned that cure proceeds through similarity, implying that “Like cures like”. He therefore reasoned that that treatment must be able to produce symptoms in healthy individuals similar to those of the disease being treated.

He believed that by inducing a disease through use of drugs in highly potentised form, the artificial symptoms empowered the vital force to neutralize and expel the original disease and that this artificial disturbance would naturally subside when the dosing ceased.

Miasms and disease

In 1828, Hahnemann introduced the concept of ”miasms”; underlying causes for many known diseases.  A miasm is often defined by homeopaths as an imputed “peculiar morbid derangement of vital force”.

Hahnemann associated each miasm with specific diseases, with each miasm seen as the root cause of several diseases. Hahnemann’s miasm theory remains disputed and controversial within homeopathy even in modern times.

Remedies in Homeopathy for Arthritis:

It is beyond the scope of this small article to discuss all remedies. Some remedies are listed here and they greatly help suffering patients. But a classical Homeopath will take a detailed history and find out the exact remedy. However some useful remedies are:

  1. Rhus tox is best suited for people who experience symptom improvement from moving but tend to get stiff from rest.
  • Bryonia is best for people whose symptoms worsen from movement.
  • Apis Mel is suitable for people with hot, burning, stinging pain and swelling.
  • Belladonna is best suited for people who experience a rapid and violent onset of throbbing arthritic pain and red, hot, and swollen joints.

I should end with a note of caution that the ordinary lay person should not self medicate himself, instead would be well served by contacting an experienced Homeopath for arthritis.

There are many remedies for arthritis and most patients will experience a good relief of their symptoms.