From an Ayurvedic perspective, prostate cancer is a tumor of the prostate gland involving vitiation of all three doshas (vata, pitta, and kapha). Because the prostate gland forms part of the male reproductive system (shukra dhatu), prostate cancer reflects the physical, emotional, and spiritual relationship that the affected man has had with his reproductive capacity. Because the shukra dhatu is the seventh and last dhatu, any disorder at this level also reflects the overall relationship with the entire body. 
Prostate cancer arises from a combination of doshic disturbances in the shukra dhatu and accumulation of ama in the vicinity of the prostate gland. Once one dosha is provoked in the shukra dhatu, and this provocation goes unchecked, the other two doshas will gradually accumulate, leading to tridoshic provocation. 
dhatu. These include: [6, 7]
Vata dosha also increases with age. Because vata dosha is irregular, dry, and moving by nature, it can cause digestion to become more irregular. This contributes to more ama being produced and spreading to the tissues. Additionally, the prostate is located in the area of the body that is governed by apana vayu, which includes the colon, lower abdomen, elimination, and reproductive areas. Therefore, anything that aggravates apana vayu creates pressure on the prostate. So if the flow of energy and nutrients to the prostate area gets blocked by ama, and the flow of impurities out of the area gets obstructed, the prostate gets weaker and more and more imbalanced. 
In addition to a toxic environment, devitalized foods, and sedentary lifestyle, cancer, in general, can be caused by lack of spiritual purpose or effort in life. Suppressed emotion or emotional stagnation can lead to accumulation of toxic material and excess doshas. 
Additionally, imbalances or blockages of energy associated with either the first or second chakra can lead to disorders of the prostate gland, and, eventually to prostate cancer. The prostate gland is associated with muladhara chakra (the first chakra), as it governs procreation among other functions. There is also a connection between the prostate gland and svadhisthana chakra, the second chakra. All non-procreative aspects of sexual intercourse are related to svadhisthana chakra, as well as creative energy. Therefore, addressing the overall relationship with sexuality, procreation, and the entire spectrum of generative and creative energy becomes important. 
The Ayurvedic healing process for prostate cancer approaches the patient on several levels: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
Healing Process—The Physical Level
Herbs. Generally, herbs utilized in the treatment of cancer can be taken internally or applied over the tumor as a paste, acting directly on the cancer and supporting a deeper healing when used in accordance with the patient's vikruti.  Specific references to the treatment of tumors (arbuda) in the classical texts indicate the application of herbal poultices and fomention for vata arbuda, herbal poultices, fomentation and herbal purgatives for pitta arbuda, and the application of hot plaster after herbal emetics or purgatives for kapha arbuda. [12, 13]
In the treatment of prostate cancer, herbs may be utilized to support the health of the urogenital system, reduce tumor growth and perhaps limit metastasis.
Specific herbs for the urogenital system.
- • Gokshura is noted to be one of the most important herbs for the urogenital system. Gokshura is tridoshic, diuretic, rejuvenative, nervine, and soothing to the urinary tract. [6, 8, 9]
- • Punarnava is another important herb that rejuvenates the urinary tract. It is also useful in the treatment of cancer because it reduces swellings, and its alkaloid has a specific anti- cancer effect. However, it should not be used in cases of dehydration or emaciation. [6, 9]
- • Additional herbs that support healthy urination include: white sandalwood, guduchi, shilajit, and pumpkin seeds. [6, 9]
- • Herbs that support the shukra dhatu and maintain testosterone production include: gokshura, bala, shilajit, zinc bhasma, and saw palmetto. [7, 9, 10]
- • Herbs that specifically support prostate health include:
- o Guduchi, turmeric, and zinc B=bhasma. They enhance immunity in the prostate area. 
- o The combination of guggul and zinc bhasma. They are a traditional ayurvedic remedy for balancing the size and health of the prostate. Turmeric and guggul are both effective anti-inflammatory herbs, as well. 
- o Ashwaganda. It provides long-term support and nourishment to the prostate gland. 
- o Bala, kapikacchu, and marshmellow. They are effective for enlarged prostate problems. 
- o Kachnar and guggul. They help maintain prostate health and function as both have a specific effect in clearing ama from the blood, muscle, and fat tissue, and help maintain the normal size of the prostate gland by supporting balanced cell production. 
- o Rabdosia. It is one of the active anti-cancer herbs in the formula PC SPES, which has undergone successful clinical trials for prostate cancer. 
Herbs having tendencies for breaking down tumors. The two most important herbs used in treating prostate cancer are kutki and shilajit. They are both contained in the formula, Chandraprabha.
- • Kutki is a purgative and breaks down fecal matter, thus helping to remove ama from the colon. It tends to break down tumors due to its scraping effect. [6, 9]
- • Shilajit’s main action is on the urogenital system, and it has a specific effect in reducing both benign and malignant swelling of the prostate. [6, 8, 16]
Additional anti-cancer herbs. Many of the herbs that are credited with the potential to heal cancer are strongly purifying, ridding the body of toxins, excess dosha and ama. Examples of strongly reducing herbs with a reputation to destroy tumors include red clover, burdock root, dandelion root, guggul, turmeric and chaparral. [5, 10] Green tea, cat's claw, manjishta, madagascan periwinkle, shatavari, and brahmi (bacopa monniera) have also been well-studied and identified as anti-cancer herbs. 
Tonification or Purification Therapy. If prostate cancer patients begin Ayurvedic treatment early when they are strong, the practitioner would take the patient through a period of purification followed by a period of tonification or rejuvenation leaving the patient's body purified (reducing ama and excess dosha) and their immune system strong. Patients who are weak would undergo strengthening or tonification therapy to invigorate the immune system. 
Managing the Digestive System. According to Ayurveda, a healthy digestive system supports the healing of all tissues of the body. The digestive system is managed though the removal of ama, proper diet and herbs as well as vamana, virechana and basti applied appropriately with due regard for prakruti and vikruti. 
Diet. Since prostate cancer is a tridoshic provocation, according to Ayurveda, the diet should be a balanced one, avoiding extremes that could further provoke one of the doshas. A diet of warm, cooked, easily digestible, light yet nourishing foods are best. Organic vegetables cooked in mild spices, whole grains, light proteins such as mung dhal soups, and sweet, juicy fruits will nourish the body and pacify all three doshas. [6, 7]
Eliminating Ama. To prevent further accumulation of ama in the colon, an Ayurvedic regimen for the maintenance of agni, the digestive fire, would be followed. This involves practices, such as, leaving at least three hours between meals or snacks, not sleeping within two hours of eating, not combining incompatible foods, and avoiding old, cold, and stale foods and drinks. Also, triphala is considered an effective herbal formula to maintain a clean, healthy colon and prevent further exposure of the prostate gland to colonic ama. 
Healing Process—The Mental, Emotional and Spiritual Levels
- • Dr. Marc Halpern of the California College of Ayurveda advises mental purification and rejuvenation as part of the healing process. He concludes that, “purifying the mind through periods of silence and a lack of sensory stimulation helps support healing.” Meditation and shirodhara can help produce inner silence, while nasya supports mental purification. 
- • Dr. Halpern also purports that mental rejuvenation must follow mental purification. Mental rejuvenation can be accomplished through the use of oil therapies, such as shirodara or abhyanga. Daily self-abhyanga is considered an important act of self-love, as it rebuilds ojas in the mind. 
- • The patient’s relationship with sexuality and procreation can be addressed, as an immature or unintegrated approach to sexuality is viewed as harmful as it sets up a negative energy pattern related to the reproductive system and causes unhealthy behaviors that directly damage the prostate gland. 
- • The patient’s relationship with creative expression can be addressed, as a life devoid of meaningful creative expression is considered a physically, mentally, and spiritually destructive situation. According to Alakananda Devi, whenever the energy of creation is absent, the energy of destruction (tamas) will take over. This destructive energy will readily find expression within the shukra dhatu, the tissue associated with procreation, generation, and creation. 
- • In the Vedic system, cancer is viewed as a psychic disorder, a disruption in the aura allowing the entrance of a negative astral force. Emotional cleansing, mantra, pranayama, and meditation are viewed as important methods to counter this disruption. Gem therapy is considered helpful to balance the aura and protect the life. For example, blue sapphire set in gold is considered the best gem for antitumor properties. Dr. David Frawley states, “Chanting OM is excellent for opening up the aura and clearing the psychic air. The mantra RAM is best to give protection and bring down the Divine healing force. HUM is effective for casting out negative life-energies.” 
- • Yoga asanas reduce tension and inner restrictions that may be blocking the healing process. 
- • Visualization is the process of engaging the imagination in the process of healing. By visualizing a positive outcome, the chances of survival and healing are noted to increase. 
- • Sattvic practices, such as spending time in nature, are considered important for keeping
the mind clear and supporting the healing process. Sattvic practices assist in the healing of karma. 
Additional Ayurvedic Therapies and Prevention Guidelines
Additional Daily Therapies
- • Daily castor oil massage of the prostate using cold-pressed castor oil can be helpful. 
- • Daily perineal exercises (the practice of ashvini mudra) can enhance circulation and lymphatic drainage of the prostate. 
- • The use of anuvasana and niruha basti can bring herbs close to the location of the prostate gland. A decoction involving dashmoola would be appropriate. These therapies are ideal for pacifying vata dosha; but can be designed so that kapha is not vitiated. [6, 9]
- • Yoga asanas that apply perineal pressure can be useful. Examples include: kukutasana, gomukhdsana, padpedandsaan, and salabhasana (locust pose), as well as the inverted poses, sirsasana and sarvangasana. 
Additional Ayurvedic Prostate Cancer Prevention Guidelines
In order to prevent the onset of prostate cancer, patients are advised to:
- • Pacify vata (by creating regular routines around eating and sleeping, slowing down, resting) and apana vayu (through daily abhyanga massages and ensuring regular bowl movements). The classical text, Caraka Samhita, reiterates the importance of pacifying vata in regards to cancerous tumors: “In case of gulma, pacification of vayu should be done properly with all means because after vayu is won over, even the small remedy alleviates the other aggravated dosha.” 
- • Take short breaks frequently and try to stretch or take a short walk. This will restore the normal flow of energy, blood, and nutrient fluid to the prostate area. 
- • Avoid alcohol and caffeine consumption, as both create abnormal urine production and irritate the bladder. Take the necessary time to empty the bladder completely. Drink water throughout the day to prevent the urine from becoming too concentrated. 
- • Not suppress the urge to urinate as it can lead to further urogenital complications. 
As Dr. Marc Halpern states, “The Western approach to managing cancer brings both opportunities for cure as well as great challenges.”  Because the word “cancer” has frightening implications for many patients, over-treatment of early stage cancerous conditions, such as prostate cancer, has become a commonplace occurrence in order to fight the “war” on cancer. In other words, the treatment often becomes more invasive than the disease condition itself. However, the ancient knowledge of Ayurveda, immersed in the wisdom of Nature, provides clues to the healing process that, although may not be substantiated by research—yet, may one day bring an end to suffering.
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