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What is leukaemia?

Leukaemia is the collective term used for cancers of the blood cells produced in bone marrow. Leukaemia involves the production of abnormal white blood cells that do not fight infection like normal white blood cells do. The abnormal cells continue to divide, which makes it increasingly difficult for the body to fight infection, transport oxygen, and control bleeding.

The types of leukaemia are based on how quickly the disease spreads and develops, and what type of abnormal cells are produced. Acute leukaemia develops rapidly, and large numbers of abnormal cells accumulate quickly in the bone marrow and blood. Chronic leukaemia develops slowly and may not present any specific symptoms early on.

What causes leukaemia?

The exact cause of leukaemia is not known, but some of the possible contributing factors include:

  • Family history
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Carcinogenic substances
  • Radiation
  • Retrovirus attacks

What are the symptoms of leukaemia?

The signs and symptoms of leukaemia depend on the type of leukaemia, and arise from the loss of normal blood cell function or the accumulation of abnormal cells. The major symptom of leukaemia is the loss of platelets in the blood, which are responsible for clotting. The loss of platelets is caused by damage to the bone marrow. Some of the symptoms of leukaemia are:

  • Bruises
  • Flu like symptoms
  • Bleeding
  • Fatigue or tiredness
  • Frequent infections
  • Weight loss
  • Bone or joint pain
  • Fever, chill, nausea
  • Night sweats
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Red spots on the skin
  • Infections such as tonsillitis and pneumonia
  • Seizures
  • Coma

If the abnormal cells can be found in the brain the symptoms may include:

  • Headaches
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of muscle control
  • Confusion

How can Ayurveda help with leukaemia?

Ayurveda may support the treatment of leukaemia as per the patient’s specific characteristics, body energy, and affected tissue. The style of treatment focuses on the whole body and not just the affected areas. The Ayurvedic treatments may be able to boost the body’s immunity, endurance, and strength.

Ayurveda uses herbs to help naturally enhance the body’s functioning. The herbs used by Ayurveda to aid in the treatment of leukaemia may help to curb the abnormal growth of cells and the regeneration of normal, healthy cells. In the later stages of leukaemia, Ayurvedic herbs may help to relieve pain and anxiety.

Ayurvedic treatments can be used in conjunction with radiotherapy or chemotherapy. The preparations used in Ayurveda may be able to slow the progress of leukaemia and may minimise the side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Ayurvedic herbs used in supportive treatments for leukaemia

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)

Ashwagandha can help in cases of impotency, stress, rheumatism, constipation, and other conditions. An increase of stress and a decrease in healthy lifestyle and diet may lead to stress induced disorders. Ashwagandha may help with reducing stress, fatigue, and bodily weakness, while working to enhance memory.

Ashwagandha has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that may help to promote the overall well-being of the body. Ashwagandha may also be used in Ayurveda to nourish the brain.

Giloy (Guduchi)

Giloy may be able to improve the body’s immunity in a natural way. It may also be able to help with maintaining homeostasis and preventing disease.

Curcumin (Curcuma longa)

Curcumin is widely used in Ayurveda in cases of leukaemia. Curcumin may be helpful in treating leukaemia due to its abundant antioxidants, which may improve the body’s health and immunity. Curcumin is also used in Chinese medicine to relieve liver and digestive related diseases. The anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin may be helpful in treating various inflammations, allergies, and infections. This herb may be able to help in the treatment of leukaemia due to being rich in antibiotic properties, which may help to fight infections.

Tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum)

Tulsi is used in a variety of herbal products and teas due to its strong aroma and the benefits it may provide for the throat and chest. Tulsi also has antioxidant properties that may aid in fighting simple infections such as the common cold, headaches, and the flu. Tulsi leaves are used in teas that may help to relieve the common cold, and may help reduce stress and maintain emotional balance. The anti-inflammatory properties of tulsi may be beneficial in treating rhinitis and sinusitis.

Analaki (Emblica officinalis)

Analaki is used in Ayurveda for its rejuvenating properties. The natural antioxidants in analaki may help with the regeneration of cells as well as strengthening immunity. Analaki may help in treating anaemia and blood related disorders such as leukaemia in a natural way. Analaki may also be able to help in improving the function of the liver and aid in digestion. This herb may help to improve immunity and boost metabolism.

Haritaki (Terminalia chebula)

Haritaki may be beneficial in gastrointestinal ailments. When powdered and mixed with honey and ghee, haritaki can be an effective anaemia remedy. The herb may be able to improve memory and helpful in dysuria and urinary stones. Haritaki may help to improve appetite and digestion, as well as anaemia.

Vibhitaki (Terminalia belerica)

Vibhitaki is an important Ayurvedic herb and is used in the formation of triphala. This herb is also used in heart tonic, and may help with thinning of the blood. Vibhitaki can also be used in cases of low red blood cell count and low haemoglobin, as well as anaemia.

Kachnaar Guggul

Kachnaar Guggul is a herbal formulation that is manufactured from herbs:

  • Kachnaar (Bauhinia variegata)
  • Bibhitaki (Terminalia bellerica)
  • Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
  • Amalaki (Emblica officinalis)
  • Pippali (Piper longum)
  • Haritaki (Terminalia chebula)
  • Black pepper (Piper nigrum)
  • Varuna (Crataeva religiosa)

The use of these herbs may help to maintain healthy cells and tissue.

Chanderprabha vati

Chanderprabha vati is a herbal blend that may be used to support leukaemia patients, which consists of:

  • Vacha
  • Mustak
  • Karpoor
  • Shilajit
  • Guggul
  • Amalaki
  • Vidanga
  • Giloy
  • Sharkara
  • Chavya
  • Pippali
  • Tejpatta
  • Haridra
  • Danti
  • Maricha
  • Dalchini
  • Shunthi

The combination of these herbs may act to relieve stress and tension, while also working to prevent infection.

For a natural way to help with the treatment of leukaemia, make an appointment at our clinic.

What is Panchakarma?

Panchakarma is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘five treatments’ or ‘five actions’. Panchakarma is used to treat the root cause of a problem and aids in balancing the body’s fundamental energies (tridosha). This method may be used to help maintain overall good health as well as aid in easing disease.

It is advised to undergo Panchakarma on a seasonal basis to help improve digestion, metabolic process, and cleanse the body.

Panchakarma is made up of five steps:

Vamana (medicated vomiting)

Vamana is used to remove any of the body’s five elements (doshas) that have been impaired in the upper part of the body. A herbal emetic substance is used to induce vomiting with the purpose of eliminating impaired kapha and pitta doshas.

Virechana (medicated purgation)

Virechana is the downward elimination of impaired doshas or waste products. This treatment aims to expel impaired doshas from the stomach, small intestine, liver, and gallbladder to the gastrointestinal tract for eventual expulsion.

Vasti/Basti (medicated enema)

Basti is the main treatment used for vata disorders, however, can also be used to treat other dosha disorders as well. Many different herbs and other substances can be used to make a Basti such as milk, honey, oil, broth, salt, herbal paste, and many others.

Basti can come in two parts:

  1. Niruha or Asthapan vasti – also known as a decoction or cleansing enema
  2. Anuvasana or Sneha vasti – meaning ‘that which remains inside the body for a long time without causing harm’, and mostly consists of oil

Nasya Karma (nasal medication)

Nasya is a process used to clear the head and neck region by administering medications through the nostrils. This process may aid in the prevention of ear, nose, throat diseases, and may treat hair loss or greying hair. Nasya controls all the doshas of the head and may affect the senses and motor organs in the head.

What are the benefits of panchakarma?

The benefits of panchakarma include:

  • Better functionality of digestive process
  • Restoration and maintenance of health
  • Improvement in functionality of sense organs
  • Improved skin appearance
  • Increased stamina

Panchakarma may aid in boosting the body’s rejuvenation process and immunity. Please contact our Melbourne clinic for more information or to set up an appointment.