The cell of the human body is a highly complex unit in which various organelles and enzyme systems undergo metabolic activities, continuously. The maintenance of these cells and its normal functioning is dependent upon the immediate environment of the cell, continuous supply of nutrients, and elimination of carbon dioxide and other metabolic products. During this process, there is continuous death of cells and also regeneration of new ones. This degeneration of cells may have following reasons:
1. Due to chemical change in tissue
2. Deposition of abnormal material in tissue
3. Degenerative disease.
Cell degeneration is over accumulation of damaged cells that may hinder other processes in the body. It is also important to balance homeostasis, which is necessary to maintain healthy organisms and prevention of disease. It also is a defense mechanism against foreign organisms like bacteria and viruses, which are removed during cell degeneration. But when this degeneration goes wrong, it leads to development of tumor, cancer, auto-immune conditions and neurodegenerative diseases.
The phenomenon of natural death of the cell is explained in Ayurveda. It is coined as “Swabhawoparmwada”. The term “Swabhawa” means natural and “Uparam” means destruction. Thus, as a whole Swabhawoparmwada means self destruction or natural destruction. Any disturbance in equilibrium of formation and destruction of the cells, causes imbalance of Dhatus (tissues) in the body. Whereas, when a proper equilibrium is established, it leads to balance in Dhatus. The reason due to which this destruction is caused won’t matter at tissue level, because when equilibrium is disrupted, tissues /cells tend to regenerate or disintegrate accordingly. Reason of annihilation can’t be determined as it is an automatic process. Thus, their creation is due to certain causative factors but they get destroyed automatically, without caring of any causative factor.
But, due to imbalance in the degeneration of cells, Ayurveda has explained various abnormalities like, cancer, Autoimmune condition and neurodegenerative diseases.
1. Cancer: Cancer is caused due to mutation in the cells which have the ability to divide uncontrollably and form an abnormal mass of cells in the body. These cells have great potential to divide and invade other parts of the body with great speed. Ayurveda defines cancer as an imbalance in Tridoshas, Dhatus and Triguna. In this case, the degeneration of mutated tissues is at a very slow rate, while generation of those same cells is at maximum rate. An imbalance in formation of Dhatus, leads to such cancerous conditions. Further, Ayurveda also proposes safe cure of these tumors without any side effects. It comprises herbal medicines & therapies, increasing the quality of life, diet, Rasayana drugs, Panchakarma therapy, etc.
2. Auto-immune conditions: Ayurveda discovers the root cause of autoimmune disorders by looking at what caused the inflammation and work backwards – lack of cellular communication causes inflammation; and this communication can be broken down due to Ama accumulated in the cell; this Ama is caused by low Agni and Ojas. Thus, the root cause of autoimmune diseases according to Ayurveda is due to low Agni and weak Ojas. The treatment in Ayurveda focuses on restoring Agni and Ojas and naturally cure autoimmune diseases. The treatment includes therapies like herbal medicines, Pizhichil, Njavara Kizhi, Shiro Basti, Abhyangam along with Panchakarma and Yoga.
3. Neurodegenerative diseases:
Neurodegenerative disease is the condition in which the neurons are affected in the human brain. Nervous system is entirely built of neurons which also incorporates the brain and spinal cord. Neurons do not duplicate and are not replaced in case of any dead neurons. In neurodegenerative disease there is a serious weakening condition that results in dynamic degeneration and death of nerve cells. It can be caused due to hereditary and sporadic conditions which describe breakdown of the nervous system. In Ayurveda neurological problems are described in the context of Vatavyadhi. Thus, the treatment in Ayurveda corresponds to rectifying the imbalance in Vata Dosha and maintaining a harmony between Pitta and Kapha Dosha so as to eliminate the disease. The incurable neurological problems are proved to be successful if treated by Ayurvedic medicines and Panchakarma therapies.
Degenerative diseases affect function or structure of the tissues or organs, which deteriorate progressively over time, due to lifestyle choices. As the age passes, the body tissues degenerate gradually, and this is known as Kalaja Jara i.e. natural aging. This is controlled by various systems within the body. But, if this degeneration starts early, it leads to various diseases like Osteoarthritis, Degenerative disc disease, hardening of blood vessels, Parkinson’s disease, graying of hair, Alzheimer’s disease, Cataract, Diabetes, Dementia, etc.
Ayurveda serves a range of treatment for these degenerative diseases:
1. Basti- Includes correction of imbalanced Vata dosha.
2. Shastika Shali Pinda Sweda- It is employed for the treatment of chronic Vata diseases.
3. Abhyanga- Involves massage of the body with warm oil.
4. Patra Pinda Sweda- This therapy is employed in order to manage complicated back pain.
5. Panchakarma- It is employed to purify the body upto the cellular level after proper lubrication.
Thus, Ayurveda proves to be an effective tool to eliminate degenerative diseases. It serves various therapies and medications which are natural and prevent the growth of disorder and prevent it at an early stage.