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Pitta and Colon Cancer  (Ayurvedic insight and theory)

By Yogi Baba Prem 

 Note: This article is not intended to diagnose or prescribe treatment.  It is a theoretical paper and requires additional research to investigate the concepts introduced by the author.  Consult with your doctor if you suspect cancer may have manifested within your body, as well as having regular checkups.


There is little doubt that cancer is one of the most insidious diseases of our time.  One would be hard-pressed not to find a family touched by cancer or to find an individual that knows no family that has been affected by cancer.  Due to the complexity of the subject matter, this brief paper should not be viewed as a comprehensive examination of the subject; rather it focuses on one potential causative factor; with the hope of inspiring further research and investigation.  To understand the underlying theory of this article, one must first understand pitta. 


Pitta, the word, comes from Ayurveda ( an ancient Hindu/Vedic science of life) and consists of the fire and water elements.  Within Ayurvedic philosophy, Pitta is associated with numerous organs and parts of the body; for our purposes, our primary interest would be the small intestine which is an organ associated with pitta.  So one may ask, ‘How is it associated with the colon?’  This question will form the basis of the first Ayurvedic theory I will examine.  I have observed individuals with high Vata (ether/air) in the colon, this in and of itself is not strange as the colon is an organ of vata.  But in some cases, the vata was so high that it was in such a state as to pull Pitta from the small intestine into the large intestine (colon).  This subtle process can manifest, in some individuals, as the underlying energy behind Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS.) In some cases  caution is advised, as this is not to imply that all IBS would be limited to the causative factor of Pitta due to high vata.  But from an Ayurvedic view, pitta pulled into the colon, from the small intestine, would burn the lining of the colon.  Possibly over considerable time, many years to decades, this perpetual cycle and burning process induces a deviation of the cellular DNA, inspiring the cell to replicate en masse’.   I have observed that people in this type of condition often are vata types with high vata and a number exhibit signs almost akin to emaciation.  The frailness of the emaciated vata body appears more impacted by the pitta, and often these vatas are interestingly drawn toward pitta aggravating foods such as hot spices and alcohol.  (Caution should be applied, as this is not the exclusive property of an emaciated vata body type.)


Another kind of pitta incursion into the colon is not as aggravating as the previous example.  It is pitta that permeates into the colon but does not appear to burn the colon to the same degree as with the high vata pulling pitta into the colon noted in the previous example. This manifestation does not seem to lend itself to IBS as easily, though this manifestation can still be a subtle causative factor as it could be associated with idiopathic conditions or more correctly the subtle energy behind the scenes and currently not known by science.  It is highly likely that a more subtle form of burning does occur within the lining of the colon. This manifestation of pitta incursion is marked by a poorly formed stool which is oily in nature, to varying degrees, and lacking the ability to produce a well-formed stool despite the presence of abundant fiber in the diet.  The poor formation of the stool, fosters the formation of polyps in the colon, as it reduces or eliminates the polyp cleansing qualities of a well-formed stool.  The formation of polyps combined with the subtle burning of pitta within the colon does provide fertile ground for the manifestation of cells that may derange into a cancerous disposition.  

Based on these two theories, a comprehensive Ayurveda wellness program can be instigated, with the goal to try and intervene early to stop or delay a physiological process before manifestation.  Of course, one must recognize that these do not address all forms of cancer that can manifest within the colon, but it does provide a practical, yet, a theoretical framework for further investigation from an Ayurvedic view.  Based on these Ayurvedic theories, it does have potential to create potentially create strategies that may reduce the risk of some forms of colon cancer.  More research is necessary to explore this theory, but if proven valid it could be an important step in disease prevention and part of a wellness prevention program. 


Copyright 2018.  All Rights Reserved. 

Yogi Baba Prem

  • Yogi Baba Prem has two books published in India, and has written numerous other books published by Universal Yoga. 


  • His articles have appeared in several traditional magazines and a variety of e-magazines.