Chemo Brain- Ayurvedic Treatment, Diet, Exercises, Research Papers, Yoga & Pranayama


Though the exact reason is shadowy, the cancer fighters (under chemotherapy) or the survivors usually complains of Chemo brain, a very annoying problem that affects memory and thinking process. It is also called as cancer -related cognitive impairment, chemo fog etc. Generally, the person may feel difficulty in concentrating, learning new skills, finding right words; attention defects; short-term memory loss; mental fogginess, confusions; being messy; take more time to finish simple routine tasks; impaired visual and verbal memory etc. The condition may be worsened by increased susceptibility to chemo brain and diseases like DM, anxiety, depression or thyroid dysfunctions. Though the disease cancer is deadly and feared most, the experience of chemo brain is worse, say the affected people and their bystanders. When the main disease affects the person’s physical health and mental stability, chemo brain adds to it by debilitating the person even more. In some people, the chemo brain makes them more dependent than the cancer itself. Apart from that, chemo brain leads to serious mental problems that affect the person’s confidence and self-esteem. It may lead to other psychiatric problems like depression or anxiety.

Causes of Chemo brain

  The exact reason for chemo brain is unknown, but the probable causes may be cancer in brain or when a malignancy metastasizes into brain the changes develop. Excessive or overdose of radiation therapy, older age, associated mental stress etc can worsen the condition. The duration of the problem varies with each person.

Treatment of Chemo brain

   No approved treatment is available for chemo brain. The best remedy is coping with the problem. It is found to be a temporary issue following chemotherapy. Some techniques include brain exercises (e.g., puzzles), preparing to-do list, music therapy to calm down the mind, regular physical exercise, ensuring sound sleep for at least 7 hours etc may be helpful.

Complications of chemo brain

It is not easy to differentiate whether the complications are due to cancer, brain metastasis or chemo brain. But serious complications ranging from personality disorders to shrinkage of brain areas are observed in patients with chemo brain.

Preventive measures of Chemo brain

Best preventive measure is to maintain general health and normal body weight as much as possible despite the stage of cancer.

  Yoga asanas and suitable meditation under the guidance of an instructor are advantageous. Pranayama techniques that boost memory power, counselling therapies etc can also be practiced.

Ayurvedic Concept of Chemo brain

              The condition is not exactly mentioned but the clinical correlation can be with Vishaja unmada or gara visha. The effect of garavisha develops when the circulatory system gets in contact with combination poisons through enteral or parenteral route and when that leads to psychotic problems the condition is known as vishaja unmada.

Ayurvedic Nidana of Chemo brain

Visha – poisoning

Ayurvedic treatment for Chemo brain

Removing the effect of poison from the body (nirvisheekarana) is the first line of treatment.

Raktaprasadana – clearing the vitiated Raktadhatu(circulatory system and associated tissues)

Aamapachana – removal of metabolic toxins

Agnideepana – enhancing the digestion

Brumhana & ojaskara – strengthening the body

Saantwana – counselling

Sadvrata & daivavyapasraya – rituals and good behaviour & regimens for stress relief

Herbal Preparations for Chemo brain

Drakshadi kashayam

Mridweekadi kashayam

Patolakaturohinyadi kashayam

Neelidaladi kashayam

Vilwadi gulika

Mritasanjeevani gudika

Brahma Rasayan

Drakshadi Leham


Vasant Kusumakar Ras

Aswagandha Churna

Triphala Churna

Diet & Regimen

Food should include easily digestible, fresh warm and home made items

Avoid spicy pungent and hot food items.

Avoid dairy products if allergic

Intake of Madhura & tikta rasa is indicated.

Avoid oily & sticky food items.

Maintain normal body weight & a regular sleep schedule.

Yoga & Pranayama

Chemo brain can be managed well with the help of Yoga postures and pranayama techniques with expert supervision. It is recommended if the patient is generally having a moderate to good health status.

Yoga postures like Vrikshasana, Parvatasana, Savasana, Bhujangasana, Vajrasana etc will do good in various stages of chemo brain

Anulom vilom and Seetali pranayama breathing techniques are found helpful in reducing the discomforts

The Food and Drug Administration, United States has not evaluated these statements. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please consult your GP before the intake.

Please consult Dr. Rajesh Nair here-


Dr. Rajesh Nair Consultant, Ayurveda Medicine, India

Dr. Rajesh Nair, the co-founder and chief consultant of Ayurvedaforall.Com, is a graduate of prestigious Vaidyaratnam Ayurveda College (affiliated with the University of Calicut), Kerala, India. Additionally, he holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Yoga Therapy from Annamalai University.

Dr. Nair offers consultation at two busy clinics in and around Haripad, Alleppey, Kerala, the southern state famous worldwide for authentic ayurvedic treatment and physicians. While offering consultation on all aspects of ayurvedic treatments Dr. Nair has a special interest in Panchkarma, Yoga, and Massage.

Through Ayurvedaforall, Dr. Nair offers online consultation to patients worldwide and has served hundreds of patients over the last 20 years. In addition to his Ayurvedic practice, he is the chief editor of, the online portal of Ayurveda Medical Association of India, and the Secretary of the Kerala State Committee of Ayurveda Medical Association of India.

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