Can Essential Oils Treat Cancer
To date, there are no scientific studies showing that aromatherapy can cure or prevent cancer.
Most of the research showing promising results has been done in vitro, meaning that the essential oil was found to affect cancer cells in a petri dish.
For example, results of a 2015 study suggested that breast cancer cells may stop growing and die off when exposed to frankincense oil.
In a 2018 paper, scientists looked at the role of essential oils in various laboratory studies. The authors in this review concluded that although this is a relatively new and emerging area of cancer research, the ability of essential oils and their components of having such diverse anti-cancer effects through acting on various and cellular mechanisms is compelling.
While these limited studies may offer encouraging data, its important to note that findings in the lab dont necessarily translate to benefits for humans.
Some essential oils may have anti-cancer effects as per laboratory studies on cancer cells, but I havent seen any studies looking at the anti-cancer effects of essential oils in humans, says David Kiefer, MD, medical director for the Integrative Health Consult Clinic at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.
Aromatherapy With Essential Oils Patient Version
On This Page
- Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils from plants as therapy to improve physical, mental, and spiritual well-being .
- Aromatherapy may be used with other complementary treatments, such as massage or acupuncture, as well as with standard medical treatmentsto manage symptoms caused by cancer or cancer treatment .
- Essential oils are most often used by inhaling them or by applying a diluted form of them to the skin .
- Aromatherapy research with cancer patients has studied the effect of essential oils on anxiety, nausea, vomiting, and other health-related conditions .
- Safety testing on essential oils has found very few side effects. Lavender and tea tree essential oils have been found to have some hormone-like effects .
- Aromatherapy products do not need approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration .
Eop1 And Eop2 Show Comparable Efficacy In Breast Cancer Patients
The first generation EOP was used to treat 12 women with BC and symptomatic UA before introduction of the minimally estrogenic EOP2 in a second cohort of 12 women. The demographics and BC treatments are detailed in Table 2. All women have reached at least the 2-month assessment, thus composite change in symptom scores at 2 months are presented . With EOP1, 27/32 baseline symptoms improved compared with 23/32 for EOP2. There was no significant difference in the proportions of symptoms changing with treatment between the two versions of EOP. New symptoms developing on therapy were generally mild and transient .
Assessment Of Estrogenicity In 11 Further Essential Oils
Eleven additional essential oils were selected based on their anticipated benefits in reducing symptoms of UA. All 11 oils were tested for estrogenicity using the ERE-luciferase reporter assay and, with the exception of Lavandula angustifolia , all demonstrated a statistically significant increase in luciferase activity . Overall, both LA and Chamaemelum nobile oils demonstrated minimal stimulation in ERE-luciferase activity and demonstrated little or no stimulation of MCF-7 cell growth at 0.01% v/v .
Antitumoral Activity Of Eos And Bioactive Compounds
Terpenes are usually part of EOs constituents. Terpenoids are a modified class of terpenes that can be classified according to the number of units of isoprene. Monoterpenes are the TPNs with only 2 isoprene units and 10 carbon atoms, sesquiterpenes have 3 isoprene units and 15 carbon atoms, diterpenes have 4 isoprene units and 20 carbon atoms, triterpenes have 6 isoprene units and 30 carbon atoms, and tetraterpenes have 8 isoprene units and 40 carbon atoms . The biosynthesis of terpenoids is shown in Figure 1.
Sesquiterpenes are produced in plants in a way to interact with other plants and as a response to herbivores. These compounds are widely distributed, have been exploited in research for their phytomedicinal potential , and are associated with decreasing progression of cancer.
Many plants have demonstrated antiproliferative activity on MCF7 cells and have MT as a major constituent of their EO composition, such as the following : Schefflera heptaphylla Raddi .
Bisabolene isomers are the main constituents of opoponax therefore, a ST named -bisabolene and an alcoholic analogue, -bisabolol, were tested for their in vitro and in vivo influence on BC. Only -bisabolene exhibited selective cytotoxic activity for mouse cells MG1361 and human BC cells MCF7, MDA-MB-231, SKBR3, and BT474 with a 37.5% reduction of the growth of transplanted 4T1 mammary tumors .
EO rich in MT eucalyptol from Cinnamomum glanduliferum
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What Are The Risks Of Using Essential Oils
Some people are surprised to learn that, because even though such oils are derived from natural sources, these products can still cause irritation or allergic reactions, especially in people with sensitive or damaged skin. Some citrus essential oils, in particular, might react in the sun. Some people have experienced coughing or other respiratory problems with using a room diffuser. If a reaction or irritation occurs, stop using the product immediately. Never use undiluted essential oils on your skin, and keep essential oils away from your eyes.
Essential oils are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration unless they make claims to prevent or cure disease, so its up to youthe consumerto decide whether the product you are buying is reputable and trustworthy. You can buy essential oils that are Non-GMO Project Verified or U.S. Department of Agriculture certified organic, meaning that the company uses certain quality practices in making the product.
Essential Oils As Complementary Treatment
One breast cancer survivor shared her experience with essential oils. On the irradiated breast, she used a four-ounce spray bottle filled with distilled water and added equal amounts of Helichrysum and Blue Tansy . She sprayed this onto the skin after radiation and after her morning shower, boosting the amount as the skin became increasingly tender. She did so every day during treatment and for one month post radiation. To help heal the incisions, she applied a 50:50 ratio of Helichrysum and Artemisia diluted at 10% in fractionated coconut oil. Although her doctors were skeptical, her radiologist was amazed at how well her skin fared compared to most patients.
While the in vitro studies and patients experience offer promise, the efficacy of essential oils has not been proven scientifically. To reap purported benefits, use only 100% pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils. Oils diluted with alcohol or other liquids do not provide medicinal benefits.
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Where To Put Essential Oils On The Body For Breast Cancer
Essential oils for breast cancer can be used in three ways i.e. massage, inhalation, and ingestion.
It is important to consult an expert to get the exact quantity of particular essential oils for breast cancer that you must use.
Essential Oils And Cocoa Butter Preparation
Essential oils/extract were obtained from two sources and diluted by adding 10% v/v to vehicle solvent, dimethyl sulfoxide . Final concentrations of essential oils above 0.01% v/v in cell culture medium were cytotoxic and this was the highest concentration used. For cocoa butter , cytotoxicity was not observed up to 0.1% v/v. Cocoa butter and Calendula officinalis CO2 extract are solid at room temperature and were liquefied at 37°C prior to dilution.
The Bottom Line On Essential Oils For Cancer
Ultimately, more research needs to be done to find out if essential oils are a legitimate treatment option for cancer and its symptoms.
Generally, the oils pose few risks when used properly. Theyre also a relatively simple and inexpensive way to complement your treatment.
As aromatherapy, they are possibly useful for some people who have nausea, vomiting, or insomnia or topically for skin problems from some types of cancer treatment, but probably dont have much of a role beyond that, Kiefer concludes. People should continue their standard care and never replace that care with essential oils.
Could Essential Oils Help With My Side Effects From Cancer And Its Treatment
Cancer and its treatments can bring a wide range of physical and emotional side effects. Essential oils are considered a complementary therapy to standard medical treatments because they can help people with cancer manage side effects from the recommended cancer treatments and from the cancer itself. For this reason, you may consider trying complementary therapies such as aromatherapy to help ease your side effects. More specifically, aromatherapy may help with pain, sleep, anxiety, stress, quality of life, and possibly nausea and vomiting.
For example, a 2017 study in Oncology Nursing Forum of 50 people hospitalized for leukemia found that lavender, peppermint, or chamomile essential oils delivered by a diffuser at night improved sleep compared to a placebo. Meanwhile, in a small 2016 study of people receiving radioactive iodine treatment for thyroid cancer published in BioMed Research International, aromatherapy helped with a specific side effect: saliva production. Participants in the study inhaled either a ginger-lemon essential oil mixture or placebo over 2 weeks. Those receiving the essential oils had better outcomes in terms of preventing damage to their salivary glands.
None of the studies mentioned above looked at home or personal use of aromatherapy, and research in this area is limited. However, many major cancer centers already offer aromatherapy as a form of supportive care.
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What The Research Says
Frankincense oil has been linked to treatments for ovarian, breast, and skin cancers. Studies are generally done in vitro, or on cells in a laboratory. No studies have been conducted on people living with cancer.
The findings of one 2015 study suggest that breast cancer cells may stop growing and die off when exposed to frankincense oil. The researchers concluded that their approach is cost-effective and less time consuming than other methods.
Researchers in a 2009 study looked exclusively at frankincense oil derived from the Boswellia carteri species and assessed its anti-tumor activity on bladder cancer. Researchers concluded that, when administered, the oil appears to differentiate between healthy and cancerous cells. The oil can also suppress cancer cell viability.
Similar results were found in a 2011 study assessing the effects of oil from B. sacra on breast cancer cells.
More research is necessary to determine whether the oil or its extract can be consistently and effectively used to treat people who have these cancers.
Estrogenicity Of Essential Oils Was Confirmed Using An
To further evaluate the mechanism of growth stimulation in MCF-7 cells we measured the activation of ER-dependent transcription using a vector that contains three ERE sequences in the promoter region leading to estrogen-dependent expression of luciferase. As a negative control, the same vector lacking the three ERE sequences was used to account for the basal transcriptional activity. Oils, extract and cocoa butter demonstrated significantly increased estrogenic activity over controls . Basal luciferase activity itself was ER dependent, evidenced by its inhibition with treatment fulvestrant co-trea. The two oils which had the most pronounced effect on MCF-7 cell growth also demonstrated the greatest induction of luciferase activity. This induction was inhibited by fulvestrant, confirming it to be mediated through ER activation. The reporter assay may not differentiate between ER alpha and beta isoforms as their DNA binding domains are known to share 96% sequence homology.21 However, the stimulation is likely to be mediated through ER-alpha as ER-beta stimulation has previously been shown to inhibit the growth of MCF-7 and other ER-positive cell lines.22
Assessment of estrogen receptor reporter activity of essential oils and cocoa butter, and the effects on cell line growth of nonestrogenic oils identified.
Statistical analysis by unpaired t test . Data are represented as mean ± 95% confidence intervals. **p< 0.01, ***p< 0.001.
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Frankincense Essential Oil For Breast Cancer
Frankincense is known for its anti-cancer properties. It is anti-inflammatory, which means it can be used for inflammatory breast cancer. Specifically, frankincense is best at fighting the 5-lipoxygenase, which is an enzyme accountable for inflammation in the human body.
Why use frankincense oil for breast cancer
Frankincense contains a component called boswellic acid which helps fight inflammation due to breast cancer. Inflammation gets along redness, swelling which happens especially after an injury or treatment. The role of frankincense oil in reducing the swelling could have important inference for cancer treatment because primary symptoms of breast cancer in human beings is inflammation.
How to use frankincense oil for breast cancer
Frankincense oils usage is in aromatherapy that can help calm down the inflamed human body cells.
The Irritation And The Incisions
First, I applied aloe straight from the plant. The doctors warned me against applying anything with alcohol. Moreover, I wanted to stay away from the preservatives found in many commercially-prepared aloe lotions, so the plant itself was the best way to go. This alone was very soothing and helpful to the area.
I also used a water spray on the irradiated breast, and this is where the essential oils came into play. Using a four-ounce spray bottle filled with distilled water, I added equal amounts of Helichrysum and Blue Tansy . I sprayed this onto the skin after radiation and after my morning shower. When the skin became increasingly tender, I upped the amount. I used this every day during treatment and continued using it for a month after the radiation had ended.
The redness persisted, but the severe irritation ended two weeks after the treatment. Though skeptical of my brand of medicine, the radiologist admitted that my skin fared better than most. He said he was amazed by the lack of burning.
As for the incisions, I had both a one-inch and a three-inch incision from each of the removal procedures. I applied Helichrysum and Artemisia . Using a 50:50 ratio and diluted at 10% in fractionated coconut oil, I believe this helped with healing and preventing any inflammation or infection. Thanks to my topical treatment and an excellent plastic surgeon , I barely have scarring now.
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What Are Essential Oils
Essential oils are chemicals extracted from flowers, plants, or trees that are super concentrated in liquid form. You can inhale essential oils through a diffuser or massage them into your skin by combining them with other oils or lotions.
Common essential oils include:
Essential oils are most commonly used in aromatherapy, which is the practice of stimulating smell receptors in the nose by using these oils to help people feel better physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Aromatherapy has a long history, with its roots tracing back to ancient Rome and Egypt and, more recently, to 20th-century France.
My Breast Cancer Experience
Brand Neutral:Scientific Studies:
Note: Not all essential oil brands are the same, and you get what you pay for. If you expect to achieve results similar to those described in this testimonial, then ensure that you are using oils from pesticide-free plants. Also, the brand should use 100% pure, high-quality essential oils that do not contain any synthetic additives. Do your own research or ask a trusted friend to find a brand that is reputable. Buyer beware.
On January 4, 2006 I was diagnosed with recurrent breast cancer that had spread to my lungs and my sternum. I was in absolute constant pain and had been diagnosed for months with “inflammation of the chest wall.” I was released from the hospital on the 6th and was to stay out of work another week.
I ordered oils listed in my oils reference book for breast cancer, lung cancer, and bone cancer and the supplements listed. I had been in agony all week. I could not even lift my arms.
Soon thereafter I received the oils and began applying them over my chest wall, breasts, and along the insides of both arms. By Monday my pain was totally gone.
I have been ingesting the oils, different ones daily, and taking my supplements religiously. My most recent PET scan showed the tumors in my chest wall and lungs had decreased. I am still without pain and am functioning so well, that if no one knows about my cancer, they would never be able to tell.
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The Parasympathetic State To Support Immune Function
Your nervous system commands and controls every single aspect of your body, including the immune system. In fact, research demonstrates that the vagus nerve speaks directly to the immune system through a neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Dr. Kevin Tracey, of The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research found that stimulating the vagus nerve sent commands to the immune system to stop pumping out toxic inflammatory markers, known as the inflammatory reflex. Applying Vibrant Blue Oils Parasympathetic blend behind the ear lobe on the mastoid bone triggers vagus stimulation, and consequently shuts off abnormal immune system responses.
Research also found that stimulating the parasympathetic response also supports immune function of the lymph nodes, the spleen and the thymus
As part of my healing protocol, I appliedParasympathetic blend aggressively always before meals and often between meals. Our Immune Support blend is also fantastic as it supports the immune system. The formula contains thyme and cinnamon which a research study found to be significantly potent in destroying Breast Cancer cell lines. Thyme oil, in particular, killed up to 97% of the MCF-7 Breast Cancer cells.
For more tips on essential oils to support the immune system, .