When we think of essential oils, we tend to associate them with aromatherapy or a way to manage stress, but were you aware of the research that suggests essential oils can have an effect on breast cancer as well?
Aside from what a lot of people think about cancer, it is not a death sentence. There is not only hope, but there are many natural alternatives that many have used for hundreds of years. Essential oils happen to be one of them, and research has proven that essential oils not only prevent cancer but can treat cancer and its excruciating side effects.
Essential oils can have a huge impact on our lives, which is why we should take heed to the many proven uses and their potential to help treat a disease that is responsible for taking over 40,000 lives a year.
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are fragrant oils found within different parts of a plant, usually within the leaf or flower. Essential oils have also been referred to as volatile oils because of the way these oils are released. These oils are formulated by distilling a plant material, which triggers the release of the plant’s volatile oil.
Essential oils have been used for centuries. In fact, one of the most traditional sources of medicine is the practice of Ayurvedic medicine in India. Ayurveda combines a variety of therapeutic techniques like essential oils used in aromatherapy and proved the effectiveness of essential oils on cancer.
According to a study conducted in 2013, the researchers noted, “Based on comprehensive review of ancient vedic literature and modern scientific evidences, Ayurveda based interventions … may act as an important adjuvant to chemo-radiotherapy and enhance the quality of life of cancer patients.”
This study proves how an ancient practice is still retaining efficacy today and studies like this serve as encouragement for those looking for an alternative treatment to help with their cancer symptoms.
Essential Oils and Cancer Research
You will see as we dive into specific oils in a moment, there is a lot that research can tell us about essential oils and cancer, and there is also a lot that it cannot tell us. But just as we allowed ancient practices to guide us toward the use of essential oils themselves, we can let research guide us toward specific essential oils that may help us in the battle against cancer.
Below are just a few of the studies on specific essential oils that show promising benefits for cancer patients:
This essential oil has been used for a variety of medicinal purposes. Research suggests that frankincense kills cancer cells and also promotes the health and longevity among the neighboring non-cancerous cells, unlike chemotherapy that targets both cancer and non-cancerous cells alike.
Research indicates that this essential oil possesses anti-mutagenic and apoptotic or programmed cell death abilities. Research has also found that not only does frankincense have anti-tumor properties, it also helps subside the side effects of chemotherapy treatment.
Everyone’s favorite oil also has an effect on preventing cancer. Lavender has been noted as a powerful natural antioxidant and proven to help reverse the damage done by free radicals. Free radical damage can lead to an array of issues like chronic illness and more specifically cancer.
Researchers, in Romania found that lavender possesses strong antioxidant abilities when inhaled for an hour each day and, according to the study, “Taken together, our results suggest that antioxidant and antiapoptotic activities of the lavender essential oils are the major mechanisms for their potent neuroprotective effects against scopolamine-induced oxidative stress in the rat brain,” can lead to severe illness and cancer.
A study was published in 2009 that evaluated lemongrass essential oil for its in vitro (outer body) cytotoxicity (cell toxicity) against 12 human cancer cell lines, as well as in vivo (inner body) anticancer effects on mice. The results were quite promising, as researchers discovered the various mechanisms of how the oil killed the cancer lines.
The researchers noted, “Our results indicate that the oil has a promising anticancer activity and causes the loss in tumor cell viability by activating the apoptotic process as identified by electron microscopy.”
These are just a few studies done on both animal and human subjects. Although the efficacy of essential oils is still being researched, so far they do show promising results that can help prevent and treat cancer while lessening the effects associated with cancer treatment.
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The Truth About Cancer and Essential Oils. (2018, April 17). Retrieved from https://www.cancertutor.com/truth-cancer-essential-oils/
Metri, K., Bhargav, H., Chowdhury, P., & Koka, P. S. (n.d.). Ayurveda for chemo-radiotherapy induced side effects in cancer patients. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24698988
Frankincense as a Potentially Novel Therapeutic Agent in … (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/270275886_Frankincense_as_a_Potentially_Novel_Therapeutic_Agent_in_Ovarian_Cancer
Anticancer activity of an essential oil from Cymbopogon flexuosus. (2008, December 11). Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0009279708006613