Essential oils are concentrated liquids that are derived from plants. They carry a distinctive scent of the plant and have been used for a variety of medicinal purposes. Essential oil use has grown in popularity over the past several years.(1)
Essential oils can be diluted in a carrier oil and then applied directly to the skin, inhaled through a compress or diffuser, or used in foods and beverages if essential oil brand is safe for consumption.
Essential oils are most powerful via the blood supply to the brain but have an indirect effect through the olfactory nerve pathways!
Essential oils exert most of their pharmacological effects via the blood supply to the brain. They also have an indirect effect via the olfactory nerve pathways in the brain. The oil fragrances are absorbed through blood circulation and nerve pathways from the sinuses into the brain.(2)
There are many ways that essential oils can support the healing of cancer. Some essential oils act directly on cancer cells, prevent growth and promote cancer death. Other essential oils help with stress relief and emotional support. (3)
Five essential oils that are effective in cancer treatment
- Thyme essential oil: A 2010 study from Switzerland evaluated the effect of thyme essential oil on breast cancer cells, lung cancer cells and prostate cancer cells. Thyme essential oil exhibited the strongest cytotoxicity toward all three types of cancer cells. Thyme has an active compound, thymol, which has been shown to activate mechanisms that kill cancer. (3)
- Rosemary essential oil: Rosemary has antioxidant properties that help protect agains free radicals that damage cell membranes, alter DNA and kill healthy cells. Recent studies have shown that rosemary extract has anti-tumor properties that are effective in treatment of colon, breast, liver, stomach, skin and blood. One study found that 1 percent concentration of rosemary essential oil was able to deactivate more than 90 percent of ovarian and liver cancer cells. (3)
- Oregano essential oil: Research from Long Island University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences found that oregano compounds use signaling pathways that cause “cancer cell suicide.” Oregano also has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Oregano essential oil contains carnosol which has been shown to stop the growth of colon cancer cells as well as cause cancer cell death. Oregano essential oil has shown promising results in fighting prostate, breast and skin cancer.(3)
- Chamomile essential oil: In studies, apigenin, a bioactive constituent, found in chamomile has been shown to have significant effects in inhibiting many human cancer cell lines. A 2010 study found that chamomile essential oil killed 93 percent of breast cancer cells. A separate study found that it was able to inhibit cell mutation by 60-75 percent.(3)
- Frankincense essential oil: Frankincense oil has been shown to treat numerous health conditions, including cancer. Western studies are now showing that frankincense essential oils and extracts have a potent anti-tumor activity. Frankincense oil was tested against pancreatic cancer cells and was able to cause high levels of cancer cell death. The same effect took place in a separate study on bladder cancer cells. This study found that the essential oil was able to distinguish between cancerous cells and healthy cells, leaving the healthy cells alone. (3)
If you or someone you know is fighting cancer, consider alternative therapies. These oils won’t be recommended by most doctors. Natural compounds cannot be patented, meaning the profit is not the same as in pharmaceuticals. (3)