The Role of Aromatherapy Essential Oils in Cancer Treatment
While the immune system is not directly stimulated by essential oils, they can be a complement to cancer treatment by improving the ability of the immune system to fight off infections.
Lymphatic drainage can also be stimulated with certain essential oils or some may possess antibacterial properties. Aromatherapy has many potential uses which range from managing nausea and anxiety to helping with relaxation, sleep, attention and memory, and many individuals can benefit from it, including cancer patients.
Five Oils for Ailment Relief and Reducing Stress
- Lavender – 1st used 2,500 years ago as perfume in ancient Egypt, lavender is now made use of for treating migraines, insomnia, and providing relief for stress.
- Rosemary – For the relief of low blood pressure, muscle pain, and cold hands and feet.
- Spearmint – Spearmint oil eases vomiting and nausea and aids digestion.
- Masculine scents – The deep scent of scents like ylang-ylang and bay laurel appeal to men. They also treat rheumatism, skin rashes and ailments of the stomach.
There are various products as well as methods of diffusion for obtaining the oils’ healing benefits. Some oils, such as sandalwood, ylang ylang and lavender can be placed directly on to the skin, while some are much too concentrated and have to be diluted with carriers like bath soaps, massage oils, and lotions.
Everyday Uses of Aromatherapy
- Bath Salts for Relaxing the Muscles – 5 drops of each oil – lemon grass, lavender, orange and tea tree with 2 cups of Epsom salts. Use 1/2 a cup of the mixture for a bath.
- Spray Diffusion for a Room – Use 2 – 4 ounces of spring or distilled water and add 5-20 drops of any oil.
- Carpet Cleaner for Energizing – Mix baking soda with pink grapefruit oil and sprinkle before vacuuming.
- Natural Cleaner for the House – Mix ravensara leaf and lemon oils with non-sudsing soap and distilled water.
Who shouldn’t, or should make use of oils?
Frequently sold in beauty chain and health food stores, aromatherapy essential oils do possess chemical properties which can enter the bloodstream and affect the brain, and for some individuals could be toxic in combination with common therapies for cancer like radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Essential oils should be used with caution as they can increase sensitivity to the sun. Doctors should always be informed before patients make use of essential oils for complementing a medical condition.
Rosemary, hyssop, thyme and sage should be avoided by individuals having high blood pressure, while angelica oil should be avoided by diabetics. Nursing or pregnant women should avoid several oils which stimulate the uterus which includes basil, star anise, and juniper to mention a few and rose, peppermint and rosemary should be used with caution in the 1st trimester. Essential oils can be used in very low concentrations by pediatric patients.
Tips for Purchasing Oils
- Essential oils coming from a general store could be of doubtful quality; look for oils in a specialized store, with staff that have training in aromatherapy.
- Quality essential oils, which are heat and light sensitive, should be in a brown or blue light shielding glass.
- Bottle labels should give both the botanical and common essential oil name.
- Stay away from concentrated oils having rubber eyedroppers for the reason that the oils and the rubber react, resulting in it to break up and contamination of the oil.