We all have a small amount of (cancer) or malformed cells, in our bodies at all times. A healthy body, which is fed good food and enjoys robust lifestyle practices, is able to remove or heal these cells, keeping the body in balance.There are many ways that essential oils and aromatherapy can support in cancer healing, including stress relief and emotional support. However, some essential oils are shown to act directly on cancer cells, preventing growth or even promoting apoptosis (cancer cell death) (summary).
1. Thyme essential oil
- A 2010 study done in Switzerland evaluated a number of essential oils against MCF-7 breast cancer cells, A-549 lung cancer cells, and PC-3 prostate cancer cells
. It was found that thyme essential oil exhibited the strongest cytotoxicity toward all three types of human cancer cells. This is likely due to the active compound thymol, which has been shown to activate a number of cancer-killing mechanisms.
2. Rosemary essential oil
- A number of recent studies have shown that rosemary extract has powerful anti-tumor properties in several areas of the body including the colon, breast, liver, stomach, skin and blood
. One study found that rosemary essential oil at a concentration of 1 percent was able to deactivate more than 90 percent of ovarian and liver cancer cells
3. Oregano essential oil
- Dr. Supriya Bavadekar, assistant professor of pharmacology at Long Island University’s College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, has been leading a group testing carvacrol, a constituent of oregano, on prostate cancer cells. They have found that the oregano compounds use signalling pathways that cause (cancer cell suicide).
4. Chamomile essential oil
- In cancer studies, the most bioactive constituent in chamomile has been identified as apigenin
. Recent studies have shown that medicinal chamomile extracts have little effect on normal cells, but have a significant effect in inhibiting many human cancer cell lines. This effect has been found in skin, prostate, breast and ovarian cancer
The 2010 Switzerland cancer study mentioned earlier found that chamomile essential oil killed 93 percent of breast cancer cells
. Another study found that chamomile essential oil is able to inhibit cell mutation by 60–75 percent. Therefore chamomile has been shown to be highly effective against cancer while providing a safe solution that doesn’t harm the healthy parts of the body.
5. Frankincense essential oil
- Chinese and Ayurvedic medical models use frankincense as a major ingredient in treating many health conditions, including cancer.
Western studies have also reported the use of frankincense against human pancreatic cancer cells
, the essential oil was able to cause substantial levels of cancer cell death by inhibiting signaling molecules and cell cycle regulators. The same effect was found in another study on bladder cancer cells
In a study, 60 percent of patients who had cerebral edema (swelling)
after having radiation therapy (will be given steroid medications in standard procedure) had an improvement rate of at least 75 percent in their level of brain swelling when given frankincense essential oil.