A study in the journal BioMed Central journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine, March 2009, titled: “Frankincense oil derived from Boswellia carteri induces tumor cell specific cytotoxicity”concludes with: “Frankincense oil appears to distinguish cancerous from normal bladder cells and suppress cancer cell viability. Microarray and bioinformatics analysis proposed multiple pathways that can be activated by frankincense oil to induce bladder cancer cell death. Frankincense oil mightrepresent an alternative intravesical agent for bladder cancer treatment.” …while a bit technical, this is very, very promising — essentially saying that this easily obtained, inexpensive, NON-TOXIC natural compound can eradicate cancer cells without harming normal, healthy cells in the same organ. Frankincense has a long, long history of medicinal use, and searching for ‘frankincense cancer’ produces 30 results just for this material. If choosing an essential oil of Frankincense, the ‘carteri’ species has been the subject of most research, with cold-process Carbon Dioxide distilled oils considered the most therapeutic (seek CO2 or SCO2 distilled oils or extracts, as offered by Ananda here).
Lemongrass, after Frankincense, may next most commonly researched essential oil for anti-cancer activity. In the May 2009 journal of Chemico-Biological Interactions, researchers tested Lemongrass essential oil against 12 human cancer cell lines. Colon cancer and neuron cancer cell lines were found most susceptible to the essential oil. The study concluded: “Our results indicate that the oil has a promising anticancer activity and causes loss in tumor cell viability by activating the apoptotic process as identified by electron microscopy.” This indicates that Lemongrass may induce natural cell death of cancer cells (apoptotic process), a process that is inherently dysfunctional in cancer cells.
Linalool is a very common essential oil constituent. Essential oils are naturally made up of many individual chemical constituents, and linalool is a sweet, relaxing aromatic found in many floral and sweeter spice essential oils. Linalool itself, separated from the essential oil of Coriander (Cilantro seeds) was the subject of research published in the June 2009 issue of the journal of Chemico-Biological interactions. Linalool was found to completely eradicate the HepG2 liver cancer cell line inVERY low concentrations. Linalool has a great many other effects, having been shown to lower anxiety and even significantly improve sleep. And now it even has anti-cancer effects! So even if one is noted directly targeting cancer, but using aromatherapy in a more ‘casual’ application, there may be important protective effects occurring at the same time.
is a major concern for many folks, and a series of studies have shown Sandalwood to beeffective at preventing tumor development. Alpha-santalol, a component also shown to have anti-anxiety and sleep enhancing action, may be the constituent to which most of these effects may be attributed. This is fortunate, as Sandalwood
from India is becoming more rare and expensive, though Sandalwood from Australia and other South Pacific islands is still readily available. A study published in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention, a formula used for containing just 5% Sandalwood essential
oil used before exposure to toxins significantly reduced the formation of skin cancer tumors. A study published in January 2008 in the Journal of Anitcancer Research showed a significant reduction in tumor development in skin exposed to UVB radiation — Sandalwood would make an excellent addition to a pre-sun body or face care formula.
OreganoComponents of Thyme and Oregano essential oils have been shown to actually protect human DNA strands from breaking when exposed to extreme oxidative stress. DNA damage is a leading cause of cancer development, as this can lead to an abnormal cell life cycle, essentially turning off the process of natural cell death. Carvacrol and Thymol were singled out in a study by Slovakian researchers in 2007, though they also note that other components of these oils may have chemo protective effects as well. Other spice essential oils that have demonstrated cancer preventative effects include Ginger, Tumeric, Basil, Garlic and Sage.
Essential Oils Offer Immune System Support Beyond the direct effects on tumor cells, essential oils have been shown to positively effect the immune system on a chemical level. They can enhance the activity of white blood cells, making them more efficient and removing foreign material and microbes from the body. This would likely result in more effective cancer outcomes. Further, there’s the psychological component of any disease, and many essential oils have demonstrated anti-stress activity in scientific investigations.
ESSENTIAL OILS AS ANTI CANCER AGENTS FOR THE FUTURE
So, like many plant medicines, essential oils work on a number of levels for many diseases, with cancer being one of them. While its important to recognize that essential oil use is in-fact contra-indicated during chemotherapy (as they may reduce the cytotoxic effects of the treatment), they can certainly be an integral part of any cancer preventative protocol. For any application where an individual has already been diagnosed with the illness, it is important to check with their physician to ensure essential oils and aroma-medicine is an appropriate choice. The overall picture is very bright for the use of essential oils in cancer treatment, and further investigation is certainly warranted by the scientific and medical communities for the development of effective medical protocols for this profoundly life-altering condition.
Alternative treatment center for cancer and more!
Research on Essential oils…