Many people know that essential oils can be used around the home or in perfumes and baths, but fewer realize how helpful the oils can be in alleviating the unpleasant side effects of cancer treatment. If you or someone you care about is battling cancer, consider dealing with some of the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation with natural methods that utilize pure essential oils. Some oils can interfere with the effectiveness of treatment, so before you do anything, speak with your doctor about what options will work best for you.
Aromatherapy is one of the safest natural methods for helping patients deal with cancer. While there are no essential oils that will eliminate or prevent cancer, there are options for using oils to reduce the stress, restless feelings, anxiety, pain, and discomfort associated with radiation and chemotherapy. Many cancer patients experience sleeplessness and anxiety, two conditions that are often eased by the use of certain oils. Sleep and rest are essential to the healing process, so if a patient is able to utilize oils like lavender or chamomile, both known for their relaxation benefits, it will help them feel better and recover faster.Credit: Free pictures from acobox.com
It is important to remember that exposure to essential oils can interfere with chemotherapy, so you will want to speak with your doctor about its use. Most aromatherapists recommend avoiding the use of essential oils in the couple of days prior to a chemotherapy treatment and up to 10 days following a treatment. Even if you have no adverse reaction to the use of the oils around the time of treatment, the oils can interfere with your cells’ response to chemo. You do not want to do anything that causes your treatments to be less effective. With only a few exceptions, peppermint oil can be inhaled following chemotherapy treatment to help with the nausea. It is an effective way to quell the sense of sickness, but speak with your doctor even though it is generally considered safe.
If you are undergoing radiation therapy, remember that your skin may be sensitive, burned, or irritated. It is important to be cautious when applying even diluted oils to irritated skin. A few oils you may want to avoid when undergoing radiation treatments include lemon, lime, orange, peppermint, ylang ylang, and bergamont. All other oils that are permitted by your doctor during radiation should be used in an extremely low concentration of two drops per ounce of base oil.
Essential oils can be beneficial for patients undergoing cancer treatment, but it is important they understand how the oils can effect treatment. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of essential oil when battling cancer, consult a trained aromatherapist and speak with your doctor before using oils.