Friends and family members of those fighting cancer often turn to aromatherapy & other types of alternative healing for help and support. It can be extremely frustrating to want to help a friend or loved one battling this terrible disease while feeling powerless to do so. Although certain essential oils (among them Frankincense, a rare species of Cypress, certain varieties of Thyme and Sage, and Lemongrass) have shown possible anti-tumor effects in some laboratory tests & research, to make any claims that essential oils can provide a cure for cancer is at the very least irresponsible and cruel.

What the oils can do, however, is strengthen the spirit, and provide emotional and spiritual support, both for the patient and for family members and caregivers. Essential oils are also being used to alleviate painful side effects of radiation & chemotherapy in cancer patients.

For strengthening the spirit, of particular usefulness are: Frankincense, Rose, & Atlas or Himalayan Cedarwood to spiritually uplift & promote emotional courage & strength. Further, Sandalwood oil, perhaps blended with either Cedarwood or Rose, can be emotionally supportive and comforting. Also, blends of citrus oils or conifers, diffused in the room, or used as an airborne spray does a wonderful job of both lifting the spirits, and removing "sickroom" odors. Some possible choices are: Pink Grapefruit, Sweet Orange, Red Mandarin, or Scotch Pine, Balsam Fir, Cypress, or Juniper.

Health care providers in America are becoming more open to the benefits of the holistic approach in caring for patients, with some adding aromatherapy programs as an element of treatment. This was the case when Nature’s Gift Aromatherapy was recently asked to provide a blend for a hospice in Montana as part of the facilities newly approved aromatherapy program. The nurse aromatherapist who commissioned the blend recommended using it with a gentle hand or foot massage. The blend consisted of 10 drops each of Somalian distilled Frankincense, and Frankincense CO2 extracted, with just 5 drops of Rose Otto 10% dilution. This would be the equivalent of 40 drops of Frankincense to 1 drop of undiluted Rose Otto. The blend may be diffused in an aroma lamp or diffuser or diluted way down (a 1% dilution, 6 drops of the blend to one fluid ounce of carrier oil or lotion) for massage.

On a physical level, positive results are being reported in dealing with post radiation pain and burning by using a blend of Jojoba oil and Aloe Vera gel, with Helichrysum, Lavender, German Chamomile and Geranium essential oils added. For use, mix equal parts of the jojoba and aloe first. Then, blend equal amounts of the four essential oils and add the synergy at a 2.5% dilution, basically using 15 drops of the essential oil blend to one ounce of blended jojoba and aloe gel. Since the Aloe and the Jojoba will not blend, the mixture will need to be shaken well before each use.

These are just a few suggestions for cancer patients, their friends & caregivers, which might be helpful along the healing journey. For more information about aromatherapy & essential oils, see:

Author's Bio: 

Over 15 years experience sourcing, selecting and making available highest quality therapeutic essential oils and aromatherapy products, founder of Nature's Gift, Inc., author of Essential Oils and Aromatics.