Treating Cancer with Essential Oils: Frankincense, Clary Sage, and Lavender

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Can you treat cancer with essential oils? Is treating cancer with essential oils possible? The answer is yes. Aromatherapy using essential oils is known to help patient cancer in many ways. Here, we will tell you 3 of these essential oils. Let’s start with frankincense.



Frankincense oil has been associated with treatments for several cancers, including breast, ovarian and skin cancers. The studies of the effect of frankincense oil on cancer were done on cells in a laboratory. Studies on patient cancer have yet to be done. That said, the finding of existing studies show some promise of treating cancer with essential oils.

In 2009, a study focused on a frankincense oil derived from B.carteri and its effect on bladder cancer. It was found that, when the frankincense oil was administered, the oil suppresses the viability of cancer cells while at the same time differentiate between healthy cells and cancer cells. Similar results of this study were found in 2011, although this time it was on breast cancer cells. In a study done in 2015, the exposure of frankincense oil to breast cancer cells stopped the cells’ growth and even kills them.

Clary Sage


Sclareol, clary sage’s primary component, has shown that it has anti-cancer benefits in laboratory tests. In 2015, other studies analyze the effect of sclareol on cancer cells. It was found that it not only affects the way cancer cells spread but also promotes the death of cancer cells. The caveat, however, is that these effects happen in the lab which means it was confined within the boundary of laboratory cultures and dose adjustment




Free radicals can be the cause of cellular damage, which may lead to cancer. Although our own body creates its own antioxidants, they are not sufficient to combat free radicals, especially if we have sedentary lifestyle. This is where lavender helps.

There are many antioxidants that our body produces. Among them are catalase, glutathione peroxidase, and superoxide dismutase. According to Chinese studies, lavender helps in increasing the production of these three antioxidants in mice within the first day of the experiment. In a study done in Romania, it was found that inhalation of lavender for an hour a day helps in preventing cancer in mice.

How They Work

The theory behind treating cancer with essential oils is that each of these oils has its own properties for our health. They are thought to work by either absorption through the skin and into body tissues or stimulation of sense of smell, which in turn triggers a reaction in the body. Some of these oils are thought to have other beneficial effects on our health as well. These include calming effect, reducing anxiety and/or sleep problems, anti-inflammation and anti-infection among others. Keep in mind that many of the claimed benefits from essential oils are not yet scientifically tested.

Treating cancer with essential oils is possible. While this is true, generally it is a good idea to talk with your doctor first about this so that using essential oils will not hinder the ongoing treatment. Also, to avoid allergic reaction as well.

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