Essential oils are one of the most potent forms of plant-based medicine in the world. From killing viruses (like coronavirus), to promoting relaxation, to soothing skin scrapes, to supporting the immune system, essential oils offer countless benefits to your life.
To be clear – the use of these oils is no “fad.” Essential oils have thousands of years of history in traditional medicine, in the most ancient of cultures. The Egyptians, the Chinese, the Greeks… they all used essential oils.
From the times of Biblical medicine on through to today, essential oils are used throughout the world. Until fairly recently they’ve been better accepted and popular outside of the United States… but I’m happy to see that so many Americans are catching on to the immense benefits of these healing oils.
One of my favorite examples of the long history and effectiveness of essential oils is about a group of thieves in England who, despite daily contact with corpses who had succumbed to the Black Death (the plague), didn’t get sick.
The story goes that the King heard about these men who would enter the homes of those taken by the plague, rob them of all their valuables, yet did not fall ill from the highly contagious disease. The King had these thieves captured and when they were brought in front of him, he demanded they reveal their secret.
They confessed to being from a family of a long line of apothecaries. They were familiar with the immune protection provided by certain blends of oils, which they would rub all over their bodies, before going thieving. They say the King forced the men to reveal their recipe and then subsequently used the oils to protect himself and his family from the ravages of the Black Death. They also say the recipe is still in the Royal archives to this day.
Now I don’t know if all this is all true or not, but the moral of the story is certainly sound. My own personal appreciation of the wide variety of benefits of essential oils (including their ability to protect the body from harm) began during my initial travels for The Quest for the Cures and A Global Quest documentary series. It was then that I realized how truly overlooked essential oils are as a component of the puzzle that is health and healing from disease.
These days, my family and I use essential oils in a variety of ways on a daily basis. Our uses for these therapeutic powerhouses are wide-ranging. I’ll list out more further down, but a few ways we personally use essential oils include as medicines, for personal care products, as our cleansing agents, and more.
Why do we believe everyone should follow in our footsteps and rely on essential oils, too?
It’s simple. My family has opted to use safe, natural remedies that have thousands of years of history proving their benefits, over a dependence on prescriptions of synthetic drugs that have a long list of side effects which are nothing short of dangerous.
Likewise, we prefer to use personal care products and household cleaners that are superior alternatives to those containing toxic ingredients. We get the same, or even better results, while losing the risk of damaging our bodies.
Charlene and I are frequently asked about what essential oils we favor, and also how we use them. So, I thought I’d share with you some of our favorite anti-cancer oils and some tips for uses. Before I list our favorite essential oils for preventing and healing from cancer, just a reminder that when you are choosing essential oils to always look for the highest quality. You want oils that are certified organic, with 100% purity.
5 Amazing Anti-Cancer Essential Oils (in alphabetical order)
Frankincense may well be my number one favorite essential oil for its anti-cancer properties. It is anti-inflammatory, for one, which is vital in the quest to heal from all cancers. Specifically, frankincense has been shown to be a potent inhibitor of 5-lipoxygenase, an enzyme responsible for inflammation in the body.
Frankincense essential oil also helps boost immune function and prevent illness by dangerous pathogens by multiplying white blood cells and modulating immune reactions.
It also helps improve circulation, and reduce stress (it has sedative properties), as well as being a known pain reliever. Oil of frankincense has been shown to contract and tone tissues, which helps to speed regeneration.
Frankincense is also shown to provide neurological support, including the ability to destroy toxins that may lead to neurological damage.
However, this essential oil has several benefits beyond cancer treatment, including easing arthritis pain, balancing hormones, encouraging skin health, and aiding digestion.
As I’ve written elsewhere on The Truth About Cancer site, lavender essential oil contains the phytochemicals perillyl alcohol and linalool, both found to support cancer healing. Not only is lavender a known pain reliever, true lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is anti-tumoral, and has demonstrated significant results in resetting the programmed cell death usually lacking in cancer cells. It has been observed to reduce the weight of tumors, and inhibit cell growth.
Lavender essential oil reduces stress and supports the function of the immune system. Quality of sleep is improved. Depression and anxiety are relieved. All of these go towards supporting the immune system in the often immuno-compromised cancer patient. Yet lavender oil has several direct antibacterial properties, as well.
Studies have shown lavender essential oil to be effective against many common germs, as well as the more serious ones such as Staphylococcus aureus (“golden staph”). It does so by supporting the macrophages and phagocytes systems in the body, as well as helping the body fight the infection through its influence on genetic activity.
Myrrh is one of those somewhat obscure essential oils that has a variety of powerful healing properties that should not be overlooked. In terms of cancer, myrrh essential oil exhibits notable effects on cancer cell growth, and contains anti-inflammatory properties.
In addition, myrrh is known to support healthy hormone balance, which can be essential in cancer healing. Like lavender and frankincense, myrrh oil has long been used as a pain reliever. It is also anti-fungal. With all these qualities, myrrh is a potent therapeutic support for your health.
Peppermint is another “wonder-oil,” with a wide range of benefits. This essential oil’s cancer benefits come from its phytochemicals limonene, phytochemicals beta-caryophyllene, and beta-pinene, which have defined cytotoxic and anti-inflammatory effects.
Studies have also shown peppermint essential oil to reveal antioxidant and cancer inhibiting properties, suppressing growth of tumors. In addition, peppermint oil contains antiangiogenic properties, which prevent tumors from developing their own blood supply.
Peppermint essential oil is a well-known antiseptic, with antimicrobial components that benefit respiratory infections (such as bronchitis), open wounds, tonsillitis, and laryngitis. Peppermint is so powerful it’s even useful against stronger bacterias such as Staphylococcus aureus and others that are often antibiotic resistant.
5. Turmeric (Curcumin)
In labs, curcumin has been found to inhibit enzymes such as COX-2 that cause inflammation which can lead to cancer, to activate a gene that suppresses tumors, cut cancer cells off from their fuel and oxygen sources, to kill large B-cell lymphoma cells, prevent cancer stem cells from regrowing, and stop the spread of cancer (metastasis).
Turmeric essential oil has been shown in studies to differentiate between normal and cancerous cells, while promoting apoptosis (cancer cell death).
This power-house oil has other benefits as well, including: helping to regulate blood sugar, help wounds heal faster, prevent Alzheimer’s disease, prevent help you lose weight, and ease arthritis.
5 Tips for Using Essential Oils for Heath & Healing
Using essential oils is so integral to my family’s life, it’s hard to list every way we use them! However, here are some top tips for using essential oils in your daily life. [Be sure to check my list of precautions below to get the most from your oils.]
- Put a drop behind your ears. For example, every day Charlene uses myrrh and frankincense behind her ears and on her lymph nodes as a prophylactic (preventative protection). Lavender or peppermint would be good for respiratory issues, or simply to relax. You can rub on the back of the skull, the breasts, or the bottoms of your feet.
- Use a cold diffuser. We love to diffuse essential oils throughout our home. We do it for added mental clarity, and immune support for the entire family. My office is always filled with the therapeutic aromas of a variety of essential oils.
- Massage into the skin. Some essential oils, like peppermint and clove, are very strong and you’ll do well to choose a good “carrier oil.” You use a good quality, organic (preferably cold-pressed) oil like coconut, olive, or jojoba to mix in a few drops of the essential oil of your choice. You can then massage this simple “body butter” onto your skin. For a bit fancier body butter, use a mixer to whip solid coconut oil with essential oil. Use this mixture to apply directly to affected areas (such as with pain, arthritis, or digestive issues), and for quick absorption and overall health benefits.
- Ingest Internally. One of my favorite, refreshing drinks I like to make is a “Peppermint Lemonade.” I simply take 2-3 drops of peppermint essential oil, 3-4 drops of lemon (or orange or tangerine oils, depending on my mood), add water, some organic green stevia, and ice in a large pitcher. It’s a super-fast, healthy beverage that I love. It’s also delicious as a hot beverage (use hot water and omit the ice). If you’re just making one cup at a time, use only 1 drop of peppermint + 1 drop of a citrus oil. Essential oils are powerful and a little goes a long way! You can also use a few drops of essential oils in an empty gel capsule and swallow it.
- Toothpaste. You can make a variety of personal products using organic essential oils and other non-toxic ingredients: lotions, face washes, mouthwash, soaps. A toothpaste is easy to make using high quality, certified organic frankincense, myrrh, and coconut oil. Maybe add in some baking soda if you prefer, too.
Precautions for Using Essential Oils:
- Quality. This is so important that it bears repeating. Always use a top-quality, medicinal grade oil. It should be certified organic, and 100% pure. Check the reputation of your supplier, and ensure there are no fillers or additives.
- Keep oils away from sensitive areas. Essential oils are nature’s powerhouses. Keep in mind they are 40-50 times more potent than the plant itself. Some oils are more “spicy” than others. Some taste better than others. Oregano is one that can burn a bit when you ingest it directly. Peppermint requires caution, and usually does best with a carrier oil when applying to the skin. Never apply essential oils to sensitive areas of the body, including the genitals or near your eyes.You should also test new oils to ensure there are no reactions before applying too liberally. You can start by doing a sniff test of the oil in the bottle. If that seems fine, then apply a dab of carrier oil to the inside of your wrist or arm, add a drop of oil and wait to see if there is any redness, itching, or swelling. Everybody and every body is different so you may need to try different oils to see which ones feel best to you.
- Do not heat oils. You’ve probably seen or even have one of those oil burners for using essential oils. What you may not know is that heating these oils destroys their healing properties. It’s always best to use a cold diffuser. These are plentiful and economically priced online.
- Children. Always be cautious when using essential oils with children. Diffusion is safest. For direct application, it’s important to dilute the stronger oils, especially with a good carrier oil. When making body butters or massage oils for children, use 1 drop of essential oil to 4 tablespoons of carrier oil. This will dilute the essential oil enough to make it more tolerable and safer for your child. Be very careful not to place near the eyes and always do a sensitivity test first.
Editor’s Note: This article was initially published in October 2016 and has been updated in February 2020.