Alternative Remedies and Natural Products for Cancer Therapy: An Integrative Approach

Aromatherapy: An Adjuvant Treatment in Cancer

Author(s): Poonam Agrawal * .

Pp: 15-27 (13)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815124699123010005

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Aromatherapy is a complementary healing therapy that uses aromatic essential oils to improve the health of the body and mind. Essential oils with healing properties, like geranium oil, rosemary oil, lavender oil, patchouli oil, and others, have been used to treat cancer. Cancer is often treated using chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. Nausea and vomiting are often side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Subsequently, these cancer therapies lead to various psychological disorders, such as stress, anxiety, and depression, in cancer patients. Hence, the a need to assist cancer patients in overcoming these disorders. Aromatherapy, which is a blend of essential oils, has been reported to improve disorders that arise during complicated cancer therapies such as chemotherapy and radiation. Research on cancer populations has revealed that patients exposed to essential oils via inhaler devices had reduced anxiety, stress, nausea, and poor sleep. The effects of aromatherapy are reported to be due to the binding of chemical components in the essential oil to receptors in the olfactory bulb, impacting the brain’s emotional center, the limbic system. Aromatherapy has also been reported to relieve pain, muscular tension, and fatigue. Aromatherapy practitioners treat specific conditions using various combinations of oils and different modes of application. Aromatherapy can thus be used as a potential supplement treatment to improve complications in cancer; however, further studies are needed to estimate the protocol and standard dosage. Given the difficulties of cancer treatment, aromatherapy can play an important role in treating patients' psychological aspects. 

Keywords: Aromatherapy, Aromatherapy practitioners, Brain’s emotional center, Cancer therapies, Cancer, Chemotherapy, Essential oil, Geranium oil, Lavender oil, Psychological aspects, Patchouli oil, Radiation, Rosemary oil.

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