Cancer, Chemotherapy & Radiation

While there is promising research on essential oils and cancer, it is important to note that at Selah Oils we view aromatherapy (the use of essential oils) as a compliment to conventional treatments.  

As always, everything you choose to do or use should be cleared with your licensed physician before use. This even applies to massage.

It is prudent to avoid essential oils with estrogen-like properties with tumors that are estrogen-dependent.  (Breast, uterine and ovarian).  Clary Sage, Niaouli, Aniseed, Fennel.

However, it is mentioned, "It is extremely unlikely that the tiny amounts of estrogen-like compounds used in aromatherapy would impact cancerous growth."  (Buckle, 342)

Also, "...these estrogen-like actions in animals are mainly weak or limited to certain experimental conditions, and their affinity for estrogen receptors is generally extremely weak compared with that of 17β-Estradiol. With the exception of (E)-anethole, we do not consider that essential oils containing these constituents pose a significant risk to patients with estrogen-sensitive cancers." (Tisserand, 166)

More information on Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (including Aromatherapy) from the National Cancer Institute: go HERE.

THIS STUDY on shows research on Frankincense and Sandalwood on cultured bladder cancer cells.

Their conclusion: 
"The effects of frankincense and sandalwood essential oils on J82 cells and UROtsa cells involved different mechanisms leading to cancer cell death. While frankincense essential oil elicited selective cancer cell death via NRF-2-mediated oxidative stress, sandalwood essential oil induced non-selective cell death via DNA damage and cell cycle arrest."

In addition, Kurt Schnaubelt, Ph. D. has a book entitled Essential Oils and Cancer that would be something to consider purchasing. 


Essential oils to help with side-effects of conventional cancer treatments: 

Candida in the Mouth

Mix 1 drop Rosewood and 1 drop Tea Tree in honey and water, to be used as a mouth rise 3-5 times a day.


Myrrh drains toxins from the kidneys during and after chemotherapy. (Schnaubelt, 179)

Dryness of the Mouth

 Tea Tree mixed with a vegetable oil and water for gargling helps with dry mouth.


 RavintsaraPeppermint diffused.

Hair Loss

ThymeRosemaryLavenderCedarwood are all recommended for hair loss.  It is recommended to mix your choice of oil(s) in a base of jojoba oil and massage the scalp daily.


"Sipping hot water with a sliver of ginger root can also frequently bring relief from nausea and is a well-known remedy for morning sickness during pregnancy." (Buckle, 337)

PeppermintGingerCardamomPatchouli, Spearmint are all essential oils that can help with nausea.  These can be used topically (diluted) or even one or two drops of the oil(s) of choice on a tissue and inhaled can help. (Buckle, 338)


Frankincense, MyrrhLavender, Roman Chamomile

Factors to be considered that might be contributing to the pain include inflammation, tension, swelling or nerve involvement.  Some of the oils listed help with these other factors, which in turn help with pain.

Post Radiation Burns

LavenderGerman ChamomileRoman Chamomile are all essential oils that can be used as a spray for post radiation burns.  Mix 4ml of the essential oil(s) of choice with 4 ounces of water in a spray bottle.  Shake well before using.

**It is important to note that you should NOT store this mixture in an aluminum spray bottle as aluminum can interfere with the radiation treatment.**

Radiation Therapy of the Anal Seam

PatchouliLavender diluted in a vegetable oil lessens pain and reduces epithelitis.


CedarwoodFrankincense are great to combine to help with the respiratory issues commonly associated with lung cancer.  (Shortness of breath, discomfort, upper body tension, potential infection and coughing.) They can be used as an inhalation or mixed into a carrier oil for a chest rub.

Skin Itching

Lavender, Peppermint mixed in base of carrier oil gives great relief to itchy skin.


  1. Schnaubelt, Kurt.  The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils (2011). p. 172
  2. Price, Shirley and Price, Len.  Aromatherapy for Health Professionals (2012). pp. 169, 273-286
  3. Buckle, Jane.  Clinical Aromatherapy Essential Oils in Practice. (2003). pp. 303-339
  4. Purchon, Nerys and Cantele, Lora.  The Complete Aromatherapy and Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness. (2014).
  7. Tisserand, Robert and Young, Rodney.  Essential Oils Safety 2nd Edition. (2014). p. 166