Can Aromatherapy Treat Cancer?

There are so many health options available for individuals today from Conventional to Alternative choices in care and treatment. It is necessary for each individual to do their due diligence and find out their options when faced with an illness. Second opinions are invaluable to get a full understanding of an illness or treatment method. There is no right or wrong way to treat an illness so each treatment decision should be respected whether it is concocted from a garden or made in a lab.

CAM Therapies

The five domains of therapy in which CAM practices are: biological therapies (vitamins, botanicals), mind/body interventions (yoga, aromatherapy), energy therapies (meditation), alternative medical systems (acupuncture), and manipulative methods (chiropractic).


Aromatherapy is the mode of therapy that can be used as an alternative, complementary, and integrative therapy for the treatment of cancer. Aromatherapy is the use of fragrances from plants such as lavender, chamomile, jasmine, lemon, ylang ylang, and peppermint. It can also be used on the skin when made into oil.

Alternative use: Aromatherapy can be used as an alternative to pain medication for those that do not like to use prescribed or even over the counter medicine due to past drug addictions or the fear of developing one due to heredity. So instead of taking a sleeping pill for insomnia a person may choose to surround themselves with soft scents to relax themselves into sleep.

Complementary use: After surgery aromatherapy can be used to alleviate pain and muscle tension along with a prescribed medication.

Integrative use: Scent receptors located in the nose send chemical messages to the brain through the olfactory nerve. This elicits emotional responses. It can be used in conjunction with massage, psychology, and chiropractic treatments for a total mind/body treatment.


Scientific research does not support any of the claims that aromatherapy can effectively prevent or treat cancer. However, it could possibly enhance the quality of life as clinical trials suggest it reduces stress, nausea, pain, and depression (American Cancer Society, 2011).


American Cancer Society

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