Aromatherapy is a growing treatment option for people suffering from all kinds of problems from pain to headaches to anxiety, depression and even cancer. While it is important to note that the FDA has not approved “scents” for disease control, one thing is clear, humans have used aromatherapy to treat whatever ails them for a long, long time.
The art of aromatherapy is ancient. Evidence suggests that it is at least 6000 years old. Ancient Egyptians used it so often that the treatment appears in papyrus dating back to around 1555 BC. The scroll contains aroma remedies that bear a remarkable resemblance to treatments still used today.
Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils concentrated from the flowers, fruit, seeds, leaves, root or bark of plants to treat various illnesses, conditions, and symptoms. There are more than 400 essential oils used to treat a vast array of problems. These oils can be helpful in overcoming symptoms brought on by certain diseases.
At first glance, it may seem outlandish to think that a “holistic” treatment may help someone suffering from such a powerful disease as cancer. I want to make it clear that no one is saying that aromatherapy will “cure” cancer. However, there are a growing number of cancer patients who say aromatherapy helps them “feel better.” Many cancer patients believe aromatherapy is essential to their treatment plan.
Some of the most popular oils for cancer patients include lavender, rosemary, eucalyptus, camomile, marjoram, jasmine, peppermint, lemon, ylang ylang and geranium. Aromatherapy can boost wellbeing, relieve stress, reduce pain and depression, boost the immune system, reduce menstrual cramps, relieve headaches, improve digestion problems and refresh your body, which makes them a perfect addition to any cancer treatment program. Lavender, for example, can help with sleeping problems, and it may relieve muscle tension and anxiety.
Essential oils are usually massaged into the body in a diluted form, but they can also be added to a warm bath, put into a diffuser, or put on a cold compress next to your skin or on a handkerchief. There are a couple of theories to explain how aromatherapy might work. One is that you directly absorb the oils through the skin into your body tissues, and the other is through our sense of smell.
People with cancer use aromatherapy because it makes them feel better. It is part of the treatment they can actively control, which is very empowering. What makes aromatherapy more appealing to cancer patients is its ability to reduce nausea and vomiting caused by cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation.
There will always be people who don’t believe in aromatherapy, or holistic medicine in general. That’s ok, there are plenty of western medicine options for them. However, for the believers, or people who are willing to try something new, aromatherapy is a powerful tool to reduce a variety of symptoms for nearly every problem you can think of. Give it a try, you might be surprised.
Try our selection of aromatherapy products here.