Tag Archives: essential oil benefits

Essential Oils For Nausea After Surgery: The Research

Image source: freedigitalphotos.net / africa
Image source: freedigitalphotos.net / africa

Essential Oils For Nausea After Surgery: The Research

After undergoing surgery for breast cancer, it is pretty common to experience nausea, usually caused by a reaction to the anesthesia used.  It may be considered common, but it definitely is not nice when you are going through it.  I will share with you a couple of things that will help you through this.

Essential Oils For Nausea – The Research

Fortunately, essential oils are being studied a good deal more and the research coming to light is not only helpful but often fascinating.

One such study caught my eye recently, published in 2013 and titled Aromatherapy As Treatment For Postoperative Nausea: A Randomized Trial 1.  Researchers used aromatherapy with 301 adult patients who were having trouble with nausea in the post-anesthesia care unit of one surgical center.  The patients were given one of these four things on a gauze pad and asked to breathe in deeply three times:

1. Placebo (saline); or
2. Ginger essential oil; or
3. A blend of ginger, spearmint, peppermint and cardamom essential oils; or
4. Isopropyl alcohol

Nausea was then measured again in five minutes. The patients could also subsequently request anti-emetics (drugs which help to control nausea) if they needed them.

The researchers reported that the change in nausea level was significant for the essential oil blend and the ginger essential oil but not for the saline or the alcohol. No surprise!  I feel sorry for the people who received saline or isopropyl alcohol!  Also, the number of anti-emetic medications required after the aromatherapy treatment was significantly reduced.  The researchers noted “Aromatherapy is promising as an inexpensive, noninvasive treatment for postoperative nausea that can be administered and controlled by patients as needed.”

Ginger has been used for centuries for nausea, it is a well-known anti-emetic and quite often the basis for many natural remedies for seasickness. Cardamom is a member of the ginger family and is also considered quite helpful for queasiness and nausea. Spearmint and peppermint have been used throughout history for digestive complaints including nausea.

No Essential Oils? Try Controlled Breathing

If you do not have access to essential oils, one smaller 2014 study indicated that just doing controlled breathing when experiencing nausea after surgery could be as helpful as the administration of peppermint essential oil 2.

Controlled breathing is a fairly specific way of using and focusing on the breath and here’s how it works. Fill your lungs and breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth using a steady, slow rhythm. Try to keep your mouth closed when you breathe in through your nose and as you breathe out, “purse” or pucker your lips (as if you were about to whistle or kiss). This helps to slightly restrict the outflow of air.  Try to make your “out” breath twice as long as your “in” breath. This technique helps to empty your lungs of old air, and to make more room in your lungs for fresh, oxygen-rich air.  You might find it helpful to count to two as you breathe in, and count to four as you breathe out. Try not to hold your breath between breathing in and out.  For some reason this technique helps to relieve some of the nausea after surgery quite well.

My Experience With Essential Oils For Pain Relief, Inflammation

While I did not experience nausea after surgery, I used peppermint essential oil post-surgery to help with pain relief, combining it with wintergreen.  Peppermint and wintergreen are an effective duo for pain relief and inflammation.  I just put a drop or two of each on the area of concern and never needed any of the morphine that was offered me. I considered that a big plus, I don’t do well with drugs and I know many others have that same problem. This might not work for everyone, but it certainly worked for me.

If you are about to undergo surgery, here are links to other articles on my website that may be useful for you:

Your Breast Surgery Recovery: Using Arnica To Minimize Bruising and Swelling

Tips For Surgery: Useful Items To Take With You


1. Aromatherapy as Treatment for Postoperative Nausea: A Randomized Trial – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22392970

2. Controlled Breathing with or Without Peppermint Aromatherapy for Postoperative Nausea And/or Vomiting Symptom Relief: a Randomized Controlled Trial – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24461278

GET MY BEST TIPS on getting through breast cancer and preventing recurrences by signing up for my free e-newsletters and e-books on the right.  You can also “like” me on Facebook (MarnieClark.com) to get my inspirational snippets, news and updates.  I promise to do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey… and beyond.

Essential Oil Research – Lime Essential Oil

Image Source: morgueFile / hotblack Image Source: morgueFile / hotblack

Essential Oil Research – Lime Essential Oil

I’m always interested in sharing good research about essential oils because even though essential oils have been used for medicinal purposes since the time of the ancient Egyptians, and we have a significant quantity of information from herbalists and aromatherapists, what we lacked was scientific proof demonstrating exactly how helpful essential oils can be. That lack exists no more!

According to a 2014 review titled Essential Oils and Their Constituents as Anticancer Agents: A Mechanistic View1, as of February 2014, 135 research papers have been written about the anti-cancer properties of essential oils.  Of these 135 papers, 117 of them have been written after 2005, which shows the recent increase of interest in this field.

Research on Lime Essential Oil and Cancer

One Iranian study reported in 2014 indicates that an extract from the peels of lime (Citrus aurantifolia), in combination with the breast cancer drug Doxorubicin (the generic name for Adriamycin, also known as the Red Devil among breast cancer survivors), proved to be a potent anti-cancer combo2.

Doxorubicin is a type of chemotherapy drug called an anthracycline. It works by slowing or ceasing the growth of cancer cells by blocking an enzyme called topo isomerase 2 used by cancer cells to divide and grow.

The Iranian researchers discovered that an extract of lime peels sensitized MCF-7 breast cancer cells (this line of cells is estrogen-receptor positive, progesterone-receptor positive and HER2 negative) to the drug Doxorubicin. While it is true that the researchers did not employ the use of lime essential oil specifically, it is likely that the extraction process utilized would contain significant quantities of essential oil within it.

The study was undertaken because the researchers understood that the use of Doxorubicin as a chemotherapy drug causes various problems such as drug resistance, toxicity to normal tissues, and it is hard on the immune system and heart.  When cancer cells develop resistance to a drug, the drug fails to cause the cancer cells to die off.  So the researchers set out to discover something which could be combined with Doxorubicin which would increase its effectiveness, and the common lime provided the synergistic effect they were searching for.

The researchers stated that Citrus aurantifolia was a potential chemopreventive agent, chemoprevention meaning a drug, substance or food that prevents cancer.

Lime Essential Oil Potent Against Candida

Breast cancer survivors often struggle with Candida albicans infections (aka thrush), both before breast cancer diagnosis, and also afterward due to some of the drugs utilized to fight the cancer.

An interesting study reported just last month indicated that a special photo-activated lime essential oil (again, Citrus aurantifolia) increased the killing capacity of two fungi, Candida albicans and Tricophyton rubrum, by 10-13%. The researchers stated that the photo-activated citrus essential oil exhibited remarkable lethal effect on fungal cells.3

For more information on the link between candida and breast cancer, see my article What Is The Candida Breast Cancer Connection?

I am not telling you to cure your breast cancer using essential oils. I would certainly not rely upon essential oils alone to do that job. But in combination with a holistic regimen of nutrition and other lifestyle changes, together with chemotherapy and radiation (should you choose to go that route) I believe that essential oils can be an extremely beneficial healing tool and chemopreventive aid.


1. Essential Oils and Their Constituents as Anticancer Agents: A Mechanistic View –   http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4070586/

2.  Combination of Ethanolic Extract of Citrus aurantifolia Peels with Doxorubicin Modulate Cell Cycle and Increase Apoptosis Induction on MCF-7 Cells – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4177652/

3.  Eradication of C. albicans and T. rubrum with photoactivated indocyanine green, Citrus aurantifolia essential oil and fluconazole – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25573286

GET MY BEST TIPS on getting through breast cancer and preventing recurrences by signing up for my free e-newsletters and e-books on the right.  You can also “like” me on Facebook (Marnie Clark, Breast Health Coach) to get my inspirational snippets, news and updates.  I promise to do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey… and beyond.  

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Cancer and Fatigue: 6 Helpful Remedies


Cancer and Fatigue 6 Helpful Remedies

Image Source: freedigitalphotos.net and Ambro

Cancer and Fatigue

Cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation can cause so much fatigue that the cancer patient often wonders what is worse – the disease or the treatment for it!

Fortunately, complementary medicine offers much to assist the cancer patient and below are a few suggestions.  I used most of these at one time or another during my breast cancer treatments and can highly recommend them.

6 Helpful Remedies for Cancer Treatment Fatigue

  1. Combine Massage with Essential Oils – You wouldn’t think that something which promotes relaxation would actually help with fatigue!  But massage is wonderful.  If you ask your therapist to include certain essential oils (such as lemongrass, eucalyptus, juniper, basil, lemon, rosemary, cypress, peppermint) as fatigue busters you will definitely notice a difference, especially the day following your massage.  Or use some of the suggested oils daily, just breathing in essential oils on a regular basis can help banish fatigue and promote clearer thinking.
  2. Eat your Greens! – Sometimes this can be really hard.  I remember just thinking about eating a green salad when I was undergoing chemotherapy would almost make me gag.  I just could not stand the thought of it!  If you’re like that, it might be easier to take supplements.  If you need suggestions about the best ones to take, see my webpage:  Marnie’s Must-Have Supplements for Breast Health
  3. Experience Chinese Medicine – While I was undergoing chemotherapy, I saw a Chinese Medicine doctor who prescribed certain herbs and did acupuncture for me every couple of weeks – I believe this helped my chemo related fatigue immensely.  The Chinese have some truly healing herbs that will really help your chi (energy).
  4. Try the Amazingly Restorative Juice of Lycium Barbarum – I drank this juice just as soon as I got my breast cancer diagnosis.  I’d been doing research on it for several years so I knew the wonderful benefits of it. I truly believe that this remarkable berry confers health benefits far and above every other juice product on the market.  I took it with me to my chemotherapy appointments – while they were pouring their chemicals into me, I was drinking goji/wolfberry juice.  I rarely suffered any fatigue or nausea.
  5. Movement Practices such as Yoga – I found yoga to be absolutely fantastic while I was undergoing treatments and I still carry on with it to this day.  It seems to help you stay active and full of energy, while at the same time it decreases stress and tension.  If you don’t have access to a class, this is a great yoga DVD for beginners.
  6. Grab Some Extra Sleep – It may seem obvious, but if you’re suffering unduly from cancer related fatigue, sometimes the best thing to do is just sleep.  Give yourself permission to do this whenever you need to!  No feeling guilty!

I hope this post helps you and I wish you great healing today.

I send my love to everyone taking this journey right now. If you would like my help with getting through breast cancer in an inspiring and ultra-healthy way, please sign up for my free e-newsletters on the right, or “like” me on Facebook (Marnie Clark, Breast Health Coach) and I’ll do my utmost to keep you informed and empowered on your healing journey… and beyond.