Tips for Coping with Chemotherapy Hair Loss


Image Source: freedigitalphotos.net

Tips for Coping with Chemotherapy Hair Loss

For anyone going through chemotherapy and coping with the loss of their beautiful hair,  I feel for you – this is a hard thing! Our hair is so much a reflection of our personal style. It’s an important part of our appearance, our crowning glory! So losing it through chemotherapy is often a very difficult part of the breast cancer journey.

One of the questions I am frequently asked is “How long will it take to grow back?”. There are other questions too, such as what the best options are for looking good while going through this part of your journey, and how best to assist the regrowth process once the chemotherapy is over. Hopefully this article, and the one to which I have linked, will answer these questions for you.

Helpful Resource

We have a very good resource at the CancerLiving.today website. I was just made aware recently of this website and it is full of helpful information. Their article Chemotherapy and Coping with Hair Loss has some wonderful tips in it. First of all, it explains why chemotherapy causes loss of hair, what to expect when you’re going through chemotherapy (with regard to hair loss), a discussion of cold caps as a possible method of  prevention of hair loss, coping psychologically while you’re going through this, and things you can do to look good while you’re going through chemotherapy. It’s a well-written article. CHECK IT OUT HERE.

Specific Foods to Stimulate Hair Regrowth

Once chemotherapy has finished, there are a number of things you can eat that will help your body with the nutrients it needs to recreate a healthy head of hair. B vitamins, fresh or frozen berries like raspberries, strawberries, blueberries; sweet potatoes;  maqui berry powder; goji berries or juice; acai; broccoli and spinach;  avocados; nuts and seeds; bell peppers (capsicum);  beans and legumes (including soybeans); eggs and other protein sources like meat (if you’re a meat eater), or a high quality protein powder. These are all (with exception of the meat) potent breast cancer fighters as well.

Essential Oils Stimulate Hair Regrowth

Now then, because I’m essential oil aficionado, I’m also going to teach you which essential oils and carrier oils you can massage into your scalp to help with the regrowth process! Please always choose organically grown oils to cut down the hormone-disrupting chemicals with which you come into contact.

Particular essential oils are exceedingly helpful for hair loss (all kinds – not just from chemotherapy) because they (a) help to oxygenate the scalp, (b) increase circulation of the scalp, and (c) stimulate cell metabolism and the growth of hair. Essential oils won’t increase the number of hair follicles you were born with, but they can certainly improve the regrowth process once chemotherapy has finished.

I do not recommend the use of hair loss formulas (I won’t name names, but you know what I’m talking about) because all of the ones with which I am acquainted have toxic ingredients you do not want anywhere near your scalp. Eating well and using essential oils are a much better option, Mother Nature intended them for our use. They are filled with healing phytochemicals (natural, plant-based chemicals) that are wonderfully beneficial for our health in a myriad of ways. Combined with specific carrier oils (listed below), essential oils are amazing for helping the hair regrowth process.

The best essential oils for hair regrowth are:

  1. Carrot seed
  2. Cedarwood
  3. Clary sage
  4. Clove
  5. Cypress
  6. German chamomile
  7. Helichrysum
  8. Lavender
  9. Rosemary
  10. Thyme
  11. Ylang ylang

The best carrier oils for hair regrowth are:

  1. Apricot kernel
  2. Argan
  3. Avocado
  4. Castor
  5. Coconut
  6. Hemp
  7. Jojoba
  8. Olive
  9. Tamanu

Use a dark glass bottle with glass dripper like this

Essential Oil Hair Regrowth Recipe  

2 tbsp your choice of carrier oils
4-6 drops your choice of essential oils
1/2 tsp vitamin E oil

Combine carrier oils, essential oils and vitamin E in a small glass bottle with a glass dripper  (as shown above) and apply several drops to scalp, massaging into the scalp for 3 or 4 minutes once or twice daily. Better yet, get your partner or friend to do this – ever so much nicer!

Chemotherapy-induced hair loss can be traumatic, but just know it won’t last forever and you can assist your body, your mind, and your spirit to overcome it. Essential oils and specific foods are a wonderful way to help your body through this process.

GET MY BEST TIPS on healthy ways to beat breast cancer and prevent 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.

The Best Essential Oils for Mastectomy and Breast Reconstruction Scars

The Best Essential Oils for Mastectomy and Breast Reconstruction Scars

One of the best things you can do subsequent to having a mastectomy or breast reconstruction (or both) is to begin applying certain essential oils to the scars just as soon as the tissues have knitted together and begun to heal. There are several reasons I recommend this and in this article I will share with you those reasons, as well as the best essential oils for mastectomy and breast reconstruction scars. and a recipe for a healing oil you can make yourself using essential oils and some special carrier oils.

Reasons to Begin Using Essential Oils After Surgery

1. All of the oils listed below are enormously antibacterial. Since hospitals are one of the best places to be exposed to some pretty nasty strains of bacteria, protecting your healing tissues with antibacterial essential oils just makes good sense.

2.  Most of the oils listed will help with tissue regeneration, are potently anti-inflammatory, and will speed the healing process.

3. For preventative purposes. As a breast cancer coach, I cannot tell you how many women with whom I’ve come into contact have had recurrences of breast cancer in and among their mastectomy scar lines.  I don’t share this to scare anyone, merely to inform you of the possibility. These oils may help to prevent that from happening. No guarantees, but strictly from my observances, those who used essential oils almost immediately after healing began (and I began using them within 24 hours of reconstruction surgery) have not had problems.

The Best Essential Oils for Scarring

Helichrysum
Lavender
Elemi
Rose
Myrrh
Sandalwood
Geranium
Neroli
Palmarosa
Rosewood
Frankincense
Patchouli
Cedarwood
Carrot Seed
Copaiba
Hyssop
Rosemary
Lemon
Eucalyptus
Melaleuca (Tea Tree)

Good Carrier Oils for Healing Scars

Tamanu (avoid this if you have nut allergies)
Rosehip
Coconut
Emu

Recipe: Healing Oil for Scars
2 tablespoons organic rosehip oil
2 tablespoons organic tamanu oil
2 tablespoons organic fractionated coconut oil or hemp oil
10 drops vitamin E oil or calendula infused oil
4 drops carrot seed oil
4 drops frankincense oil
2 drops cedarwood oil
2 drops myrrh oil
3 drops patchouli oil
4 drops geranium oil
4 drops copaiba oil
3 drops palmarosa oil
3 drops rosewood oil
2 drops tea tree or eucalyptus oil
1 drop lemon oil

Combine ingredients in a sterilized dark glass bottle with a dropper. Before using, give it a gentle shake back and forth to combine ingredients. Use a few drops along scar lines 3 times per day while scar lines are healing, then twice daily for the next 30-90 days. Continue using at least once daily thereafter.

Will This Blend Help if Surgery Was Months Ago?

Yes, it should help. For those who have already begun the healing process and have some ugly scars left behind, this oil blend can be of assistance. It might not eradicate them completely, but take before and after pictures (and date them) so that you can see the difference. Feel free to share them with me!

Essential Oil Purity Matters

It’s important to understand that when using essential oils for health improvement, you need to be looking for 100% pure, organic essential oils that are made only from plants – as opposed to the cheaper, artificial fragrance oils you will find in places like the local health food shop. The problem with using the cheaper ones is that although they may have a pleasant aroma, fragrance oils often contain synthetic chemicals, and rather than helping to heal, using oils with synthetic chemicals may actually harm. Medicinal grade oils won’t do this.

GET MY BEST TIPS on healthy ways to beat breast cancer and prevent 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.

I Love This New Nebulizing Essential Oil Diffuser

Organic Aromas Raindrop Nebulizing Diffuser

I Love This New Nebulizing Essential Oil Diffuser!

One of the things I love, use daily, and promote the use of to my clients, are essential oils. In a single bottle of essential oil there is so much potential! They contain so many amazing phytochemicals that are proving in research to be good for so many ailments. I’m continually finding new ways to enjoy their therapeutic benefits and diffusing is one of my favorite ways to use them. I had been using an ultrasonic (cool mist) diffuser but it just recently stopped working so I did a little looking around and found this new nebulizing essential oil diffuser by Organic Aromas.

I used to have a nebulizer diffuser years ago but it was one of the old styles that made so much noise I found it drove me crazy (well crazier than usual). It also ATE UP WAY TOO MUCH oil! It would take 20 drops at a time and that wouldn’t last too long. That’s when I switched to the ultrasonic cool mist diffuser and I still like that style except during the rainy season here in Australia. It does add some humidity to the room which is nice in the hot dry summer season but not so nice when it’s already 90% humidity outside and raining.

Anyway – it appears that nebulizer style diffusers have come a long way in the meantime.

What Is The Difference Between A Nebulizer and an Ultrasonic Diffuser?

Nebulizing diffusers  have an air pump that sends condensed air to a nozzle tube which controls the direction of the vapor. A stream of air blows across the nozzle tube, creates a vacuum and propels undiluted essential oils upward. As they rise, the pressurized air hits the essential oil droplets and causes them to atomize into micro-particles which then fill a glass reservoir. Once in the glass reservoir, the micro-particles rise and are emitted from the reservoir as a vapor which is released into the room.

Ultrasonic diffusers have a water reservoir and a lid. When the unit is plugged in to electricity, a small, flexible membrane at the bottom  of the water reservoir vibrates ultrasonically. This passes energy to the water, breaks up water molecules, and turns water from a liquid to a vapor. The vapor is propelled into the air and carries along with it the now-diluted drops of essential oil.

There are other types of diffusers too. I recently wrote an article on this very subject for the folks over at The Truth About Cancer website. Here it is: Diffusing Essential Oils 101: The Best Diffusers, How to Use Them & DIY Oil Blends   Check out the article, you will get a lot more information about various types of diffusers there.

The Organic Aromas Nebulizing Diffuser

Back to the current topic, my new Organic Aromas nebulizing diffuser. It arrived in a very well-packaged and sturdy box and the company sends you links to videos on how to set up the diffuser and how to clean it properly, all good information.

The thing I like best about the Organic Aromas nebulizing diffuser, however, is that it is so QUIET! It’s fantastic, especially in comparison to my last one. I got the opportunity to use it this week for my 3-year old granddaughter who woke up with a horrible cough, it sounded like whooping cough. We placed the diffuser in her bedroom at bedtime, placed a particular oil blend called “RC” in the diffuser (it’s great for bronchial problems), let it run for just a little while and it was so quiet, it didn’t disturb her slumber and she got over the worst part of that cough in no time flat. Here are some of the features of the Organic Aromas nebulizing diffuser:

  • It is equipped with a “touch sensor” light switch allowing you to turn the LED “mood light” on or off any time with a swipe of a finger
  • It’s very quiet!
  • It uses no heat (which can wreck the therapeutic effects of an essential oil), and no water, so it delivers just essential oil into the air of the room where the diffuser sits
  • It has a dial control that allows you to precisely control how much oil you diffuse
  • It uses little energy, running for 2 minutes on, then 1 minute off
    It has an auto shut-off feature after running for 120 minutes
  • It is rated for rooms up to 80 square meters (800+ square feet)
  • The diffuser looks great. It has a handsome hand-made wood base and blown glass top which looks elegant anywhere you place it
  • It measures approximately 10″ (25 cm) tall x 6″ (15 cm) wide
  • It arrives with the appropriate electrical cord and electrical plug adapter for your market (USA, UK, EU, Australia, etc)

Here is a link to the diffuser I’m enjoying, you can see all of their other products too. And no, I’m not getting paid to write this review, I just love this diffuser and want to share it with you.
The Organic Aromas Raindrop Nebulizing Diffuser

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.  

Are Lavender and Tea Tree Essential Oils Safe To Use If You Have Breast Cancer?

Image Source: Freedigitalphotos.com / Feelart

Image Source: Freedigitalphotos.com / Feelart

Are Lavender and Tea Tree Essential Oils Safe To Use If You Have Breast Cancer?

Probably at least once a week, a woman with breast cancer asks me whether lavender and tea tree essential oils have estrogenic properties, and whether they are safe for her to use. Being a breast cancer coach – and especially someone who recommends the use of essential oils – it’s a fair question. With this article, I hope to give you some things to consider when using essential oils, some of the research, and to share with you why quality matters when considering essential oils as part of your healing regimen.

The reason people are asking this question is because of a small study [1] that indicated lavender and tea tree oil may have estrogenic or hormone disrupting properties.

This is my response and my position on this matter.

The study listed at [1] below in References reported that lavender oil and tea tree oil could possess endocrine disrupting activity. It was a very small study comprising exactly three young male patients who presented with idiopathic (of unknown origin) pre-pubertal gynecomastia. Gynecomastia means enlarged breast tissue. It is purported to be the result of disrupted estrogen and androgen signaling, leading to increased or unopposed estrogen action on breast tissue. All three boys had extensively, and over a long period of time, used products containing either lavender oil or a combination of lavender and tea tree oil. Two of the boys were exposed to a cologne named agua de violetas, and lavender oil was just one of the ingredients.

The vast majority of breast cancer diagnoses are estrogen receptor positive (ER+), so based on this single study, women with ER+ breast cancer are being warned off lavender and tea tree oils. Since this study [1] was published, it has been cited hundreds of times, according to Google Scholar, and reference has been made to the supposed estrogenic or endocrine disrupting activity of lavender and/or tea tree oils. That’s rather akin to hanging someone without a proper trial, I say.

Let’s be sensible here. Things to consider:

1. What other ingredients were in the agua de violetas? Fragrance ingredients are NOT evaluated for safety, in fact most fragrance manufacturers keep their ingredients a closely-guarded secret. It is one of the least regulated industries in the world. Some chemical fragrances are known to be endocrine disrupters, why just blame the lavender? Since no compositional data on the essential oils was supplied in the original paper [1], the presence or absence of xenoestrogenic contaminants such as pesticides, herbicides, etc – known endocrine disrupters – is not known. To draw conclusions about the estrogenic activity of these essential oils without all of the relevant data is just crazy. It is quite possible that these three boys had gynecomastia for other reasons. Tea tree and lavender oils have been blamed, but have not been definitively identified as endocrine disrupting compounds. Indeed, both tea tree and lavender oils have a long history of safe use.

2. Lavender essential oil, if properly distilled from true lavender, Lavandula angustifolia (and NOT lavandin, as many are) is a beautiful oil and has been used for centuries for all sorts of illnesses, skin complaints, for stress, as a sleep promoter, and it has many anti-cancer properties (and yes, there is research to back that up). The study at [1] did not take into account what kind of lavender had been used. Was the lavender improperly distilled using chemical agents that are themselves known to be endocrine disrupters? The composition of the essential oils tested was not given, nor was there any other information about them, other than the supplier. Were the oils organically grown? If not, contamination with herbicides and insecticides is a definite possibility, also known for hormone disruption.

3. What other research has been done since 2007? A study released in March 2013 looked into the subject of the supposed estrogenic activity of lavender essential oil [2]. In this study on rats, lavender oil at dosages of 20 and 100 mg per kg was found to show no sign of being estrogenic in a uterotrophic assay, the gold standard in vivo (meaning in the body) research. Unfortunately, the animals were only tested for 3 days which was probably an insufficient length of time to be considered a thorough examination, but the study is still interesting. Particularly since the concentrations used with the rats amounted to more than 6,000 and 30,000 times greater than normal or average human exposure from a multitude of cosmetic products containing lavender oil.

4. Robert Tisserand, one of the world’s leading aromatherapy experts, an author, educator and all-around essential oil guru, states this about the subject of lavender oil and estrogen on his website: “One in vitro study found that lavender oil had a very weak estrogenic action in MCF-7 breast cancer cells (Henley et al 2007). However, there is no evidence that lavender oil has any adverse effects on human hormonal activity. In another in vitro study, lavender oil inhibited the growth of MCF-7 cells (Zu et al 2010) suggesting that, while it may bind to estrogen receptor sites in the body, it is not an estrogen mimic, and so does not promote estrogen.” [3]

5. There is an incredibly high incidence of adulteration of essential oils. One 2014 study on tea tree oil [4] found that more than half of the 43 samples tested failed to comply with the proposed ratios. In oils sourced from China, the incidence of adulteration is closer to 100%. Compounds not normally found in pure tea tree oil were detected in this study and that’s not a good thing. This brings me to the next subject.

Quality Matters

If I’ve said this once, I’ve said it a thousand times – know where your essential oils come from. Know how the plants are grown. Does the company grow the plants using organic principles? Find out how the essential oils are distilled. If your supplier can’t or won’t tell you this, steer clear of them. Make sure your essential oil supplier uses only Lavandula angustifolia for their lavender oil – and not lavandin, a cheap and less effective substitute. Make sure that the product you are buying contains only the oil of the plant and not a bunch of toxic chemicals like phthalates, or parabens, which are known to have endocrine disrupting properties. Generally speaking, the cheaper the oil, the less you want to consider it.  If you need my help sourcing excellent essential oils, let me know.

References:

1. Prepubertal gynecomastia linked to lavender and tea tree oils – February 2007 – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17267908/

2. Uterotrophic assay of percutaneous lavender oil in immature female rats – March 2013 – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23358464

3. Activities of ten essential oils towards Propionibacterium acnes and PC-3, A-549 and MCF-7 cancer cells – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20657472

4. Enantiomeric distribution of selected terpenes for authenticity assessment of Australian Melaleuca alternifolia oil – http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0926669015000680

Lavender oil is not estrogenic

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.  

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

Research:

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 – Benefits Of Clove

Image Source: freedigitalphotos.net / artur84

Image Source: freedigitalphotos.net / artur84

Essential Oil Research – Benefits Of Clove

Continuing my series of articles about the benefits of essential oils, this week I’m focusing on the benefits of clove essential oil, a lovely, aromatic, exotic oil.

I have previously referenced the fascinating 2014 report titled Essential Oils and Their Constituents as Anticancer Agents: A Mechanistic View 1, but the information contained therein bears repeating.  As of February 2014, 135 research papers have been written about the anti-cancer properties of essential oils.  Of those 135 papers, 117 were written after 2005, which definitely indicates the increase of interest in essential oils.

Research indicates that clove is known to have antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic, analgesic, antimutagenic, antigenotoxic, and anti-inflammatory properties. Only recently, however, has clove been studied for its anti-cancer potential.

Research on Clove Essential Oil and Breast Cancer

Clove (Syzygium aromaticum L.) is one of the oils that has been studied on actual breast cancer cell lines and found to be helpful.  A study reported in 2014 2 evaluated the cytotoxic activity of clove against MCF-7 breast cancer cells, which are invasive ductal carcinoma cells exhibiting both estrogen and progesterone receptors (ER+, PR+).  The study utilized several different extracts, including water, ethanol and essential oil.  The essential oil extract provided the highest cytotoxic (that means cell killing) activity against this particular cell line.  The researchers concluded that “Cloves are natural products with excellent cytotoxicity toward MCF-7 cells; thus, they are promising sources for the development of anticancer agents.”

A study reported in 2013 3 indicated that eugenol, the most prevalent phytochemical within clove, increased apoptosis (planned cell death, a good thing), decreased a protein coding gene known as E2F1 or survivin, inhibited cell proliferation, inhibited oncoproteins known to be highly expressed in breast cancer cells and tissues, and it did this both in vitro (in test tubes) and in vivo (in the body).  The really exciting part about this research study, however, was that they tested various breast cancer cell lines, including triple negative, and found that eugenol exhibited anti-cancer effects on both estrogen receptor positive and estrogen receptor negative breast cancer cells. Eugenol was found not to be toxic to normal, healthy cells.

A 2012 study 4 indicated that eugenol not only had the ability to inhibit cell proliferation and promote apoptosis (both features which are lacking with cancer cells), it also exhibited the ability to inhibit estrogen, making it similar or even better than tamoxifen and its metabolites for inhibiting estrogen.  Did you get that?  A NATURAL ANTI-ESTROGEN AGENT!

Having said that, I always say that healing from breast cancer is about more than just blocking the body’s own estrogen, a hormone we need in our bodies. There are many other ways to heal from breast cancer than suppressing a hormone that does so much for our health. Find out what some of those things are via my free newsletters – you can sign up for them from any page on my site.

Other Studies on Clove’s Anti-Cancer Effects

Another 2014 study  5 indicated that clove “can be explored as a viable source of bioactives for the development of chemotherapeutic drugs against cancer in addition to acting as nutraceutical and functional food ingredient.” This study found that the phenols found in clove were anti-mutagenic and highly antioxidant, making clove a valuable chemotherapeutic agent (that means cancer preventative).

A Chinese study also reported in 2014 6 investigated the anti-tumor effects of clove on colon tumors, specifically an ethyl acetate extract of cloves (which the first study referenced at 2 below also utilized and found was inferior to the essential oil of clove). They also tested oleanolic acid, one of the constituents of clove, and found the ethyl acetate extract to be superior to oleanolic acid, as well as superior to the chemotherapy drug 5-fluorouracil at suppressing growth of colon tumor xenografts. The study found clove inhibited tumor growth, promoted cell cycle arrest and apoptosis.

Exciting research, is it not?

Disclaimer:
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.

You can read my other articles on essential oil research by clicking this link.

References:

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

2.  Anticancer Potential of Syzygium Aromaticum L. in MCF-7 Human Breast Cancer Cell Lines – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4166826/

3.  Eugenol Triggers Apoptosis in Breast Cancer Cells Through E2f1/Survivin Down-regulation – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3931838/

4. Structure-based Design of Eugenol Analogs as Potential Estrogen Receptor Antagonists – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3488830/

5.  In Vitro Antimutagenic, Antioxidant Activities and Total Phenolics of Clove (Syzygium Aromaticum L.) Seed Extracts – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25015457

6.  Clove Extract Inhibits Tumor Growth and Promotes Cell Cycle Arrest and Apoptosis – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4132639/

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. 

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