Frankincense and Cancer
There's a ton of all kinds of information and rumor, and supposition and hopeful imagining on this and my opinions might not be popular but you will have them below.
Does it work against cancer, against tumor cells?
Lots of people claim there is, and others claim not. I think there are quite a few people working on this, and inconclusive data thus far.
If you've recently been diagnosed, listen to the suggestions of your health care provider, gather all the information you can, and proceed to make decisions based on that information. We are not doctors; we are an essential oil company. If we find actual success comes from essential oil use against tumors, great. But filling capsules with drops of an "anti-cancer" blend, or any other essential oil, is a waste of time, and may interact with any medicine you may take.
To minimize side effects of chemo or radiation
Nope. You shouldn't use any essential oils at all on a radiated area. None. For any reason. Just don't.
And as for chemo, try smelling a few oils you know you love. If they smell like crap to you, and they might, then leave it. And don't take any essential oils internally while doing chemo. Chemotherapy tears down your entire system, killing everything, including the cancer cells. That's that best case scenario. Then you build your system back up.
There are two main reasons I discourage essential oil use with cancer therapies:
1. They can cause some harm, if you are not completely sure of what you're doing. Radiation burns are best treated with something like aquaphor, an unscented petroleum based gel. You will not enjoy the smell of your favorite essential oils interacting with burned skin. And you might remember that smell long after treatment. You won't enjoy the aquaphor either, but you won't have to smell it again, once done with treatment.
Of course, the essential oils may also make your burn worse, it may exacerbate it. The burns will start to diminish after your radiation course ends. And as they grow over the course of treatment, you won't have them for the entire 5 or 6 weeks.
And as for chemo, it will probably mess with your sense of smell and taste. Don't force yourself to use your favorite oils during as you might grow to hate them. You will likely not be able to use the oils as you think you might. Adriomycin nausea is not likely to back down in the face of peppermint oil. Your doctor's office will prescribe you the appropriate drugs. Chemo is rough. It's better not to introduce substances that might in any way interact with it.
2. The law of association. Everything smells and tastes strange, and even if not, you will most likely remember your cancer treatment for the rest of your hopefully long and healthy life. No need to add triggers unless you really crave the smell of any of those oils. It's possible, I suppose, to crave something like sandalwood or lavender, and if it gives you comfort, then use it in the room, diffuse it, even use a drop on your clothes, but I've not met many people who actually, really have this experience. Hospitals will ask you not to wear any scent in the chemo areas because it makes people nauseous. With luck, your treatment will be over, and successful, and as you recover, and your body comes back, you will find the essential oils waiting for you on the other side.
I know that these opinions will not be popular with many people, but I come from plenty of cancer experience and have personally done radiation, ACT chemo and several other medical interventions. I've also been a close personal caretaker to several close people.
While it's infuriating to hear people spout off about something a friend of a friend told them about chemo or what they read on facebook, it's completely understandable that when someone you love is doing cancer treatment, you want to help. Of course you do. But there's a lot things you can do that are solid, and helpful, and oh so very kind.
Do some grocery shopping for them
Run any other errands for them
Bring bland food, and even sweets like cookies--think stodge. Nothing spicy or strong flavored unless specifically requested.
Arrange for a mani/pedi in a safe place, or at home, if possible.
Come and hang out for a little while, not with your kids.
Help them rearrange their living space if they want
Take them for a ride to the beach or some other pretty place.