Can essential oils increase absorption of cancer treatment drugs?

Hello! Thanking you in advance for your time…I have a question regarding something that I read about peppermint and eucalyptus oils increasing the skins absorption of 5-fluorouracil, an anti-cancer drug. The study cited was Abdullah et al 1996, Williams & Barry, 1989. I am unable to find that particular study and wondered if you have any input as to the validity of this statement. If this is indeed true…do you have any special recommendations for those with cancer, undergoing chemotherapy or for those taking cancer relapse prevention drugs?
With great regard, Tiffany

Hi Tiffany,

A number of essential oils enhance the transcutaneous penetration […]

By | 2012-03-07T11:49:58+00:00 March 7th, 2012|Aromatherapy / Research, Q & A|20 Comments

Can cedarwood oil oxygenate the brain?

Doing some research on Cedarwood EO for an event I am doing. I do understand that it is very high in Sesquiterpenes (95% to 98%), but some sites are claiming that Cedarwood can oxygenate the brain and that it can repair DNA damage! I don’t know how much of those claims are true?
Thanks, Devita

Hi Devita,

There are several cedarwood oils, but unspecified usually means Virginian. Virginian cedarwood is indeed high in sesquiterpenes: alpha-cedrene, beta-cedrene and thujopsene being about 80% of the oil, plus 15% cedrol and many other minor constituents.

Sesquiterpenes are generally regarded as safe.

Oxygenate the brain – that’s a very […]

By | 2011-12-31T12:13:11+00:00 December 31st, 2011|Q & A|Comments Off on Can cedarwood oil oxygenate the brain?

Lavender and estrogen

Help please…today i was told that lavender essential oil can not be used when using estrogen cream therapy because of it’s phytoestrogen content…do you know of any research i could read about this or is this just an outrageous sweeping statement?
Lauren, via Facebook

Lauryn, lavender oil has an in vitro estrogenic action, as do many foods and natural substances (phytoestrogens) but most of these have a negligible effect in reality. To start putting out contraindications for lavender oil until we know more is scaremongering in my opinion. No-one yet knows which constituent(s) of the oil interact with estrogen receptors, nor what […]

By | 2011-12-01T07:15:34+00:00 December 1st, 2011|Q & A, Safety|7 Comments

Can essential oils treat HPV?

Rachel M. writes:
Dear Robert,
Greetings! Because you are an expert with regards to using essential oils I was wondering if you could offer some advice or direct to me to research with regards to using essential oils for an advanced case of HPV (Human papillomavirus). I appreciate any information that you could offer and thank you in advance for your time.
Be well,

Hi Rachel,
I could only find one relevant piece of research, which talks about tea tree oil successfully treating warts caused by HPV. I hope this may be of some help!

By | 2011-10-13T14:01:46+00:00 October 13th, 2011|Q & A|3 Comments

Do essential oils react with titanium?

Hi Robert,
I was able to be at your seminar in Ithaca and enjoyed it very much. You presented much needed information on essential oils research. That compelled me to pose the following question to you:
Do you know of any research regarding if and how essential oils react with titanium?
My son had a titanium screw implanted into his skull to attach a hearing aid to it. While that area heals it can be prone to infection and skin reaction. Of course I would love to use essential oils to prevent that. […]

By | 2011-10-06T05:17:20+00:00 October 6th, 2011|Q & A|1 Comment

Q&A: Essential oils for internal use?

Hi Robert, I wondered what the current advice/research is regarding the internal use of essential oils – specifically using oils on tampons? Any guidance would be much appreciated. Many thanks.

Adele – one important point is that, as with all other ways essential oils are applied to the body, they must first be diluted in a suitable medium, such as a gel. The risk of not doing this is that any concentrated essential oil could cause irritation, or even an allergic reaction. I suggest using no more than one or two drops […]

By | 2011-09-29T06:15:31+00:00 September 29th, 2011|Q & A, Safety|2 Comments

Q&A: where can I find quality EO research articles?

Hi Robert. Could you recommend some particularly good sources/sites for current peer-evaluated journal articles supporting the efficacy of essential oils against MRSA. Also articles that demonstrate the therapeutic/healing benefits of essential oils in chronic care/long term care facilities? Much appreciated!
-Melinda R.

Hi Melinda, try
and for starters. You can also try different search terms and you will get different results.

Best, Robert

Thanks for being such an aromatherapeutic rock star!

By | 2011-09-26T14:18:38+00:00 September 26th, 2011|Aromatherapy / Research, Q & A|3 Comments

Q&A: I’m choking on wildfire smoke! Can EO help?

I am especially mindful of those in harm’s ways from the wildfires in Texas, USA. Today’s Question is very timely, and if you know anyone in a wildfire-prone area, this would be great information to forward along.

Mike O. sends along a concern from Roswitha L.
Been using your Eucalyptus and Myrtle EO blend, does help some. This morning went outside, smell of smoke/fire so strong eyes burnt, throat sore after 1 minute. We are surrounded by wildfires; not only trees burning but …homes, plastics, chemicals. Major toxins 4 million […]

By | 2011-09-09T05:30:10+00:00 September 9th, 2011|Q & A, Safety|3 Comments

Q&A: Are vaporized essential oils a fire hazard?

Marianne asks:
A perennial question – if essential oils are diffused in a room and someone lights a candle or a cigarette, is this a fire risk? If not, why not? At a famous Oncology hospital in the U.K. essential oil diffusers are not used for this reason – in case a spark from any electrical equipment (including pulling out a plug from the wall) gets in touch with any diffused oil! But you could say the same, if essential oils are used for massage, creams and compresses, the scent is […]

By | 2011-09-08T04:38:05+00:00 September 8th, 2011|Q & A, Safety|4 Comments

Q&A: is cedarwood oil safe in pregnancy?

Nancy B. writes

Hello Robert,
I met you at the AIA conference in Denver, CO 4 years ago.
I follow your blog and have subscribed to your posts and comments. You are such a wealth of knowledge and I love the way to combine research and common sense.

I have a question about juniperus ashei. My company is called Touch of Earth. I have several products in the marketplace, including an insect repellent called Bugz Be Gone. I am thinking of adding about 1.5% Texas Cedarwood to the formula. The reason for this is […]

By | 2011-08-18T09:00:45+00:00 August 18th, 2011|Q & A, Safety|Comments Off on Q&A: is cedarwood oil safe in pregnancy?
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