12 Essential Oils for Cancer That You Should Know (Backed by Evidence)

If you or anyone in your family or friends has been diagnosed with cancer, you know how devastating it can be.

The diagnosis is not the end of it, it’s just the start of the battle.

Yes it’s true that despite medical advancements and improvement in people’s lifestyles, cancer is still one of the leading causes of death in the world.

There is good news though.

You can use essential oils for cancer treatment at home. Cancer, which is defined by Mayo Clinic as an uncontrollable growth and spread of abnormal cells that destroy healthy body tissue, can fortunately be treated with the use of certain essential oils.

If you find this hard to believe, check out these science-backed facts about how essential oils can fight cancer.

Continue reading:

  • 12 best essential oils for cancer fighting
  • How to use essential oils for cancer prevention

Of course, although these natural remedies have been scientifically proven, the information below is not meant to replace medical advice or treatment.

12 Essential Oils for Cancer Treatment


1. Oregano Oil

A staple in the Mediterranean cuisine, oregano has been recognized worldwide for its medicinal properties [1].

Its active compounds such as carvacrol and thymol have been found to have cytotoxic effects on cancer cells [2].

Depending on the dosage and duration period of administration, the use of oregano extract can lead to the inhibition of growth and cellular death of cancerous tumors [1].

Simply put, oregano extract can effectively kill cancer cells and prevent them from spreading [1].

Take note, however, that oregano’s toxic effects are reserved only for cancerous cells, and do not affect the healthy cells.

What You’ll Need:

  • 6 drops of oregano oil
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Combine the two oils.
  • Take one tablespoon of the mixture in the morning.
  • Take another tablespoon in the evening.
  • Repeat everyday.

2. Cinnamon Oil

Free radicals have long earned a bad reputation for the harm it causes on the body.

Many of us are familiar how these by-products of oxygen metabolism can speed up the aging process, and cause different kinds of diseases.

That’s not all.

These have also been described by researchers as “an important class of carcinogens” [3].

In other words, free radicals can increase the risk of cancer.

To fight this, it’s important to make use of antioxidant-rich natural substances like cinnamon oil.

Various studies have shown that cinnamon oil has potent antioxidant content that can prevent free radical damage inside the body [4, 5].

Exhibiting good antioxidant activities are compounds such as butylated hydroxyl anisole, trolox, ascorbic acid, and gallic acid [4].

What You’ll Need:

  • 5 drops of cinnamon oil
  • Water

Recommended Directions:

  • Boil water in a pot.
  • Add cinnamon oil.
  • Drink this tea several times a day.

RELATED: The Benefits of Honey and Cinnamon for Weight Loss

3. Cardamom Oil

An aromatic spice that originated in the humid parts of Asia, cardamom is loaded with beneficial pharmacological properties [6].

It works actively as an analgesic, antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and anti-convulsant [6].

Many diseases and infections have been combated by the use of this herbal plant, which is packed with strong antioxidants such as quercetin, 1,8 cineole, alpha-terpinyl acetate, myrcene, and terpinen-4-ol [6].

Most of these compounds are also present in its oil extract.

So it doesn’t come as a surprise that its essential oil can effectively fight even serious diseases such as cancer.

There are several ways cardamom oil fights cancer.

It does not only have powerful cytotoxic activity that destroys cancer cells, it also strengthens the immune system and prevents formation of cancerous tumors [7].

On top of these, cardamom oil is also an anti-inflammatory agent that inhibits the process of carcinogenesis [7].

What You’ll Need:

  • 7 drops of cardamom oil
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Mix cardamom and olive oils.
  • Take one tablespoon of the mixture during breakfast and after dinner.
  • Do this everyday.

4. Clove Oil

Clove is a popular spice used in Indian cooking that adds an enticing aroma and rich flavor to dishes.

What many do not know is that its essential oil works actively against cancer [8].

Researchers have found clove oil to have the highest cytotoxic activity on cancer cells [8].

This means that it can efficiently wipe out the abnormal cells inside the body before the spread.

Contributing to this mode of action are sesquiterpenes, which inhibit the formation of cancer cells inside the body, as shown in several studies [9, 10].

Moreover, it is rich in antioxidants that prevent cancer-causing free radicals from inflicting any damage in the body [11].

As mentioned earlier, free radicals are known carcinogens that can cause the formation and development of cancer cells.

What You’ll Need:

  • 7 drops of clove oil
  • 1 pot of water
  • 1 teaspoon of honey

Recommended Directions:

  • Bring water to a boil.
  • Add clove oil.
  • Add honey.
  • Mix well.
  • Consume tea twice or thrice a day.

5. Fennel Oil

A 2011 study conducted in Egypt investigated fennel oil’s anticancer, cytotoxic and anti-tumor properties [12].

To do this, researchers utilized the mouse model of Ehrlich ascites carcinoma on Swiss albino mice [12].

At the same time, they also had some studies done on the various types of human cells [12].

After the 30-day experiment period, researchers concluded that cancer cells were inhibited by 50 percent, while the free radical damage was halted by 100 percent [12].

The essential oil was particularly effective in protecting the breast and liver from cancer, and was described as a “safe, effective, and easily accessible” source of cancer-fighting antioxidants [12].

Data from other studies support the claims that fennel oil can effectively ward off cancer by neutralizing free radical damage, killing cancer cells and preventing these from spreading to other parts of the body [13, 14].

What You’ll Need:

  • 7 drops of fennel oil
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Blend the oils together.
  • Add one teaspoon of the mixture to your dish.
  • Do this three to four times a day.

RELATED: 14 Benefits of Fennel Tea You Don’t Want to Miss Out on

6. Thyme Oil

What do you know about thyme oil?

Obviously, it’s an essential oil derived from the thyme plant.

Aside from this, thyme oil has in fact served many purposes in different fields—culinary, perfumery, dentistry and aromatherapy.

It has a long list of medicinal properties, acting as an antibacterial, antiseptic, antirheumatic, antispasmodic, expectorant, carminative, hypertensive, stimulant, and diuretic, among many others.

Everyone should also know that thyme oil is a good defense against cancer.

Results of a 2007 study published in the Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research indicate that thyme oil can destroy cancer cells, even those that have grown resistant to chemotherapy [15].

This can be attributed to thyme’s strong anticancer agents like thymol and carvacrol [15].

These antioxidants are also known to fight cancer by scavenging free radicals in the body [16].

Unlike chemotherapy that triggers even the healthy cells, this oil is much safer to use as it only focuses on the harmful cancer cells.

What You’ll Need:

  • 7 drops of thyme oil
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Combine the two oils.
  • Consume a spoonful of the mixture twice a day.

7. Lavender Oil

When the stress gets too high, and you feel like you need a break from it all, the first thing you want to do is to open your lavender oil bottle and sniff into.

Once you do, you’ll feel yourself calming down, and feeling better.

The relaxation effects of lavender oil are just few of its many wonderful benefits for the mind and body.

Lavender oil is also known for its antifungal, antibacterial, carminative and anti-depressive properties [17].

Moreover, anti-mutation and anti-carcinogen activities of lavender oil have been observed by scientists in a 2011 study [18].

Another study featured in the Research in Pharmaceutical Sciences Journal showed that this oil has the potential to work as a chemotherapeutic agent particularly for cervical cancer [19].

What the researchers did was to culture malignant and non-malignant cells in RPMI 1640 medium [19].

After that, these cells were incubated with various concentrations of the lavender oil [19].

The essential oil of lavender successfully inhibited the growth and spread of the malignant cells within a 48-hour period [19].

Although this shows great potential for lavender as a cancer treatment, researchers recommend further studies done on this matter [19].

What You’ll Need:

  • Water
  • Basin
  • 10 drops of lavender oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Boil water in a pot.
  • Transfer water in a bowl.
  • Add lavender oil.
  • Inhale the steam.
  • Do this several times a day.

RELATED: 11 Health Benefits of Lavender Oil That You Should Know

8. Rosemary Oil

Known for its unique woody scent, rosemary is a Mediterranean herb that has many significant pharmacological properties.

Many claim that it’s good for treating dandruff and dry scalp, preventing viral and bacterial infections, promoting urinary and respiratory health, and reducing stress, anxiety and depression, among others.

Cancer, meanwhile, is one of the more serious diseases that ancient healers have treated with rosemary oil [20].

In one study, it was shown that supplementation with rosemary oil reduced the risk of mammary cancer in rats by up to 47 percent [20].

It works in several ways: it inhibits the formation of several substances that trigger cancer formation such, it scavenges the effects of free radicals in the body, and it activates the complement system to suppress the body’s inflammatory reaction [20].

Almost all of rosemary’s anti-cancer effects can be attributed to its active compounds called rosmarinic acid and carnosic acid [21].

What You’ll Need:

  • 8 drops of rosemary oil
  • 1 pot of water

Recommended Directions:

  • Put water in a pot and bring to a boil.
  • Add rosemary oil.
  • Sip tea slowly.
  • Do this three to four times a day.

9. Frankincense Oil

For thousands of years, frankincense oil has been used as incense and perfume in Africa, Middle East and India [22].

It has also been used to cure many health problems including cancer.

A study indicates that frankincense oil is capable of inducing apoptosis or death of cancer cells [23].

To reach this conclusion, researchers used an MTT assay to examine the effects of frankincense oil on five tumor cell lines [23].

Various other studies confirm that it works well in treating bladder cancer, pancreatic cancer and breast cancer [24, 25, 26].

Its mode of actions relies mainly on the arrest of cell cycle and growth, as well as causing death in cancerous cells [24].

It’s good to know, however, that frankincense oil appears to be able to distinguish between cancerous and healthy cells [24].

It kills the abnormal cells without harming the healthy ones.

What You’ll Need:

  • 7 drops of frankincense oil
  • 1 glass of water

Recommended Directions:

  • Dilute frankincense oil in a glass of warm water.
  • Drink this solution once a day.

10. Myrrh Oil

There’s more to myrrh oil than its enticing scent.

It actually holds multitude of benefits for the health.

A yellowish oleo-gum resin used since the ancient times in Egypt and China, myrrh plant is used in making myrrh oil [23].

Among the many diseases that it can help control is cancer.

Myrrh oil’s anti-cancer and cytotoxic effects have been well-document in several studies [27, 28, 29, 30].

A 2011 study that can be found in the Journal of Medicinal Plants Research confirmed that it is effective in killing cervical and endometrial carcinoma cells [31].

What You’ll Need:

  • 8 drops of myrrh oil
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Blend coconut oil and myrrh oil.
  • Take one tablespoon of the mixture in the morning.
  • Take another tablespoon in the evening.

RELATED: 11 Amazing Health Benefits of Myrrh Oil (Backed by Scientific Evidence)

11. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil is often added to mouthwashes, toothpastes and other dental products.

It doesn’t only make the taste of these products more pleasant, it also has antibacterial and breath-freshening effects.

Amazingly, peppermint oil is also a good way to fight cancer.

In a study involving animal subjects, it was found that the use of peppermint oil can ward off certain forms of cancer such as skin cancer [32].

The number, size and burden of the cancerous tumors were significantly reduced after the mice subjects were given peppermint oil at a dosage of 800mg/kg body weight once a day for 14 weeks [32].

The use of this oil is not only for treatment of cancer, but also for prevention.

It’s also safe to use for long-term as it doesn’t harm the healthy cells, only the cancerous tumors.

What You’ll Need:

  • 10 drops of peppermint oil
  • 1 glass of water

Recommended Directions:

  • Add peppermint oil to water.
  • Mix well.
  • Consume peppermint oil mixture two times a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.

RELATED: 12 Uses and Health Benefits of Peppermint Oil

12. Clary Sage Oil

Clary sage or Salvia sclarea essential oil comes from the flowers and leaves of the perennial clary sage herb through steam distillation.

The woody and coniferous aromatic oil is a popular home remedy for skin disorders since the middle ages.  Some of the primary chemical compounds of the therapeutic oil are Linalyl acetate, Linalool, and sclareol. These chemical compounds are behind the potent anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, sedative and anti-cancer effects of clary sage oil.

Traditionally the oil is used for soothing the irritated and inflamed skin, boost quality night’s sleep and mental relaxation.

One of the major components of the oil namely sclareol is responsible for fighting cancerous cells in human body.

According to several medical types of research starting from 1999, sclareol, the anti-cancer compound in clary sage oil inhibits the growth of cancer cells through a process called apoptosis.

A 2006 study confirms that 13-epi-sclareol, present in clary sage oil leads to programmed cell death or suicide of cancerous cells in the body. Clary sage oil is more effective in preventing breast cancer and ovarian cancer as per the researchers.  All these studies are carried out in the labs and show profound potential in preventing and treating the deadly disease naturally with clary sage oil.

What You’ll Need:

  • 4 drops of clary sage oil
  • 1 glass of warm water

Recommended Directions:

  1. Mix 4 drops of clary sage oil with a glass of warm water.
  2. Consume the solution twice daily.
  3. Additionally, soak in clary sage oil bath by mixing 8-10 drops of the oil to your warm shower water.
  4. Continue the treatment regularly to curb cancer.

Bottom Line


Many die from cancer each year. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) predicts a 70 percent increase in cancer cases in the next 20 years.

Fortunately, mortality can be significantly reduced with the help of natural cancer treatment methods such as essential oils for cancer.

Again, while these are backed by scientific research, it’s still imperative to talk to your doctor regarding the course of your treatment.

Cancer is not something that you should treat by yourself.

READ MORE: 7 Essential Oils for Chakra Balancing That You Must Try