5 Anti-Cancer Essential Oils You Need In Your Life

Think about what you’re doing to prevent cancer. Are essential oils part of the plan? They’re amazing for controlling stress, a sneaky risk factor for cancer. Stress fuels the disease by suppressing immunity and increasing levels of cortisol, the “stress hormone.” However, essential oils and aromatherapy can do more than manage stress. Some have the ability to act on cancer cells themselves.

Of course, this doesn’t diminish the importance of eating well, staying active, and getting enough sleep. It also doesn’t give you a free pass at smoking cigarettes or drinking lots of booze! Using essential oils for cancer prevention should be part of a bigger wellness routine, starting with these 5 cancer-fighting oils.1


1. Chamomile

Chamomile suppresses inflammation and inhibits spreading of cancer cells

Chamomile isn’t just a calming bedtime remedy. Apigenin, its major flavonoid, is a chemoprotective agent. It regulates the cellular response to oxidative stress, suppresses inflammation, and inhibits the spreading of cancer cells. Talk about a triple threat.


Yet, apigenin’s claim to fame is the ability to induce autophagy, or natural self-destruction. The result: cancer cell death, otherwise known as apoptosis. The best part is that it won’t harm or suppress normal cells in the process.2 3

2. Thyme

Thyme is so potent that it can destroy cancer cells effectively


For centuries, thyme essential oil has been used as a food preservative. It possesses anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and digestive benefits. But thanks to the active compounds called thymol and carvacrol, it can also ward off cancer.

As antioxidants, these substances neutralize free radicals by donating an electron. Moreover, thyme is very toxic to cancer cells! It’s so potent that it can destroy human cancer cells found in the mouth and liver.4 5 6


3. Rosemary

Rosemary contains antioxidant properties that prevent cancer

Are you a fan of herby aromas? You’ll be glad to know that rosemary, a fragrant evergreen shrub, is a top choice for cancer prevention. It contains carnosic acid and carnosol, two powerful antioxidants that destroy free radicals before healthy cells take a hit.7


As an essential oil, rosemary doesn’t lose these benefits. A 2014 study in Interdisciplinary Toxicology even found that rosemary oil can induce apoptosis by messing with cancer cell DNA. As a result, these cells die, leaving normal ones unscathed.8

4. Oregano

Oregano has antimicrobial properties


Oregano is known for its antimicrobial properties, but according to research, the perks don’t stop there. A 2017 study in the journal Molecules shares that oregano has thymol and carvacrol, the same antioxidants found in thyme. Therefore, oregano can do a stellar job at scavenging free radicals.9

The oil also contains 4-terpineol, a compound that stops growth and spreading of cancer cells. It’s actually been found to combat breast and colon cancer, so it’s certainly worth noting.10


5. Frankincense

Frankincense induces apoptosis and targets specific cancerous cells

Frankincense has been used as a perfume and incense for thousands of years. It’s more than just a pretty scent, though. The essential oil contains boswellic acid, a major component that can stop abnormal tissue growth.

What’s more is that frankincense can specifically seek out cancerous cells. It brings on apoptosis by suppressing gene expression and activating certain pathways. One 2009 study found this effect useful in fighting bladder cancer.11

Use essential oils with caution. Not every kind is food-safe, so double and triple check labels before adding them to food. When part of a healthy, well-rounded lifestyle, essential oils can keep cancer at arm’s length.