Category Archives: Naturopathy

5 Cancer-Fighting Essential Oils and 5 Ways to Use Them

By Ty and Charlene Bollinger

Essential oils are one of the most potent forms of plant-based medicine in the world. From killing viruses to promoting relaxation to soothing skin scrapes, to supporting the immune system, essential oils offer countless benefits to your life.

To be clear – the use of these oils is no “fad.” Essential oils have thousands of years of history in traditional medicine, in the most ancient of cultures. The Egyptians, the Chinese, the Greeks… they all used essential oils.

From the times of Biblical medicine on through to today, essential oils are used throughout the world. Until fairly recently they’ve been better accepted and popular outside of the United States… but I’m happy to see that so many Americans are catching on to the immense benefits of these healing oils.

One of my favorite examples of the long history and effectiveness of essential oils is about a group of thieves in England who, despite daily contact with corpses who had succumbed to the Black Death (the plague), didn’t get sick.

The story goes that the King heard about these men who would enter the homes of those taken by the plague, rob them of all their valuables, yet did not fall ill from the highly contagious disease. The King had these thieves captured and when they were brought in front of him, he demanded they reveal their secret.

They confessed to being from a family of a long line of apothecaries. They were familiar with the immune protection provided by certain blends of oils, which they would rub all over their bodies, before going thieving. They say the King forced the men to reveal their recipe and then subsequently used the oils to protect himself and his family from the ravages of the Black Death. They also say the recipe is still in the Royal archives to this day.

Now I don’t know if all this is all true or not, but the moral of the story is certainly sound. My own personal appreciation of the wide variety of benefits of essential oils (including their ability to protect the body from harm) began during my initial travels for The Quest for the Cures and A Global Quest documentary series. It was then that I realized how truly overlooked essential oils are as a component of the puzzle that is health and healing from disease.

These days, my family and I use essential oils in a variety of ways on a daily basis. Our uses for these therapeutic powerhouses are wide-ranging. I’ll list out more further down, but a few ways we personally use essential oils include as medicines, for personal care products, as our cleansing agents, and more.

Why do we believe everyone should follow in our footsteps and rely on essential oils, too?

It’s simple. My family has opted to use safe, natural remedies that have thousands of years of history proving their benefits, over a dependence on prescriptions of synthetic drugs that have a long list of side effects which are nothing short of dangerous.

Likewise, we prefer to use personal care products and household cleaners that are superior alternatives to those containing toxic ingredients. We get the same, or even better results, while losing the risk of damaging our bodies.

Charlene and I are frequently asked about what essential oils we favor, and also how we use them. So, I thought I’d share with you some of our favorite anti-cancer oils and some tips for uses. Before I list our favorite essential oils for preventing and healing from cancer, just a reminder that when you are choosing essential oils to always look for the highest quality. You want oils that are certified organic, with 100% purity.

5 Amazing Anti-Cancer Essential Oils (in alphabetical order)

1. Frankincense 

Frankincense may well be my number one favorite essential oil for its anti-cancer properties. It is anti-inflammatory, for one, which is vital in the quest to heal from all cancers. Specifically, frankincense has been shown to be a potent inhibitor of 5-lipoxygenase, an enzyme responsible for inflammation in the body.

Frankincense essential oil also helps boost immune function and prevent illness by dangerous pathogens by multiplying white blood cells and modulating immune reactions.

It also helps improve circulation, and reduce stress (it has sedative properties), as well as being a known pain reliever. Oil of frankincense has been shown to contract and tone tissues, which helps to speed regeneration.

Frankincense is also shown to provide neurological support, including the ability to destroy toxins that may lead to neurological damage.

However, this essential oil has several benefits beyond cancer treatment, including easing arthritis pain, balancing hormones, encouraging skin health, and aiding digestion.

2. Lavender

As I’ve written elsewhere on The Truth About Cancer site, lavender essential oil contains the phytochemicals perillyl alcohol and linalool, both found to support cancer healing. Not only is lavender a known pain reliever, true lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is anti-tumoral, and has demonstrated significant results in resetting the programmed cell death usually lacking in cancer cells. It has been observed to reduce the weight of tumors, and inhibit cell growth.

Lavender essential oil reduces stress and supports the function of the immune system. Quality of sleep is improved. Depression and anxiety are relieved. All of these go towards supporting the immune system in the often immuno-compromised cancer patient. Yet lavender oil has several direct antibacterial properties, as well.

Studies have shown lavender essential oil to be effective against many common germs, as well as the more serious ones such as Staphylococcus aureus (“golden staph”). It does so by supporting the macrophages and phagocytes systems in the body, as well as helping the body fight the infection through its influence on genetic activity.

3. Myrrh

Myrrh is one of those somewhat obscure essential oils that has a variety of powerful healing properties that should not be overlooked. In terms of cancer, myrrh essential oil exhibits notable effects on cancer cell growth, and contains anti-inflammatory properties.

In addition, myrrh is known to support healthy hormone balance, which can be essential in cancer healing. Like lavender and frankincense, myrrh oil has long been used as a pain reliever. It is also anti-fungal. With all these qualities, myrrh is a potent therapeutic support for your health.

4. Peppermint

Peppermint is another “wonder-oil,” with a wide range of benefits. This essential oil’s cancer benefits come from its phytochemicals limonene, phytochemicals beta-caryophyllene, and beta-pinene, which have defined cytotoxic and anti-inflammatory effects.

Studies have also shown peppermint essential oil to reveal antioxidant and cancer inhibiting properties, suppressing growth of tumors. In addition, peppermint oil contains antiangiogenic properties, which prevent tumors from developing their own blood supply.

Peppermint essential oil is a well-known antiseptic, with antimicrobial components that benefit respiratory infections (such as bronchitis), open wounds, tonsillitis, and laryngitis. Peppermint is so powerful it’s even useful against stronger bacterias such as Staphylococcus aureus and others that are often antibiotic resistant.

5. Turmeric (Curcumin)

In labs, curcumin has been found to inhibit enzymes such as COX-2 that cause inflammation which can lead to cancer, to activate a gene that suppresses tumors, cut cancer cells off from their fuel and oxygen sources, to kill large B-cell lymphoma cells, prevent cancer stem cells from regrowing, and stop the spread of cancer (metastasis).

Turmeric essential oil has been shown in studies to differentiate between normal and cancerous cells, while promoting apoptosis (cancer cell death).

This power-house oil has other benefits as well, including: helping to regulate blood sugar, help wounds heal faster, prevent Alzheimer’s disease, prevent help you lose weight, and ease arthritis.

5 Tips for Using Essential Oils for Heath & Healing

Using essential oils is so integral to my family’s life, it’s hard to list every way we use them! However, here are some top tips for using essential oils in your daily life. [Be sure to check my list of precautions below to get the most from your oils.]

  1. Put a drop behind your ears. For example, every day Charlene uses myrrh and frankincense behind her ears and on her lymph nodes as a prophylactic (preventative protection). Lavender or peppermint would be good for respiratory issues, or simply to relax. You can rub on the back of the skull, the breasts, or the bottoms of your feet.
  2. Use a cold diffuser. We love to diffuse essential oils throughout our home. We do it for added mental clarity, and immune support for the entire family. My office is always filled with the therapeutic aromas of a variety of essential oils.
  3. Massage into the skin. Some essential oils, like peppermint and clove, are very strong and you’ll do well to choose a good “carrier oil.” You use a good quality, organic (preferably cold-pressed) oil like coconut, olive, or jojoba to mix in a few drops of the essential oil of your choice. You can then massage this simple “body butter” onto your skin. For a bit fancier body butter, use a mixer to whip solid coconut oil with essential oil. Use this mixture to apply directly to affected areas (such as with pain, arthritis, or digestive issues), and for quick absorption and overall health benefits.
  4. Ingest Internally. One of my favorite, refreshing drinks I like to make is a “Peppermint Lemonade.” I simply take 2-3 drops of peppermint essential oil, 3-4 drops of lemon (or orange or tangerine oils, depending on my mood), add water, some organic green stevia, and ice in a large pitcher. It’s a super-fast, healthy beverage that I love. It’s also delicious as a hot beverage (use hot water and omit the ice). If you’re just making one cup at a time, use only 1 drop of peppermint + 1 drop of a citrus oil. Essential oils are powerful and a little goes a long way! You can also use a few drops of essential oils in an empty gel capsule and swallow it.
  5. Toothpaste. You can make a variety of personal products using organic essential oils and other non-toxic ingredients: lotions, face washes, mouthwash, soaps. A toothpaste is easy to make using high quality, certified organic frankincense, myrrh, and coconut oil. Maybe add in some baking soda if you prefer, too.

Precautions for Using Essential Oils:

  1. Quality. This is so important that it bears repeating. Always use a top-quality, medicinal grade oil. It should be certified organic, and 100% pure. Check the reputation of your supplier, and ensure there are no fillers or additives.
  2. Keep oils away from sensitive areas. Essential oils are nature’s powerhouses. Keep in mind they are 40-50 times more potent than the plant itself. Some oils are more “spicy” than others. Some taste better than others. Oregano is one that can burn a bit when you ingest it directly. Peppermint requires caution, and usually does best with a carrier oil when applying to the skin. Never apply essential oils to sensitive areas of the body, including the genitals or near your eyes.You should also test new oils to ensure there are no reactions before applying too liberally. You can start by doing a sniff test of the oil in the bottle. If that seems fine, then apply a dab of carrier oil to the inside of your wrist or arm, add a drop of oil and wait to see if there is any redness, itching, or swelling. Everybody and every body is different so you may need to try different oils to see which ones feel best to you.
  3. Do not heat oils. You’ve probably seen or even have one of those oil burners for using essential oils. What you may not know is that heating these oils destroys their healing properties. It’s always best to use a cold diffuser. These are plentiful and economically priced online.
  4. Children. Always be cautious when using essential oils with children. Diffusion is safest. For direct application, it’s important to dilute the stronger oils, especially with a good carrier oil. When making body butters or massage oils for children, use 1 drop of essential oil to 4 tablespoons of carrier oil. This will dilute the essential oil enough to make it more tolerable and safer for your child. Be very careful not to place near the eyes and always do a sensitivity test first.

Sources and References:

Originally published at The Truth About Cancer and reproduced here with permission.

Saffron a Safer Treatment for ADHD, Just as Effective as Ritalin, Says Study

Virgilio Marin
February 1st, 2022

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that around 62 percent of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are taking medications for the disease. One of the most common prescription drugs for ADHD is methylphenidate. The drug, commonly known as Ritalin, is a central nervous system stimulant linked to numerous side effects, including anxiety, nausea, difficulty sleeping, vision problems, increase in blood pressure and loss of appetite.

Fortunately, recent studies show that there may be a safe, all-natural alternative to Ritalin: saffron. In a study published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, researchers from the Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS) in Iran found that saffron is just as effective as Ritalin at treating ADHD.

Exploring saffron’s potential for treating ADHD

Corresponding author Shahin Akhondzadeh of the Psychiatric Research Center at TUMS’ Roozbeh Hospital said that his team has been studying the psychotropic effects of saffron since the early 2000s and found that the herb has antidepressant effects.

Given these optimistic findings, the researchers wished to explore the potential of saffron for treating ADHD, knowing that some patients do not respond well to Ritalin. To that end, the team compared the efficacy and safety of saffron capsules to Ritalin in a six-week randomized trial of 50 children with ADHD. Half of the participants received saffron supplements and the other half received the prescription drug. Their symptoms were assessed using the Teacher and Parent ADHD Rating Scale-IV.

The researchers found that both saffron and Ritalin were associated with significant improvements in the Parent ADHD Rating Scale at week three, with no significant difference between the two groups at week six. All but one child who received saffron experienced at least a 50 percent improvement in the Parent ADHD Rating Scale, while 21 of those on Ritalin experienced the same effect.

Both groups also garnered marked improvements in the Teacher ADHD Rating Scale as early as week three, with no significant difference between the two groups at weeks three and six. Ten of those who took saffron had a marked improvement of at least 50 percent, while 12 of those on Ritalin experienced the same improvement.

The researchers also found that both groups did not experience any serious adverse event, and the frequency of side effects did not differ significantly between the two groups. (Related: Exotic spice saffron found to be safer, more effective than antidepressants.)

Dr. Greg W. Mattingly of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, who was not part of the study, was impressed by the results. “The fact that these improvements in ADHD symptoms were observed both by parents and teachers was especially encouraging,” Mattingly said.

He encouraged physicians to explore natural alternatives for treating psychiatric disorders like ADHD. “Imagine a world where the foods we eat and the role of natural compounds could improve the lives of patients struggling with a variety of mental health and cognitive conditions,” Mattingly added.

The researchers noted that the study was the very first randomized controlled trial of saffron for treating ADHD. That said, they recommended further research to confirm their findings and determine the best dosages for optimal results.

Mental health benefits of saffron

Saffron contains a variety of powerful antioxidants, such as crocin, crocetin, safranal and kaempferol. Studies suggest that these compounds may have antidepressant properties, protect brain cells against progressive damage and reduce inflammation.

In a review of five studies, researchers found that saffron supplements were significantly more effective than placebos at treating symptoms of mild-to-moderate depression. Other studies suggest that taking 30 milligrams of saffron supplements daily can treat depression just as effectively as conventional treatments like Fluoxetine and Citalopram for little to no side effects.

Add more saffron to your diet or take supplements of the powerful herb to improve your mental health. Be sure to buy saffron threads instead of powdered saffron to maximize the health benefits of this superfood.

Antioxidant, Anti-inflammatory, and More: The Health Benefits of Cinnamon

Mary Villareal 
February 6th, 2022

Other than being a popular cooking and baking ingredient, cinnamon has been known for its medicinal properties for thousands of years. The distinct smell and flavor of cinnamon are from its oils, which are high in cinnamaldehyde – the compound responsible for the spice’s powerful effects on health and metabolism.

High in antioxidants

Cinnamon is loaded with antioxidants that protect the body from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. In a study that compared the antioxidant activity of 26 spices, cinnamon ranked highest, outperforming other common spices such as garlic and oregano.

Because the American diet is often processed and lacking in antioxidants, it could lead to a rise in inflammation. Over time, such inflammation can put a person at risk for chronic health conditions. Cinnamon contains a high number of polyphenols, which provide these antioxidant effects. These polyphenols protect tissues from oxidative stress and free radicals, preventing unwanted inflammatory responses from happening in the first place.

Has anti-inflammatory properties

Moreover, it has anti-inflammatory properties that help the body fight infections and repair tissue damage. A comparative study looked at two kinds of cinnamon to identify their most anti-inflammatory phytochemicals. Researchers found that e-cinnamaldehyde and 0-methoxy cinnamaldehyde are the most potent bioactive compounds.

The results also showed that cinnamon and its components could be useful to treat age-related inflammatory conditions if therapeutic concentrations are more closely targeted. (Related: Medicinal benefits of cinnamon.)

Lowers blood sugar levels

Blood sugar levels can rise quickly, especially for carbohydrate-dense diets. Dramatic fluctuations in blood sugar contribute to oxidative stress and cause inflammation, damaging the body’s cells and increasing the risk of chronic diseases. (Related: Spice up your life: Use cinnamon to improve your health.)

An old study conducted on a group of 60 men and women with type 2 diabetes saw that cinnamon could improve triglyceride, blood glucose, total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels. After 40 days, researchers found a decrease in fasting serum glucose by 18 to 29 percent, triglyceride by 23 to 30 percent, LDL cholesterol by seven to 27 percent and total cholesterol by 12 to 26 percent.

Participants were divided into three groups, each taking one, three or six grams of cinnamon while on insulin therapy. All of them experienced reductions in their cholesterol numbers, which continued beyond the 40 days. No changes were seen in HDL cholesterol levels, but the results showed that taking cinnamon daily can reduce risk factors associated with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Consume in small amounts

Cinnamon is recognized as safe when consumed as a culinary spice in small amounts. Generally, no more than one teaspoon per day is considered to be safe for most adults, and lesser doses are recommended for children.

Remember that most of the cinnamon available for purchase in supermarkets is 0f the Cassia variety, which has a stronger taste and is more affordable. However, this variety is high in compounds called coumarins, which may be toxic in large doses.

Some countries in Europe set tolerable daily intake for coumarin. In Germany for instance, this is about 0.1 mg per kg of body weight. An average teaspoon of cinnamon weighs around 2.6 g, which means that each teaspoon of Cassia cinnamon contains about 6.9 to 18 mg of coumarin. At these levels, a single teaspoon per day could put people at risk for liver damage.

It is important to buy Ceylon or “true” cinnamon to gain the best health benefits. This type of cinnamon has lower levels of coumarins and may be better tolerated by people.