Aromatherapy Helped Me Manage My Lung Cancer Side Effects

Hmmm....what? Yep, you read that right. Aromatherapy can be great for your side effects if you have lung cancer. First and foremost, allow me to say that I do NOT sell nor endorse any specific brands, but I have recently purchased 2 diffusers for my home, and the difference is amazing.

Aromatherapy and lung cancer side effects: managing sinus and chest congestion

A little background information. #1 - I have had lung cancer for 3 years and 10 months and had surgery to remove my left lung lobe. I'm on chemotherapy and immunotherapy treatments. I usually cough several times a day.  I can feel and hear congestion, but nothing comes out. #2 - I love scents and burn soy wax melts all day.

Diffusers may help congestion

I think I have found the best combination of both. My daughter came home the other night with a rather small aromatherapy diffuser (approximately 5 inches wide and 6 inches tall). The diffuser also came with 5 bottles of essential oils (15mL). There was eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary, tea tree, and relaxation. We immediately started reading because we really don't know much. Immediately, we put in eucalyptus as we read that is for sinus congestion. There were four of us in the room and within a half-hour, our noses started running. So what did we do? Go running to Google.

We found if you add 5 drops each of eucalyptus, peppermint, rosemary, and tea tree oil, within the next half hour, we were all blowing our noses and actually coughing up gunk with every cough. I was amazed.

I went to bed that night without bringing the diffuser to my room and when I woke up, I really missed it. My nose and throat felt dry. I filled up the diffuser with my concoction and enjoyed my coffee while blowing my nose and clearing my chest.

At first I was skeptical...

It is truly amazing what aromatherapy did for my cancer side effects. I'm skeptical about these kinds of things and usually ignore it, but my daughter, Maria, had been doing research on COPD for dad and came across information for lung cancer. A diffuser only holds approximately 300-400 mL of water and lasts approximately 4-6 hours. We got the bright idea to buy a cool-mist humidifier (the kind for a baby's room) and sprinkle some essential oils into that. Give us a few weeks to develop the appropriate measurements of oil and we will let you know the results.

What the research says about aromatherapy and managing lung cancer

According to The National Cancer Institute, aromatherapy can be used to improve the quality of life of cancer patients. Researchers have studied the impact of aromatherapy on cancer patients' cancer-related symptoms, such as stress, anxiety, nausea, and vomiting.1

Research studies have also shown that certain essential oils have antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal, calming, or energizing effects. It is important to note that these studies all focus on aromatherapy as a complementary therapy, and there is no research that discusses aromatherapy as a treatment for cancer.1

Have you tried aromatherapy for your lung cancer side effects? If you try it, feel free to share your experiences in the comments!

Editor’s Note: We are extremely saddened to say that on January 28, 2020, Jennifer Toth passed away. Jennifer was a passionate advocate for the Lung Cancer community. She will be deeply missed.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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