Exposure to very high levels of radiation, like being close to an atomic blast, may cause acute health effects like skin burns and acute radiation syndrome (“radiation sickness”). It may also lead to long-term health effects such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. Once exposed to low levels of radiation encountered in the environment doesn’t cause immediate health effects but could be a minor contributor to our overall cancer risk.
Essential oil for cancer is not for cancer alone, there are certain kinds of essential oils that help treat radiation burns and more health problems. There are studies that keep track of groups of individuals who are exposed to radiation, including atomic bomb survivors and radiation industry employees.
These studies show that when exposed to radiation increases the chance of getting cancer, and the risk increases as the dose increase: the higher the dose, the greater the risk. Conversely, the cancer risk from radiation declines as the dose falls: the lower the dose, the lower the risk.
Plant extracts have long been used for food, cosmetic and medical purposes, from creating drugs to treat serious diseases to essential oils for relaxation and stress-relief. One group of compounds that occur naturally in oils derived from flowers, leaves, fruit, and bark are called monoterpenes – these have been used for centuries to create perfumes and essential oils.
In recent years, scientists have become increasingly interested in monoterpenes because they are capable of scavenging ‘reactive oxygen species’ (ROS) in the body. ROS molecules are a natural product of the metabolism of oxygen and play key roles in cell signaling and other biological processes.
However, at times of stress, or for example when a patient is exposed to ionizing radiation therapies for the treatment of cancer, ROS levels can rise dramatically and become toxic to the body. Excessive ROS can result in single and double DNA strand breaks, resulting in the death of healthy cells.
Protect Against The Negative Effects Of Radiation Exposure.
Toshiro Ono and colleagues at Okayama University, Japan, have investigated three totally different monoterpenes – thymol, linalool, and menthol – to see their protective effects on cells once exposed to X-ray irradiation.
The researchers used EL4 cells – a mouse lymphoma cell line – to see if cell proliferation was affected by X-ray irradiation when the cells had been treated by one of the three monoterpenes.
Of the three, linalool, which is found in common plants like ginger, coriander, and lavender, showed potent radioprotective activity, with 80 % of cells remaining viable when exposed to radiation. Essential oils actively scavenged ROS generated by the X-ray treatment and were also found to stop DNA strand breaks. The team found no proof that thymol or menthol provided radioprotection.
Alongside protecting against X-ray damage, the three monoterpenes additionally exhibited anti-cancer activity, suppressing EL4 cell growth after 24 hours of incubation. Linalool may, therefore, offer dual benefit to people who are cancer patients by reducing damage from ionizing radiation therapies, radiation burns and serving to fight cancer cells with fewer side effects.
Plant extracts ability
One of the reasons that people feel so unwell after exposure to high doses of ionizing radiation (X-rays and gamma rays) is because the radiation triggers the over-production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the body. These molecules can cause significant DNA damage and rapidly kill cells.
While a number of plant extracts have been found to exhibit radioprotective ability by scavenging and destroying ROS, most drugs made from these extracts are quite inefficient once they are administered to patients, and some have unpleasant side effects such as severe nausea and acute hypertension.
Scientists are keen to search out alternative, safe options to be used as components in drugs that limit the consequences of radiation poisoning. Monoterpenes, naturally-occurring hydrocarbon molecules that are low in toxicity, may help fill this gap.
They have been used as safe parts in the food, cosmetic, and pharmaceutical industries for several years. This study, by Toshiro Ono and colleagues, highlights the potential that one monoterpene, linalool, could have as a radioprotective agent.
Skin Cancer and Radiation burn
Chemopreventive, anti-melanoma, and anti-nonmelanoma activities of EOs (essential oils) from various plants and essential oils cancer treatment components in vitro and in vivo models with special emphasis on skin cancer. Also, the mechanisms by which EOs and EO parts exert their effects to induce cell death are given.
The principal epidemiologic studies of ionizing radiation and skin cancer have all shown that radiation causes basal cell carcinoma but has not found dose-related excesses of squamous cell carcinoma or malignant melanoma. The Japanese atomic bomb study indicates that doses of radiation under about 1 Gy confer less risk per unit dose than higher doses do. All available studies show that skin cancer risk is greater from radiation exposure at young ages than at older ages.
Finding few excess skin cancers among irradiated African-Americans as compared to Caucasians with a comparable dose indicates that skin susceptibility to ultraviolet exposure modifies the excess risk from ionizing radiation. Available evidence indicates that the excess risk of skin cancer lasts for 45 years or more following irradiation.
Several studies indicate a risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC) following cancer therapy; however, most of the studies reporting on NMSC have not distinguished between patients who received radiotherapy versus chemotherapy.
Some, but not all, follow-up studies of cancer patients have reported excesses of malignant melanoma as second malignant neoplasms. It is not clear from the studies how much, if any, of the excess melanoma risk is attributable to radiotherapy.
Radiation burns are typically a complication of therapeutic administration and are a result of free oxygen radical formation. The severity of radiation burns and their treatment can rely upon the dose, frequency, total surface area, and location of the radiation.
Damage to epithelial layers of the skin can lead to desquamation. Direct injury to fibroblasts results in decreased collagen production and poor wound healing. In addition, there may be fibrosis of blood vessels and subsequent hypoxia causing necrosis of deeper tissues.
The incidence of radiation burns is low. In principle, long-wavelength radiation causes direct damage by emitting heat. Short-wavelength radiation, on the other hand, causes severe burns because of the ionization of tissue in addition to the local production of heat.
The tissues most often affected are the skin and mucus membranes. With a superficial injury, the affected skin may exhibit hair loss and erythema, and produce a clear exudate. The intensity of the inflammation may increase for 1–2 weeks after the completion of radiation treatment.
Radiation burns can be limited by the selection of appropriate, fractionated treatment and the application of shielding to reduce exposure. Prompt treatment of the injuries can reduce the occurrence of infection. Since radiation is associated with poor wound healing, complications may arise when additional procedures are needed.
It is suggested to wait at least one week or even longer prior to administering radiation to a surgical site. After radiation, routine operations should be evaded for 1–2 months.
Best Essential Oil if Exposed to Radiation
Peppermint (Mentha x Piperita)
Peppermint is one of the very well-known essential oils and notable for its advantages to enhance energy and mental alertness. there’s a good deal of research to support the radiation protective advantages of Peppermint.
In a 2010 study by Baliga and Rao, also done with mice, found that Peppermint essential oil protected the mice against radiation-induced illness. Additionally, Peppermint protected radiosensitive organs like the testes, gastrointestinal tract, and hematopoietic systems. They relate that this effect also may be associated with the antioxidant properties of Peppermint that may enhance the DNA repair method.
Peppermint was given by oral ingestion to mice in most of the studies. Genuine (organic) Peppermint essential oil can be combined with water to drink throughout the day. Peppermint is very warm and it is suggested to add 1-2 drops to a gallon of water which can be stored in the refrigerator and drank at various times during the day. Remember to use a glass container – not plastic. The oil will dissolve the plastic over time.
These essential oils can be inhaled and many people find this an easy remedy for various concerns such as nausea and fatigue. Inhalation could be a solution for protection too. Use this by placing 1-2 drops of Peppermint oil on a tissue or cotton ball and inhale throughout the day. You can also use this by putting 1-2 drops of Peppermint oil in a teaspoon of your favorite carrier oil (such as coconut oil or jojoba oil) and place it on the soles of the feet every morning to begin your day and give that added protection.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis CT 1,8 cineole)
Rosemary essential oils are well known for their use in cooking and as an aid for digestion. it’s been used in history for memory and to help with mental clarity. An excellent deal of research has shown Rosemary essential oil and its constituents to have strong antioxidant qualities and DNA protecting effects. A 2006 study done by Jindal et al states that Rosemary showed smart radioprotective effects in mice who were exposed to gamma radiation.
Sancheti & Goyal (2006) did a study that suggested Rosemary had radioprotective benefits in mice. In 2007, a study by Costa et al showed that carnosic acid from Rosemary demonstrated good free radical scavenging capacity and cell-protective effects.
Sancheti & Goyal (2006) did a study that advised Rosemary had radioprotective advantages in mice. In 2007, a study by Costa et al showed that carnosic acid from Rosemary demonstrated good free radical scavenging capability and cell-protective effects.
These studies help support the use of Rosemary essential oils to protect and heal from radiation exposure. Rosemary essential oils could be added to cooking. Only a drop or trace is required – add to sauces or different foods to achieve the health advantages of Rosemary.
Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)
Tea Tree essential oils have a long history of use with the Aboriginal culture for a variety of conditions and is known to support the immune system. Recently, tea tree oil has received a lot of press for its effectiveness in skin care. Many people use 1-2 drops of genuine Tea Tree essential oils in about 2 cups of water and do a face wash. This method can be great as a face cleanser or toner.
Tea Tree essential oils have a long history of use with the Aboriginal culture for a variety of conditions and is known to support the immune system. Recently, tea tree oil has received plenty of press for its effectiveness in skin care. Many people use 1-2 drops of genuine Tea Tree essential oils in about 2 cups of water and do a face wash. This method can be great as a face cleanser or toner.
He used 1 drop of Tea Tree essential oils in a 6-8oz glass of water and then he would swish this mixture in his mouth and then spit out into the sink. He would do this 2-3 times per day and found it to be helpful in providing comfort and healing.
Many Aromatherapists have used Tea Tree essential oils for burns related to radiation therapy.
However, there’s no consistency nor research in their suggestions for Tea Tree usage on radiation burns. Most often Tea Tree essential oils (1-2 drops) will be diluted in a carrier oil (1 teaspoon) such as Tamanu to enhance the effect of reducing inflammation.
Frequently Asked Questions
The gel derived from the leaf of the Aloe vera plant is acknowledged to heal burns and cuts, leaving no trace of scars. In radiotherapy, it’ll prevent burns on the skin of the neck if applied frequently.
Frankincense oil has been connected to treatments for ovarian, breast, and skin cancers. Studies are usually done in vitro, or on cells in a laboratory. No studies are conducted on people living with cancer.