Cancer Care: Anemia and Effects of Essential Oils

In WebMD. article, Anemia is defined as a low number of red blood cells . Routine blood work can determine low hemoglobin or hematocrit. Protein in blood cells as Hemoglobin performs essential bodily functions such as carrying and delivering oxygen throughout the body. Different types or causes of anemia include blood loss, faulty blood cell production or destruction of red blood cells of which cancer patients experience going through chemotherapy, this can be a side effect.

A study titled “Much More Than a Pleasant Scent: A Review on Essential Oils Supporting the Immune System” was published on December 2019 by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). the NCBI is established in 1988, as a division of the National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a US government agency.

The study indicated the efficacy of essential oils to increase function of the immune system. It also evidenced its anti-inflammatory properties. Stated in the study “Certain plants possess immunomodulatory properties exerting effects on various parts of the immune system on both cellular and molecular levels: T cells and other immune effector cells, cytokine, and antibody production. Immune responses can be classified into two categories: The innate (natural) and the adaptive (acquired) immune response. The innate immune response involves neutrophil, eosinophil and basophil granulocytes, mast cells, dendritic cells, monocytes and macrophages, and natural killer (NK) cells.”

Anemia can cause fatigue, shortness of breathe which often create strain in organs to perform its optimum. Low hemoglobin level lessens oxygen delivery in the tissues or organs. Most cancer patients undergo chemotherapy suffer Anemia and therefore it compromises their immune system. When cancer patients experience compromised immune system their ability to recover after each chemotherapy session result to weakened organ functions.

Anemia Symptoms

  • Dizziness, lightheadness, or feeling like you are about to pass out
  • Fast or unusual heartbeat
  • Headache
  • Pale skin
  • Pain, including in your bones, chest, belly, and joints
  • Problems with growth
  • Shortness of breath
  • Cold hands/feet
  • Tiredness or weakness

Recommended Essential Oils:

Based on my experience dealing with cancer and chemotherapy, increasing red and white blood cells was a priority for me. Before and each chemotherapy, where we are able to review the blood count, anemia was something I focused because it was necessary for recovery in between chemotherapy.

Energetic Vitality essential oil blend was specifically created for this purpose. Lemon essential oil was a key component of this blend based on another study of NCBI titled Citrus lemon essential oil: chemical composition.” Study showed that “twenty one components were identified in the ClEO and the two dominant compounds were limonene (39.74%) and β-Pinene (25.44%),” that stimulate blood cells production. 

  • Lemon-Anti-microbial, anti tumorial, detoxifies the body   
  •  Frankincense- Anti-inflammation, anti bacterial
  • Cypress – Removes toxins, reduces stress, regulates blood floow
  • Myrrh-Kills harmful bacteria, powerful antioxidant
  • Lavender- Reduces anxiety and emotional stress, improves brain function, antioxidant
  • Vetiver- Prevents bacterial infection, speeds up healing
  • Lemongrass – antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant