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Updated: May 9

By Elaine Brown, Lavender Blue Complementary therapy

Call 07596 979455 for workshops and Aromatherapy treatments


Cancer has also been around for a very long time. There has been evidence of tumours found in dinosaur skeletons, most notably in a 76 million year old shin bone found in Canada in 1989. Whilst this was initially thought to be a healed injury from a break in the bone further tests discovered it was osteosarcoma.

One of the reasons we tend to think of it as a relatively new disease is that often cancer affected older people as the cells had more time to divide and mutate and turn into cancer cells and in times gone by people tended to die much earlier of environmental factors, such as sewage, bad drinking water and diet, air pollution (such as working in coal, tin and copper mines) and other diseases. Victorians tended to have large families partly because it was expected that a proportion of their offspring would be carried off at an early age. My own grandmother was married at the age of 15, bore 19 children and 13 of those survived into domineering and egotistical adulthood.

Used correctly, I know of no reason why oils shouldn’t be used in cancer if only to promote emotional wellbeing in those with cancer and to help control pain. I always make it very clear to people when they are contemplating using essential oils or other complimentary therapies:

· Do so only with the knowledge and agreement of your doctor, particularly if you are undergoing active treatment. There are circumstances where aromatherapy oils and other complimentary therapies should not be used.

· Natural does not equal safe. Make sure you dilute all essential oils, never take essential oils internally and, if you are in any doubt whatsoever, seek the advice of a trained complimentary therapist

· Some oils are expensive. The reason for this is that some of the plants used yield very little oil per plant making it much more expensive to produce. Happily a lot of essential oils cross reference with each other and substitutes can be used. For example Sandalwood is the second most expensive oil in the world, coming in at around $400 an ounce. If you want to get rid of moths in your wardrobe then lavender is a better bet at around £5 for 10ml. However, be aware of ultra cheap stuff. These are often-by products and will have little or no effect. They may also have been produced chemically rather than via the traditional distillation method. You may see some oils labelled “absolutes”. These are widely used in the perfumery business. They are usually chemically produced, have added ingredients and are not suitable for aromatherapy.

· Essential oils are not safe around pets, they should never be used around them and pets, particularly cats and chinchillas should be excluded when you are using them. Animals have a very heightened sense of smell and cannot metabolise the oils.

· Never use essential oils on children and babies. It is much better to seek the advice of a trained and registered complimentary therapist. Children need a much reduced dose and some oils are not suitable for them.

· As stated before, know what you are doing. Some oils can be dangerous. For example, Rosemary, excellent for healing, memory and those with dementia, can cause spontaneous abortion. Clary Sage should always be used with caution because it can dramatically heighten the effects of alcohol and recreational drugs.

Elaine Brown MCMA

Lavender Blue Complementary Therapy.

Aromatherapy, Ayurvedic Head Massage, Gua Sha Facial and Remedial Pedicures

Workshops and individual treatments at Therapies, Sanderstead CR2 9EE

Call Elaine on 07596 979455 for more information

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