Can Citrus Essential Oils Stop Liver Cancer?

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Too many people in this world think that a cancer cure will only come from a pharmaceutical solution. However, in the journal Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics has published a new study that stated that the scent of citronella can arrest the growth of cancer cells, especially liver cancer. Terpenes, the main agent of essential oils, can slow down, or even prevent, the growth of cancer cells, according to scientists at the Ruhr University Bochum.

This team of scientists looked at the molecular mechanisms by which cancer cell growth could be inhibited and, using citronellal, they found that this scent was crucial for stopping cancer cells from replication.  The terpenes in citrus oils trigger a signaling process because they activate olfactory receptors. Although many of those receptors are in the nose, they occur in many other tissue types of the body, including the prostate, skin, gut, and spine.

This isn’t really news, however, as scientists in 1991 found that there were more than 1,000 genes involved in scent receptors. This discovery even earned these scientists a Nobel Prize.

The researchers, aware of this Nobel Prize winning discovery, decided to see if terpenes would have an impact on cancer cell reproduction or growth. This study focused on hepatocellular carcinoma, which is the most common type of liver cancer.

The researchers exposed these cells to terpenes of varying concentrations, and found that two of the 11 terpenes tested, citronellal, and citronellol, prompted a significant increase in the concentration of calcium in these cancer cells. This increase of calcium inside the cells reduced the cells ability to grow.

This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to many of us. The everyday power of scent is well known to almost everyone. The smell of paste can take your right back to your elementary school days, one particular perfume can instantly remind you of your mother, or perhaps the smell of pizza will take you back to your first date. Scents can even improve your health. Essential oils can help you fall asleep, relax, improve digestion, boost memory and concentration, and even improve your skin tone. Find out top 10 beauty oils.

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