Can Citrus Essential Oils Stop Liver Cancer?

bottle of grapefruit essential oil - beauty treatment

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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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essential oils with lemon and mint

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Technically, essential oils aren’t oils at all as they contain no fatty acids. What we call “essential oils” are actually highly concentrated plant compounds, frequently extracted into some form of oil, hence the name. It can take a huge amount of flowers, leaves, or roots to get even a small amount of oil. For example, it takes more than two tons of Bulgarian rose flowers to get just one pound of oil. Now one pound of oil is quite a bit of oil, but you get the idea. This explains why some oils are particularly expensive.


SEE ALSO: Oregano Oil: One of the Most Powerful Oils on the Planet


Essential oils are found in almost every plant. Many plants have antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal compounds, to name a few. Many people believe that essential oils are nothing more than a pleasing smell, but this study shows the powerful, healing compounds that essential oils actually contain.

Almost every culture around the world has used essential oils for health benefits and the healing of different ailments including bronchitis, asthma, heart conditions, and more.

There are currently more than 90 essential oils, each one offering its own unique health benefits. Essential oils can be used topically, or inhaled through a diffuser.

It has been thought for some time that the terpenes could influence cancer cells, but this process had not been tested, nor understood, until recently.

Perhaps the future of the cancer control and elimination lies not in pharmaceuticals, but in the terpenes of essential oils. Read more about essential oils for the strong immunity.