Last month, Robert Tisserand, well-known essential oils guru, posted an article on his website, “Citrus Oils and Breast Cancer”. His article, complete with 22 scholarly sources, suggested that citrus fruit and essential oils containing limonene could be useful in the prevention of breast cancer. Tisserand’s article examined, in particular, the research that a team of scientists have been compiling at the University of Arizona for the last seven years. Before revealing the scientific data, Tisserand was sure to announce that this therapy is a preventative measure, not a cure:
“I want to be clear that I am not advocating an alternative breast cancer treatment regime. This is about prevention. That doesn’t mean this regime will be useless in combination with other therapies. It may have some effect, but is not likely to be effective as a stand-alone treatment.”
Limonene can be found in fruits like oranges, tangerines and grapefruit and lesser (but still a great amount) can be found in lemon and mandarin oils.
What the Research Says
Research conducted over the past seven years has yielded some impressive data. The team of scientists at the University of Arizona found that limonene is drawn to fat cells in the body. Through their various clinical trials, cancerous breast tissues have been reduced by any combination of applying orange essential oil in a 10% or 20% dilution of fractionated coconut oil topically, and by ingesting 2 grams of limonene per day.
“There is growing evidence that citrus fruit, and limonene-rich citrus essential oils could play a role in the prevention of breast cancer. It is not implausible that combination of fresh oranges, green tea and a topical essential oil formulation could be preventive for many people. However, we need to know more about the safety and efficacy of long-term topical use.”
“Ingest two grams of limonene daily for 2-6 weeks (the time varied with scheduled surgery). In this clinical trial, limonene again preferentially concentrated in breast tissue. In addition, there was a 22% reduction in cyclin D expression. This is interesting, since cyclin D is an important factor in rates of cell growth, and is overexpressed in hyperplasia and intraductal carcinoma of the breast, suggesting this plays a role in the earliest stages of breast cancer development.”
Tisserand explains in his conclusion that,
“An association with citrus fruits does not necessarily mean that the essential oil, or limonene, is solely responsible, in fact this is unlikely as citrus fruits contain many anticancer substances, not all found in the essential oil.”
What do you think?
While the long term effects of these studies haven’t yet been found, I believe it’s reason enough, at the least, to make sure I’m eating a healthy dose of citrus fruits! I love that research is being conducted using natural remedies, and am hopeful that one day soon we’ll have treatments for early detected cancers!
Share your thoughts in the comment box below!
Read the original article in its entirety here.