Essential oils have a plethora of uses specially in aromatherapy and integrative medicine. And the best use of essential oils is as an anti-cancer remedy. Chinese researchers discovered this after doing a study regarding healing properties of 10 common essential oils: mint, ginger, lemon, grapefruit, jasmine, lavender, chamomile, thyme, rose, and cinnamon. These oils were tested singly for antibacterial potency plus in vitro toxicology against three human cancer cell lines, that encompassed the MCF-7 breast cancer cell line.

Essential Oils Show Strong Cytotoxicity Against Particular Forms Of Prostate, Lung And Breast Cancer


The team of researchers bared the three cancer cell lines to increasing concentrations of essential oils. Overall, a dose-dependent reduction in the survival of the three cell lines was noticed, connoting that more cancer cells died as more essential oil was administered.

At a concentration of 0.2 percent, the whole lot of essential oils showed strong cytotoxicity against the PC-3 prostate cancer cells, with cell viability in the sub-four percent range. Nearly all of the essential oils were also efficacious against the A-549 lung cancer cells, with just one exception – mint essential oil.

But in case of MCF-7 breast cancer cell lines, particularly these four essential oils emerged more stronger than the other six: cinnamon, thyme, chamomile, and jasmine. Thyme had the highest potency level while jasmine, cinnamon, and chamomile came 2nd, 3rd, 4th, respectively.

The least respondent of all the cell lines to essential oils, MCF-7 was almost entirely obliterated by all four of these oils, with chamomile wiping out up to 93 percent of them in the lab. Thyme oil emerged the most potent, which resulted in a 97 percent kill rate of MCF-7 breast cancer cells.

“For MCF-7 cell, the cytotoxicities of cinnamon, thyme, chamomile, and jasmine essential oils was significantly stronger than that of the other six essential oils,” explains the study. “The fractions of viable cells were reduced to 5.31%, 3.47%, 6.93% and 4.34%, respectively.”

Chamomile Oil: A Potent Antibacterial Agent


In regards to antibacterial potency Chamomile ranked comparably high on the list. Though less powerful than rose, cinnamon, thyme, and lavender essential oils, that annihilated the bacteria Propionibacterium acnes, or P. Acnes, the microorganism that commonly cause acne, in just five minutes, chamomile oil was still found to be effective.

“The bactericidal activities of the other essential oils declined in the order: chamomile > grapefruit = lemon > ginger > mint > jasmine,” adds the study. “The bacteria were entirely obliterated after 20 [minutes] by chamomile essential oil, 30 [minutes] by grapefruit and lemon essential oils, and 45 [minutes] by ginger essential oil.”

Chamomile Oil: A Potent Antioxidant

Chamomile oil is a widely known calming agent and has always served as an effective treatment for many serious conditions like inflammation (antophlogistic), muscle spasms, migraine headaches, upset stomach and flatulence, fungi, and parasites (anthelmintic), among others.

According to an earlier study published in the journal Industrial Crops and Products chamomile oil is a potent antioxidant as well. Amidst 11 essential oils tested, together with lavender, thyme, winter savory, rosemary, sage, peppermint, French tarragon, bitter, and sweet fennel, Roman chamomile was discovered to have the highest antioxidant activity.

“Thyme and winter savory oils displayed the greatest inhibition against the growth of all the tested organisms perhaps because of the high content of thymol and carvacrol respectively,” states the study’s abstract.