BCCT plans to write a summary on aromatherapy. While our summary is in development, you can visit National Cancer Institute PDQ: Aromatherapy
Clinical Practice Guidelines
In the 2009 Society for Integrative Oncology clinical practice guidelines, aromatherapy massage is included under the following recommendation: “For cancer patients experiencing anxiety or pain, massage therapy delivered by an oncology-trained massage therapist is recommended as part of multimodality treatment. Grade of recommendation: 1C.” (1C indicates strong recommendation, low- or very low-quality evidence).1
Hundreds of essential oils are used in aromatherapy, and it would be impractical for BCCT to list all possible cautions and side effects for each essential oil. However, the user is advised to be aware that some essential oils used in aromatherapy in some individuals can cause adverse reactions. More common reactions are skin reactions, allergic reactions, respiratory reactions, phototoxicity (skin damage from sun and other intense light source exposure) and unpleasant psychological associations.
Integrative Plans, Protocols and Medical Systems
|For more information about plans and protocols, see our Integrative Plans and Protocols page.|
- Plans, protocols and programs
- Traditional systems
- Ali B, Al-Wabel NA et al. Essential oils used in aromatherapy: a systemic review. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine. 2015 Aug;5(8):601-611.
- Lis-Balchin M. Possible health and safety problems in the use of novel plant essential oils and extracts in aromatherapy. Journal of the Royal Society for the Promotion of Health. 1999 Dec;119(4):240-3.
- Schnaubelt K. Essential oil therapy according to traditional Chinese medical concepts. International Journal of Aromatherapy. 2005;15(2):98-105.
- CAM-Cancer Collaboration: CAM-Cancer
- National Cancer Institute: Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine
- Lone Star Medical Group: Natural Alternative Treatments
- Cancer Research UK
- Keith I. Block, MD: Life over Cancer: The Block Center Program for Integrative Cancer Treatment
- Donald I. Abrams, MD, and Andrew T. Weil, MD: Integrative Oncology, 2nd Edition
- National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health: PDQ® Cancer Information Summaries