What is the role, if any, of essential oils/aromatherapy in the management of hot flashes and myalgias in patients with breast cancer who are receiving treatment with endocrine therapies? — Name withheld on request

Essentials oils are volatile liquids that are distilled from plants; they possess regenerating, protective and immune-strengthening properties of plants.1 Current research and several key people have brought essential oils back into recognition for their therapeutic and medicinal properties.

Essential oils have been found to have added benefits in symptom management, relaxation, wound healing, and promoting overall healing. They have also been found to benefit hormone imbalance (clary sage), progesterone balancing effects (thyme), and arthritic pain/inflammation (wintergreen, peppermint, frankincense, turmeric, and ginger), thereby improving these symptoms and overall health.2

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Symptom management for women experiencing hot flashes are not limited to these agents; however, they can experience increased benefits with essential health as adjuncts to their medicinal management with less added toxicities. — Jiajoyce R. Conway, DNP, CRNP, AOCNP

References

1. AromaTools. Modern Essentials: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils 9th edition. Pleasant Grove, UT: AromaTools®; 2017.

2. Axe J, Rubin J, Bollinger T. Essential oils: Ancient Medicine. Shippensburg, PA: Destiny Image Publishers; 2018.