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3 Natural Ways to Soothe Side Effects of Breast Cancer Treatment

There are many natural ways to help your body during cancer treatment. We look at some of them.

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There are many natural ways to comfort your body during breast cancer treatment and illness. Some of them are so basic, we forget to use them — remedies like getting enough sleep, breathing deeply, and spending time outdoors. Nature provides us with other healing options, too. Here, we explore the potential benefits of ginger, essential oils and energy movement. 


1. Ginger — Ease Stomach Discomfort


Many people swear by the belief – long practiced in Eastern medicine — that ginger can ease an upset stomach. Conclusive evidence by today’s clinical standards is difficult to find, but some research results do indicate that ginger, or Zingiber officinale, is more effective than placebo for reducing postoperative nausea. 

Ways to Use Ginger: 

Make ginger tea. Boil 4 to 6 thin slices of washed, peeled, raw ginger in 2 cups (500 ml) of water, for 10 to 20 minutes. Add lime juice, honey or agave nectar to sweeten. 

Ginger chews and supplements are easily found in most chemists. Be sure to check with your doctor before adding any supplemental medicine to your daily routine; ginger is known to have some negative interactions with hypertension, diabetes and blood-clotting medicines. 

Cook with ginger. says that ginger is “one of the very few ‘superfoods’ worthy of the term.” Add it to vegetable dishes, stir-fry, and soups for a fresh, spicy-and-sweet flavor


2. Aromatherapy — For Sleep, Nails And Immunity


“I wish I had known about essential oils when I was in treatment,” shares breast cancer survivor and wellness advocate Eden Lackey. “Thankfully, I found them post-treatment when I was taking debilitating medicines and dealing with side effects,” she says. 

Aromatherapy helped Lackey recover; now she is a representative for doTERRA, a global leader in producing essential oils. Essential oils are either inhaled or applied to the skin. Because they are highly concentrated, they are typically mixed and diluted with a carrier oil, like coconut or olive oil, or used in a diffuser. 

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Essential Oils For Breast Cancer Side Effects: 

• “Our proprietary blend for sleep includes lavender, marjoram, roman chamomile, ylang ylang, sandalwood and vanilla bean,” Lackey says. During her recovery, hot flushes and bone pain made sleep very difficult. This essential oil in a diffuser was a welcome relief. 

• Chemotherapy can weaken fingernails and toenails. Tea tree oil can be used on nails during treatment to help preserve them and assist in their growth and health. 

• “Frankincense is the ‘king’ of all oils,” says Lackey. Try it for immune support or as an anti-inflammatory. 


3. Tai Chi And Qigong  - Stress Relief


In Chinese Taoist and some Buddhist philosophies, a natural "bioenergy" is thought to cause health and healing; disease occurs when it becomes blocked or weakened. 

Tai chi and Qigong are martial arts based on manipulating this energy through gentle movement and intentional breath — a form of active meditation. 

They are called “natural” therapies for cancer’s side effects because they require neither medicine nor equipment and are available to everyone. 

Ask your health practitioner - classes are often available in hospitals and cancer centres. 

Benefits of Physical Activity For Cancer Patients:

• Reduced heart rate and blood pressure 

• Improved posture 

• Better balance 

• Flexibility and strength 

• Reduced stress and anxiety 

• Improved sleep patterns 

• Pain relief from osteoarthritis 

Read also: 9 Possible Side Effects of Radiation Therapy for Breast Cancer


Editor’s note: Always do your research, and talk to your doctor before trying a new or alternative therapy. Even if it seems safe, your doctor should be aware of your intentions, especially if you are still in treatment.  



Ginger: Uses,Side Effects, Interactions, Dosage, and Warning - WebMD