Essential Oils & Lymphedema

3:59 PM Posted by jo

Lymphedema may be localized or generalized. Kahn says lymphedema may be due to a primary or secondary cause. The primary cause is  also referred to as congenital, and the secondary cause is caused by a known condition which could be radiation or trauma, or removal of lymph nodes. 

The Aromatherapy Treatment Strategy
The aromatherapy treatment is to reduce the swelling by stimulationg the lymph flow by using cool compresses and lymphatic drainage massage techniques. Kahn suggests to use essential oil such as fennel seed, juniper berry, and cypress for the compress. Lymphatic drainage is a gentle massage that assists the lymph flow, decrease pain, balance the central nervous system and boosts immunity. Kahn recommends to use laurus nobilis, lemon, rosemary, grapefruit, peppermint and lemon essential oils. These oils assist lymph fluid circulation and  aid in elimination of wastes from the interstitial tissue.

The leg should be elevated. Kahn also suggests to incorporate deep breathing, yoga, self massage, nutritional and lifestyle advice. Aromatherapy baths are also recommended and they should not be too hot, the heat can cause filtration of fluids into the tissue and make the condition worse.

Kahn further says it is important to use pH balanced moisturizing lotion with essential oils such as tea tree and lavender to minimize the risk of infections.

Before you leave:

I recommend that you always perform a skin patch test when you try a new oil on your skin.

Check out my safety page to make sure you are aware of any contrindications before you use essential oils. Some oils are not suitable when suffering from certain conditions. Also, Read this Before You Start Using Essential oils. Some oils should not be applied prior to sun exposure so make sure you check this list before spending time in the sun.

Not sure how to apply the oils? Visit these pages to learn how to apply the oils:
If you're new to essential oils you might want to check out my Getting Started Guide. 


Johanna is an aromatherapist and she is passionate about educating people about health, essential oils, real food, natural remedies, and nutrition so they make healthier choices in their lives. 
Follow Johanna on twitter and facebook for more health tips and information.

Salvatore Battaglia (2003) The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy Second Edition.The International Centre of Holistic Aromatherapy.

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