Scientific Evidence

Essential oils have been found to kill the deadly MRSA bacteria

Medical Research News Published: Tuesday, 21-Dec-2004

Essential oils usually used in aromatherapy have been found to kill the deadly MRSA bacteria according to research carried out at The University of Manchester.

Tests revealed that three essential oils [Melaleuca Alternifolia (Tea Tree) and Geranium were two of the oils. Other oils tested were Patchouli and Lavender.] killed MRSA and E. coli as well as many other bacteria and fungi within just two minutes of contact. The oils can easily be blended and made into soaps and shampoos which could be used by hospital staff, doctors and patients in a bid to eradicate the spread of these deadly `super bugs'.

Researchers are now desperately looking for funding to develop their work and carry out a clinical trial. Peter Warn from the University's Faculty of Medicine who worked on the research said: 'We believe that our discovery could revolutionize the fight to combat MRSA and other `super bugs', but we need to carry out a trial and to do that we need a small amount of funding ' around $30,000.

'We are having problems finding this funding because essential oils cannot be patented as they are naturally occurring, so few drug companies are interested in our work as they do not see it as commercially viable. Obviously, we find this very frustrating as we believe our findings could help to stamp out MRSA and save lives,' added Peter, who is based at Hope Hospital.

Essential oils are chemical compounds found within aromatic plants, which the plants use to fight off infections. Researchers tested 40 essential oils against ten of the most deadly bacteria and fungi. Two of these oils killed MRSA and E. coli almost instantly, while a third was shown to act over a longer period of time, meaning that any soaps or shampoos made by blending these three oils would be effective over a period of time.

Jacqui Stringer who is Clinical Lead of Complementary Therapies at the Christie Hospital instigated the research and said: 'The use of plants in medicine is nothing new but some people regard the use of essential oils as unconventional. Our research shows a very practical application which could be of enormous benefit to the NHS and its patients.

'The reason essential oils are so effective is because they are made up of a complex mixture of chemical compounds which the MRSA and other super bug bacteria finds difficult to resist. The problem with current treatments is that they are made of single compounds, which MRSA relatively quickly becomes resistant to, so treatment is only successful in around 50% of cases.

'While a wide range of products currently exist to help prevent the spread of MRSA these are often unpleasant for patients as their application can cause skin irritation. MRSA is often carried inside the nose which means that patients often have to insert treatments up their nostrils, whereas these essential oils can simply be inhaled to prevent the patient being at risk,' added Jacqui.

Jacqui works with leukemia patients at the Christie Hospital using essential oils to help in their treatment. Patients receiving treatment for cancer and leukemia are often left with weakened immune systems, which makes them vulnerable to infection from MRSA.

The National Audit Office estimates that infections such as MRSA kill 5,000 people each year and hospital-acquired infections cost the NHS around $1 billion a year.

See Heritage Essential Oils - MRSA-X blend

BBC News

Essential oils 'combat superbug'

Tests of new machine at a hospital have found it could be effective in the battle against the superbug MRSA.Consultants at Wythenshawe Hospital found that using a vaporiser to spray essential oils into the atmosphere killed off micro-organisms. Airborne bacterial counts dropped by 90% and infections were reduced in a nine-month trial at the burns unit. The recipe of oils used in the machine was refined by microbiologists at Manchester Metropolitan University. Scent Technologies, the Wigan-based company which makes the machine, developed the device to mask smells on wards but found it had a beneficial effect on infections. The study was started after the recipe of oils was modified by the university team, in conjunction with Wythenshawe consultant Ken Dunn. “ It has to be in conjunction with everything else - it can't just be a machine on a ward.” Bev Hurst, MRSA campaigner

"Many people will be aware that there are decades of experience with the use of essential oils to control infection," said Mr Dunn. "I think the novelty of this is putting the two researched technologies together and being able to affect a really surprisingly large area of the ward with a single machine."

There were no MRSA infections in the burns unit while the machine was being used with the recipe of oils. In the final two months the natural essence blend was removed from the machines and MRSA levels in the air increased - and there was an MRSA outbreak in the ward.

More tests
But despite the apparent success of the trial, MRSA campaigners have urged healthcare professionals to continue with strict cleaning regimes. Bev Hurst, whose mother Margaret died from an MRSA infection, said: "If this is something that is going to help then that's brilliant. But it has to be in conjunction with everything else - it can't just be a machine on a ward."

The National Audit Office estimates hospital-acquired infections contribute to some 5,000 deaths annually. Further tests are now being carried out.

Story from BBC NEWS:

See Heritage Essential Oils MRSA-X blend


Essential Oils and MRSA
by Kim Bloomer, VDN
Co-Author of
Whole Health for Happy Dogs

Natural preventative pet care isn't a new thing, but it certainly isn't fully mainstream yet. One of the challenges is being able to re-educate the public to think outside of the box. For so many years we've been told over and over again by traditional care providers that our pets need yearly vaccinations, prevention medicines for heartworm, fleas and ticks, and feeding premium kibble. We've been told these will all lead to ultimate wellness in our pets. Nothing could be further from the truth.

While we continue to struggle with conquering the mountain of “alternative care is for new age, crystal toting, chanting hippies”, our pets are getting sicker rather than healthier. One of the most challenging problems on the rise is a super-resistant bacterium that is increasingly resistant to the traditional use of antibiotics. Most notably is the rise of MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). This is a staph infection that the antibiotic methicillin can no longer kill. MRSA is passed from humans to pets and it is still mutating into strains in different species animals. Horses have developed their own strain and antibiotics are not the answer! In fact, the overuse of antibiotics is part of the main reason that these bacteria have mutated and evolved.


This staph infection is deadly and can and does kill humans and animals. In fact, this very thing happened to Jill Moss’ most beloved white Samoyed, Bella. Jill lost Bella to this staph infection a little over a year ago. It prompted Jill to take serious action and bring the knowledge of this deadly strain of bacteria to the world so that other pet owners and people would not have to suffer the loss she has. Jill has instituted The Bella Moss Foundation and Pets-MRSA to help bring not only knowledge about MRSA, but hope, help and healing.


Research has already begun on finding ways to stop these virulent bacteria. Scientists at the University of Manchester in England have found that three essential oils destroyed MRSA! Dr. Peter Warn, who was involved in the research, told the BBC (British Broadcasting Company) back in December of 2004 that when he tested the oils in the lab, “absolutely nothing grew. Rather than stimulating bacteria and fungi, the oils killed them off.”


A provider and manufacturer of essential oils discovered through some searching that two of the oils used were Melaleuca Alternafolia and Geranium. They also found out that the study done by the Manchester scientists’ mentions Patchouli, Tea Tree, Geranium and Lavender essential oils and grapefruit seed extract but it didn’t specify which oil was the third oil in the study.


So why are essential oils proving so effective at killing even the most virulent bacteria such as MRSA? According to Jacqui Stringer, the Clinical Lead of Complementary Therapies at the Christie Hospital in Manchester, England which treats cancer patients, the reason that essential oils are so effective is because they are made up of a complex mixture of chemical compounds which super bugs such as MRSA find difficult to resist.


I would add that because these compounds are naturally occurring and derived from plants –the “blood” of plants – no two oils are exactly alike ever, which is the perfect complex compound to combat a mutating super bug! Current treatments, according to Stringer, are made up of single compounds (like antibiotics) so the MRSA becomes resistant very quickly and leaving only 50% success in the cases of MRSA. Think about that: only a 50/50 chance of survival. Those are not good odds. The hope comes with this new alternative approach to battling these superbugs.


Another added benefit of using essential oils to combat and help prevent (prevention is the goal in stopping MRSA) the spread of MRSA is the application: inhaled either directly or by diffusing them. MRSA is often carried inside the nose so inhaling the essential oils is all that is needed to prevent patients being at risk. This makes them very easy to administer to both humans and pets.


The biggest deterrent to progressing further in the research with the essential oils and combating these superbugs has been funding. In January 2005, the Manchester researchers were having problems obtaining the £30,000 needed for their research to continue. Shortly after finding out about this, Jimmy Savile the former host of the British television program ‘Jim’ll Fix It”, has donated £40,000 for the research to continue! The problem with the funding was that since essential oils are naturally occurring as I stated above, drug companies are really not interested in helping this type of work because they can’t profit from a product that is naturally occurring since they can’t be patented.


This is really reprehensible since this kind of research could potentially help save thousands of lives and completely stamp out MRSA.


I for one am very excited to see more and more research being done in bringing healing and hope to many, using what God created for us to use in the first place!

Myrrh May Treat Breast & Prostate Cancer
December 06, 2001


Researchers have identified a compound in myrrh, a bitter-tasting, fragrant resin has been used for thousands of years as an ointment, perfume, incense and embalming fluid, that they believe could be developed into a potent anticancer agent. The compound, which kills cancer cells in the laboratory, shows particular promise for the prevention and treatment of breast and prostate cancer, according to the researchers.

The finding is the first to identify an anticancer compound in myrrh, they say. It appears in the current (Nov. 26) print edition of the Journal of Natural Products, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society. It was published in the Web version of the journal on Oct. 25.

"It's a very exciting discovery," says Mohamed M. Rafi, Ph.D., one of the co-researchers in the study and an assistant professor in the department of food science at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. "I'm optimistic that this compound can be developed into an anticancer drug," he says. The researcher cautions that the compound has not yet been tested in animals or humans.

As part of a larger search for anticancer compounds from plants, the researchers obtained extracts from a particular species of myrrh plant (Commiphora myrrha) and tested it against a human breast tumor cell line (MCF-7) known to be resistant to anticancer drugs. Research data indicated that the extract killed all of the cancer cells in laboratory dishes.

Further investigations to isolate the active component of the extract found it to be a unique and previously unknown compound belonging to a class called sesquiterpenoids, which are typically found in natural products. Rafi indicated that an increasing number of compounds in this class have been identified as having cytotoxic properties against cancer cell lines, but none has reached the marketing stage.

The myrrh compound appears to kill cancer cells by inactivating a specific protein, called Bcl-2, which is overproduced by cancer cells, particularly in the breast and prostate, the researcher says. Overproduction of this protein is believed to promote the growth of cancer cells and make cells more resistant to chemotherapy. As cancer is influenced by many mechanisms, the investigators are now in the process of trying to determine whether the compound also has other mechanisms of inhibitory action against cancer cells.

On the basis of initial laboratory tests, the compound does not appear to be as strong as conventional chemotherapy drugs, such as paclitaxel (TaxolR), vinbalstine and vincristine, which are known to be potent cancer killers.These drugs are highly toxic to healthy cells, however, says Rafi.

The researcher estimates that the compound tested is 100 times less potent than paclitaxel. The compound appears to fall within the moderate strength range of other recently discovered phytochemicals (isolated from plants), including resveratrol (from grapes), genestein (from soy) lycopene (from tomatoes) and catechins (from tea). The good news is that these compounds all come from food and are unlikely to be toxic to healthy cells, which could mean fewer side effects as a chemotherapy agent, the researcher says.

Once the compound is better understood, it's possible that its potency could eventually be increased, the researcher says, who envisions that it could bedeveloped as an oral drug. Rafi predicts that there may be other compounds in myrrh that are more potent than the current anticancer candidate though yet to be isolated from the plant.

Developing any anticancer drug from myrrh may take five to ten years, says Rafi. Animal studies of the current compound are planned. The researchers are in the process of filing a patent on the anticancer compound.

Myrrh is the dried resin obtained from one of several trees of the genus Commiphora. The bitter-tasting, fragrant resin is mentioned in the Bible; it was among the gifts reportedly presented by the Three Wise Men to the infant Jesus. As a medicinal compound, it has been used to kill pain, heal
wounds and neutralize bad breath. There is some documentation that some ancient civilizations may have even used the plant to combat cancer. If so, the current study represents the first scientific evidence of its effectiveness, the researchers say.

Today, myrrh can be found in health food stores as an ingredient in natural toothpaste and mouthwash, where it is used as an alternative to fluoride to fight dental decay. It is also available in capsule form, as a tea, and as an extract.

Rutgers' New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station and the New Jersey Commission for Science and Technology provided funding for this study.

Rutgers Contact: Michele Hujber
732/932/9000, extension 555

American Chemical Society Contact: Beverly Hassell

This press release was prepared and released by the American Chemical Society (ACS). It is released by Rutgers with permission of the ACS.

The online version of the research paper cited above was initially published Oct. 25 on the journal's Web site. Journalists can arrange access to this site by calling either the American Chemical Society or Cook/NAJES/Rutgers contact person for this release.

Mohamed M. Rafi, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in the department of food science at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J.

Chi-Tang Ho, Ph.D., is a professor in the department of food science at the university and lead investigator in the study.


Frankincense and Cancer Prevention

Frankincense (Boswellia carteri) may be a good candidate for prevention of cancer and cancer metastasis. A study done by Zhao et al. (2003) published in Cancer Detection and Prevention found that a substance called BC-4, an isomeric compound isolated from Boswellia carteri, may reduce cancerous cell production and metastasis (spread of cancerous cells from one part of the body to another). 

Boswellic acid acetate induces differentiation and apoptosis in highly metastatic melanoma and fibrosarcoma cells

Zhao W, Entschladen F, Liu H, Niggemann B, Fang Q, Zaenker KS, Han R.

Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College, No1 Xiannong Tan Street, Beijing 100050, China.

The aim of the study was to investigate the antitumor and/or preventive effect of BC-4, an isomeric compound isolated from the plant Boswellia carteri Birdw. containing alpha- and beta-boswellic acid acetate in 1:1, MW 498.3. We used the MTT (3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl) 2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide) assay to study the growth inhibition activity of BC-4. Tumor cells migration within a three-dimensional collagen matrix was recorded by time-lapse videomicroscopy and computer-assisted cell tracking. Topoisomerase II was isolated from mouse melanoma B16F10 cells and its activity was determined by its ability to cut plasmid pBR322 DNA. The secretion and activity of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) from human fibrosarcoma HT-1080 cells were determined by gelatin zymography. BC-4 was a cytostatic compound and could induce the differentiation of B16F10 mouse melanoma cells, blocked the cell population in G1 phase and inhibited topoisomerase II activity. The G1 phase population of B16F10 cells was increased from 57.4 to 87.7%, while S phase population was reduced from 33.3 to 5.9% after treatment with BC-4 at 25 microM concentration for 48 h. BC-4 also inhibited the migration activity of B16F10. BC-4 could induce apoptosis of HT-1080 cells, as proved by acridine orange fluorescence staining, Wright-Giemsa staining, electromicroscopy, DNA fragmentation and flow cytometry. BC-4 inhibited the secretion of MMPs from HT-1080 cells, too. In conclusion, if it turns out that BC-4 is a well tolerated substance, exhibiting no significant toxicity or side effects, being evaluated currently in China, BC-4 is a good candidate for the prevention of primary tumor, invasion and metastasis. Copyright 2002 International Society for Preventive Oncology

PMID: 12600419 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


Virginia Tech Researcher Examining Malignant Melanoma in Horses

Malignant melanoma is a dangerous, aggressive form of cancer and approximately 54,000 new cases are diagnosed every year, according to the American Cancer Society. Interestingly, there are many similarities between malignant melanoma in horses and malignant melanoma in people.

Recognizing the extraordinary opportunity for translational research that the disease represents, Dr. John L. Robertson, a professor in the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech and director of the college's Center for Comparative Oncology (CECO), has been looking at one experimental treatment.

During a presentation before a regional meeting of the American Cancer Society in Roanoke, Va., Robertson detailed some of the work he is doing with the use of Frankincense oil as a possible treatment for malignant melanoma in horses.

The risk factors for malignant melanoma in people and horses are very similar, according to Robertson. In people, risk factors include pale complexion and hair, exposure to excessive sunlight and sunburns and aging. Horses at risk also have a pale coat of grey to white and there seems to be a correlation to aging, which could be a result of chronic exposure to sunlight, he said. In each, the disease is an infiltrated pigmented malignancy that is difficult to manage. Conventional therapies include chemotherapy, radiation, immunotherapy, and surgery. The disease often affects horses with the development of lesions on the lips, neck, and perineal area.

Robertson presented the story of Chili, a handsome, 11-year old Thoroughbred and champion jumper that was diagnosed with multi-centric malignant melanoma at the age of seven. Told by her local practitioner that there was not much that could be done for Chili and aware of Robertson's interest in evaluating an experimental therapy, Chili's owner asked if Robertson would work with Chili.

That experimental therapy involved the use of Frankincense oil, a compound known as a valuable treatment for wounds for more than 2,000 years, and one people are reminded of every Christmas when they recall the Gifts of the Magi brought to the Christ-child.

Frankincense oil is a fragrant botanical oil distillate made from fermented plants, explains Robertson, who adds that it contains hundreds of constituents, including boswellic acid, a component that is known to have anti-neoplastic properties. Scientists have demonstrated that the oil has potent anti-inflammatory effects and anti-tumor properties when evaluated in tissue culture with tumors such as astrocytomas, melanomas, and fibrosarcomas. Furthermore, he said, it appears to have fairly selective anti-tumor activity and does not appear to disrupt normal cells. But much about how it affects actual cancer patients is unknown.

Chili's experimental protocol involved daily injections of medicinal grade, sterile frankincense oil directly into his tumors and the application of oil on topical tumors, while Chili's comfort and well-being was carefully maintained through pain and nutritional management, including copious amounts of his favorite peeled baby carrots and peppermints.

The lesions were observed, measured, photographed, and periodically biopsied, according to Robertson. Those tumor biopsies demonstrated that some small tumor cells were destroyed by the treatment and those treated topically were reduced in size. Unfortunately, however, Chili passed away on October 18, 2005 as a result of the progressive and relentless growth of the non-treated tumors.

Chili's involvement with CeCO and the experimental protocol did result in some important achievements, according to Robertson.

"I think this research on Frankincense oil suggests that this ancient medicine may have significant modern uses for chemotherapy of non-resectable malignancies," said Robertson, a professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences and Pathobiology. "This research showed that equine melanomas respond to this therapy."

Information gleaned from this Phase I-II National Cancer Institute format clinical trial has supported the development of grant applications and helped in the treatment of five additional horses, Robertson said. A collaboration with the Clinical Research Program at Wake Forest University's Comprehensive Cancer Center is being discussed.

Lemon Grass vs. Cancer Cells

Fresh lemon grass fields in Israel become mecca for cancer patients

By Allison Kaplan Sommer - April 02, 2006

At first, Benny Zabidov, an Israeli agriculturalist who grows greenhouses full of lush spices on a pastoral farm in Kfar Yedidya in the Sharon region, couldn't understand why so many cancer patients from around the country were showing up on his doorstep asking for fresh lemon grass. It turned out that their doctors had sent them.

"They had been told to drink eight glasses of hot water with fresh lemon grass steeped in it on the days that they went for their radiation and chemotherapy treatments," Zabidov told ISRAEL21c. "And this is the place you go to in Israel for fresh lemon grass."

It all began when researchers at Ben Gurion University of the Negev discovered last year that the lemon aroma in herbs like lemon grass kills cancer cells in vitro, while leaving healthy cells unharmed.

The research team was led by Dr. Rivka Ofir and Prof. Yakov Weinstein, incumbent of the Albert Katz Chair in Cell-Differentiation and Malignant Diseases, from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at BGU.

Citral is the key component that gives the lemony aroma and taste in several herbal plants such as lemon grass (Cymbopogon citratus), melissa (Melissa officinalis) and verbena (Verbena officinalis.)

According to Ofir, the study found that citral causes cancer cells to "commit suicide: using apoptosis, a mechanism called programmed cell death." A drink with as little as one gram of lemon grass contains enough citral to prompt the cancer cells to commit suicide in the test tube.

The BGU investigators checked the influence of the citral on cancerous cells by adding them to both cancerous cells and normal cells that were grown in a petri dish. The quantity added in the concentrate was equivalent to the amount contained in a cup of regular tea using one gram of lemon herbs in hot water. While the citral killed the cancerous cells, the normal cells remained unharmed.

The findings were published in the scientific journal Planta Medica, which highlights research on alternative and herbal remedies. Shortly afterwards, the discovery was featured in the popular Israeli press.

Why does it work? Nobody knows for certain, but the BGU scientists have a theory.

"In each cell in our body, there is a genetic program which causes programmed cell death. When something goes wrong, the cells divide with no control and become cancer cells. In normal cells, when the cell discovers that the control system is not operating correctly - for example, when it recognizes that a cell contains faulty genetic material following cell division - it triggers cell death," explains Weinstein. "This research may explain the medical benefit of these herbs."

The success of their research led them to the conclusion that herbs containing citral may be consumed as a preventative measure against certain cancerous cells.

As they learned of the BGU findings in the press, many physicians in Israel began to believe that while the research certainly needed to be explored further, in the meantime it would be advisable for their patients, who were looking for any possible tool to fight their condition, to try to harness the cancer-destroying properties of

That's why Zabidov's farm - the only major grower of fresh lemon grass in Israel - has become a pilgrimage destination for these patients. Luckily, they found themselves in sympathetic hands. Zabidov greets visitors with a large kettle of aromatic lemon grass tea, a plate of cookies, and a supportive attitude.

"My father died of cancer, and my wife's sister died young because of cancer," said Zabidov. "So I understand what they are dealing with. And I may not know anything about medicine, but I'm a good listener. And so they tell me about their expensive painful treatments and what they've been through. I would never tell them to stop being treated, but it's great that they are exploring alternatives and drinking the lemon grass tea as well."

Zabidov knew from a young age that agriculture was his calling. At age 14, he enrolled in the Kfar Hayarok Agricultural high school. After his army service, he joined an idealistic group which headed south, in the Arava desert region, to found a new moshav (agricultural settlement) called Tsofar.

"We were very successful; we raised fruits and vegetables, and," he notes with a smile, "We raised some very nice children."

On a trip to Europe in the mid-80s, he began to become interested in herbs. Israel, at the time, was nothing like the trend-conscious cuisine-oriented country it is today, and the only spices being grown commercially were basics like parsley, dill, and coriander.

Wandering in the Paris market, looking at the variety of herbs and spices, Zabidov realized that there was a great export potential in this niche. He brought samples back home with him, "which was technically illegal," he says with a guilty smile, to see how they would grow in his desert greenhouses. Soon, he was growing basil,
oregano, tarragon, chives, sage, marjoram and melissa, and mint just to name a few.

His business began to outgrow his desert facilities, and so he decided to move north, settling in the moshav of Kfar Yedidya, an hour and a half north of Tel Aviv. He is now selling "several hundred kilos" of lemon grass per week, and has signed with a distributor to package and put it in health food stores.

Zabidov has taken it upon himself to learn more about the properties of citral, and help his customers learn more, and has invited medical experts to his farm to give lectures about how the citral works and why.

He also felt a responsibility to know what to tell his customers about its use. "When I realized what was happening, I picked up the phone and called Dr. Weinstein at Ben-Gurion University, because these people were asking me exactly the best way to consume the citral. He said to put the loose grass in hot water, and drink about eight glasses each day."

Zabidov is pleased by the findings, not simply because it means business for his farm, but because it might influence his own health.

Even before the news of its b
ecause were demonstrated, he and his family had been drinking lemon grass in hot water for years, "just because it tastes good."  A drink with as little as one gram of lemon grass contains enough citral to prompt cancer cells to commit suicide in the test tube.

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Frankincense Kills Bladder Cancer

United Press International


OKLAHOMA CITY, Mar 17, 2009 (UPI via COMTEX) -- Enriched extract of the Somalian frankincense herb Boswellia carteri has been shown to kill off bladder cancer cells, U.S. researchers said.

H.K. Lin and his team at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and Oklahoma City VA Medical Center evaluated frankincense oil for its anti-tumor activity in bladder cancer cells.

The study authors investigated the effects of the oil in two different types of cells in culture: human bladder cancer cells and normal bladder cells.

The study, published in the BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, found that frankincense oil is able to discriminate between normal and cancerous bladder cells in culture, and specifically kill cancer cells.

Gene analyses were performed to determine how frankincense oil affects bladder cancer cell survival and the researchers found that the oil suppresses cancer cell growth by arresting cell cycle progression and induces bladder cancer cell death by activating multiple cell death pathways.

"Frankincense oil may represent an inexpensive alternative therapy for patients currently suffering from bladder cancer," Lin said in a statement.