Each year, nearly 16,000 children are diagnosed with cancer in the US. These pediatric cancers are often extremely aggressive and require repeated doses of chemotherapy.
Nausea and vomiting are two of the most persistent and distressing side effects of these treatments. Several drugs have been developed that reduce the amount of nausea and vomiting experienced in this population, however, approximately 50% of children still suffer after maximal pharmacological intervention (1).
Many patients and providers have turned to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for relief. Aromatherapy is one such modality that has been reported to decrease nausea and vomiting, decrease anxiety and increase quality of life in cancer patients.
In children suffering with chemotherapy induced nausea, aromatherapy, or inhaling the vapor of essential oils, has been found to be an easy and effective therapy.
QueaseEASE, by Soothing Scents, is a blend of four EOs with known anti-nausea properties: Peppermint, lavender, spearmint and ginger. This blend, provided in an aromatic inhaler designed for use in the medical environment, can be safely self administered, even by properly supervised children.
St. Judes Children’s Research Hospital conducted a pilot study of QueaseEASE, to assess the satisfaction and feasibility of use in a pediatric oncology setting. Nurses offered it to pediatric patients with symptoms of nausea, vomiting and/or anxiety. They concluded that it can “decrease the need for medications and improve a patients’ quality of life and general feeling of well-being.” In addition they found that QueaseEASE is a feasible intervention, resulting in “highly satisfied patients, parents, and nurses.”
Some of the comments gathered from the study:
13 year old patient: “QueaseEASE® is easy to use and stops nausea fast.”
Mother of 15 year old patient with Down Syndrome: “He likes to smell the QueaseEASE® and it has helped to decrease his nausea and vomiting from chemo. He is able to use it himself and even got it out of my bag and put it on his pillow. It seems to help him relax.”
Mother of 7 year old patient: “QueaseEASE® has helped decrease her anxiety with port access and also helps with nausea from chemo. I really like the fact that she can use the QueaseEASE® and it is not a medication but a natural product.”
Mother of 13 year old patient: “QueaseEASE® has really helped to decrease his anxiety with port access and also prior to procedures under anesthesia. He no longer needs to take Ativan before his port is accessed.”
For children struggling with anticipatory anxiety and chemo induced nausea, essential oil therapy such as QueaseEASE, is a safe, fast and effective rescue remedy. It is reassuring to know that relief is literally just a breath away.
(1)Holdsworth, Mark T., Dennis W. Raisch, and Jami Frost. “Acute and delayed nausea and emesis control in pediatric oncology patients.” Cancer 106.4 (2006): 931-940.