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Parts of this were taken with permission from Essential Oils Overview and Reference Guide, published by: The Family Tree, 2008


see the difference between an abscess, cancer, cyst, lipoma, polyp or tumor at the bottom of this page.

A cyst is a lump or mass in the body that is made up of a closed sac that may be filled with a gas, a liquid, or a semi-solid material. (see below for the differences between an abscess, cancer, cyst, or tumor.)  There are many types of cysts that can form in various locations in the body.  Most are benign and some will be reabsorbed by the body over time but essential oils seem to accelerate that process.  Enclosed below are some of the more common types of cysts and following this is a more comprehensive list that expands on information originally found in Wikipedia. 

Baker’s cyst – This is swelling in the knee as excess synovial fluid (the lubricant of the knee) builds up in the back of the knee.  This can be caused by a tear in the meniscal cartilage, arthritis, or other knee injuries. If large enough to be felt it will be like a small water balloon and can become painful.

Breast cyst – A common breast cysts occurs in those in their 30s or 40s as milk glands may grow up to one inch in diameter. These cysts, if large enough to be felt, may feel like a small water balloon, a lump with quite distinct edges. Breast cysts can be associated with fibrocystic disease wherein unusual fibrous growth of tissue in the breast can produce a mottled texture.  Again these lumps will have well defined edges.  These cysts are associated with hormone changes in the body and associated pain or discomfort can vary during the monthly menstrual cycle.  These are generally benign growths and some will disappear over time.

Ganglion cyst - These cysts form at joints in the body and are common in the area of the wrist.  A common name used is Bible Bump coming from the concept if they were thumped with a heavy book they would disperse (might work temporarily).  There is not a  known reason for their formation.  They are associated with the sheath that holds the synovial fluid around joints and tendons.  They fill with a fluid similar to the synovial fluid and it may thicken or harden over time.

Ovarian cyst –The most common type, functional ovarian cysts, form during the monthly menstrual cycle.  There are other types of ovarian cysts that can result from diseases including cancerous cells. Functional cysts may form on or inside the ovarian glands and are not uncommon during child-bearing years. During the monthly cycle when an egg develops in a follicle it may not release in the normal way and the fluid that remains becomes a follicular cyst.  If the egg is released but the remaining follicle accumulates blood the cyst is called a corpus luteum cyst.  Each of these may become painful if they enlarge or break open. Spotting or bleeding may occur.

Sebaceous cyst – These are usually found as lumps under the skin and are a result of a swollen hair follicle or some skin trauma.  The sac of this cyst is filled with keratin, the protein used to form hair and nails in the body.  These cysts are typically small and slow growing but they can, on occasion, become inflamed and tender or painful.  This may include drainage of a pus like material.

Comprehensive list (if the location is not self-evident from the name it is included in parenthesis):

   Acne cyst

   Arachnoid cyst (brain)

   Baker's cyst or popliteal cyst (behind the knee joint)

   Bartholin's cyst (vaginal)

   Breast cyst

   Buccal bifurcation cyst (teeth)

   Calcifying odontogenic cyst (jaw/teeth)

   Chalazion cyst (eyelid)

   Choroid plexus cyst (brain)

   Colloid cyst (brain)

   Corpus luteum cysts (ovarian)

   Cutaneious cyst (skin)

   Cysticercal cyst – cysticercosis from pork tapeworm (brain or muscles)

   Dentigerous cyst (associated with the crowns of non-erupted teeth)

   Dermoid cyst (a term used to describe a variety of cysts)

   Epidermoid inclusion cyst (skin)

   Epididymal cyst (found in the vessels attached to the testes)

   Follicular cysts (ovarian)

   Ganglion cyst (hand/foot joints and tendons)

   Glandular odontogenic cyst (jaw)

   Glial cyst (brain)

   Gartner's duct cyst (vaginal or vulvar cyst of embryological origin)

   Gorlin cyst (jaw/teeth)

   Hydatid cyst (larval stage of Echinococcus granulosus, a tapeworm - liver or other organs)

   Hydrocele (testicle)

   Keratocyst (jaw, now classified as a tumor)

   Liver cystic disease

   Meibomian cyst (eyelid)

   Mucoid cyst (ganglion cysts of the digits)

   Mucous cyst (lips)

   Nabothian cyst (cervix)

   Nasolabial duct cyst (upper lip)

   Nasoalveolar cyst (upper lip)

   Odontogenic cyst (teeth)

   Ovarian cyst

   Paradental cyst

   Parapelvic cyst (kidney)

   Paratubal cyst (fallopian tube)

   Periapical cyst (teeth)

   Pericardial cyst (chest)

   Peritoneal cyst (lining of the abdominal cavity)

   Pilar cyst (scalp)

   Pilonidal cyst (skin infection near tailbone)

   Pseudocysts (not actually a cyst but an inflammatory nodule)

   Renal cyst (kidneys)

   Pineal gland cyst (brain)

   Polycystic ovary syndrome

   Popliteal cyst or Baker’s cyst (behind the knee joint)

   Radicular cyst (teeth)

   Residual cyst (jaw/teeth)

   Sebaceous cyst (sac below skin)

   Spermatocele (testicle)

   Tarlov cyst (spine)

   Trichilemmal cyst (scalp)

   Vocal fold cyst


Abscess, cancer, cyst, polyp or tumor?

Here are some differences between terms used to describe “masses” or “lumps” that may form in the body.  Common terms are abscess, cancer, cyst, polyp and tumor. 

  Tumor – a mass of tissue or abnormal cellular growth. They may be cancerous (malignant), or not (benign).

  Cancer – a rapid cellular growth that may spread from one part of the body to another.

  Cyst – a closed sac filled with gas, liquid, or a semi solid. They are usually not cancerous. 

  Lipoma – a benign growth filled with apidose (fat) cells usually just beneath the skin.

  Abscess – similar to a cyst but is filled with pus.

  Polyp – a tissue growth that protrudes from a mucous membrane (nasal passage, cervix, colon) usually benign.


[search helps: Taenia, cystic mastopathy, fibrosclerosis of breast, chronic cystic mastitis, fibrocystic mastopathy, mammary dysplasia, faruncle, carbuncle]

Oils, blends & products recommended:

Oils & Blends: FrankincenseC, Oregano, Sandalwood

Essential oils based products: Massage Blend Technique, Topical Blend, Basic Vitality Supplements (LLV)

Also consider: Massage Blend, BasilC, Soothing Blend, Helichrysum, Peppermint, Wild Orange

Note: to understand the E and C superscript go to Home and scroll to New Helps.

Suggested protocols:


  For cysts near skin surface:  1 - 2 drops of Frankincense (or diluted Oregano) topically 2 - 3 times daily until cyst is diminished.

  For internal cysts:  1 - 2 drops Frankincense under the tongue 2 - 3 time daily.  Some suggest topically apply Lemongrass, Melaleuca, and Myrrh topically as close to the organ as possible.

   For pain caused by pressure from a cyst:  Soothing Blend topically.


Ganglion cyst

   2 drops of Oregano topically on the cyst in the mornings. Dilute if necessary.

  2 drops of Thyme topically on the cyst in the evening.

  Repeat daily until the bumps dissipate.


Ovarian cyst

A simple suggestion.  Soak the end of an organic tampon in 8 - 10 drops Frankincense and Sandalwood and insert at night while sleeping.  Repeat nightly.

Another suggestion:

  Blend: 8 drops Clary Sage, 8 drops Frankincense, 8 drops Lavender, 8 drops Cypress, and 2 tablespoons melted virgin coconut oil

  Soak the mixture into the tampon  Use natural tampons without chlorine.

  Insert overnight. Do nightly for one week,

  Then switch for a week to: 8 drops Frankincense, 8 drops Geranium, 5 drops Myrrh, 2 tablespoons grape seed oil.


Subaceous cyst

   Frankincense has been used successfully by many, others suggest adding Lemongrass and Lavender or using Topical Blend

  One person reported very good results using the Massage Blend technique

Experiences and Testimonials of others

Baker’s Cyst

Ree - Aloha Everyone, Does anyone know how to treat for a ruptured Baker’s cyst behind the knee? Mahalo Nui Loa,

Pat - Has the cyst drained? Sometimes when they rupture and drain they heal over and fill up again. I would use Oregano (a very hot oil so drop it just on the affected area) and alternate with Melaleuca and Marjoram. It wouldn't hurt to take capsule with Melaleuca, Oregano and Wild Orange, equal amounts, once a day for one week.

Cindy - For ruptured cysts on knuckles, I use Soothing Blend followed by Peppermint. Wonderfully pain relieving, and it clears them up very well in my experience.


Breast Cyst

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Katz - I recently developed a cyst the size of a golf ball on the inside edge of my breast. It was very sore and bruised looking on the top. I put Wild Orange on it (mostly because I craved the smell) and Frankincense alternating. I had a friend look at it and check the size so we could monitor what would happen. I applied the oil twice a day, neat, and in three weeks it was the size of a grain of rice. Yea oils!


Krishna - Cyst on breast. Any ideas! Oils and how to! Any suggestion would be appreciated!

Vikki - There was a great testimonial on cysts I heard last night. A lady from Seattle had a friend who was going to be having surgery to remove a cyst. Three weeks before the surgery she gave her friend Cypress, Basil and Frankincense (I believe it was in a capsule) 2x a day, then switched out the Basil for Oregano.. The lady went to the doctor prior to surgery to locate the cyst by ultrasound and they couldn't find it.


Ganglion Cyst

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Stuart -  I had a large Ganglion Cyst on the back of my hand behind the thumb. It was the first time I had come across this and after much research I was about to give up and then.....I was reading about the properties of Melaleuca and thought 'Why not' so I put three drops twice a day on the cyst and after a few days it was gone!!


Marti - Does anyone know what helps with a ganglion cyst?  Thanks.

BK - I had 3 different cysts on different parts of my body until recently. I never went to a doctor and had them officially diagnosed.  But I had friends say that they were cysts, calcium deposits, bone spurs, or bible bumps.  I'm not sure, but I think these would also be called ganglian cysts.  I had one on my foot on my hand and a small one that had barely started revealing itself on my wrist.  Here's what I did.

My foot spur was bothering me the most, so I started using a blend of Eucalyptus, Marjoram, Cypress, Lavender Peppermint, Thyme and Basil. 5 drops each in an15ml bottle then match the amount of essential oil with coconut oil. I would rub this blend on my right foot every morning and night. Without fail for 3 months.  I had tried a similar mix using oils from Young Living, but it never helped, so I figured it wouldn't hurt to try (...) oils.  One day it was strange, I realized that it was almost gone!  It seemed almost overnight or I just hadn't been paying attention.  Then I also realized that the bump on my hand and wrist were completely gone!.  No doubt, using the blend on my foot everyday, also helped with the bumps on my hand and wrist.

I am also a huge (...) Frankincense fan, and used it often for massage for myself and my family, so I would credit the Frankincense for aiding in the blend as well.  It definitely wouldn't hurt to add frank to the blend. I hope this helps.  Do it daily or more.  Be patient.

Rob - It I had at ganglion cyst, I would try 2 drops of Oregano on the cyst in the AM (neat if they can take it, if not, dilute 50/50.) Then 2 drops Thyme in the evening directly on the cyst.  Daily frequency till the bumps dissipate. Maybe it's the antibiotic/anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that dissipates the fluids in the cyst, but I've heard this is an effective protocol. There are many oils with similar properties as well.


Ovarian Cyst

Kat - I found out I have a hemorrhagic cyst on my left ovary. It is a cyst filled with blood, and very painful. My doctor did not want to operate now for fear that it would bleed too much and I would most likely have to remove the ovary. He said lets wait and let your body reabsorb the cyst as much as possible, then check it in a week or so. He wants me to take it very easy so I don't pop the cyst and have internal bleeding. Any ideas on what to use to help my body reabsorb a blood filled cyst?

Pat - I would get some organic tampons and soak the ends in Frankincense and Sandalwood and insert at night while sleeping.

Skipper – Ovarian cyst. My daughter's doctor told her to take primRose oil along with good vitamins and calcium.  Well I have already put her on the LLW, but she experiences much discomfort with the cyst most of the month.  So is there a (...) oil with the primRose in it or would something (...) has work as well?

Kathy - This is a protocol a good friend of mine used with success. Use natural tampons without chlorine. Blend: 8 drops Clary Sage 8 drops Frankincense 8 drops Lavender 8 drops Cypress 2 tblspn melted virgin coconut oil Soak the mixture into the tampon Insert over night. Do nightly for one week, then switch for a week to: 8 drops Frankincense 8 drops Geranium 5 drops Myrrh 2 tblspn grape seed oil


Pancreatic Cyst

Janyce - My friend is suffering with a cyst on her pancreas.  I don't know the details or the name of the ailment but she now has a drain.  She is pretty well debilitated from this.  Apparently, the cyst cannot be removed because it is "part of the pancreas".  I would like to talk to her about what oils she could take to help her pancreas heal.  I have looked at the pancreas oils in our book, but does anyone know about this particular ailment and what would work best?  And how to use?

Pat – I suggest that she start by dropping Frankincense under her tongue daily and also rubbing: Lemongrass, Melaleuca and Myrrh directly at the pancreas area.


Pilonidal Cyst                

Jackie - Pilonidal Cyst dilemma. Can anyone recommend a treatment for this?  I believe it's a bacterial infection.  I'm thinking they should use Melaleuca topically and perhaps Oregano oil in capsules.  Does this seem the best solution?

Pat - One of the most effective treatments come from being able to drain the cyst. I remember when my daughter had this and after draining it completely we were very fortunate that it never came back. You solution is workable, using the Melaleuca and Protective Blend are great options. You are fighting a bacterial problem so even using Oregano with the Protective Blend is a capsule would be helpful.


Sebaceous Cyst

 Cory - I have a friend whose 7yr old boy has a cyst on the side of his face near the top of his ear and across from his eye. His mom said it looked like a black head when it started, but now is hard and looks like a foreign object is under the skin. The pediatrician sent them to a plastic surgeon who is planning to cut it out at the end of May. Other than sabaceous cyst they don't really have a diagnosis. The doctors said they would biopsy it later. The wound will need a lot of attention and will leave a 1 1/2" - 2" scar. The mom would like to go a different route, if possible. What oils would you recommend, how often, and how should I dilute them.

Amelia - I also have a sebaceous cyst but it's on my inner wrist and I have been applying a mixture of Lemongrass, Lavender and Frankincense to it. When I do apply these it goes away almost instantly but then it returns and when it does I just apply the oils again. If it were me I would put it in a carrier oil just because of where the cyst is located and because it's for a child...hope this is helpful...


LMD - Hello, Does anyone have any information or success stories on Sebaceous Cysts?

Suzy - My husband has these and has been using Frankincense.  The ones that have not gone away entirely, have shrunk by at least half their beginning size.  He just applies it every night before he goes to bed, after his shower.  He just tips the bottle onto his finger and dabs each cyst.

Amelia - Yep Frankincense...I have one on my wrist and I just keep applying Frankincense...and Grounding Blend for whatever reason seems to make it go away even faster. Weird thing is that mine has not totally gone away but when I use the Frankincense it immediately shrinks it...like it disappears completely for a few hours or a day but then it comes back. I just keep applying Frankincense to it and I believe eventually it'll disappear forever.

Tami - Not sure if what I have is the same, but I get these cyst type things on my face every once in a while. Today, I got one and my strong instinct said to put Oregano on it. I did think about Frankincense, but the feeling of the cyst and my intuition mingled with it said to kick the thing in the butt and not be nice about it. I put a dab of Oregano on it twice today and it is almost gone already. Normally, these things will take a week to go away and they can become painful too.


Deedle - Are there any oils to use for sebaceous cysts? my daughter has them on her head and they can be very painful!

Pat - I have heard that the Topical Blend helps with these cysts. I would also recommend her starting the LLV supplements so her body can heal and she will cease to grow these cysts.


Betsy - Any ideas on how to remove a fatty cyst. I am putting neat Frankincense once a day on it at the moment. I am open to suggestions.

Kathy - Try the Massage Blend technique a few times.  Last year I had a growth on my foot - not even sure what it was  but it was a hard lump - maybe a bone spur but it hurt and was growing bigger (taller) and I had it for about 3 or 4 months, I went and had the Massage Blend technique and by the end of the day - so within 10 hours it was a lump of mush, I could still feel like a melted lump and the next day the lump was gone - I was amazed!

Wendy - I remember my friend saying she gave Helichrysum to her unbelieving-essential-oils-would-never-work dad to put on a facial growth (I can't remember what it was).  It worked, so he started getting it for himself.

Protocols folks recommend for children



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