Rose geranium in sesame oil nasal spray: A treatment for nasal vestibulitis?

Elizabeth J. Cathcart-Rake, Deanne Smith, David Zahrieh, Charles L. Loprinzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objectives As a rose geranium in sesame oil spray product has been anecdotally noted to improve nasal vestibulitis symptoms, this study was designed to assess whether patients with nasal vestibulitis associated with cancer-directed therapy experienced symptomatic improvements from it. Methods Patients with breast cancer, prescribed rose geranium nasal spray, were identified by looking at pharmacy records and patient diagnosis at Mayo Clinic Rochester. Patient medical information, as well as documentation of symptoms, were gleaned from medical charts. Questionnaires were sent to patients regarding their experiences. Results Of the 40 patients with breast cancer who were prescribed rose geranium nasal spray, 100% were receiving cancer-directed therapy: 58 % were receiving taxane chemotherapy; others received a variety of cytotoxic and targeted therapy treatments. Twenty patients who had used the spray product returned surveys. Patient-reported nasal symptoms included bleeding (90%), dryness (86%), pain (81%), scabbing (67%) and sores (52%); patients consistently reported symptoms at a higher proportion than did healthcare providers. All patients who used the rose geranium nasal spray reported symptomatic benefit; one reported a little benefit, 11 (55%) reported moderate benefit and eight (40%) reported dramatic or complete resolution of symptoms. The therapy was well tolerated in most patients. Conclusions Rose geranium in sesame oil nasal spray appears to improve patient-reported nasal symptoms associated with cancer-directed therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)411-413
Number of pages3
JournalBMJ Supportive and Palliative Care
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020


  • nasal spray
  • nasal vestibulitis
  • toxicity of chemotherapy
  • toxicity of targeted therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Oncology(nursing)
  • Medical–Surgical


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