Frankincense Oil: A Natural Treatment for Cancer?

Frankincense oilTradition tells us that the magi (three wise men) gave the infant King of Israel gifts of gold to honor his royalty, frankincense as a perfume and myrrh for anointing oil.

Although there probably is some truth to this, other sources claim that the wise men from the Far East were actually being more practical by giving the baby Jesus these precious, costly essential oils that could double up as potential medical remedies.


Frankincense Benefits

For over 5,000 years, frankincense has had many vital uses that go well beyond just being an anointing oil. It was used to support the immune system, fight infection and cure disease, even as a potential natural treatment for cancer. Today, the most common frankincense benefits include:

  • Reduces inflammation
  • Cancer-fighting properties
  • Spiritual awareness
  • Boosts immunity
  • Fights infections
  • Improves anxiety
  • Heals skin and reduces acne and scarring

Research conducted by the University of Leicester in the U.K. has rekindled the theory that the “wise men” weren’t just bringing wealth to Jesus, but medicine — for it “demonstrated the potential of treating ovarian cancer using the Christmas gift frankincense.” (1)

Using the compound AKBA (acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid), the Omani government-funded research has for the first time shown frankincense’s ability to target cancer cells in late-stage ovarian cancer patients. Lead researcher Kamla Al-Salmani explained:

After a year of studying the AKBA compound with ovarian cancer cell lines in vitro, we have been able to show it is effective at killing the cancer cells. Frankincense is taken by many people with no known side effects. This finding has enormous potential to be taken to a clinical trial in the future and developed into an additional treatment for ovarian cancer.

Bear in mind that this research concerned Boswellic acid — a water soluble compound that is only found in the powder form of frankincense. However, there are other compounds found in frankincense oil that have been show to be beneficial in test tubes when treating cancer cells.


Potential Cancer-Killing Properties of Frankincense

Used because of its anti-inflammatory properties, frankincense, also known as Boswellia serrata, has been a favorite folk medicine for several health concerns, including asthma, gastroenteritis and skin conditions.

New research, like the University of Leicester study, has recently suggested that frankincense’s disease-targeting power may be even more encompassing than previously suspected. Successfully linking AKBA as a potential treatment for brain, breast, colon, pancreatic, prostate and stomach cancers, research trials are filling medical journals like Carcinogenesis and PLoS One about boswellia serrata’s cancer-targeting prowess. (2, 3)

According to researchers out of Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, the potential cancer-killing properties of frankincense are due in part to it regulating cellular epigenetic machinery, which highlights its ability to influence genes to promote healing.

Baylor cancer scientists emphasize that this potency makes Boswellia a viable candidate for both cancer prevention and treatment.


Natural Treatment of Cancer with Frankincense Oil 

People who have added Boswellia serrata into their natural health cancer care plan may find themselves experiencing double-benefits from this amazing essential oil.

For many cancer patients, there’s a time when the treatment becomes worse than the cancer itself. It is as this point that quality of life and symptom suppression is the focal point for many diagnosed with this deadly disease. Debilitating in-and-of itself, often the cancer treatment side effects can make having cancer absolutely miserable.

Take, for instance, brain cancer patients who experience cerebral edema (swelling in the head) after having their tumors irradiated. Typically, these people are treated with dexamethasone and other corticosteroids to control the swelling, but this is done at a great cost because the deadly complications of steroids are limitless.

Unfortunately, these people suffer toxic overload from the drugs that are supposed to help them in the first place and get headaches, migraines, and may even deal with blurred vision because of the steroid treatments.

Thankfully, frankincense offers a natural, viable solution to this horrible issue. Back in 2011, the journal Cancer published the results of a 44 person clinical trial evaluating how brain swelling was effected by frankincense. (4)

Astoundingly, 60 percent of the patients displayed 75 percent reduction or greater in cerebral swelling after being treated with 4,200 milligrams per day of frankincense. 

These results are so significant that scientists are urging the medical community to consider prescribing this potent essential oil instead of steroids for cancer patients assigned to radiation treatment.

We hope this spreads like wildfire within cancer treatment circles. Who knows what could happen if more people utilized this frankincense oil as a cancer natural treatment approach. As we’ve seen above, if Boswellia serrata can kill cancer cells and prevent tumors from growing, the sky’s the limit for folks who follow natural health guidelines.


Frankincense Benefits Immune Function

A growing body of research has recently unlocked the doors to our understanding of why frankincense benefits our health. In a study published by Phytotherapy Research, for instance, when mice took 1–10 milligrams of Boswellia serrata orally, it was discovered that multiple levels of their immune systems were stimulated including (5):

  • Delayed hypersensitivity reaction (early 24 hours, delayed 48 hours)
  • IgG
  • IgM
  • Cytokines (interferon gamma, interleukin-4, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha)
  • T-cell interactions (i.e. CD4/CD8, which are generally low in AIDS patients)

In layman’s terms, frankincense can significantly boost the immune system. Two fundamental ways this is accomplished is by proliferating lymphocytes (white blood cells, which are the body’s primary defense team) and by keeping inflammation at bay (which is arguably the primary risk factor for most chronic diseases).

This may also explain why frankincense is so effective in treating autoimmune conditions like bronchial asthma, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis.

Implement frankincense into your natural health regimen today and see how frankincense benefits your immune function. This essential oil can be used in diffusers with ease to treat respiratory conditions, or you can use it as an essential oil or salve directly on your skin.

Finally, you can also take frankincense (Boswellia) as a supplement with a few essential oil drops placed under your tongue, on the roof of your mouth or in powdered capsule form for treatment of many health conditions.

Read Next: Top 12 Cancer-Fighting Foods

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Sources & References:

  • Ammon HP. Boswellic acids in chronic inflammatory diseases. Planta Med 2006; 72(12): 1100-16.
  • Bible History Daily. Why Did the Magi Bring Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh? Available at: http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/people-cultures-in-the-bible/jesus-historical-jesus/why-did-the-magi-bring-gold-frankincense-and-myrrh/.
  • Khajuria A, et al. Immunomodulatory activity of biopolymeric fraction BOS 2000 from Boswellia serrata. Phytother Res 2008; 22(3): 340-8.
  • Kirste S, et al. Boswellia serrata acts on cerebral edema in patients irradiated for brain tumors: a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind pilot trial. Cancer 2011; 117(16): 3788-95.
  • Park B, et al. Boswellic acid suppresses growth and metastasis of human pancreatic tumors in an orthotopic nude mouse model through modulation of multiple targets. PLoS One. 2011; 6(10): e26943 [epub].
  • Suhail MM, et al. Boswellia sacra essential oil induces tumor cell-specific apoptosis and suppresses tumor aggressiveness in cultured human breast cancer cells. BMC Complement Altern Med 2011; 11: 129.
  • Takahashi M, et al. Boswellic acid exerts antitumor effects in colorectal cancer cells by modulating expression of the let-7 and miR-200 microRNA family. Carcinogenesis 2012; 33(12): 2441-9.
  • University of Leicester. Christmas gift brings treatment hope for cancer patients. Available at: http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/press/press-releases/2013/december/christmas-gift-brings-treatment-hope-for-cancer-patients.
  • Yuan Y, et al. Acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid (AKBA) prevents human colonic adenocarcinoma growth through modulation of multiple signaling pathways. Biochim Biophys Acta 2013; 1830(10): 4907-16.
  • Zhang YS, et al. Acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid (AKBA) inhibits human gastric carcinoma growth through modulation of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway. Biochim Biophys Acta 2013; 1830(6): 3604-15.
  1. Erica Mueller says:

    I feel like I’m still learning so much about this oil. Recently had a friend give me a ‘recipe’ for owwie spray for the kids and it has some frankincense in it. I used it on a bad cut on my foot this week. 2 days later and it’s all healed up!

  1. Erica Mueller says:

    I feel like I’m still learning so much about this oil. Recently had a friend give me a ‘recipe’ for owwie spray for the kids and it has some frankincense in it. I used it on a bad cut on my foot this week. 2 days later and it’s all healed up!