The oil of Frankincense (also known as Boswella) has been used for thousands of years to suppress disease-causing inflammation, support heightened immunity, and prevent dangerous infections. But many people remain unaware of the added cancer-fighting potential of this precious essential oil, which researchers from the University of Leicester in the UK (among others), have confirmed through rigorous scientific testing.
Extracts from the Boswellia Tree species have been shown to possess anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-neoplastic and anti-carcinogenic properties. Clinical investigations have shown the extracts are effective in reducing peritumoral edema in gliobastoma patients and reversing multiple brain metastasies in a breast cancer patient. This evidence suggests resins from Boswellia trees can influence critical biological functions.
Researchers like immunologist Mahmoud Suhail want to explore the cancer halting properties of frankincense further. It is known that cancer starts at the cellular level, when the DNA code within a cell’s nucleus becomes corrupt. “Cancer starts when the DNA code within the cell’s nucleus becomes corrupted,” he says. “It seems frankincense has a re-set function. It can tell the cell what the right DNA code should be. Frankincense separates the ‘brain’ of the cancerous cell – the nucleus – from the ‘body’ – the cytoplasm, and closes down the nucleus to stop it reproducing corrupted DNA codes.”
Suhail characterizes the frankincense action as separating the nucleus from the cytoplasm components of the cell. In doing so, it likely closes down the nucleus to prevent it from replicating cancerous DNA codes. Scientists hope that frankincense could someday revolutionize cancer treatments, offering a kinder, gentler approach to cancer care – one that did not leave behind a weakened patient with vulnerable immunity. Unlike conventional chemo treatments where healthy cells are destroyed along with cancerous ones, it is hoped frankincense will destroy cancerous cells while letting healthy cells live.
Frankincense oil is also considered a tonic, as it benefits all the systems operating in the body, including the digestive, respiratory, nervous and excretory systems. It also aids the absorption of nutrients and strengthens your immune system. Frankincense oil has been found useful for certain health conditions, such as:
- Arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) — Research by Cardiff University scientists found that frankincense can aid in inhibiting the production of key inflammatory molecules, helping prevent the breakdown of the cartilage tissue that causes these conditions.
In addition, Indian frankincense or boswellin, also a member of the Boswellia genus, has been found to significantly reduce inflammation in animal studies. It is actually one of my personal favorites, as I have seen it work well as a natural painkiller for many of my former rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients.
- Colds and respiratory disorders — Frankincense oil can help break up phlegm deposits in your respiratory tract and lungs, and can potentially relieve bronchitis-related congestion.
- Oral health problems — The antiseptic qualities of this oil can help prevent bad breath, cavities, toothaches, mouth sores and other infections.
- Digestive disorders — Frankincense oil can help speed up the secretion of gastric juices, bile and acids, and help stimulate peristaltic motion to allow food to move properly through your intestines.
- Uterine health — Frankincense oil regulates estrogen production in women and helps reduce the risk of post-menopause tumor or cyst formation in the uterus (uterine cancer). It also regulates the menstrual cycle of premenopausal women.
Frankincense is also being studied for its potential to treat cancer. Scientists have observed that there’s an agent in this oil that may help stop cancer from spreading.
How to Use Frankincense Essential Oil
- You can apply frankincense topically (a few drops in a teaspoon of carrier oil such as grapeseed oil or almond oil) for treatment of inflammatory skin conditions such as acne scarring, healing of cuts and blemishes. For wounds, apply two to three drops of frankincense oil to a cold compress and apply directly to the area twice daily
- Use a few drops of frankincense oil in daily skin treatment creams to minimize wrinkles and restore elasticity to the skin
- Relieve menstrual cramps by adding eight to ten drops of frankincense essential oil to your bathwater and settling in for a long, soothing soak. For heavy periods, apply three to four drops of frankincense oil in a carrier oil and massage on the lower abdomen twice a day
- Eight to ten drops of frankincense oil in bathwater can also relieve the burning of urinary tract infections
- To improve circulation, add four to five drops of frankincense oil to a carrier oil and massage on the affected areas twice daily
- Diffusion: Use three to four drops in the diffuser of your choice
- Internal use: Dilute one drop in 4 fl. oz. of liquid
Precautions and Side Effects
Frankincense shouldn’t be taken internally unless you are under the care of a physician or natural health care provider who recommends such use.
- If you are using a blood thinning medication such as Plavix or Coumadin, you should not use frankincense.
- You should never use frankincense while pregnant or nursing unless you are under the direction of your health care provider.
- Frankincense oil should never be applied directly to the skin or irritation may result. Always dilute frankincense in a carrier oil or water. If irritation of the skin occurs, discontinue use and consult your doctor. Frankincense should never be applied to broken skin.
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