Frankincense (Boswellia carteri) trees were considered extremely valuable during ancient times and their location was often a matter of state secret. Egyptians used the incense to fumigate their homes, for ritual incense and the oil for cosmetics. It was used as a holy anointing oil and as a general cure-all for all diseases. It was also used to enhance meditation and elevate spiritual consciousness. History shows it was used for embalming and as a perfume AND formed an important part of the Sabbath day offering. Frankincense or olibanum was mentioned in the Scriptures over 50 times and is found in the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Chronicles, Nehemiah, Song of Solomon, Isaiah, Matthew, and Revelations.
The actions of frankincense include anti-inflammatory, anti-tumoral, immune-stimulant, antidepressant and muscle relaxing. It stimulates the limbic system as well as the hypothalamus, pineal and pituitary glands. It is strongly anti-viral, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, antiseptic and expectorant oil. Frankincense has the ability to relax and revitalize at the same time.
Cancer Research Using Frankincense
There are a few researchers studying the effects of frankincense on various cancers with some degree of success. In vitro effects show inhibition or stimulation of cell proliferation depending on the concentration of frankincense oil in the growth media. A recent study conducted at the University of Oklahoma showed that frankincense kills bladder cancer cells without harming surrounding tissue.
Studies are showing frankincense to be a strong immune-stimulant with some claiming that frankincense has the ability to repair DNA. A Chinese study conducted in 2000 indicated that Boswellia has “anti-carcinogenic and anti-tumor activities.” These boswellic acids from frankincense inhibited “a variety of malignant cells” in people suffering from leukemia and brain tumors. The Cancer Research Institute of the University of Nevada treated cervical cancer with frankincense, in which “there was 72% inhibition and growth of non-cancerous cells.” Other studies have shown that boswellic acids from frankincense exert antiprolifertive activity toward a variety of malignant cells. Another study showed that boswellic acids are potent apoptotic agents to cancer cells and another one shows that Boswellic acids from frankincense gum exhibit potent cytotoxic activity against CNS tumors.
Why Hasn’t the General Public Heard about This?It sounds incredulous but the anti-cancerous effects of frankincense has been known for thousands of years. Does it work for everyone? No, but compared to the effects of chemotherapy, frankincense DOES show great promise now and in the future. Frankincense will never be promoted for the breakthrough that it is because there is no money to be made in its promotion. Frankincense is expensive in comparison to other therapeutic grade oils but “cheap” in comparison to drugs like chemotherapy.