Tradition tells us that the magi gave the infant King of Israel gifts of gold to honor his royalty, frankincense as a perfume, and myrrh for anointing oil. Although there is probably some truth to this, other sources claim that these wise men from the Far East were actually being more practical by giving the baby Jesus precious, costly items that could double up as potential medical remedies.
A press release by University of Leicester in the UK, conveniently published a few days before Christmas last year, has rekindled this theory. According to the announcement that went after being issued, “University of Leicester researchers discover cancer-killing properties of frankincense in ovarian cancer.” 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 essential oil 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.”
Cancer Killing Power Of Frankincense
Used because of its anti-inflammatory properties, Boswellia serrata has been a favorite as a folk medicine for several health concerns including asthma, gastroenteritis, and skin conditions. New research, like the study that came out of the University of Leicester, has recently suggested that frankincense’s disease reversing 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 Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta, Carcinogenesis, PLoS One about Bowellia serrata’s cancer fighting prowess.
According to researchers out of Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, thecancer killing effects of frankincense essential oil (EO) 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 makesBoswellia serrata a viable candidate for both cancer prevention and treatment!
Frankincense Cancer Research
While we do know that the various forms of frankincense (essential oils, extracts, pure resin, etc.) have the potential to fight cancer, much is left to be understood, making this a controversial topic in the natural health and research world.
Current research demonstrates anti-mutagenic and apoptotic (prevents cell death) abilities. Though the results have occurred in lab tests and we have yet to see how to best replicate these results in active cancer in humans, the demonstrated results remain. Researchers found that boswellic acids are “cytotoxic to ovarian cancer cells at pharmacologically achievable concentrations” and “may form the basis of a novel anticancer treatment for ovarian cancer, perhaps alongside conventional chemotherapy.” (1)
Studies continue to emerge, demonstrating similar effects on bladder (2), breast (3), colon (4), skin (5), stomach (6), and pancreatic cancers. (7)
For those who have added frankincense essential oil to their cancer care plan, the benefits may go beyond anti-tumor effects. Conventional treatment is often still required, but can be more painful and difficult than the symptoms of cancer itself. Brain cancer patients, for example, sometimes experience swelling in the head called cerebral edema after their tumors have been removed. Steroid treatment is common but also associated with difficult side effects and complications.
Frankincense, on the other hand, has shown remarkable effects against this particular problem. In 2011, a clinical trial evaluating 44 individuals monitored frankincense as a remedy for cerebral edema. In 60% of the patients, the swelling was reduced by 75% or more. The concluding remarks called for frankincense to be prescribed for cerebral edema in these circumstances, avoiding the struggles of steroid therapy. (8)
Overshadowed the past several hundred years by its role in the “Christmas Story,” frankincense is finally getting the attention it deserves as one of the most viable healing agents on the planet. The journal Oncology Letters published an article late last year that highlights the ability of this Biblical tree to kill cancer cells; specifically the MCF-7 and HS-1 cell lines, which cause breast and other tumors. (9) The essential oil has also been used with much success to treat issues related to digestion, the immune system, oral health, respiratory concerns and stress/anxiety.
Another promising property of frankincense is its potential to fight cancer. In several studies, frankincense has demonstrated anti-cancer properties and the ability to mitigate many different kinds of cancer cells. (10) As more studies are conducted, the implications of this ability will be exciting to watch unfold!
Arguably the most potent medicinal EO out there, recent research studies suggest that frankincense not only kills cancer cells, but it also promotes health and vitality in neighboring non-cancerous cells! To help prevent getting sick and boost your immune system, simply: