Frankincense, sometimes referred to as olibanum, is made from the resin of the Boswellia tree. Grow in dry climates across parts of Asia and Africa, including India, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, and Somalia. It is a common type of essential oil used in aromatherapy that can offer a variety of health benefits, including helping relieve chronic stress and anxiety, reducing pain and inflammation, and boosting immunity.
So then, what is frankincense essential oil?
Frankincense oil is from the genus Boswellia and sourced from the resin of the Boswellia carterii, Boswellia ferreana, or Boswellia serrata trees. The word frankincense comes from the term “franc encens,” which means quality incense in old French. This tree is different from many others in that it can grow with very little soil in dry and desolate conditions. It is made by steam distilling the resin, or “tears” of the tree. This creates a very potent and earthy-smelling oil that is typically relatively pricey. Frankincense oil has been found to have strong anti-inflammatory, and potentially anti-cancer, effects. It also has antiseptic and disinfectant properties and may help boost your immune system to more effectively ward off illness.
What does frankincense smell like? It smells like a combination of pine, lemon, and woody scents.
How to use frankincense essential oil? Frankincense essential oil is used by either inhaling the oil or absorbing it through the skin to the affected area a few times a day you can see drastic improvement quickly. Also, this oil is often used as an overall health tonic, as it offers benefits to all of the body’s systems. One of its star functions is helping the body to optimally absorb nutrients. One ancient way of using frankincense to disinfect is to burn it as incense and rely on the cleansing properties of the smoke.
For best results, dilute one to two drops of frankincense essential oil with 1 to 2 drops of carrier oil, such as coconut or jojoba oil. Carrier oils help reduce the potency of essential oils to prevent your skin from having an adverse reaction. You can also diffuse the oil into the air to get potential aromatic benefits. If you have a diffuser, add 3 to 4 drops and allow it to disperse. If you don’t have a diffuser, you can add 3 to 4 drops to a pot of boiling water. The steam will allow the scent to disperse into the air.
How Does Frankincense Essential Oil Help Fight Certain Types of Cancer?
People throughout history have used frankincense essential oil to improve personal satisfaction and combat various ailments. When it comes to cancer, frankincense essential oil can help fight some specific cells from certain types of cancer. This includes brain, breast, colon, and prostate cancers. Research has suggested that frankincense oil may be a natural way to treat certain kinds of cancer. However, studies are generally done in vitro, or on cells in a laboratory. And no studies have been conducted on people living with cancer. Moreover, some research shows that frankincense oil may be able to distinguish cancer cells from normal ones, killing only the cancerous ones
Immunologist Mahmoud Suhail and researchers from the University of Oklahoma think they understand why:
“Cancer starts when the DNA code within the cell’s nucleus becomes corrupted. 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 from reproducing corrupted DNA codes.”
This oil has monoterpenes, which are compounds that can kill affected cells at the onset, as well as their progression stages, so it is perfect for the treatment of cancer, regardless of the time of its discovery. Frankincense may halt cancer cell growth and cause the cancer cells to shut down.
Dr. Suhail also adds: “There are 17 active compounds that may produce these effects and as a result are now conducting further studies to identify which one is responsible.”
Cancer can be in some measure treated by using frankincense oil. And according to a study, this oil has a chemical compound known as AKBA that is successful at killing cancer cells that have become resistant to chemotherapy, which may make it a potential natural cancer treatment.
Frankincense Essential Oil Possible Side Effects
For oil safety concerns, you should know that frankincense essential oil is extremely well-tolerated, especially compared to prescription medications. It has been used as a remedy for thousands of years without any severe side effects, and the resin has low toxicity. However, it’s always a good idea to follow essential oil safety and ingest just a few drops of any essential oil at a time in the water or other beverage.
The most common side effects reported in scientific studies were nausea and acid reflux. Frankincense is also known to have blood-thinning effects, so anyone who has problems related to blood clotting should not use frankincense essential oil or make sure to discuss frankincense with your healthcare provider before using it.
Final Thoughts on Frankincense Oil
This ancient tree has a rich history of use for thousands of years. Frankincense is used in traditional medicine to treat a wide variety of medical conditions. Includes helping relieve chronic stress and anxiety, reducing pain and inflammation, boosting immunity, and even potentially helping to fight cancer.
Recent research shows that it may have many benefits in modern times as well. Before we can understand the role of this promising but mysterious substance in alternative medicine treatments, much more research is necessary to fully assess the potential benefits and risks.
Talk to your doctor before taking frankincense essential oil because it has a few side effects in pregnant women and people taking prescription medications. They can help you find a dosage that will work for you. They can also help ensure that the essential oil or its extract won’t interfere with any other medications or therapies you may be using.
Also, with oil safety concerns low, it’s a versatile oil that can be combined with several other essential oils and carrier oils that are not known to create any adverse side effects.