Is the essential oil of frankincense (Boswellia Serrata) the best natural cancer fighter?

We live in a peculiar time when, according to the WHO (World Health Organization), there are less than 3 percent healthy people. Approximately 25% of the population is dying of cancer and, despite efforts and spent resources, these statistics are still worsening in many countries. Almost everyone in the family or among their friends has someone who suffers from this serious illness. It is not surprising that many doctors and experts, based on thousands of years of experience and many scientific studies, consider essential oil of frankincense as a substance potentially able to fight cancer.

The beautiful story of the three kings who brought the incarnated Jesus frankincense is widely known. In the Bible, frankincense is mentioned in more than thirty places.  At that time, two thousand years ago, essential oils were referred to as medicine of kings. Their price was often higher than the price of gold and precious stones. Frankincense was considered valuable, precious, and even sacred. This rating has been retained to the present day.

Because frankincense can help with reaction changes in immune system responses that lead to inflammation and swelling, it is considered to be a potential natural helper in the cancer progression. Boswellia Serrata frankincense extracts are often so powerful that they are now regarded by many as comparable to NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs).

The frankincense (boswellia) is a genus of trees containing a fragrant resin that has been used since ancient times for many medical purposes. Frankincenses are commonly found in India, Oman and North Africa. The resin extract has traditionally been used in the treatment of arthritis, ulcerative colitis, cough, ulcers, asthma, and to improve disorders of the digestive system.

Aromatherapy is a science that deals extensively with the effects of essential oils. Only in the US there are more than 17,000 scientific studies. The largest number of studies is carried out on essential oils of frankincense (boswellia). Many studies have confirmed that boswelia acid shows antitumor activity in bladder, cervical and other cancer cell lines, as well as anti-inflammatory activity.

In vitro and animal studies have shown that boswelia acid has anti-inflammatory effects (1) and anti-tumor effects (2). Anti-inflammatory effects are due to the non-competitive inhibition of 5-lipoxygenase, a key enzyme in the biosynthesis of leukotrienes, which play a major role in inflammatory diseases (3).

Side effects of using essential oil from frankincense are not known.

Data from clinical studies suggest that bosweli acid has helped to improve both dyspnoea and seizure in asthmatic patients. [4] It also helped to improve symptoms in patients with ulcerative colitis [3].

Among the greatest benefits of frankincense is support in reducing joint pain and arthritis, reducing the incidence of inflammation, supporting cancer, helping to speed up the treatment of infections and skin diseases, and potentially helping to prevent autoimmune diseases.

Official cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation are often associated with strong side effects of this treatment. For example, patients with brain cancer often have irritation of brain swelling. By default, these people are given a chemical drug - dexamethasone and other corticosteroids to manage these swellings. Complications in this procedure are significant. Many people today suffer from toxic overdoses from drug use. Many have experienced symptoms such as headaches, migraines, blurred vision and many others.

In 2011, the journal Cancer published 44 subjects of the clinical trial evaluating how swelling of the brain occurred after using incense (9).

Amazingly, 60% of patients experienced a 75% (or greater) reduction in brain swelling.  These results were so significant that scientists urged the medical community to consider prescribing this strong essential oil instead of steroids in cancer patients who were enrolled in radiation therapy.

We hope that this information will be spread both to the public and to professionals in the field of cancer treatment. We can only think of what could happen if frankincense was used by more people as a help with natural cancer treatment.

In a study (10) published by Phytotherapy Research, scientists have found that frankincense can significantly boost the immune system. The two main ways of doing this are to proliferate lymphocytes (white blood cells that are the primary defensive element of the body) and prevent the spread of inflammation (which is probably the primary risk factor for most chronic diseases).

It may also explain why frankincense is often effective in aiding autoimmune diseases such as bronchial asthma, Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis and ulcerative colitis.

Many experiences reaffirm us that the natural means that humanity has been using for millennia could play a much more important role in modern medicine than it is today in real terms both in prevention and in treatment. I am convinced that essential oil of frankincense is one of the most valuable gifts that nature offers to us.

Ing. Jiří Černota


  1. Dahmen U, Gu YL, Dirsch O, et al: Boswellic acid, a potent anti-inflammatory drug, inhibits rejection to the same extent as high dose steroids. Transplant Proc 33:539-541, 2001. 
  2. Frank MB, Yang Q, Osban J, et al: Frankincense oil derived from Boswellia carteri induces tumor cell specific cytotoxicity. BMC Complement Altern Med 9:6, 2009.
  3. Gupta I, Parihar A, Malhotra P, et al: Effects of Boswellia serrata gum resin in patients with ulcerative colitis. Eur J Med Res 2:37-43, 1997.
  4. Gupta I, Gupta V, Parihar A, et al: Effects of Boswellia serrata gum resin in patients with bronchial asthma: Results of a double-blind, placebo-controlled, 6-week clinical study. Eur J Med Res 3:511-514, 1998.
  5. Chande N, MacDonald JK, McDonald JW: Interventions for treating microscopic colitis: A Cochrane Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Functional Bowel Disorders Review Group systematic review of randomized trials. Am J Gastroenterol 104:235-241, 2009.
  6. Chrubasik JE, Roufogalis BD, Chrubasik S: Evidence of effectiveness of herbal antiinflammatory drugs in the treatment of painful osteoarthritis and chronic low back pain. Phytother Res 21:675-683, 2007.
  7. Frankincense Effective in Killing Ovarian Cancer Cells, Study, by Stephen Adkins, University Herald; December 20, 2013
  8. Researchers discover cancer-killing properties of frankincense in ovarian cancer - Medical News; December 20, 2103

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