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What Are The Health Benefits Of Frankincense Essential Oil?

Written by:

Obi Obadike

Obi Obadike

Celebrity Fitness & Nutrition Expert, CFT, SFN, M.S. Founder & CEO – Ethical Inc.
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What are the health benefits of frankincense essential oil? One of the health benefits of essential oils frankincense is improving arthritis while reducing joint inflammation. The diverse ways you can consume frankincense is either inhaled, applied on the skin, or ingested in a supplement. Frankincense and myrrh have tremendous anti-inflammatory properties.

There was a 2014 study where oral and topical boswelic acid reduced cartilage loss and joint lining inflammation in osteoarthritis in mice. Research studies showed that frankincense extract can reduce symptoms in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. There was a 2018 review study where it showed that frankincense essential oil was more effective than the placebo group.

What are the health benefits of Frankincense essential oil? Photo Credit: iStock- Scio21

May Help Your Gut

Frankincense can help improve your gut based on some research studies. There was a 2017 study that found that frankincense improved stomach pain, bloating and improved irritable bowel syndrome also known as IBS.

There was another 4-week study where the research group took Boswellia extract daily. And the result of the study is it improved their ulcerative colitis.

Another study showed that 250mg tablets of boswelia taken daily for 6 months improved the symptoms in people with IBS. Most of these studies done were small. So more research needs to be done to 100% validate what it can do when it comes to improving your gut.

It May help Asthma

Thousands of years ago, our ancestors would use frankincense to improve bronchitis and asthma. There was a small study where people took a daily supplement of 500mg of bosweila extract while taking their normal asthma medication. The result of the study showed they were able to take fewer medications for their normal asthma and this study ran for about 4 weeks.

Another research study showed where a group was given 200mg of a supplement made from Frankincense. The research group showed it was more effective than the placebo at reducing asthma symptoms. And lastly another study done in mice showed that their asthma improved when they were given boswelic acid. Boswelic acid is a component of frankincense resin.

All of these are small studies and larger studies need to be done to really confirm these results, but it does give promise on what it can potentially do.

AntiCancer Effects

Some research studies have shown it may have some anticancer properties. Test tube studies have shown that frankincense can fight breast, prostate, pancreatic, skin and colon cancer cells. The compounds in frankincense may help to kill cancer cells.

There was a study done on helping to relieve brain tumors in a research group. They took 4500mg of boswelic acid extract daily and it helped reduce brain edema which is an accumulation of fluid in the brain. And they did this while lowering the regular medication dose of these people.

But again, more research needs to be done on humans and longer studies to 100% validate these health effects.

The Bottom Line is the health benefits of frankincense essential oil is improving arthritis, joint inflammation. And there have been small studies where it has shown it can improve gut health and asthma. Longer studies need to be done on gut health and asthma to 100% validate this but it gives exciting potential promise on these health issues.

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References

  1. Di Pierro F, Simonetti G, Petruzzi A, Bertuccioli A, Botta L, Bruzzone MG, Cuccarini V, Fariselli L, Lamperti E. A novel lecithin-based delivery form of Boswellic acids as complementary treatment of radiochemotherapy-induced cerebral edema in patients with glioblastoma multiforme: a longitudinal pilot experience. J Neurosurg Sci. 2019 Jun;63(3):286-291. doi: 10.23736/S0390-5616.19.04662-9. PMID: 31096725.
  2. Chen Y, Zhou C, Ge Z, Liu Y, Liu Y, Feng W, Li S, Chen G, Wei T. Composition and potential anticancer activities of essential oils obtained from myrrh and frankincense. Oncol Lett. 2013 Oct;6(4):1140-1146. doi: 10.3892/ol.2013.1520. Epub 2013 Aug 8. PMID: 24137478; PMCID: PMC3796379.
  3. Ranjbarnejad T, Saidijam M, Moradkhani S, Najafi R. Methanolic extract of Boswellia serrata exhibits anti-cancer activities by targeting microsomal prostaglandin E synthase-1 in human colon cancer cells. Prostaglandins Other Lipid Mediat. 2017 Jul;131:1-8. doi: 10.1016/j.prostaglandins.2017.05.003. Epub 2017 May 24. PMID: 28549801.
  4. Parr, C., Ali, A.Y. Boswellia frereana suppresses HGF-mediated breast cancer cell invasion and migration through inhibition of c-Met signalling. J Transl Med 16, 281 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12967-018-1660-y
  5. Chen Y, Zhou C, Ge Z, Liu Y, Liu Y, Feng W, Li S, Chen G, Wei T. Composition and potential anticancer activities of essential oils obtained from myrrh and frankincense. Oncol Lett. 2013 Oct;6(4):1140-1146. doi: 10.3892/ol.2013.1520. Epub 2013 Aug 8. PMID: 24137478; PMCID: PMC3796379.
  6. Yugandhar P, Rao KM, Sengupta K. A novel herbal composition containing extracts of Boswellia serrata gum resin and Aegle marmelos fruit alleviates symptoms of asthma in a placebo controlled double-blind clinical study. Phytother Res. 2018 Jan;32(1):140-150. doi: 10.1002/ptr.5963. Epub 2017 Dec 6. PMID: 29210124.
  7. Grover, A.K., Samson, S.E. Benefits of antioxidant supplements for knee osteoarthritis: rationale and reality. Nutr J 15, 1 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12937-015-0115-z
  8. Al-Yasiry AR, Kiczorowska B. Frankincense–therapeutic properties. Postepy Hig Med Dosw (Online). 2016 Jan 4;70:380-91. doi: 10.5604/17322693.1200553. PMID: 27117114.

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