Reaserch Update: Frankincense Essential Oil Causes Death of Breast Cancer Cells

What a great research update! Frankincense essential oil has demonstrated ability to kill cancer cells in every organ cell line on which it has been tested, while causing no harm to healthy cells. Now, Frankincense essential oil has been show to specifically disrupt the development of breast cancer cells, with a note in the research abstract that “the essential oil may be effective for advanced breast cancer”.*

Frankincense

Frankincense resin, from which the essential oil is distilled.

In research published in BMC Alternative and Complimentary Medicine, essential oil steam distilled from Boswellia sacra tree resin was used. Frankincense is the dried resin commonly from one of three Boswellia tree species, the others being Boswellia carteri and Boswellia seratta.

Previous studies showing anti-cancer properties of Frankincense essential oil have utilized both carteri and seratta Frankincense types (the choice of species has not been mentioned in any of the research abstracts, as far as we’re aware). For this reason, we’re fairly certain the three Frankincense essential oils should be interchangeable for this potential therapeutic action.

Boswellia trees, source of Frankincense resin.

Boswellia Trees, from which Frankincense resin is ethically harvested.

The research also notes that the essential oil distilled under conditions which extract a greater amount of higher molecular weight constituents was more effective at inhibiting cancerous cell growth.  We actually carry CO2-distilled essential oils of both the Carteri and Seratta types (as well as a blend of the two), specifically because the CO2 distillation process is known to extract these higher molecular weight constituents into the oil. (You may see all our Frankincense offerings here).

In fact, Frankincense CO2 was the first of the CO2-distilled oils to be broadly accepted by ‘medical’ aromatherapists, who traditionally held that only steam distilled extracts be called ‘essential oils’.

In summary, the addition of Frankincense essential oil to the cell medium caused disruption of cancerous cell growth, but had limited effect on ‘immortal’ healthy cells. As the research abstract notes: “All three human breast cancer cell lines were sensitive to essential oil treatment with reduced cell viability and elevated cell death, whereas the immortalized normal human breast cell line was more resistant to essential oil treatment.”

You may read the entire abstract at PubMed.Gov: “Boswellia sacra essential oil induces tumor cell-specific apoptosis and suppresses tumor aggressiveness in cultured human breast cancer cells“. Should you like to indulge in further reading, use the search tool on the site and search for “frankincense cancer”. You will be presented with a long list of research studies which appear to confirm that Frankincense essential oil may hold great promise as a potent cancer therapy.

* These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.se

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4 Responses to Reaserch Update: Frankincense Essential Oil Causes Death of Breast Cancer Cells

  1. Susan Doucette says:

    I was wondering what direction should one massage for the lymph nodes and breasts/ Is there any better way like for example: clockwise or outward?

    • Eric@Ananda says:

      Hi,

      No, it’s important simply to get the blood flow there, and the essential oil applied. The two aspects together is of most benefit.

      Thanks!

  2. Lori says:

    What is the recomendation for applying frankincense. Dilution rate, etc…

    • Eric@Ananda says:

      Hi Lori,

      Well, there is no ‘recommended’ protocol per se. However, It can be applied ‘neat’ – though some MAY find a skin sensitivity to it – if so, dilute to 10% in any carrier oil. Apply 2-3x daily.

      We do have a blend, called ‘Graceful Goddess’, created by a naturopath here working with breast cancer (successfully) who used it, rather than Frankincense alone. There are many oils that have been researched positively for their anti-cancer activity, and the blend includes Bay Laurel – which has been noted by Dr. Kurt Schnaubelt, America’s leading medical aromatherapist, for clearing lymph nodes. Alternating application between the two may be best. Email me directly at ecech@anandaapothecary.com for more discussion.

      All the Best,
      Eric

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