Five top benefits of using Frankincense Essential Oil.
Frankincense, also known as olibanum, is made from the resin of the Boswellia tree. It typically grows in the dry, mountainous regions of India, Africa and the Middle East.
Frankincense comes from the dried sap or resin of this tree using steam distillation to obtain the essential oil.
Frankincense is rich in Alpha-pinene which is a substance that induces a calming and stabilizing emotion. Frankincense can prevent the release of leukotrienes which may reduce inflammatory responses. Frankincense also contains terpenes and boswellic acids which appear to have strong antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Used in Ayurvedic medicine (Ayurvedic medicine (“Ayurveda” for short) is one of the world's oldest holistic (“whole-body”) healing systems. ... It's based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the mind, body, and spirit. Its main goal is to promote good health, not fight disease.) for hundreds of years, frankincense appears to offer certain health benefits, from improving arthritis and digestion to reducing asthma and better oral health. It may even help fight certain types of cancer.
Here are 5 science-backed benefits of frankincense.
- Compounds in frankincense may help fight cancer cells and tumours.
- Frankincense may help reduce the likelihood of asthma attacks and relieve asthma symptoms, such as shortness of breath and wheezing.
- Frankincense has anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
- These anti-inflammatory properties may also help reduce symptoms of Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis in your gut.
- Frankincense’s antiseptic qualities may be used for oral health to help conditions such gingivitis, toothaches and cavities, mouth ulcers and bad breath. Frankincense extract or powder may be used to help fight gum disease and maintain oral health.
Although many of these studies were small and not robust in design, they showed promising results to warrant further research allowing for sounder conclusions. Additional human research would strengthen the findings.
1. May Fight Certain Cancers
Frankincense may help fight certain cancers or tumours.
Some test-tube research shows that frankincense oil may be able to differentiate cancer cells from normal cells, killing only the cancerous cells.(1)
This study showed that people getting treated for brain tumours took 4.2 grams of frankincense or a placebo each day, 60% of the group taking frankincense experienced reduced brain oedema (an accumulation of fluid in the brain) compared to 26% of the group taking the placebo.(2)
Frankincense contains boswellic acids which might prevent cancer cells from spreading. (8,9)
2. Improves Asthma
Traditional medicine has used frankincense to treat respiratory conditions such as bronchitis and asthma for centuries.
In a study when researchers gave people 200 mg of a supplement made from frankincense and the South Asian fruit bael (Aegle marmelos), it was reported that the supplement was more effective than a placebo at reducing asthma symptoms.(10)
The compounds of Frankincense may prevent the production of leukotrienes, this causes constriction of your bronchial muscles when experiencing an asthma attack.(11)
Also, a daily frankincense dose of 1.4 mg per pound of body weight (3 mg per kg) helped reduce asthma attacks and improved lung capacity in people with chronic asthma. (12)
A small study in people with asthma reported 70% of participants described improvements in symptoms, such as shortness of breath and wheezing when receiving 300 mg of frankincense three times daily for six weeks.(13)
3. Positive effects on arthritis
Frankincense has anti-inflammatory effects that may help reduce joint inflammation caused by osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. This may improve the management of pain associated with inflammatory problems.
The boswellic acids in Frankincense, may be as effective as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are and with fewer side effects. (14)
One review found, frankincense reduced pain and improved mobility in a consist manner more effective than a placebo. (15)
In this study Frankincense helped decrease morning stiffness and the amount of NSAID medication needed in people with rheumatoid arthritis. (16)
In humans, frankincense extracts may help reduce symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis (17)
Studies has shown that frankincense can prevent the release of leukotrienes, which are compounds that may cause inflammation such as that in arthritis. (18,19)
The strongest anti-inflammatory compounds in frankincense are terpenes and boswellic acids. (20,21)
Participants were given 1 gram per day of frankincense extract for eight weeks in a study period and they reported less joint swelling and pain than those given a placebo. Also they were able to walk further and their range of movement improved more than those in the placebo group. (22)
4. May Improve Gut Function
Frankincense’s anti-inflammatory properties may also help your gut function normally.
A study gave people with chronic diarrhea either 1,200 mg of boswellia — the tree resin frankincense — or a placebo daily. After six weeks, more participants in the boswellia group had cured their diarrhea compared to those in the placebo (23)
This resin appears particularly effective at reducing symptoms of two inflammatory gut diseases: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis,
A study where the participants were given 900–1,050 mg of frankincense daily for six weeks proved as effective as a pharmaceutical in the treatment of chronic ulcerative colitis — and there were less side effects in this group. (24,25)
On small study in people with Crohn's disease, demonstrated frankincense extract was as effective at reducing symptoms as the pharmaceutical drug mesalazine.(26)
5. Maintains Oral Health
Frankincense may help prevent bad breath, toothaches, cavities and mouth sores.
Using a test-tube study, frankincense extract was effective against Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, a bacteria which causes harmful gum disease (27)
A study of high school students with gingivitis were given a gum to chew containing either 100 mg of frankincense extract or 200 mg of frankincense powder or a placebo for two weeks. Both gums containing Frankincense were more effective than a placebo at reducing gingivitis. (28)
Frankincense contains boswellic acids which appear to have strong antibacterial properties, that may be effective in preventing and treating oral infections.(29)