Essential Oil Safety, Emotional Balance, Hospital & Hospice, Physical Wellness, Product Information, Skin Care, Subtle/Energetic
Frankincense and Cancer — Make Educated Choices
By Caryn Gehlmann
Of all the essential oils we stock, the one that gets the most attention is frankincense. Recently, we’ve been hearing claims that frankincense cures cancer. This is a really important topic so we want to share with you what current research shows regarding frankincense and cancer.
First, let’s get a little background. Where does frankincense essential oil come from?
Frankincense is derived from sap found in trees of the Boswellia genus which are commonly found in Middle Eastern and African countries. We stock Frankincense Somalia and Frankincense Ethiopia and both options have a warm, sweet, balsamic, woody aroma. They are interchangeable in use since they are both good for stress, skin care, meditation, and as immune stimulants.
Frankincense has a long history and for centuries people have used it to combat various ailments. However, we’ve noticed that many people are confused about the properties of frankincense essential oil. The ingredient in frankincense that has been touted by many as a cancer-fighting agent is boswellic acid, however, boswellic acid is too heavy a molecule to be volatile. So it’s important to know that boswellic acid is not found in frankincense essential oil.
What are research studies showing regarding frankincense and cancer?
Research is constantly being updated, but the research studies to date are in vitro research, which means it was conducted in a petri dish. In time there may be more studies done on actual cancer patients but for now, it appears the research is still inclusive. The article by Robert Tisserand, Frankincense Oil and Cancer in Perspective, does a great job of breaking down current research in a way that’s easy to understand.
Does this mean that using frankincense is a bad idea when you have cancer?
The key is to speak to your oncologist about the use of frankincense, or any other essential oil for that matter. There are many types and subtypes of cancer as well as different stages of the disease, all which require different treatments. So you have to approach your care based on your own individual needs. Another issue to research and address with your doctor is whether it’s safe to use essential oils during chemotherapy and radiation.
Many cancer patients tell us they appreciate frankincense because it promotes feelings of relaxation, peace, and overall wellness. Frankincense essential oil is also known to help with inflammation and to provide immune support which can definitely be helpful when your body is dealing with cancer.
You also want to use care in the type of application method you choose when using frankincense. Orally ingesting frankincense essential oil or applying it undiluted (neat) on your skin can have negative consequences to your health. Instead, we provide a list of safe application methods for you to discuss with your doctor.
When it comes to your health it’s important to be well educated on your choices. Hopefully, we’ve shed some light on frankincense and cancer. We’re definitely keeping an eye on the latest research, so you can sign-up for our newsletter to stay up-to-date on our findings. If you have a question for us and want help navigating your choices, please contact us. We’re here to help you!