• News
    • Archive
  • Celebrities
  • Finance
  • Crypto
  • Entertainment
  • Travel
  • Health
  • Others

Frankincense For Skin Cancer - Learn More About The Famous King Of Oils


If you have read a few articles about this oil, you might have also thought of using frankincense for skin cancer.

Frankincense, also known as the "king of oils," is derived from sap found in trees of the Boswellia genus.

It is most commonly found in Boswellia sacra trees and these trees are common in Middle Eastern countries like Oman and Yemen, as well as African countries like Somalia and Ethiopia.

This sap is thought to have a variety of medicinal properties, making it a common ingredient in many herbal and alternative therapies.

According to some studies, frankincense oil may be a natural way to treat certain types of cancer.

COPYRIGHT_WI: Published on https://washingtonindependent.com/ebv/frankincense-for-skin-cancer/ by Rian Mcconnell on 2022-08-26T10:31:28.104Z

More research is needed to determine whether this is a viable treatment option, as well as whether it has any short - or long-term side effects.

Frankincense Facts

The aromatic gum resin frankincense, also known as olibanum, contains a volatile oil that is used in incense and perfumes.

Boswellia trees
Boswellia trees

Frankincense was valued in ancient times for its use in worship and as a medicine, and it is still used as an incense resin, particularly in Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches.

The resin is also valued in folk and Eastern medicine and is used in aromatherapy and skin care products.

Frankincense is derived from Boswellia trees found in Somalia, Yemen's Hadhramaut region, Oman, and parts of India and Pakistan.

Incisions are made in the tree trunks, and the frankincense exudes as a milky juice that hardens when exposed to air.

The resin is typically sourced from farmed trees in East Africa and parts of the Arabian Peninsula, though wild trees are occasionally used.

Several Boswellia species, including B. papyrifera, are threatened in their native ranges by habitat loss, cattle overgrazing, beetle infestations, and altered fire regimes.

The ancient Egyptians used frankincense in their religious ceremonies.

It was part of the Jewish incense used in the sanctuary and is mentioned frequently in the Pentateuch.

In Christian tradition, frankincense was one of the three gifts given to the infant Jesus by the Magi.

Pliny the Elder described the properties of fine frankincense and mentioned it as an antidote to hemlock poisoning.

Avicenna, an Iranian physician, recommended it for a variety of bodily ailments.

It was used as both an internal and external remedy in China and other parts of the East.


Melanoma is a deadly form of malignancy and according to the World Health Organization 132,000 new cases of melanoma are diagnosed worldwide each year.

A view of Melanoma on the skin
A view of Melanoma on the skin

Surgical resection and chemo/drug treatments opted for early and late stage of melanoma respectively, however detrimental post surgical and chemotherapy consequences are inevitable.

Noticeably melanoma drug treatments are associated with liver injuries such as hepatitis and cholestasis which are very common.

Alleviation of these clinical manifestations with better treatment options would enhance prognosis status and patients survival.

Natural products which induce cytotoxicity with minimum side effects are of interest to achieve high therapeutic efficiency.

To avoid surgical consequences, clinicians prefer chemotherapy as a first-line treatment option.

High doses of chemotherapy are prescribed depending on the stage of melanoma, but the system's drug tolerance is questionable.

The traditional chemotherapy dosing schedule is used to balance toxicity and efficacy, but the severe side effects, especially hepatotoxicity, limit the administration of most anticancer agents.

The liver is the vital organ responsible for drug detoxification; however, repeated drug exposure causes cholestatic hepatitis, progression to fibrosis and cirrhosis, malignant transformation, sinusoidal obstruction, and fulminant hepatic failure.

Melanoma treatment has been linked to liver damage.

WHO approved the well-known target agents ipilimumab and nivolumab to treat various stages of melanoma.

Research found that giving both ipilimumab and nivolumab to 59-year-old stage IV melanoma patients causes severe hepatitis and an increase in liver injury-related serum biomarkers.

This evidence highlights the critical need for a safer alternative melanoma therapeutic regimen.

Frankincense Essential Oil For Melanoma Cancer

Frankincense essential oil (FEO), a folk medicine used to treat a variety of ailments, has been shown to suppress melanoma cancer and alleviate hepatotoxicity.

African-American Woman putting essential oil on her arm
African-American Woman putting essential oil on her arm

Frankincense essential oil inhibits the growth of human melanoma cancer cells while also protecting the liver from hepatotoxicity.

Dr Murtaza Tambuwala of the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, a member of the Biomedical Sciences Research Institute, and colleagues from Huddersfield University published a study in the journal Oncotarget that found that using Frankincense essential oil inhibited the growth of melanoma in mice grafted with human melanoma tumors.

Natural products (extracts or pure compounds) from various sources (plants, marine organisms, microorganisms, etc.) are being investigated for their ability to act as anti-tumor agents and have been shown to have structural diversity and chemical complexity, as well as modulating several cellular signaling pathways.

Natural products are said to activate anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, and/or anti-metastatic responses, as well as evade multidrug resistance.

Vinblastine and paclitaxel are well-known anticancer agents derived from plants.

Frankincense extract has traditionally been used in China to improve blood circulation.

For thousands of years, it has been used as an antiarthritic in Ayurvedic medicine in India.

A frankincense extract was found to induce apoptosis and prolong survival in a rat glioma model.

A boswellia serrata resin extract was shown in a human clinical study to reduce cerebral edema and have potential anti-cancer activity in patients irradiated for brain tumors.

Boswellia essential oil, a distillation of frankincense gum resins, is one of the most commonly used essential oils in aromatherapy, and it has been shown to be a potent anti-cancer agent in breast and pancreatic cancer models.

Previously, heavy terpenes extracted from frankincense were shown to have anti-cancer activity in a breast cancer model.

This evidence strongly suggest that frankincense has anti-tumor potential; however, the efficacy of frankincense essential oil on melanoma has not yet been reported.

Frankincense Benefits

Frankincense has a woody, spicy aroma and can be inhaled, absorbed through the skin, or taken orally.

A hand writing the word Benefits
A hand writing the word Benefits

Frankincense appears to have health benefits in traditional Ayurvedic medicine, ranging from improved arthritis and digestion to reduced asthma and better oral health.

It may even aid in the treatment of certain types of cancer.

Here are some scientifically proven frankincense benefits.

Frankincense has anti-inflammatory properties that may aid in the reduction of arthritis-related joint inflammation.


Researchers believe that frankincense can inhibit the release of leukotrienes, which are inflammatory compounds.

A woman holding her wrist
A woman holding her wrist

Terpenes, particularly boswellic acid, appear to be the most potent anti-inflammatory compounds in frankincense.

One 2014 study found that both oral and topical boswellic acid reduced cartilage loss and joint lining inflammation in mice with osteoarthritis.

In humans, frankincense extract may aid in the relief of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.

In a 2018 study, frankincense was found to be more effective than a placebo at reducing osteoarthritis pain and improving mobility.

However, the review concluded that the majority of studies were of poor quality and that more research is required.

Participants in a subsequent study took 169.33 mg of boswellia extract twice daily for 120 days.

The supplement reduced inflammation, joint pain, and stiffness in people with mild to moderate knee osteoarthritis, with no serious side effects.

Another study discovered that applying oliban oil, another name for frankincense, to the skin for 6 weeks reduced osteoarthritis pain.

However, participants' ability to perform daily tasks or participate in sports did not improve significantly.

Frankincense in combination with other supplements may also be beneficial.

A 2018 study discovered that taking a 350 mg curcuminoid and 150 mg boswellic acid supplement three times per day for 12 weeks reduced osteoarthritis pain.

The combination was more effective than either curcumin alone or a placebo.

Similarly, taking 5 g of methylsulfonylmethane and 7.2 mg of boswellic acids daily for 60 days was more effective at improving pain and function than taking glucosamine sulfate, a common osteoarthritis supplement.

Researchers induced arthritis in rats and then treated them with 180 mg/kg of boswellia extract to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

They discovered that frankincense reduced inflammation but was not as effective as conventional medications.

More research is needed in general, particularly for rheumatoid arthritis.

Gut Function

The anti-inflammatory properties of frankincense may also help your gut function properly.

A woman touching her stomach
A woman touching her stomach

In a 2017 study, frankincense was found to reduce abdominal pain, bloating, and even associated depression and anxiety in people with irritable bowel syndrome when combined with other herbal medicines (IBS).

Another study found that taking 250 mg boswellia tablets daily for 6 months improved symptoms in people with IBS.

This resin appears to be especially effective at alleviating the symptoms of ulcerative colitis, one of the most common inflammatory gut conditions.

A study discovered that taking boswellia extract daily for four weeks improved symptoms in people with mild ulcerative colitis who were in remission.

In rats with colitis, Boswellia extract had anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.

However, most studies were small or did not involve humans. As a result, more research is required before drawing firm conclusions.


For centuries, traditional medicine has used frankincense to treat bronchitis and asthma.

A woman with asthma reaching for her pump
A woman with asthma reaching for her pump

According to research, its constituents may inhibit the production of leukotrienes, which cause the bronchial muscles to constrict in asthma.

Th2 cytokines, which can cause inflammation and mucus overproduction in asthmatics, may also be affected by frankincense.

During a 4-week study, people who took a daily supplement of 500 mg boswellia extract in addition to their standard asthma treatment were able to take fewer inhalations of their regular medications.

Furthermore, when researchers administered 200 mg of a supplement containing frankincense and the South Asian fruit bael (Aegle marmelos), they discovered that the supplement was more effective than a placebo in reducing asthma symptoms.

Another study found that boswellic acid, a component of frankincense resin, improved asthma symptoms in mice.

Oral Health

Frankincense may aid in the improvement of oral hygiene and the prevention of gum disease.

A man having an oral check up
A man having an oral check up

Its boswellic acids appear to have strong antibacterial properties, which may aid in the prevention and treatment of oral infections.

Frankincense extract was effective against Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, a bacteria that causes aggressive gum disease, in one test-tube study.

Another small study had participants chew frankincense gum for 5 hours, with saliva samples showing decreased numbers of microbes each hour.

According to the authors, frankincense may reduce sources of infection in the mouth.

However, more research on the effect of frankincense on oral health is required.

Anticancer Properties

According to research, frankincense may have anticancer properties.

Cancer cells
Cancer cells

According to in vitro research, the boswellic acids it contains may prevent cancer cells from spreading.

According to a research review, boswellic acids may also prevent the formation of DNA in cancerous cells, which may help limit cancer growth.

So far, in vitro studies indicate that frankincense may be effective against breast, prostate, pancreatic, skin, and colon cancer cells.

It may also aid in the reduction of side effects associated with cancer treatment.

In one study of people being treated for brain tumors, taking 4,500 mg of boswellic acid extract daily helped reduce brain edema (fluid accumulation in the brain) while also lowering participants' regular medication dose.

However, more human research is required.

People Also Ask

What Are The Benefits Of Frankincense For The Skin?

The ability of frankincense to strengthen skin and improve tone, elasticity, and defense mechanisms against bacteria or blemishes is one of its many benefits. Anecdotal evidence suggests that frankincense has anti-inflammatory and even "tissue remodeling" properties.

What Healing Properties Does Frankincense Have?

There has recently been an increase in interest in natural dietary and therapeutic preparations used as dietary supplements. Frankincense is one of them. This Eastern traditional medicine is thought to have anti-inflammatory, expectorant, antiseptic, and even anxiolytic and anti-neurotic properties.

Is Frankincense A Healing Oil?

Substances found in frankincense may have a variety of health benefits. Controlling bleeding, hastening wound healing, improving oral health, combating inflammatory conditions like arthritis, and improving uterine health are among them.


Findings strongly suggest that FEO has the potential to be a novel therapeutic agent for the targeted treatment of melanoma cancer because it kills melanoma cells while not harming normal cells.

FEO has the greatest potential for preventing hepatic injury.

Research is still in its early stages and has a long way from actually using the herbal remedy in the treatment of melanoma cancer.

Share: Twitter | Facebook | Linkedin

About The Authors

Rian Mcconnell

Rian Mcconnell - Rian is a Villanova University graduate who was born in DuBois, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia with a medical degree. His residency was at Thomas Jefferson and its associated Wills Eye Hospital, and he finished his education with fellowships in cataract and corneal surgery at the University of Connecticut. He has a vast experience in ophthalmic surgery, with a focus on cataract surgery, corneal transplantation, and laser refractive procedures. He serves on the board of Vision Health International, an agency that provides eye care and surgery to indigent patients in Central and South America, in addition to his surgical practice.

Recent Articles

No articles found.