The Cancer Healing Power Of Frankincense Essential Oil


Author: Naturally Nicole

Essential oils have long been used by many cultures as a natural and powerful remedy for virtually every disease.  We’re not just talking about the common cold either.  We are talking about serious diseases like cancer.   

Up until very recently, Americans and medical professionals would only put to use two “treatments” for cancer.  Chemotherapy and radiation.  If these “treatments” worked so well, there wouldn’t be a need to look into anything else.  But they do not work as well as they should and can cause pretty serious side effects that can’t always be recovered from. 

Because of chemo and radiation failures, now up to 75% of people in the United States use complementary and alternative medicine on a regular basis, and many of these people do so in order to fight cancer. 

Disclaimer: This post is not intended to be taken as medical advice and is for informational purposes only.  You should always consult with your healthcare professional before starting or stopping any health regimen.  

What Is Frankincense Essential Oil?

Originating from Africa, India, and the Middle East, frankincense oil has been important both socially and economically as an ingredient in incense and perfumes for thousands of years. Frankincense oil is prepared from aromatic hardened gum resins obtained by tapping Boswellia trees. One of the main components of frankincense oil is boswellia acid, a component known to have anti-neoplastic (inhibiting or preventing the growth and spread of tumors or malignant cells) properties. 

Does Frankincense Oil Sound Familiar?

If you are a bible reader, frankincense will ring a bell for you.  The word frankincense appears 17 times in the King James Bible. Though incense is mentioned 113 times and it is often assumed to imply frankincense along with myrrh and other spices.

“And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.” Matthew 2

The traditional gifts of the magi—gold, frankincense and myrrh—may have had symbolic as well as practical value. Researchers and biblical scholars believe the medicinal uses of frankincense were widely recognized.  (Source)

According to the Hebrew Bible, frankincense and myrrh were components of the holy incense ritually burned in Jerusalem’s sacred temples during ancient times. The ancient Greeks and Romans also imported massive amounts of the resins, which they burned as incense, used during cremations and took for a wide variety of ailments.

By this time, medical practitioners had recognized and documented the substances’ antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, prescribing them for everything from indigestion and chronic coughs to hemorrhoids and halitosis. (Source)

Cancer Healing Power Of Frankincense Essential Oil: Evidence

Since essential oils cannot be patented as medication, the pharmaceutical funding for studies proving their medicinal abilities remain weak. However,  despite these obstacles, there are still many studies proving serious promise for frankincense essential oil and cancer cells.  

Study #1Frankincense oil derived from Boswellia carteri induces tumor cell specific cytotoxicity.  The goal of this study was to evaluate frankincense oil for its anti-tumor activity and signaling pathways in bladder cancer cells.  Frankincense oil-induced cell viability was investigated in human bladder cancer J82 cells and immortalized normal bladder urothelial UROtsa cells


  • Frankincense oil appears to distinguish cancerous from normal bladder cells and suppress cancer cell viability. (Meaning that frankincense will not kill healthy cells!)
  • Microarray and bioinformatics analysis proposed multiple pathways that can be activated by frankincense oil to induce bladder cancer cell death.
  • Frankincense oil might represent an alternative intravesical agent for bladder cancer treatment.
  • J82 cells underwent significant morphological changes, such as detaching from tissue culture plates and shrinking beginning within 3 hours following frankincense oil exposure. At 24 hours after treatment, J82 cells completely detached from tissue culture plates whereas untreated controls remained adherent to the plates.
  • View the study here.

Study #2: Boswellia Sacra (Frankincense) essential oil induces tumor cell-specific apoptosis and suppresses tumor aggressiveness in cultured human breast cancer cells.  The objective of this study was to optimize conditions for preparing Boswellea sacra essential oil with the highest biological activity in inducing tumor cell-specific cytotoxicity and suppressing aggressive tumor phenotypes in human breast cancer cells.


  • All three human breast cancer cell lines were sensitive to essential oil treatment with reduced cell viability and elevated cell death
  • The immortalized normal human breast cell line was more resistant to essential oil treatment (meaning that healthy cells were not killed!)
  • Boswellia Sacra (Frankincense) essential oil induces breast cancer cell-specific cytotoxicity.
  • Suppression of cellular network formation and disruption of spheroid development of breast cancer cells by Boswellia sacra essential oil suggest that the essential oil may be effective for advanced breast cancer.
  • View the study  here.

Study #3:  Frankincense essential oil prepared from hydrodistillation of Boswellia sacra gum resins induces human pancreatic cancer cell death in cultures and in a xenograft murine model.  A heterotopic (subcutaneous) human pancreatic cancer xenograft nude mouse model was used to evaluate anti-tumor capability of Fraction IV frankincense essential oil in vivo. Frankincense essential oil-induced tumor cytostatic and cytotoxic activities in animals were assessed by immunohistochemistry.


  • Human pancreatic cancer cells were sensitive to Fractions III and IV (containing higher molecular weight compounds) treatment with suppressed cell viability and increased cell death.
  • Boswellia Sacra essential oil Fraction IV exhibited anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic activities against pancreatic tumors in the heterotopic xenograft mouse model.
  • All fractions of frankincense essential oil from Boswellia sacra are capable of suppressing viability and inducing apoptosis of a panel of human pancreatic cancer cell lines.
  • crude essential oil prepared from hydrodistillation of Boswellia sacra gum resins might be a useful alternative therapeutic agent for treating patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma, an aggressive cancer with poor prognosis.
  • View the study here.

These are just a few of the many studies available for researching.  With this overwhelming evidence, more studies should be done on the effect of Frankincense essential oil and how we can use it widely all over the world to safely and effectively treat cancer.

Everyday Uses Of Frankincense Essential Oil

Believe it or not, we all contain cancer cells in our bodies.  But with strong immune systems and good health, these cancer cells don’t  have the opportunity to replicate and become an issue for us in the future.  Now,  I know 100% of us would love to prevent cancer cell growth before it ever turns into an issue.

But it’s important to keep in mind one thing.  Don’t think of preventing cancer as a main goal if you do not currently have cancer.  It’s not healthy either to worry and stress about the “what-if’s” and “could-be’s” of the world.  Instead of worrying and stressing, try just incorporating frankincense oil and other beneficial essential oils into your life in as many ways as possible.  Frankincense has TONS of great uses.  I really think you’ll love it!

  • Stress Relief: Put a few drops in a warm bath or add frankincense to an oil diffuser or vaporizer to lessen anxiety or just promote a relaxing atmosphere in your home.
  • Household Cleaning: Frankincense oil is an antiseptic, meaning it will help eliminate bacteria and viruses from your home and to clean indoor spaces. Add a few drops to your natural surface cleaners!
  • Teeth and Mouth Support:  Look for natural oral care products that contain frankincense oil or even make your own mouthwash or toothpaste!  The oil can help prevent dental health issues like tooth decay, bad breath, cavities, or other oral infections.
  • Skin Care: Frankincense essential oil is a powerful astringent, meaning it helps protect skin cells. It can be used to help reduce acne blemishes, prevent wrinkles, tighten firm and lift! Just add a few drops of essential oil to your favorite carrier oil like  jojoba oil, coconut oil, hempseed oil or almond oil.
  • Cold & Flu Relief: Next time you have a respiratory infection from a cold or flu, use frankincense essential oil to help provide relief from coughing. It can help eliminate phlegm in the lungs as well as reduce inflammation in the nasal passages making breathing easier.   Add a few drops to a cloth and inhale for best relief.
  • Stretch Marks & Scars: Frankincense oil can help with wound healing and may decrease the appearance of scars.
  • Immune Support: Frankincense oil has immune supporting abilities which may help destroy dangerous viruses and bacteria.

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