New Research Shows Frankincense Natural Essential Oil Induces Cancer Cell Death

Despite the developed medicine procedures and treatments and various therapeutic options, the overall 5-year survival for pancreatic cancer patients is less than 5%. Apparently, this cancer type is the 4th most common cause of cancer-related deaths all around the world.

Ayurveda, as well as the Chinese medicine, have used gum resins from Boswellia species, or frankincense, as an effective ingredient in the treatment of numerous health conditions.


Studies have found that this oil effectively regenerates bones, cartilage, and discs. Moreover, therapeutic-grade frankincense oil includes boswellic acids, which have powerful anti-inflammatory properties and are extremely useful in the prevention and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis.

Namely, a recent study has shown that frankincense chemical extracts and essential oil prepared from Boswellia species gum resins have a strong anti-neoplastic activity, and powerful anti-cancer properties.

Researchers in this study aimed at identification of the optimal condition for preparing frankincense essential oil that has strong anti-tumor properties, and to evaluate its effects in cultured human pancreatic cancer cells and a xenograft mouse cancer model.

Researchers used hydro distilled (water process) frankincense in 4 different batches at increasing times or temperatures: 78 degrees C at 2 hours, 10 hours, 12 hours, and the fourth at 100 C for 12 hours.

After 24 hours, they examined the effects of frankincense essential oil on the pancreatic cancer cells.  The study included male mice old for 4-5 weeks which had implanted pancreatic tumor cells, which were let to grow for a week.

Then, they were given either Frankincense essential oil or a control saline solution every 4 days.

These were the important findings of this study:

  • Frankincense essential oil activated apoptosis (cell suicide) in the pancreatic cancer cells, which led to shrinking of the tumors after the 8th day.
  • It improved the cytotoxicity (growth suppression) of pancreatic cancer tumors only 3 hours after the treatment.
  • Tumors in the group treated with Frankincense were notably smaller than the tumors in the control group (76.67 mm^3 in contrast to 204 mm^3).

Experts tested the ability of Frankincense to turn off the DNA of cancer cells and restore its healthy state.