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Can Frankincense Help Cancer?

Updated on May 14, 2016

Frankincense and Cancer Research

Frankincense has the ability to quickly kill cancer, while leaving normal cells untouched. This natural resin is also non toxic.


Gold, Frankincense and myrrh were once considered gifts fit for a king. Today, they are being studied for their potential to heal cancer.

References to these precious commodities are found in the Bible, both in the Old and the New Testaments.

Gold and frankincense, for instance, were mentioned by the Prophet Isaiah long before the Three Wise Men visited the manger in Bethlehem, bearing presents for the newborn Christ Child.

Frankincense has long been associated with prayer. Myrrh was once used to anoint the dead before they were buried.

Frankincense and myrrh, so important in ancient cultures, also hold tremendous value today, according to Dr. HK Lin, PhD, director of the regenerative medicine laboratory, and a professor at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City. Dr. Lin received his master's degree in genetics and a doctorate in Immunology from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.

Dr. Lin believes these two aromatic resins could someday be used as powerful cancer treatments, as both have been shown to effectively kill malignant cells, at least in the laboratory.

One of the world's foremost authorities on frankincense, Dr. Lin has made it his mission to investigate their medical applications.

Frankincense can hunt down and destroy malignancies.
Frankincense can hunt down and destroy malignancies. | Source

Dr. Mahmoud Suhail and Frankincense

Dr. Lin and his colleague, Dr. Mahmoud Suhail, a pediatrician based in Oman, were featured in Geographical magazine, the United Kingdom's version of National Geographic, for their ground-breaking work with frankincense and cancer.

Frankincense comes from a tree known as boswellia species; and the species of frankincense that grows in Oman is Boswellia sacra. When boswellia is cut, the sap forms "tears." The hardened tears are what we know as frankincense.

"It's a resin given to Baby Jesus," said Dr. Lin. "Myrrh is the same thing."

He said both substances have a long history of treating the sick, dating back thousands of years.

Traditionally, frankincense and myrrh have been used in Chinese medicine for cancer," he explained. "They (are) still used to treat cancer."

Frankincense, if developed as a cancer treatment, would be non-toxic and not harm normal cells. Chemotherapy, on the other hand, does not differentiate between fast-growing tumors and healthy cells, which is why patients suffer from wide-ranging side effects, some of which are potentially life threatening.

Hojari frankincense resin or  "tears."
Hojari frankincense resin or "tears." | Source

Sacred Frankincense from Oman

Dr. Lin said Western-style clinical trials, conducted in various parts of the world, are encouraging. In Germany, for instance, a chemical extract of frankincense was shown to reduce cerebral edema and potential anti-cancer activity in patients with brain tumors.

He believes hydrodistillation, a process used in Oman, offers even better results than chemical extraction. It's likely the various chemical constituents work together in synergy, according to Dr. Lin.

It appears frankincense may prevent cancer as well. Actually, there's very little cancer in Oman, according to the Geographical interview with Dr. Suhail. People there regularly consume frankincense, chewing it as a gum or drinking it with a beverage.

Only a few places in the world have conditions favorable to the growth of boswellia. Dr. Lin only uses frankincense from Young Living, which has very strict standards. He has no financial stake in this firm, which is a multi-level marketing company, and he does not sell frankincense to the public or to patients.

"Frankincense is not frankincense is not frankincense," he said, referring to the many different brands available. "Don't go to the dollar store and buy frankincense. It's not going to cure cancer."

Dr. Lin has said he's also done laboratory tests on some other types of this resin, which, he noted, were a waste of time and money.

Myrrh also has anti-cancer properties, as experimental results from Dr. Lin and other clinical research studies have shown.

Lately, Dr. Lin has been adding a tiny bit of myrrh to the frankincense he uses in his laboratory. He's noticed this combination of resins kills cancer cells much more readily than Frankincense alone.

The Three Wise Men came bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Dr. Lin has also studied the anti-cancer effects of another aromatic known as balsam fir. He said some people refer to this as "liquid gold."

Boswellia Tree Growing in the Wild

Frankincense is a Middle Eastern resin.
Frankincense is a Middle Eastern resin. | Source

Studies on Frankincense and Ovarian Cancer

Researchers at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom have also studied how one extract of frankincense, known as acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid, may be able to help in the fight against late-stage ovarian cancer. This is a condition for which mainstream medicine currently has no cure.

In tests down outside the human body, when this isolate was exposed to cancer cells that had become "chemotherapy resistant," the cells showed increased receptivity to the drugs. The hope, in this case, appeared to be that woman suffered from advanced ovarian cancer might "respond" better to more chemotherapy after being given an extract of frankincense.

This research, however, greatly differs from the work of Dr. Lin and Dr. Suhail, who study the use of whole frankincense, without the use of toxic pharmaceuticals.

In addition, many alternative medicine practitioners believe that whole plant-based remedies are better than extracts, such as what was used in the University of Leicester study, because the many compounds contained within these plants work in synergy.

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BBC News Clip on Frankincense

Testimony of Cancer Patient


These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). These products are not meant to diagnose‚ treat or cure any disease or medical condition.

Nothing in this article is intended to substitute for medical advice. This article is only for the sake of education, discussion and sharing of information. Readers are urged to work with a trusted medical professional. I am not a medical professional and cannot claim responsibility for anyone's choices, or for any possible adverse effects.

Women who are nursing or pregnant should not use essential oils unless directed to do so by a healthcare professional.


This work is protected by copyright laws and may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, on another website or in print.


Submit a Comment
  • ologsinquito profile imageAUTHOR


    4 years ago from USA

    Hi medical culture, thanks for reading. I need to delete your comment because I can't have links in my article.

  • ologsinquito profile imageAUTHOR


    5 years ago from USA

    Hi erorantes, thanks so much for reading. Because I'm not a doctor, I can't give medical advice. But if you do an Internet search, you will find people writing about how they've used Sacred Frankincense, which seems to be becoming more difficult to find.

  • ologsinquito profile imageAUTHOR


    5 years ago from USA

    Hi Babbyii, thanks so much for reading. I agree that God has given us some amazing natural medicines.

  • ologsinquito profile imageAUTHOR


    5 years ago from USA

    Praise be God, now and forever.

  • ologsinquito profile imageAUTHOR


    5 years ago from USA

    Praise be God, now and forever.

  • ologsinquito profile imageAUTHOR


    5 years ago from USA

    Hi Shades-of-truth, thank you so much for reading. I'm happy your son's mother-in-law has found relief from her pain, with something created by God, and not in a laboratory.

  • ologsinquito profile imageAUTHOR


    5 years ago from USA

    Hi winnie, I am not a doctor and cannot give medical advice. But I will pray for your mother. I would try to get her to an alternative oncologist ASAP. There is published medical literature about frankincense and cancer that you might want to read. Ask the oncologist if he or she expects your mother to be cured with these treatments. If not, then you really have little to lose by exploring other options.

    There are a number of "terminal" cancer survivors who've published sites about how they've beaten this diagnosis. One may named Kelley Eidem has some interesting information. God bless you and your mother.

  • ologsinquito profile imageAUTHOR


    7 years ago from USA

    It is an interesting topic, and it seems to be just one of many, many natural ways to attack cancer.

  • jpcmc profile image

    JP Carlos 

    7 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

    What an interesting read. The more we learn about cures to cancr the better.


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