Frankincense is one of the oldest medicines known to man. In ancient civilizations, frankincense was used to treat many medical conditions, including lice, measles, chicken pox, and smallpox. In modern times, it is also commonly used as a natural insect repellent and anti-inflammatory agent.
The word "incense" comes from an Old English term for "of incense" because frankincense was commonly burned in sacred ceremonies. The resinous aromatic tree that produces frankincense has been prized for its fragrant resin since ancient times.
Frankincense is a type of gum made from the resin of the Boswellia Carterii tree, which grows in Somalia and northern Arabia. It is a pale yellow viscous liquid with camphor-like qualities when fresh, but once it ages, it turns amber or dark brownish red. In this article, we will discuss the numerous benefits of frankincense.
What is Frankincense?
Frankincense is a resin that comes from the Boswellia Carterii tree. This particular species of frankincense is native to Somalia and the northern parts of Arabia. Frankincense can also be found in India, Cyprus, and parts of southwest Asia.
The resin of the Boswellia Carterii tree is reddish brown when young and turns into a dark brown color with age. It can be solid or in the form of gum. It is sticky and porous, with a warm, woody smell. This ancient resin is collected by tapping the tree's branches, and the gum is collected by squeezing the twigs.
The Boswellia Carterii trees grow to around 5–9 feet (1.5–3 meters). This beautiful tree is a member of the Myrtaceae family, which belongs to the same genus as the sandalwood tree, from which the saffron spice comes.
Health Benefits of Frankincense
Here are some benefits of using frankincense in your health and wellness routine.
Improves Gut Function
Scientists have found that the beneficial properties of frankincense can help improve gut function. They have found that this herb has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Studies have found that the gum extract of Boswellia Carterii has positive effects on your gastrointestinal system. It can help lower stomach acid and protect your GI tract from diseases by killing bacteria and fungi that can make you sick.
Enhances Immune System Performance and Prevents Sickness
Frankincense gum is a rich source of antioxidants that can help prevent oxidative damage in your cells and even protect you from certain types of cancer.
It can also help your immune system work better by stopping harmful bacteria from attacking your cells and causing infections. Frankincense gum boosts your immune system by increasing the production of antibodies and neutrophils in your blood; neutrophils are responsible for killing off harmful bacteria and fungi in the body.
Frankincense gum has strong anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties. This powerful gum also helps prevent bacterial infections like tooth decay, gingivitis, and periodontal diseases.
Prevents Skin Damage
Frankincense has been used in skin care formulas for thousands of years. The gum of the Boswellia Carterii tree is a rich source of antioxidants that can efficiently protect your skin against UV rays that cause skin pigmentation, wrinkles, and other skin concerns.
The antioxidants in frankincense help protect your skin against skin damage caused by free radicals. Skin damage typically appears in the form of wrinkles, sun damage, premature aging, and other skin problems such as acne. Frankincense can also help improve the skin's texture by reducing inflammation that results in acne.
Studies have found that frankincense gum may even have anti-cancer properties! The antioxidants in the gum can efficiently prevent the body from absorbing harmful toxins, which stops certain diseases such as cancer from forming.
The anti-cancer properties of frankincense have been shown to help prevent:
- Oral cancers
- Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma
- Nasopharyngeal carcinoma
Studies found that when frankincense gum is mixed with cinnamon, it starts to burn. When analyzed, this mixture showed substantial levels of combustible and volatile oil (CINEO). Analysis of CINEO showed that it carried the potential to destroy cancer cells, which gives hope that frankincense can be used as an anti-cancer agent in the future.
Asthma is a respiratory disease that causes airway inflammation leading to the lungs. Frankincense is traditionally used in the Middle East to treat asthma because of its powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which reduce swelling and irritation in the airway.
Keeps Your Mouth Healthy
Researchers have found that the plant extracts in frankincense stop unwanted bacteria from growing in the mouth, which helps maintain oral health and prevent bad breath.
The most common side effect associated with frankincense is oral thrush. Oral thrush usually appears as a white coating on the tongue, which can be incredibly uncomfortable and is comparable to a yeast infection.
Another possible side effect of frankincense is an allergic reaction. If you experience a rash, flushing, or a breathing problem after taking this herb, you should discontinue use immediately.
Where to Buy Frankincense
Frankincense can be purchased as an oil or a resin. The resin is what you put under your tongue, and the oil is what you take orally. Keep in mind that it can be difficult to tell the difference between the two, so it is recommended that you choose the resin route. If you choose to purchase the oil, it must first be mixed with a carrier oil such as olive oil, grape seed oil, or sunflower seed oil.
When you decide to purchase frankincense or Boswellia, its best to find a trusted source that collects the resin or oil from a top quality source, ensuring the numerous health benefits stay intact by the time it reaches your hands.
Frankincense is a popular supplement that can help improve your gut function, boost your immune system, and protect you from various diseases like cancer. It can help you maintain oral hygiene and improve your skin health by preventing harmful skin damage.
The gum of the Boswellia Carterii tree is a rich source of antioxidants that can prevent oxidative damage in your cells and protect you against cancer. It can also help boost your gut and immune system by preventing microbial infections and reducing inflammation.