Frankincense is extracted from the Boswellia tree which mainly grows in the dry, mountainous areas of India, Africa, and the Middle East. It has a woody, spicy smell that can be inhaled, applied to the skin or taken as a supplement.
An international team of scientists, including researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, describe how burning frankincense activates poorly understood ion channels in the brain to alleviate anxiety or depression. This means a whole new class of anti-anxiety and anti-depressants could be on the horizon — and all you need to do is breathe them in. Almost Biblical.
Frankincense also has shown, in studies, to reduce inflammation and ease arthritis and osteoporosis. The anti-inflammatory properties could also help gut function. Ingesting a tablet containing 250mg of boswellia for six months eased IBS symptoms and was especially effective in patients with colitis.
In another study, a gum containing the resin proved beneficial for oral health. Frankincense may decrease sources of infection in the mouth and therefore prevent gum disease. Another study showed Frankincense also has the potential to prevent cancer cells from spreading as well as limit the amount of medications cancer patients now take. More research is still needed but it looks like if we just went back to the basics, the world could be a healthier and happier place.