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Frankincense:
Could it be a cure for cancer?

The gift given by the wise men to the baby Jesus probably came across the deserts from Oman. The BBC's Jeremy Howell visits the country to ask whether a commodity that was once worth its weight in gold could be reborn as a treatment for cancer.


Immunologist Mahmoud Suhail, is hoping to open a new chapter in the history of frankincense.

Scientists have observed that there is some agent within frankincense which stops cancer spreading, and which induces cancerous cells to close themselves down. He is trying to find out what this is.

"Cancer starts when the DNA code within the cell's nucleus becomes corrupted," he says. "It seems frankincense has a
re-set function. It can tell the cell what the right DNA code should be.

"Frankincense separates the 'brain' of the cancerous cell - the nucleus - from the 'body' - the cytoplasm, and closes down the nucleus to stop it reproducing corrupted DNA codes."

Working with frankincense could revolutionise the treatment of cancer. Currently, with chemotherapy, doctors blast the area around a tumour to kill the cancer, but that also kills healthy cells, and weakens the patient. Treatment with frankincense, could eradicate the cancerous cells alone and let the others live.

The task now is to isolate the agent within frankincense which, apparently, works this wonder. Some ingredients of frankincense are allergenic, so you cannot give a patient the whole thing

Dr Suhail (who is originally from Iraq) has teamed up with medical scientists from the University of Oklahoma for the task.

In his laboratory in Salalah, he extracts the essential oil from locally produced frankincense. Then, he separates the oil into its constituent agents, such as Boswellic acid.

"There are 17 active agents in frankincense essential oil," says Dr Suhail. "We are using a process of elimination. We have cancer sufferers - for example, a horse in South Africa - and we are giving them tiny doses of each agent until we find the one which works."

"Some scientists think Boswellic acid is the key ingredient. But I think this is wrong. Many other essential oils - like oil from sandalwood - contain Boswellic acid, but they don't have this effect on cancer cells. So we are starting afresh."

The trials will take months to conduct and whatever results come out of them will take longer still to be verified. But this is a blink of the eye in the history of frankincense.

Nine thousand years ago, Omanis gathered it and burnt it for its curative and cleansing properties. It could be a key to the medical science of tomorrow.

Jeremy Howell reports for Middle East Business Report
on BBC World News.




 

 

 

 

Frankincense Tree Blossoms

 

To obtain the Frankincense, a deep, longitudinal incision is made in the trunk of the tree and below it a narrow strip of bark 5 inches in length is peeled off. When the milk-like juice which exudes has hardened by exposure to the air, the incision is deepened. In about three months the resin has attained the required degree of consistency, hardening into yellowish 'tears.' The large, clear globules are scraped off into baskets and the inferior quality that has run down the tree is collected separately. The season for gathering lasts from May till the middle of September, when the first shower of rain puts a close to the gathering for that year.

The coast of Southern Arabia is yearly visited by parties of Somalis, who pay the Arabs for the privilege of collecting Frankincense, and in the interior of the country, about the plain of Dhofar, during the southwest Monsoon, Frankincense and other gums are gathered by the Bedouins. (The incense of Dhofar is alluded to by the Portuguese poet, Camoens.)

Notes taken from: Botanical Com

 

 

Watch a short Video of trials of Benefits of Frankincense Oil in the treatment of Cancer

 

Dr. Suhail on Young Living Frankincense & Oman.flv

 

Boswellia sacra essential oil induces tumor cell-specific apoptosis and suppresses tumor aggressiveness in cultured human breast cancer cells.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22171782


 

DISCLAIMER:
Information on this site is provided for educational purposes only and not intended to provide medical advice or treatment.
The type of treatment you use it is entirely up to you. If in doubt, consult medical advice.
2013.

 

 

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