Indian Frankincense: Any Health Benefits? (2024)

For centuries, people have smelled the strong aroma of Indian frankincense at religious ceremonies and cultural events. Traditional healers also use it to treat health conditions like indigestion, coughing and other breathing problems, and even recovery from childbirth.

Also called olibanum, Indian frankincense comes from the dried sap of Boswellia trees that grow in Africa, India, and the Middle East. Today, you can find it in several forms, including essential oil, a capsule or pill, and incense. It's also a resin that you find in drinks, food, and gum.

Possible Health Benefits

Arthritis, colitis, and other inflammation. Some studies show that Indian frankincense extract might ease pain and stiffness. The boswellic acids in Indian frankincense may lower inflammation while preventing cartilage loss.

For centuries, people have turned to Indian frankincense for belly aches like nausea and indigestion. Some studies suggest that it may improve the symptoms of ulcerative colitis. Once again, researchers credit the anti-inflammatory effects of boswellic acid.

These anti-inflammatory benefits might also improve psoriasis. For the same reason, there's some evidence that Indian frankincense could help prevent plaque buildup in heart disease.

Asthma. Indian frankincense might help improve asthma symptoms. A small study found that people with asthma who took 300 milligrams of Indian frankincense resin three times a day saw improvement in their symptoms. More research is needed.

Cancer. Studies in mice have shown that Indian frankincense may help kill some cancer cells and slow the growth of others. But there isn't clear evidence that the treatment would help people with cancer.

Mouth infections. The boswellic acid in Indian frankincense kills bacteria. That's why some research suggests that Indian frankincense might treat mouth, throat, and gum infections, including strep throat and gingivitis.

The FDA hasn't approved Indian frankincense as a drug for any disease. If you want to use it, be sure to talk to your doctor first. That's especially important if you take other medications. Even natural remedies can have dangerous interactions with prescription and over-the-counter medications.

Indian Frankincense: Any Health Benefits? (2024)


Does frankincense have health benefits? ›

Possible Health Benefits

Some studies show that Indian frankincense extract might ease pain and stiffness. The boswellic acids in Indian frankincense may lower inflammation while preventing cartilage loss. For centuries, people have turned to Indian frankincense for belly aches like nausea and indigestion.

What are the side effects of Indian frankincense? ›

Common side effects of boswellia include:
  • Stomach pain.
  • Heartburn.
  • Nausea.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Headache.
  • General weakness.
  • Swelling.
  • Itching.
Jun 29, 2022

What is the healing power of frankincense? ›

Frankincense, along with myrrh, has been prescribed in traditional Chinese medicine and administered for treatment of blood stagnation and inflammation diseases in addition to pain relief and swelling. A study done by nine doctors in China revealed frankincense and myrrh may help in the treatment of cancer.

Is frankincense from India good? ›

Indian Frankincense is safe to use in a daily dose of 1 g (used in RCTs in participants with osteoarthritis). Dosage hasn't been well studied, but high doses can have serious side-effects on the liver. Interactions with other medications haven't been well studied.

What is 100% frankincense good for? ›

Frankincense essential oil contains properties that reduce feelings of anxiety, stimulate the immune system, and diminish signs of aging, among other demonstrated activities. It can be used cosmetically, medicinally, and for eliminating surface and airborne bacteria.

Does frankincense affect kidneys? ›

It has antibacterial properties that can help reverse kidney damage. Frankincense- Frankincense is most commonly used to support the immune system and is known for its meditative properties. By boosting the immune system, it can improve kidney health and reduce inflammation.

Can Indian frankincense raise blood pressure? ›

Frankincense essential oil is a popular component of Eastern medicine. In addition to having anti-inflammatory properties, it may also help combat anxiety and similar issues. These effects may help reduce high blood pressure.

Who shouldn't use frankincense oil? ›

Pregnancy and breast-feeding: There isn't enough reliable information to know if frankincense is safe to use when pregnant or breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Is frankincense good for joint pain? ›

Therefore, it seems that topical use of frankincense extract can improve OA in terms of pain severity and joint flexibility, as well as patients' quality of life (as determined by PGA score).

What did God use frankincense for? ›

Bible Facts

Frankincense was used in ancient Israelite temple worship as: An ingredient in the perfume of the sanctuary (see Exodus 30:34).

Why is frankincense so powerful? ›

Frankincense or Boswellia serrata has been used traditionally as a medication against inflammatory diseases for a long time. Besides α- and β-boswellic acid, it contains other pentacyclic triterpenic acids, which inhibit pro-inflammatory processes via 5-lipoxygenase and cyclo-oxygenase.

What happens if you put frankincense directly on skin? ›

Frankincense oil has a rejuvenating effect, especially on mature skin. It minimizes wrinkles and fine lines, and reduces the appearance of scars and blemishes. Tones skin. The astringent quality of frankincense oil has an overall toning effect on the skin.

What is the difference between frankincense and Indian frankincense? ›

For now, there are no known toxic levels of frankincense, and the oil is regarded as safe in small doses. The smell of Indian frankincense is distinctly different than that of the resin found in the Middle East. Its aroma is sweeter and has a stronger scent than the resin.

Is Boswellia safe for kidneys? ›

However, the results of this study showed that Boswellia caused a little improvement in kidney function. This is indicated by its ability to significantly reduce urea and BUN levels. But it had no significant effect on serum creatinine levels and it also did not reduce lipid peroxidation.

How do I use frankincense oil for joint pain? ›

  1. Adults and children 12 years of age and older: apply 10-30 drops into palm or hand and massage into affected areas.
  2. massage oil in hand to coat painful areas.
  3. can be used up to 4 times daily.
  4. children under 12 years of age: consult a physician.

What does frankincense do for you internally? ›

People have used it in traditional medicine for centuries. Some benefits of frankincense include its anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor properties. Frankincense comes from the Boswellia tree. It has a long history in myth and folk medicine, especially in India and African countries.

What is frankincense best for? ›

It can be used to improve respiratory function, reduce stress levels, induce relaxation and improve skin health. Frankincense oil is also known for its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, making it a valuable addition to any natural health regimen.

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