Boswellia, boswellic acid, Frankincense and cancer

Vitamins, minerals, natural compounds and supplements

The herb boswellia, or Indian Frankincense, comes from the Boswellia Serrata tree.
There are four ‘boswellic acids’ in the resin, these being the active ingredients.

It is claimed to have many benefits – in particular being an anti-inflammatory, which has been used in cases of arthritis, IBS and asthma with some success.  Professor Thomas Simmet originally proposed that the Frankincense interfered with an enzyme which was involved in leukotriene production and thus inflammation.

With breast cancer, there is research ( showing that it brings about cancer cell death, and prevents tumour growth in vitro. Other studies show that it may limit cancer spread in

- pancreatic ( ,

- bladder cancer (

- and brain cancer.  The anti-inflammatory factor seems to help significantly and there are research studies involving a German neurosurgeon, Michael Winking,  suggesting that Frankincense may reduce brain cancer spread in vitro, and in rats. There is another study suggesting it did not stop spread in humans.

One report covered in Cancer Watch, August 2010, showed it separated the cancer cell nucleus from the cytoplasm and brought about cell death. It had no effect on healthy cells.

It may react with other anti-inflammatories like Ibuprofen.

It can increase blood flow in the uterus and thus menstruation and pregnant women are advised to avoid it.

Vitamins, minerals, natural compounds and supplements
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