Frankincense Oil & Breast Cancer Research and More: Amazing Discoveries

Frankincense Tears

Frankincense Tears, the Dried Sap of Boswellia Trees, is Distilled into Frankincense Essential Oil.

Frankincense has been the most widely studied essential oil for the potential treatment of many types of cancer in the laboratory. And all Frankincense oils noted in the research is on sale, 20% off!

In every study thus published, Frankincense oil has caused cancerous cells to undergo aptosis (natural cell death) and left healthy cells unaffected.*

To learn more about each of our Frankincense varieties, see our blog post Frankincense Sacra, Carteri or Seratta: The Science and the Scents.

Frankincense Tree

A Boswellia Sacra tree, source of Sacred Frankincense from Oman. The Boswellia trees are unharmed in the process of harvesting the dried sap, called Frankincense 'tears'.

Frankincense has been the subject of research in a number of cancer cell lines, including those of breast1,2,3 bladder4, brain3, and more.

In research, Frankincense essential oil has been evaluated in these studies. One important conclusion is that “Frankincense appears to distinguish between normal cells and suppress cancer cell viability”.

To learn more about each of our distillations, sources and aromas, see ‘Frankincense: The Science and the Scents‘ on our blog.

Below are just a few of the research papers regarding Frankincense and cancer. Many more can be found on www.pubmed.gov.

1. Iran J Pharm Res. 2014 Spring;13(2):719-24. 
Boswellia has been widely used in traditional medicine for the treatment of different diseases such as cancer in Iran. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of the gum extract of Boswellia on the viability and P53 gene expression of cultured breast cancer cells. The gum extract was obtained in various concentrations using the maceration method. Normal (HEK-293) and cancer (MDA-MB-231) human cells were cultured and treated with various concentrations of the extract. Then MTT assay was used for the study of cytotoxic effect of the extract and real time PCR method was also applied for the investigation of P53 gene expression in cancer cells. The IC50 of the extract against cancer cells was 80 µg/mL and had less cytotoxic effect in normal cells. The effect of the extract was dose dependent. Induction of P53 expression by extract was also significantly more in treated cancer cells than untreated cells. This inductive effect in cells was higher after 12 h treatment than it was after 6 h. The results of the current study show that gum extract of Boswellia has probably anti-cancer effects and could induce P53 gene transcription and toxicity in the cultured breast cancer cell line. The increase of P53 gene specific mRNA may be a mechanism of gum extract induced cytotoxicity. However, for a definitive conclusion, further studies on other cell lines as well as animal models and subsequent clinical studies are warranted.

2. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2011 Dec 15;11:129. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-11-129. Boswellia sacra essential oil induces tumor cell-specific apoptosis and suppresses tumor aggressiveness in cultured human breast cancer cells.

Suhail MM1, Wu W, Cao A, Mondalek FG, Fung KM, Shih PT, Fang YT, Woolley C, Young G, Lin HK.

BACKGROUND:Gum resins obtained from trees of the Burseraceae family (Boswellia sp.) are important ingredients in incense and perfumes. Extracts prepared from Boswellia sp. gum resins have been shown to possess anti-inflammatory and anti-neoplastic effects. Essential oil prepared by distillation of the gum resin traditionally used for aromatic therapy has also been shown to have tumor cell-specific anti-proliferative and pro-apoptotic activities. The objective of this study was to optimize conditions for preparing Boswellea sacra essential oil with the highest biological activity in inducing tumor cell-specific cytotoxicity and suppressing aggressive tumor phenotypes in human breast cancer cells.

METHODS: Boswellia sacra essential oil was prepared from Omani Hougari grade resins through hydrodistillation at 78 or 100 °C for 12 hours. Chemical compositions were identified by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry; and total boswellic acids contents were quantified by high-performance liquid chromatography. Boswellia sacra essential oil-mediated cell viability and death were studied in established human breast cancer cell lines (T47D, MCF7, MDA-MB-231) and an immortalized normal human breast cell line (MCF10-2A). Apoptosis was assayed by genomic DNA fragmentation. Anti-invasive and anti-multicellular tumor properties were evaluated by cellular network and spheroid formation models, respectively. Western blot analysis was performed to study Boswellia sacra essential oil-regulated proteins involved in apoptosis, signaling pathways, and cell cycle regulation.

RESULTS: More abundant high molecular weight compounds, including boswellic acids, were present in Boswellia sacra essential oil prepared at 100 °C hydrodistillation. All three human breast cancer cell lines were sensitive to essential oil treatment with reduced cell viability and elevated cell death, whereas the immortalized normal human breast cell line was more resistant to essential oil treatment. Boswellia sacra essential oil hydrodistilled at 100 °C was more potent than the essential oil prepared at 78 °C in inducing cancer cell death, preventing the cellular network formation (MDA-MB-231) cells on Matrigel, causing the breakdown of multicellular tumor spheroids (T47D cells), and regulating molecules involved in apoptosis, signal transduction, and cell cycle progression.

CONCLUSIONS: Similar to our previous observations in human bladder cancer cells, Boswellia sacra essential oil induces breast cancer cell-specific cytotoxicity. Suppression of cellular network formation and disruption of spheroid development of breast cancer cells by Boswellia sacra essential oil suggest that the essential oil may be effective for advanced breast cancer. Consistently, the essential oil represses signaling pathways and cell cycle regulators that have been proposed as therapeutic targets for breast cancer. Future pre-clinical and clinical studies are urgently needed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of Boswellia sacra essential oil as a therapeutic agent for treating breast cancer.

3. J Neurooncol. 2007 Mar;82(1):91-3. Epub 2006 Sep 26. A lipoxygenase inhibitor (Boswellia seratta) in breast cancer brain metastases. Flavin DF.

The complication of multiple brain metastases in breast cancer patients is a life threatening condition with limited success following standard therapies. The arachidonate lipoxygenase pathway appears to play a role in brain tumor growth as well as inhibition of apoptosis in in-vitro studies. The down regulation of these arachidonate lipoxygenase growth stimulating products therefore appeared to be a worthwhile consideration for testing in brain metastases not responding to standard therapy. Boswellia serrata, a lipoxygenase inhibitor was applied for this inhibition. Multiple brain metastases were successfully reversed using this method in a breast cancer patient who had not shown improvement after standard therapy. The results suggest a potential new area of therapy for breast cancer patients with brain metastases that may be useful as an adjuvant to our standard therapy.

4. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2009 Mar 18;9:6. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-9-6. Frankincense oil derived from Boswellia carteri induces tumor cell specific cytotoxicity. Frank MB1, Yang Q, Osban J, Azzarello JT, Saban MR, Saban R, Ashley RA, Welter JC, Fung KM, Lin HK.

BACKGROUND: Originating from Africa, India, and the Middle East, frankincense oil has been important both socially and economically as an ingredient in incense and perfumes for thousands of years. Frankincense oil is prepared from aromatic hardened gum resins obtained by tapping Boswellia trees. One of the main components of frankincense oil is boswellic acid, a component known to have anti-neoplastic properties. The goal of this study was to evaluate frankincense oil for its anti-tumor activity and signaling pathways in bladder cancer cells.

METHODS: Frankincense oil-induced cell viability was investigated in human bladder cancer J82 cells and immortalized normal bladder urothelial UROtsa cells. Temporal regulation of frankincense oil-activated gene expression in bladder cancer cells was identified by microarray and bioinformatics analysis.

RESULTS:Within a range of concentration, frankincense oil suppressed cell viability in bladder transitional carcinoma J82 cells but not in UROtsa cells. Comprehensive gene expression analysis confirmed that frankincense oil activates genes that are responsible for cell cycle arrest, cell growth suppression, and apoptosis in J82 cells. However, frankincense oil-induced cell death in J82 cells did not result in DNA fragmentation, a hallmark of apoptosis.

CONCLUSION:Frankincense oil appears to distinguish cancerous from normal bladder cells and suppress cancer cell viability. Microarray and bioinformatics analysis proposed multiple pathways that can be activated by frankincense oil to induce bladder cancer cell death. Frankincense oil might represent an alternative intravesical agent for bladder cancer treatment.

 

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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This Week Free with Your Next Order: Your Choice of Beautiful Sandalwood & Jasmine or Rose Perfumes

damask rose

The Damask Rose, from which the beautiful Rose Otto is distilled.

Both the Jasmine and Rose Otto ‘attars’ are blends of our very finest oils…certified organic Bulgarian Rose Otto or both Jasmine Grandiflorum and Sambac, and our wildcrafted Indian Sandalwood combine beautifully because their high and low notes blends perfectly.

Sandalwood

Sandalwood - producing Sandalwood essential oil, the base of all 'attars'.

To receive your free 5ml bottle, if your order has an over $89 subtotal, enter ‘Rose Attar’ or ‘Jasmine Attar’  in the comments box of the checkout page.

For this special we’ve created a magnificent Rose Attar: basing our organic Bulgarian Rose Otto in our wildcrafted Indian Sandalwood, and a Jasmine Attar: with both Jasmine sambac & Jasmine grandiflorum Absolutes, also in our Indian Sandalwood.

Jasmine Grandiflorum Oil

Jasmine grandiflorum flowers, producing the complex Jasmine grandiflorum absolute.

Both of these wonderful natural perfumes are based in ‘fractionated’ Coconut oil, which is simply organic Coconut oil with the heavier-weight fatty acids removed, so that it remains liquid at low temperatures. This coconut oil is ideal as a natural perfume base, as it has no aroma of it’s own, and a naturally-long ‘shelf-life’.

Jasmine

Jasmine sambac flowers, source of the sweeet Jasmine sambac absolute.

The Jasmine attar is exquisitely rich and complex, basing both the sweeter Jasmine sambac and the more ‘heady’ Jasmine grandiflorum in our brilliant Sandalwood.

Again, to receive one of these beautiful natural perfumes, simply include your choice of ‘Rose Attar’ or ‘Jasmine Attar’ in the comments box with any order over $89.

And don’t forget to check out our Sales and Specials page, for instructions on how to receive free shipping on all first time orders, and all orders over $99…along with other current sales on a myriad of therapeutic grade essential oils & diffusers.

Just a little dab will of either will release its aroma for hours, as all these oils are known for their ‘tenaciousness’…We’re sure you’ll be pleased with either choice!

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The Science of Reducing Stress and Improving Quality of Life with Neroli Essential Oil

neroli

Sweet, soft Neroli, from the blossoms of the Bergamot tree, can be an excellent sleep aid.

Neroli essential oil, distilled from the flowers of the same tree producing Bergamot fruit, has traditionally been considered one of the most calming, anxiety-reducing essential oils.

Scientific research is confirming the traditional actions of Neroli in these very interesting studies (Note that our ‘precious’ essential oil 20% off sale, including Neroli, is on now – along with several other specials):

Study #1:

“Effects of Inhalation of Neroli on Menopausal Symptoms, Stress, and Estrogen in Postmenopausal Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial.”

(Published in ‘Evidence Based Complimentary and Alternative Medicine, Epub June 12, 2014 – the complete abstract is included at the bottom of this post).

According to the research, compared to the control group, those inhaling neroli showed significant improvements in sex-drive, lowered blood pressure, lowered pulse rate, and serum cortisol (a stress hormone), and estrogen concentrations.

They conclude “These findings indicate that inhalation of neroli oil helps relieve menopausal symptoms, increase sexual desire, and reduce blood pressure in postmenopausal women. Neroli oil may have potential as an effective intervention to reduce stress and improve the endocrine system.”

WOW! That says a lot about the potential of this wonderful essential oil!


Bergamot Fruit

Bergamot fruit, which Neroli flowers ripen into if not distilled first! The cold-pressed essential oil from Bergamot has also been widely researched for its anxiolytic properties.

In this second study, inhalation was shown to reduce blood pressure of the participants, though not lessen their anxiety during a medical procedure which, well, happens to produce a lot of anxiety regardless :)

Study #2:

“Aromatherapy for reducing colonoscopy-related procedural anxiety and physiological parameters: a randomized controlled study.” Published in the Journal of Hepatogastroenterology, 2010 Sept-Oct.

A randomized controlled trail was carried out and collected in 2009 and 2010. The participants were randomized in two groups. Aromatherapy was then carried out by inhalation of Sunflower oil (control group) and Neroli oil (Experimental group).

Participates in this study were 27 subjects, 13 in control group and 14 in Neroli group with average age 52.26 +/- 17.79 years. There was no significance of procedural anxiety by STAI-S score and procedural pain by VAS. The physiological parameters showed a significant lower pre- and post-procedural systolic blood pressure in Neroli group than control group.

So, as we posted recently on Ylang Ylang, customer experience and research had supported lowering of blood pressure as well…here’s to keeping calm with essential oils!

 

1. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014;2014:796518. doi: 10.1155/2014/796518. Epub 2014 Jun 12. Effects of Inhalation of Essential Oil of Citrus aurantium L. var. amara on Menopausal Symptoms, Stress, and Estrogen in Postmenopausal Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial.

Choi SY, Kang P, Lee HS, Seol GH.

Abstract:This study aimed to investigate the effects of inhalation of the essential oil of Citrus aurantium L. var. amara (neroli oil) on menopausal symptoms, stress, and estrogen in postmenopausal women. Sixty-three healthy postmenopausal women were randomized to inhale 0.1% or 0.5% neroli oil or almond oil (control) for 5 minutes twice daily for 5 days. Menopause-related symptoms, as determined by the Menopause-Specific Quality of Life Questionnaire (MENQOL); sexual desire visual analog scale (VAS); serum cortisol and estrogen concentrations, blood pressure, pulse, and stress VAS, were measured before and after inhalation. Compared with the control group, the two neroli oil groups showed significant improvements in the physical domain score of the MENQOL and in sexual desire. Systolic blood pressure was significantly lower in the group inhaling 0.5% neroli oil than in the control group. Compared with the control group, the two neroli oil groups showed significantly lower diastolic blood pressure and tended to improve pulse rate and serum cortisol and estrogen concentrations. These findings indicate that inhalation of neroli oil helps relieve menopausal symptoms, increase sexual desire, and reduce blood pressure in postmenopausal women. Neroli oil may have potential as an effective intervention to reduce stress and improve the endocrine system.

 

2. Hepatogastroenterology. 2010 Sep-Oct;57(102-103):1082-6. Aromatherapy for reducing colonoscopy related procedural anxiety and physiological parameters: a randomized controlled study.

Hu PH1, Peng YC, Lin YT, Chang CS, Ou MC.

Abstract: Colonoscopy is generally tolerated, some patients regarding the procedure as unpleasant and painful and generally performed with the patient sedated and receiving analgesics. The effect of sedation and analgesia for colonoscopy is limited. Aromatherapy is also applied to gastrointestinal endoscopy to reduce procedural anxiety. There is lack of information about aromatherapy specific for colonoscopy. In this study, we aimed to performed a randomized controlled study to investigate the effect of aromatherapy on relieve anxiety, stress and physiological parameters of colonoscopy.

METHODOLOGY: A randomized controlled trail was carried out and collected in 2009 and 2010. The participants were randomized in two groups. Aromatherapy was then carried out by inhalation of Sunflower oil (control group) and Neroli oil (Experimental group). The anxiety index was evaluated by State Trait Anxiety Inventory-state (STAI-S) score before aromatherapy and after colonoscopy as well as the pain index for post-procedural by visual analogue scale (VAS). Physiological indicators, such as blood pressure (systolic and diastolic blood pressure), heart rate and respiratory rate were evaluated before and after aromatherapy.

RESULTS: Participates in this study were 27 subjects, 13 in control group and 14 in Neroli group with average age 52.26 +/- 17.79 years. There was no significance of procedural anxiety by STAI-S score and procedural pain by VAS. The physiological parameters showed a significant lower pre- and post-procedural systolic blood pressure in Neroli group than control group.

CONCLUSIONS: Aromatic care for colonoscopy, although with no significant effect on procedural anxiety, is an inexpensive, effective and safe pre-procedural technique that could decrease systolic blood pressure.

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