There are resins obtained from Boswellia trees that have proven to be very beneficial to our health.   Resins are sticky materials produced by plants to protect them from pathogens that could harm the plant.  Boswellia trees grow in India, East Africa, China, Somalia and Arabia.  Different species of these trees produce slightly different types of resins.  The species Boswellia carteri produces the resin known as frankincense from which we get frankincense oil. Frankincense oil is extracted from frankincense resin by means of steam distillation.   

       Frankincense resin has been used for centuries to treat inflammatory diseases such as Crohn's disease and various forms of arthritis.  Research shows the reason for this anti inflammatory effect are compounds in frankincense resin that have a regulating effect on the immune system.  More recently, frankincense resin has been shown to have constituents that are effective against cancer as well. 

       One of these constituents found in frankincense is tirncallic acid. The March 2010 issue of Molecular Pharmacology reported that tirucallic acids extracted from frankincense successfully killed cultured human prostate cancer cells that were grafted into mice.   It was found that these acids brought about the expression of proteins that are necessary for apoptosis of cancer cells. Apoptosis is programmed cell death.  In the March 2005 issue of Molecular Cancer Therapy, it was reported that in laboratory experiments, frankincense resin successfully induced apoptosis around 40 percent in leukemia cells.

       In the March 2009 issue of BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, it was reported that frankincense was toxic to bladder tumor cells while not affecting normal cells. That frankincense is effective against cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone has been seen in other experiments using frankincense in cancer research.

       Researchers at the well known Cleveland Clinic discovered that an extract of the variety of Boswellia tree called Boswellia serrata was effective against a certain type of tumor affecting the human brain’s covering.  This extract worked by decreasing the ability of the tumor cells to spread and by killing existing tumor cells.

       Boswellia serrata appears to reduce fluid retention associated with brain tumors. In a study reported in the February 2011 edition of the publication Cancer, forty-four people who had cerebral tumors were either given radiotherapy with 4200 mg per day of Boswellia serrata or a placebo. Sixty percent of those who received the radiotherapy and the Boswellia serrata had a more than 75% reduction in fluid retention in the brain while the placebo group did not match this level of reduction.

       Boswellia serrata has constituents that fight against the 5-LOX (5-lipoxygenase) enzyme.  This enzyme, if not controlled, can lead to tumor formation and inflammation associated with the digestive, respiratory and cardiovascular systems.  Boswellia serrata also contains an anti-inflammatory compound called AKBA (acetyl-11-keto-B-boswellia acid).  Research has revealed that AKBA can inhibit replication of leukemia and prostate cancer cells.

       A combination of constituents found in the resins of the Boswellia tree can be valuable in protecting the body from degenerative disease.  At Milk ‘N Honey, we carry a high quality boswellia/frankincense product called BosMed+ from “Terry Naturally.”  This product is a proprietary blend of Boswellia serrata resin extract standardized to contain at least 70% total Boswellic acids with at least 10% AKBA along with frankincense oil from Boswellia carteri resin.