Frankincense may evoke images of Christs birth for many people, but scientists say the herbal supplement now may offer the gift of killing bladder cancer cells.
A study in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine has demonstrated that an enriched form of the extract, which is taken from tree resin, promotes cancer cell death in the bladder while avoiding healthy cells.
Researchers at the University of Oklahoma used gene expression analyses to analyze how the frankincense affected normal bladder cells as well as cancerous ones.
They found that the extract only attacked cancerous cells, and kept them from multiplying in addition to inducing cell death.
Dr. HK Lin said that the extract “may represent an inexpensive alternative for patients suffering from bladder cancer,” currently the fourth most common cancer in American men.
Frankincense has previously been researched for its benefits in osteoarthritis, and initial research shows that its smoke may be able to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression
A growing body of research has emerged that studies the effect of herbal supplements on a variety of cancers.