Essential oils and Cancer

The studies below found some significant facts regarding health effects of certain food.  This is an attempt by us to interpret the findings so that it could be implemented in everyday health practices.  It has to be understood that good eating habits are necessary for optimal health and that means that a variety of good foods have to be consumed every day.  We do believe that some food has medicinal value and could be used to help in the prevention and support of treatment in certain illnesses.  However, if it is not part of a good nutritious diet, it might lose its value.    Although we do believe in the power of natural food, we absolutely do not claim to cure any disease through the consumption of specific foods.


Mark Barton Frank, Qing Yang, Jeanette Osban, Joseph T Azzarello, Marcia R Saban, Ricardo Saban, Richard A Ashley, Jan C Welter, Kar-Ming Fung, Hsueh-Kung Lin. Frankincense oil derived from Boswellia carteri induces tumor cell specific cytotoxicity. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2009 ;9:6. Epub 2009 Mar 18

Mahmoud M Suhail, Weijuan Wu, Amy Cao, Fadee G Mondalek, Kar-Ming Fung, Pin-Tsen Shih, Yu-Ting Fang, Cole Woolley, Gary Young, Hsueh-Kung Lin. Boswellia sacra essential oil induces tumor cell-specific apoptosis and suppresses tumor aggressiveness in cultured human breast cancer cells. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2011 ;11:129. Epub 2011 Dec 15.


Both these studies were done in a laboratory setting outside the human body.   It was consistently showed that the essential oil from the Boswellia plant suppressed the development of bladder cancer and breast cancer cells respectively.  It was even showed to be effective in advanced 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 and bladder cancer in humans.



Yong Seok Park, Joung H Lee, Judy Bondar, Jyoti A Harwalkar, Hasan Safayhi, Mladen Golubic.Cytotoxic action of acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid (AKBA) on meningioma cells.Planta Med. 2002 May;68(5):397-401.

Yong Seok Park, Joung H Lee, Jyoti A Harwalkar, Judy Bondar, Hasan Safayhi, Mladen Golubic.Acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid (AKBA) is cytotoxic for meningioma cells and inhibits phosphorylation of the extracellular-signal regulated kinase 1 and 2. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2002;507:387-93.


Both the studies looked at the effect of frankincense, an essential oil from the Boswellia plant, on the development of tumors of the brain meninges.  It was found that it interrupted the signaling for the development of these tumors on cellular level.   Frankincense could thus play a role in the prevention of these tumors, even after the initial formation.