Frankincense is an aromatic resin that comes from Boswellia trees. The resin is obtained by making a cut in the tree bark, then allowing the resin to leak out of the cut and harden.
Bible frankincense, frankincense, incense, olibanum
Boswellia sacra Flueck. (Burseraceae)
How is Frankincense usually used?
What is Frankincense used for?
Frankincense taken orallyorallyto be taken by mouth (swallowed) has been used:
In traditional Chinese medicine, frankincense has been used orally to promote circulation of qi (life force or energy flow), to relieve urinary disorders, and to drive away wind-dampness.
Frankincense applied topicallytopicallyto be applied on the skin has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to:
Frankincense has also been applied topically to treat ringworm.
Your health care provider may have recommended this product for other conditions. Contact a health care provider if you have any questions.
What else should I be aware of?
Frankincense may cause mild skin irritation when applied topicallytopicallyto be applied on the skin. When used orallyorallyto be taken by mouth (swallowed), frankincense may cause upset stomach, diarrhea, drowsiness, or liver damage.
Frankincense may interact with some medications including antibiotics (e.g., amoxicillin), antifungal medications (e.g., fluconazole), arthritis medications (e.g., methotrexate), medications to treat cancer (e.g., cisplatin), certain asthma medications (e.g., montelukast), or medications to lower cholesterol (e.g., rosuvastatin).
Do not use frankincense while pregnant or breast-feeding, or if you are allergic to frankincense, Boswellia trees, or any plant from the Burseraceae family.
Talk to your health care provider before using frankincense if you have liver damage or poor liver function, lung disease, autoimmune diseases, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Check with a health care provider before giving frankincense to children.
Before taking any new medications, including natural health products, speak to your physician, pharmacist, or other health care provider. Tell your health care provider about any natural health products you may be taking.
- Health Canada. Licensed Natural Health Products Database. Frankincense—draft. http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/dhp-mps/alt_formats/hpfb-dgpsa/pdf/prodnatur/mono_frankincense-arbre-eng.pdf (Accessed June 10, 2011)
- Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database. Frankincense. http://naturaldatabase.therapeuticresearch.com/nd/Search.aspx?cs=&s=ND&pt=100&id=448&ds=&name=FRANKINCENSE&searchid=32418326 (Accessed January 30, 2012)
- Natural Standard-the Authority on Integrative Medicine. Frankincense. http://3rdparty.naturalstandard.com/frameset.asp (Accessed January 30, 2012)