|Nuggets of ordinary grade frankincense resin.|
Frankincense, which comes from Africa and the Arabian peninsula, has been used for centuries for the aromatic smoke that comes from heating the resin of trees from the boswellia family. There seems to be fairly little research, but experiments on essential oil derived from the resin have been found to have anti-cancer properties.
A July 2014 study found that frankincense essential oil is more effective against human bladder cancer J82 cells in the lab, whereas a March 2009 research found that frankincense essential oil can distinguish cancerous from normal bladder cells, killing the cancer cells only.
"All fractions of frankincense essential oil from Boswellia sacra are capable of suppressing viability and inducing apoptosis of a panel of human pancreatic cancer cell lines", reads the abstract of another December 2012 study, while a December 2011 study notes that "boswellia sacra (Editor's note: the type of frankincense from Oman) essential oil kills breast cancer cells.