Frankincense (Ru Xiang)
Frankincense (Ru Xiang)
Frankincense (also known as boswellia, boswellia carterii, Salai guggal, or olibanum) is a tree found in India and the Middle East. The resin from the boswellia tree has a deep history of use in traditional herbal medicine and even deeper roots in human history.
Frankincense, well known for being one of the three gifts of the Magi, is used both internally and externally and has a multitude of medicinal and non-medicinal uses. Religiously, frankincense was one of the consecrated incenses (HaKetoret) described in the Hebrew Bible and Talmud used in Ketoret ceremonies.. Charred frankincense was crushed into powder and used as the distinctive eyeliner of ancient Egyptians. Clinically, frankincense has shown a host of medical benefits including wound healing at the cellular level and anti-inflammatory properties. Frankincense also shows positive results in treating arthritis and rheumatism. The terpenoids found in frankincense have been isolated and shown to act much like NSAIDS, but without the unwanted side-effects. Frankincense has also been shown to exhibit anti-cancer effects by showing cytotoxicity towards neoplastic cancer cells. It has also performed very well in microbial tests and shown to be useful for the topical treatment of skin disorders like acne vulgaris and seborrhoic eczema.
As an interesting note, frankincense can be burned as incense to repel and kill insects, such as mosquitos, sand flies, and moths.
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- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankincense (Frankincense - Wikipedia)
- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18222672 (Boswellic acids: A leukotriene inhibitor also effective through topical application in inflammatory disorders.)
- http://www.acupuncturetoday.com/herbcentral/frankincense.php (Frankincense - ru xiang)
- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19296830 (Frankincense oil derived from Boswellia carteri induces tumor cell specific cytotoxicity)
- http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17291738 (Screening of plant extracts for antimicrobial activity against bacteria and yeasts with dermatological relevance.)