Frankincense, the gift given by the wise men to the baby Jesus has many incredible healing properties. It is considered to be one of the most precious essential oils and I value it as a precious gift, particularly in December.

Researching therapies with the potential to stop cancer growth is an ongoing quest for me. I am more passionate in December of each year because of my husband’s death on Christmas eve 2010 of melanoma skin cancer.  I wish that this information on the anti-cancer properties of essential oils had been available when my husband was diagnosed with melanoma.

Check with your regular healthcare practitioner before adding any essential oils to your cancer treatment plan.



Frankincense Research:

Most Frankincense comes from Somalia. Research shows that Frankincense, along with other essential oils, can alter cancer cells. Following you will find research information about frankincense and how it can affect cancer cells.

According to the BBC, immunologist Mahmoud Suhail is hoping to open a new chapter in the history of frankincense. Scientists have observed that there is some agent within frankincense which stops cancer spreading, and which induces cancerous cells to close themselves down. He is trying to find out what this is.

“Cancer starts when the DNA code within the cell’s nucleus becomes corrupted,” he says. “It seems frankincense has a re-set function. It can tell the cell what the right DNA code should be. Frankincense separates the ‘brain’ of the cancerous cell – the nucleus – from the ‘body’ – the cytoplasm, and closes down the nucleus to stop it reproducing corrupted DNA codes.” Research continues to isolate the key cancer abating ingredients in Frankincense. Research shows that essential oils are effective in cancer cell inhibition.

According to additional research frankincense oil can discriminate bladder cancer cells and normal urothelial cells in culture. The oil suppresses cell survival and induces apoptosis in cultured bladder cancer cells. Based on this preliminary observation, frankincense oil may represent an alternative intravesical therapy for bladder cancer. You can read more about this research at the following link.

Frankincense oil derived from Boswellia carteri induces tumor cell specific cytotoxicity –

According to the Omani Government “Using the compound AKBA (acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid), the Omani government-funded research has for the first time shown frankincense’s ability to target cancer cells in late-stage ovarian cancer patients. Lead researcher Kamla Al-Salmani, PhD student from the University’s Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine explained:

After a year of studying the AKBA compound with ovarian cancer cell lines in vitro, we have been able to show it is effective at killing the cancer cells. Frankincense is taken by many people with no known side effects. This finding has enormous potential to be taken to a clinical trial in the future and developed into an additional treatment for ovarian cancer.”

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Melissa Research:

Exploring Melissa Officinalis Properties for Glioblastoma Multiforme Treatment –

Apoptosis-Inducing Effects of Melissa officinalis L. Essential Oil in Glioblastoma Multiforme Cells

Melissa Officinalis Essential Oil – Glioblastoma Research –

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Rosemary Research:

Anti-Proliferative Effect of Rosmarinus officinalis L. Extract on Human Melanoma A375 Cells –

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Cassia Research:

Cinnamomum cassia Essential Oil Inhibits α-MSH-Induced Melanin Production and Oxidative Stress in Murine B16 Melanoma Cells –

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Ginger Research:

Ginger causes ovarian cancer cells to die, U-M researchers find (press release) –

Ginger Kills Ovarian and Prostate Cancer Cells –

Yarrow essential oil research on melanoma – research

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Sandalwood Research:

“Studies suggest that α-santalol is a safe and promising cancer chemopreventive/therapeutic agent with potential to target various pathways involved in carcinogenesis (Figure 2). Based on available data from cell line and animal studies, the mechanisms of action through which α-santalol functions as an anti-carcinogenic agent include proapoptotic, antiproliferative, antiangiogenic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities (Table I). α-Santalol is relatively non-toxic to normal tissues, which minimizes undesirable systemic side-effects and improves patient compliance.”

“Studies indicated that the major component of sandalwood oil is α-santalol,  The available experimental evidence suggests that sandalwood oil could function as an inhibitor of tumor initiation and promotion stages of carcinogenesis.”

“A study which used a physiologically relevant dose of UVB (30 mJ cm2) to induce photocarcinogenesis in SKH-1 mice showed that α-santalol pretreatment has potential to target various pathways involved in photocarcinogenesis. This dose of UVB is in the range of human exposure to sunlight that can cause skin cancer (14). α-Santalol has been shown to suppress proliferation of non-melanoma and melanoma skin cancer cells in culture (7, 11).

“Studies from our laboratory demonstrated the induction of apoptosis by α-santalol in various cancer cell lines and in vivo cancer models (7, 10, 12-14).”

“In UVB-induced skin carcinogenesis, topical application of α-santalol before each UVB exposure resulted in the activation of caspase-3 and cleavage of PARP in skin of SKH-1 hairless mice, indicating its photoprotective effect through induction of apoptosis (14).”

“In another study, α-santalol prevented skin cancer development in UVB-irradiated mouse skin by inducing pro-apoptotic proteins viaan extrinsic pathway (10).”


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Essential oils exhibit strong cytotoxicity against certain variants of prostate, lung and breast cancer       –


An impressive list of specific Essential Oil bearing plants studied for anticancer potential in in vitro models and major observations reported. The essential oils are listed by their botanical name so you will have to translate by entering a google search.,

Essential oils from different plants have been reported to have anticancer potential against mouth, breast, lung, prostate, liver cancer, colon cancer, and brain cancer and even in leukemia –

Essential oils reduce cancer cell proliferation, metastasis, and MDR which make them potential candidates toward adjuvant anticancer therapeutic agents.

Essential oils and their constituents target multiple pathways in cancer cells.,

BioMed Research International

Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 154106, 23 pages

from Review Article

Essential Oils and Their Constituents as Anticancer Agents: A Mechanistic View

Nandini Gautam,1 Anil K. Mantha,2 and Sunil Mittal1

1Centre for Environmental Science and Technology, School of Environment and Earth Sciences, Central University of Punjab, Bathinda, Punjab 151001, India 2Centre for Biosciences, School of Basic and Applied Sciences, Central University of Punjab, Bathinda, Punjab 151001, India. Received 26 February 2014; Accepted 11 April 2014; Published 9 June 2014. Research into the healing powers of essential oils is ongoing.

Find out the latest scientific research on these amazing essential oils at,

Research links on essential oils targeting cancer cells


Research shows that essential oils exhibit strong cytotoxicity against certain variants of prostate, lung and breast cancer

Learn more:

Essential Oils and Cancer

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NOTE: Check with your regular healthcare practitioner before adding any essential oils to your cancer treatment plan. There may be contraindications.

Learn how to combine the anti-cancer benefits of essential oils into your skincare products and to provide your body with generalized anti-cancer benefits.  Learn how to incorporate changes into your life to initiate a radical remission or placebo cure.  Get started on your quest to become ‘a healthier you’ today! Learn how to boost your body’s natural anti-cancer abilities! Learn how to stack your well-being odds by greening your diet, personal care products and healthcare – follow my blog.

Visit My Green Medicine and Makeup Cabinet for more research links and natural strategies that are healthier for you and the environment.

Elisabeth Hines, C.N.C., C.B.P., Holistic Wellness Practitioner,,

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