For most people when you hear the word Frankincense you think about Jesus and the gifts from the three wise men of Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh. For me, I think about how much it changed my life and pushed me in a direction I’d never thought I’d go.
It’s fitting to write this blog at Easter 🙂
My incredible desire to help people along with unbearable job related stress pushed me to leave my Laboratory Managment career to pursue a career in Holistic Health and Wellness. I never realized the amount of information I would learn through my own and my classmates research.
I am currently writing a research paper entitled “Frankincense aids in the reduction of pain and inflammation associated with autoimmune diseases.” The vast amount of time I’ve spent perusing through journal articles in my school library has helped me to uncover a wealth of incredible information about the healing properties of Frankincense. It amazed me and also left me incredibly disheartened that this information is widely unaccepted and unknown by the general public.
Why? That is the question.
Frankincense is a gum resin produced by Boswellia genus trees that grow in Africa and collected in a similar fashion as maple syrup where the tree is tapped. It has been used for hundreds of years for a plethora of health related issues mainly skin care and chronic inflammatory conditions. It is a widely known and used herbal in Ayurvedic medicine. Modern medicine however seems to shun the use of herbals and holistic medicine in favor of the standardized care of pharmaceuticals. It’s not that one is wrong and one is right it’s more about what works best in curing, helping and healing the individual while doing the least harm.
While researching I encountered the particular article in the picture (furry nose belongs to my adorable Frenchie who supports my research) and was a bit mind blown. “Boswellic acid inhibits growth and metastasis of human colorectal cancer…” To break this down simple so it makes sense to everyone it means “Frankincense, the gum resin from trees in Africa has the power to stop the growth of human colorectal cancer and also it’s metastasis to other areas of the body in genetically engineered mouse models that are able to mimic the human pathological condition”. With no, yup that’s right NO side effects.
So why the hell aren’t we using this??!
Simple. Because there isn’t any money in it and the research isn’t adequate enough to be used in modern medicine protocols. You can’t patent a plant or tree or the constituents made from it like essential oils. So instead we create synthetic and harmful chemotherapy drugs with significant and sometimes deadly side effects that don’t always work.
I’ve learned a ton in my “Assessment and Integration of Research” class that explains why complementary and alternative therapies are not widely accepted and how myself and my classmates can seek to rectify this. My journey to rectify this begins with this blog. The normal progression of research on new drug therapies entails starting in a test tube, then animal testing (typically genetically engineered mouse models that work phenomenally at mimicking the human condition) and then onto clinical research trials. With complementary and alternative treatments (CAM) the research goes in the opposite direction. Anecdotal evidence on human use of CAM therapies comes first, then the action mechanisms of “how” it works are uncovered and then the test tube work is performed. Oftentimes, CAM research is not done in accordance with the standards required by the FDA because of various reasons but mostly lack of appropriate funding of research. This goes back to what I stated earlier…there isn’t any money in it and you can’t patent a plant.
My drive from this will be to find a way to advance and fund the research of essential oils and holistic therapies. It’s imperative that we do this. The staggering cost of healthcare for the 50 million Americans suffering with autoimmune diseases warrants it. The devastating diagnosis of cancer that touches everyone demands it and we as human beings need this.