It’s safe to say the ancients knew quite a bit about healing.
In fact, new research is confirming what practitioners have known for eons; natural substances heal.
Now new research shows that a sap supposedly given to Jesus at birth is now being used to stop joint pain.
As the story goes, wise men from the Far East visited Jesus and bestowed upon him gifts of great value. One of those gifts was a bundle of frankincense and myrrh.
At the time, frankincense was highly prized because it was important to religious ceremonies. Because it only comes from the region of Oman, its rarity lead to its value.
Today, frankincense still comes from Oman. And while this substance is still considered rare, it’s far more accessible than it was 2,000 years ago.
Frankincense is derived from several types of trees under the Boswellia genus. There are 3 main types of tree frankincense is made from; Boswellia serrata, Boswellia carterii, and Boswellia frereana.
The resin, or sap, is harvested from the tree and then stored as either a crystal, or converted into an essential oil.
Today frankincense is commonly sold as an essential oil, and it’s this essential oil that has profound health benefits.
How Frankincense May Relieve Nagging Joint Pain
Over the past few decades, researchers have spent ample time investigating the therapeutic uses of frankincense.
Scientists have identified several different compounds that help make frankincense an incredible anti-inflammatory agent. And as you likely know, inflammation in the body, especially in the joints, are what lead to debilitating conditions like arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis and more.
The compounds that help frankincense beat inflammation and provide relief from joint pain are called Boswellic acids.
Studies like the one published in Science Reports back in 2015 indicate boswellic acids neutralize the production of inflammation-producing cytokines so inflammation cannot take hold and cause a person pain (cytokines are substances created during inflammation that can affect surrounding cells either positively or negatively).
How does it work exactly?
When frankincense is rubbed onto the body it permeates the skin and enters into your body’s tissue. Once inside of the body, the boswellic acids go to work at the cellular level to keep potentially harmful cytokines (like interferon gamma, interleukin-4 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha) from damaging surrounding cells.
In addition to helping reverse unhealthy inflammation, frankincense can also prevent collagen degradation.
Collagen is the critically important protein matrix that helps build cartilage which is necessary for healthy joints and tendons. As we age, collagen production begins to decline, which often leads to age-related joint pain.
Plus, localized inflammation in the joints has also been shown to cause collagen to deteriorate which leads to cartilage damage and subsequent joint pain.
Frankincense essential oil has been shown to keep collagen intact which helps keep cartilage
healthy and is responsible for pain-free joints.
Research Proves Frankincense May Help Prevent Joint Pain
A 2010 study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research indicated the presence of frankincense was powerful enough to keep collagen from falling apart.
The researchers took two potentially dangerous inflammatory cytokines and exposed healthy collagen to them in vitro. These cytokines are known to cause collagen damage.
After exposing the cartilage to the inflammatory cytokines, they doused the cartilage in frankincense.
After 28 days they concluded frankincense was responsible for helping prevent collagen degradation. This is what caused them to write “we propose that B. frereana should be examined further as a potential therapeutic agent for treating inflammatory symptoms associated with arthritis.”
Studies like this (among others) have led a number of Integrative Health MD’s to recommend frankincense essential oil as a treatment for joint pain over NSAIDs and various other forms of pain relief.
You can either apply frankincense essential oil directly to affected areas, or find topical solutions with frankincense as a primary constituent to use for pain relief.
The bottom line? The research showing frankincense can help relieve pain is there, now it’s just up to you to try it.