This article was written by Allison Brooks. She is a recent college graduate and a holistic health nut who is passionate about enlightening people about the benefits of natural and integrative therapies.
As the holidays creep up among us, and our houses start to smell of cinnamon and sweet pumpkin pies, I bet no one had a second thought about the effect of those scents on the body and mind. Certain scents open different parts of the mind and body to produce positive effects, and if you don't think this is true: think again. Even the most simple of scents has an effect on a person's mood, attitude towards the situation, and so on. Smell and scents have an effect on just about everything and everyone.
This is why we invest time and considerations in the perfumes we buy, the air fresheners we stock on our homes, and of course holiday scents. And the most notable, and probably most historic, holiday scent is Frankincense. The widely used aromatherapy plant has been used for generations to clear the mind and open the soul. It's mostly known for its presence in the story of the Three-Wise Men and in Roman Catholic ceremonies, but never for clinical trials...right?
Well, now Frankincense is making a comeback by being used as an integrative therapy in arthritis and cancer treatments. Cardiff University scientists have been researching Boswellia frerean, a species of frankincense, to study the effects of inflammatory arthritis and osteoarthritis. So far, they have demonstrated that the extract stops the production of inflammatory molecules which help prevent the breakdown of cartilage. This is big news in the prevention of arthritis, or the future cure. More studies are to be conducted.
The "stopping-agent" of the frankincense species is also being studied with cancer cells. Scientific studies are establishing the "reset" function frankincense has on the brain. Doctors have noted a frankincense aromatherapy treatment, actually separates the nucleus of the cancerous cell from the cytoplasm, making it unable to reproduce corrupt/cancerous DNA. This is a major development in cancer treatment since the frankincense does not negatively interact with healthy cells, unlike chemotherapy.
So far, even though there is no-concrete scientific evidence, many doctors recommended patients with unfavorable cancer prognosis, to practice aromatherapy sessions or adopt another complementary therapy. Not only do alternative therapies help relax the mind and body; they promote immune system function, which is the key during stressful times. Patients with aggressve cancers, like non-hodkin's lymphoma or mesothelioma, swear by holistic complements to conventional treatments. Who would have thought that over nine-thousand years ago a cleansing and curative plant would be medical science for tomorrow?