Break charcoal in half. Take a piece of tin foil and place over a bowl pressing foil around rim then pushing down in the middle of foil to create a depression to hold charcoal. (This makes it easier to use multiple times then throw away. No need to clean a plate or worry about container getting hot.) Take a match or lighter and hold against 1/2 of a charcoal until it sparks. Wait a couple of minutes for charcoal to light then take a pinch of resin and sprinkle onto charcoal. Inhale the smoke making sure to breathe deeply to completely fill lungs. Repeat 10-12 times or until you feel it is enough. No need to hold your breath. (If doing at bedtime it is great to let resin burn completely so you can inhale the smoke while you sleep.) You may add more resin to charcoal while it is still hot. Repeat daily.
Frankincense - Boswellia Benefits
Among the valuable boswellia tree extracts that researchers have identified, several stand out as being most beneficial, including terpenes and boswellic acids, which are strongly anti-inflammatory and protective over healthy cells. Terpenes are strong-smelling chemicals found in certain plants, including some we associate with having antioxidant abilities, such as eucalyptus, basil, peppermint and citrus trees. (5)
Terpenes play a vital role in protecting the plants that contain them, since their strong aroma can fight off insect predators, defend plants from environmental stresses and act as building blocks for important chemical processes. In the human body, terpenes can do the same thing, lowering free radical damage and prolonging health.
Other chemical compounds have been identified in boswellia that naturally reduce the inflammatory response by controlling T-lymphocytes, especially one called AKBA (3-O-acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid). Although it works similarly to NSAID pain relievers, AKBA’s exact mechanisms of action are very different because they target different inflammatory enzymes. Because they’re better able to preserve the integrity of the stomach and gut lining, boswellia extracts cause less side effects and pose less risk for toxicity compared to NSAIDs. (6)
AKBA helps fight pain thanks in part to its ability to inhibit an enzyme called 5-LOX (5-lipoxygenase) and therefore shuts down mechanisms of leukotrienes, which are inflammatory mediators produced by the process of oxidation (specifically of arachidonic acid). AKBA has shown to be effective in helping to fight against a large number of inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis, bronchial asthma, chronic colitis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and cancer.
Another active component of boswellia is called incensole acetate, which has similar powers over lowering inflammatory reactions, especially those that target the brain and speed up cognitive decline. Studies show that incensole acetate is protective over neurons, helps fight the formation of tumors and has mood-enhancing benefits, making it a potential natural antidepressant and anti-anxiety compound.
Speeds Up Healing From Infections
Boswellia is capable of lowering severity of infections of the respiratory or sinus tracts, which means you can experience relief from coughing, colds, the flu or a sore throat faster. Research shows boswellia also helps prevent allergies and asthma, eliminates phlegm in the lungs and acts as an anti-inflammatory in the nasal passages, which makes it easier to breath.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, frankincense has been used as a natural remedy for improving blood circulation, speeding up healing time and in relieving pain from a variety of bacterial or viral infections, such as colds or the flu, leprosy or gonorrhea. Studies also show that boswellia carteri and boswellia serrata extracts serve as a natural antiviral and can help treat strong and serious viruses, such as the flu or those caused by insect bites.
Helps Prevent Autoimmune Disease
One of the oldest uses of frankincense oil and boswellia is treating a variety of autoimmune ailments, especially common inflammatory diseases including asthma, arthritis and chronic bowel diseases. Boswellia interferes with autoimmune disease development, since it seems to help control the production of immunoglobulins, or antibodies, which are made by the immune system to fight potential threats: bacteria, viruses, fungi and toxins.
The fact that boswellia has inhibitory actions that decrease production of leukotrienes has received high attention by researchers who study chronic inflammatory diseases that are rooted in increased leukotriene activity. As one study published in the International Journal of Phytotherapy and Phytopharmacology puts it,
At the end of the cascade of events in the cellular immune system, as far as it directs to various tissues of the body — i.e. autoimmune diseases — formation of oxygen radicals and proteases play an important destructive role … it’s not surprising that positive effects of boswellia in some chronic inflammatory diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, bronchial asthma, osteoarthritis, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease have been reported.
Your immune system constantly makes different types of antibodies to fight off various diseases (or “antigens“), but sometimes this process goes wrong and antibodies can actually be created that fight your very own bodily tissue, including healthy tissue that forms your organs. When this takes place, autoimmune disease occurs, which can affect nearly every system within the body.