Is Frankincense Poisonous? What Health Benefits Does It Have

What is frankincense and what health benefits does it have?


Frankincense is a resin obtained from a deciduous tree and has long been used in perfumes, incense, and traditional medicines, but is it poisonous? The answer is a bit complex.

Toxicity of Frankincense

Frankincense is generally not considered to be toxic, but it can cause some adverse reactions in certain people. This is especially true when it is inhaled, as it contains components like pinene and limonene, which can trigger respiratory and skin irritations in some individuals.

The most common active ingredient in frankincense essential oil is boswellic acid, which has been found to have anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. However, it can also produce liver toxicity if taken in large doses. In addition, some individuals may be allergic to this acid and may experience an allergic reaction after applying it to the skin. For these reasons, it is important to always dilute the essential oil prior to use.

Possible Health Benefits

Although it may be toxic in high doses, in lower amounts frankincense has been linked to a number of potential health benefits. For example, its anti-inflammatory properties may make it useful in treating inflammatory conditions, such as arthritis and asthma. It has also been studied as a possible treatment for osteoarthritis, cognitive impairment, and even cancer.

Frankincense has also been used in traditional medicines for centuries and has been linked to a number of beneficial therapeutic effects. For example, it has been used for centuries to reduce anxiety, reduce inflammation, and promote sleep. It may even have anti-cancer properties.


Although frankincense may have some potential health benefits in certain people, it is important to note that it can be toxic in large doses. Always consult your healthcare provider before using it and always dilute it prior to use. With that being said, it may hold promise as a potential therapeutic agent for a variety of conditions.

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