Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Frankincense for Pain
A recent study by UC Davis researchers finds that an extract of frankincense can reduce arthritis pain. This is old news to Chinese medicine doctors, who have used frankincense for hundreds of years for many kinds of pain and stagnation.
Frankincense (Ru Xiang in Chinese) is the resin of the boswellia tree and falls in the category of blood movers, a term that generally describes the active, invigorating, circulating qualities of herbs in this category.
Frankincense is used in combination with other herbs, particularly myrrh (Mo Yao), for menstrual pain, stomach pain, external trauma such as sports injuries or car accidents, and stubborn pain like arthritis. It also reduces swelling and has "promotes the generation of flesh", a translation of a Chinese term which means that it is good for non-healing sores and ulcers on both the exterior and interior of the body. For example, it can be powdered and applied topically for skin lesions, but it is also good in internal formulas for intestinal abscess.