Frankincense has a significant meaning in Christianity, and is believed to be one of the gifts offered by the three wise men to the newborn Jesus. Today, this fragrant resin is transformed into an essential oil that’s valued not only in religious practice, but also in aromatherapy and natural health. Read on to learn more about frankincense oil.
Botanical Family – Burseraceae (frankincense)
Plant Origin – Somalia
Extraction Method – Steam distilled from gum/resin
Historical Data – Also known as “olibanum”, the name frankincense is derived from the Medieval French word for “real incense”. Frankincense is considered the “holy anointing oil” in the Middle East and has been used in religious ceremonies for thousands of years. It was well known during the time of Christ for its anointing and healing powers and was one of the gifts given to Christ at His birth. “Used to treat every conceivable ill known to man, “frankincense was valued more that gold during ancient times, and only those with great wealth and abundance possessed it. It is mentioned in one of the oldest known medical records, Ebers Papyrus (dating from 16th century B.C.), an ancient Egyptian list of 877 prescriptions and recipes.
What Is Frankincense Oil?
Frankincense, also known as olibanum, comes from the Boswellia genustrees, particularly Boswellia sacra and Boswellia carteri. The milky white sap is extracted from the tree bark, allowed to harden into a gum resin for several days, and then scraped off in tear-shaped droplets. Boswellia trees grow in African and Arabian regions, including Yemen, Oman, Somalia and Ethiopia. Oman is the best known and most ancient source of frankincense, where it’s been traded and shipped to other places like the Mediterranean, India, and China for thousands of years.
The highest-quality frankincense is clear and silvery, but with a slight green tinge. Brown-yellow varieties are the cheapest and most readily available. In Oman, the best frankincense is usually reserved for the sultan and is rarely shipped out of the country.
Frankincense is traditionally burned as incense, and was charred and ground into a powder to produce the heavy kohl eyeliner used by Egyptian women. Today, this resin is steam-distilled to produce an aromatic essential oil with many benefits. Frankincense oil has a woody, earthy, spicy and slightly fruity aroma, which is calming and relaxing. It’s said to be sweeter, fresher and cleaner than frankincense resin.
Uses of Frankincense Oil
Frankincense oil has long been revered in the Middle East, where it’s been used in religious ceremonies as an anointing oil for thousands of years. It is also a popular ingredient in cosmetics, and has even been found in the remains of Anglo-Saxons and ancient Egyptians.
I believe that frankincense oil is one of the top essential oils you can use for your health. It’s known for its comforting properties, and is useful for visualizing, improving one’s spiritual connection and helping overcome stress and despair. In aromatherapy, frankincense oil is either inhaled or diffused via a vaporizer — a sedative that has been known to help induce a feeling of mental peace, relaxation and satisfaction, and helps relieve anxiety, anger & stress.
Frankincense oil may also help in healthy cell regeneration and keep existing cells and tissues healthy. It’s useful for skin health, and can help treat dry skin, reverse signs of aging and reduce the appearance of stretch marks and scars. Frankincense oil’s astringent properties help:
- Strengthen gums and hair roots
- Stop wounds from bleeding
- Speed up the healing of cuts, acne, insect bites and boils
Top 8 Frankincense Uses
- Stress-Relieving Bath Soak
Frankincense oil immediately induces the feeling of peace, relaxation and satisfaction. Add a few drops of frankincense oil to a hot bath for stress relief. You can also add frankincense to an oil diffuser or vaporizer to help fight anxiety and for experiencing relaxation in your home all the time. Some people believe that the fragrance of frankincense can increase your intuition and spiritual connection.
- Natural Household Cleaner
Frankincense oil is an antiseptic, meaning it helps eliminate bacteria and viruses from your home and clean indoor spaces. The plant has been commonly burned to help disinfect an area and is used as a natural deodorizer. Use it in an essential oil diffuser to help reduce indoor pollution and deodorize and disinfect any room or surface in your home.
- Natural Hygiene Product
Due to its antiseptic properties, frankincense oil is a great addition to any oral hygiene regimen. Look for natural oral care products that contain frankincense oil, especially if you enjoy the aroma. It can help prevent dental health issues like tooth decay, bad breath, cavities or oral infections. You can also consider making your own toothpaste by mixing frankincense oil with baking soda.
- Anti-Aging and Wrinkle Fighter
Frankincense essential oil is a powerful astringent, meaning it helps protect skin cells. It can be used to help reduce acne blemishes, the appearance of large pores, prevent wrinkles, and it even helps lift and tighten skin to naturally slow signs of aging. The oil can be used anywhere where the skin becomes saggy, such as the abdomen, jowls or under the eyes. Mix six drops of oil to one ounce of unscented oil and apply it directly to the skin. Be sure to always do a small patch area test first to test for possible allergic reactions.
- Relieves Symptoms of Indigestion
If you have any digestive distress, such as gas, constipation, stomach aches, irritable bowel syndrome, PMS or cramps, frankincense oil can help relieve gastrointestinal discomfort. It helps speed up the digestion of food, similar to digestive enzymes. Add one to two drops of oil to eight ounces of water or to a tablespoon of honey for GI relief. If you’re going to ingest it orally, make sure it’s 100 percent pure oil; do not ingest fragrance or perfume oils.
- Scar, Wound, Stretch Mark or Acne Remedy
Frankincense oil can help with wound healing and may decrease the appearance of scars. It may also help reduce the appearance of dark spots caused from acne blemishes, stretch marks, eczema and help with healing of surgical wounds. Mix two to three drops of oil with an unscented base oil or lotion and apply directly to skin. Be careful not to apply it to broken skin, but it’s fine for skin that’s in the process of healing.
- Natural Cold or Flu Medicine
Next time you have a respiratory infection from a cold or flu, use frankincense essential oil to help provide relief from coughing. It can help eliminate phlegm in the lungs. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory in the nasal passages, making breathing easier, even for those with allergies or asthma. Add a few drops to a cloth and inhale for the respiratory benefits or use an oil diffuser.
- Helps Relieve Inflammation and Pain
To improve circulation and lower symptoms of joint pain or muscle pain related to conditions like arthritis, digestive disorders and asthma, try massaging frankincense oil to the painful area or diffusing it in your home. You can add a drop of oil to steaming water and soak a towel in it, then place the towel on your body or over your face to inhale it to decrease muscle aches. Also diffuse several drops in your home, or combine several drops with a carrier oil to massage into your muscles, joints, feet or neck.
Frankincense Essential Oil Benefits
- Helps Reduce Stress Reactions and Negative Emotions
When inhaled, it’s been shown to reduce heart rate and high blood pressure. It has anti-anxiety and depressio- reducing abilities, but unlike prescription medications it does not have negative side effects and does not cause unwanted drowsiness.
- Helps Boost Immune System Function and Prevents Illness
Studies have demonstrated that frankincense has immune-enhancing abilities that may help destroy dangerous bacteria, viruses and even cancers. It can be used to prevent germs from forming on the skin, mouth or in your home. This is the reason many people choose to use frankincense to naturally relieve oral health problems; the antiseptic qualities of this oil can help prevent gingivitis, bad breath, cavities, toothaches, mouth sores and other infections from occurring.
- May Help Fight Cancer or Deal with Chemotherapy Side Effects
Frankincense oil has been shown to help fight cells of specific types of cancer. A 2012 study even found that a chemical compound found in frankincense called AKBA is successful at killing cancer cells that have become resistant to chemotherapy, which may make it a potential natural cancer treatment.
- Astringent, Kills Harmful Germs and Bacteria
Frankincense is an antiseptic and disinfectant. It has the ability to eliminate cold and flu germs from the home and the body naturally and can be used in place of chemical household cleaners.
- Heals Skin and Prevents Signs of Aging
Frankincense has the ability to strengthen skin and improve its tone, elasticity, defense mechanisms against bacteria or blemishes, and appearance as someone ages. It helps tone and lift skin, reduces appearance of scars and acne, and heals wounds. It can also be beneficial for fading of stretch marks, surgery scars or marks associated with pregnancy, and for healing dry or cracked skin.
- Balances Hormone Levels
Frankincense oil reduces symptoms associated with menstruation and menopause by balancing hormone levels. It can help relieve pain, cramps, constipation, headaches, anxiety, nausea, fatigue and mood swings. Frankincense oil also helps with regulating estrogen production and may reduce the risk of tumor or cyst development in premenopausal women.
- Eases Digestion
Frankincense helps the digestive system properly detox and to produce bowel movements, reduces pain and cramping in the stomach, can relieve nausea, helps flush out excess water from the abdomen that can cause bloating and even relieves PMS-related stomach pains. It does this by speeding up the secretion of digestive enzymes, increasing urination production, relaxing the muscles of the digestive tract and also helps improve circulation, which is needed for proper digestive health. It’s been shown to be beneficial in reducing symptoms of leaky gut syndrome, chronic colitis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and IBS.
- Acts as a Sleep Aid
Frankincense essential oil is useful in lowering levels of anxiety or chronic stress that can keep you up at night. It has a calming, grounding scent that can naturally help you to fall asleep. It helps open breathing passages, allows your body to reach an ideal sleeping temperature and can eliminate pain that keeps you up.
- Helps Decrease Inflammation and Pain
Frankincense can inhibit the production of key inflammatory molecules associated with conditions like arthritis, asthma, painful bowel disorders like IBS and many more conditions. It can be useful in helping prevent the breakdown of the cartilage tissue and has been shown to significantly reduce levels of dangerous and painful inflammation, making it a natural treatment option for pain-related conditions that affect the muscles, joints and tendons.
Frankincense Oil Recipes/ Blends
Soothing Face Mask
This mask helps to draw out impurities while leaving your skin soft and supple.
- 2 tablespoons bentonite clay
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon of raw honey
- 3 drops of frankincense oil
- 2 drops of lavender
Mix everything together. Add a little water if necessary. Apply to your face and leave on for fifteen minutes. Rinse with warm water and follow up with a moisturizer such s organic coconut oil.
All of the ingredients in this soothing face cream have therapeutic properties that will nourish and heal your skin.
- ½ cup cocoa butter
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons jojoba oil
- 2 tablespoons sweet almond oil
- 40 drops frankincense oil
- Melt the cocoa butter in a double boiler
- Mix the melted cocoa butter with the coconut oil, jojoba oil and almond oil in a mixing bowl
- Put the bowl in the fridge until it hardens
- Once it is cooled put it in a stand mixer and whip
- Scarpe off the sides with a spatula and continue to whip until well mixed and fluffy
- Add the frankincense and whip again
- Put into glass jars
- Apply to skin as needed
- 10 drops frankincense
- 10 drops lavender
- 10 drops peppermint
- top up with carrier oil
Sleepy Time Blend (adults)
- 4 drops marjoram
- 10 drops frankincense
- 10 drops bergamot
- 12 drops roman chamomile
- 12 drops vetiver
- 15 drops lavender
- 10 drops cedarwood
- top up with carrier oil
- 4 drops frankincense
- 4 drops marjoram
- 6 drops geranium
- 6 drops clary sage
- 4 drops orange
- top up with carrier oil
- 20 drops of lavender
- 20 drops of cypress
- 20 drops of frankincense
- top up with carrier oil
Note: When making blends, add the oils to a 10 ml roller ball container, fill with a carrier oil, such as fractionated coconut oil, sweet almond or jojoba oil, and roll-on as needed.
Info from: https://articles.mercola.com/herbal-oils/frankincense-oil.aspx