Frankincense Essential Oil <br/><em>Boswellia carterii</em>
Close your eyes and let the woody, balsamic aroma wisp around you as you take in the complex and appealing essence of frankincense. With each breath of this sacred scent, you connect with your forebears and the generations before them who walked this earth. For nearly 5,000 years, this scent is the same fragrance enjoyed by people around the globe, searching for security, protection, calm and the divine. As a few minutes pass, you’ll start to notice the slightly fruity and floral undertones of the fragrance, a blessing and an added joy to a peace-inducing scent.
The King of Oils
There are many reasons frankincense has earned the title of “the king of oils”. Its popularity, especially in ancient eras, is one reason. As one of the oldest known oils, frankincense was traded in North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, supplying the Babylonians and Assyrians with frankincense for their religious rites.
Ancient Egyptians were more creative with their uses for frankincense, buying immense amounts of the resin from the Phoenicians. They used it as an incense to scent their indoor spaces. They used it as perfume to scent their bodies. It was an eyeliner, skin salve, bug repellent and embalming ingredient. The resin was so vital to Egyptian life and ritual that sacks of the resin were found to be painted onto the wall of Queen Hatshepsut’s temple.
Frankincense-based holy incense was burned in Jewish temples, according to the Hebrew Scriptures, and the three wise men famously bestowed frankincense and myrrh on Jesus at his birth. In the Middle Ages, many Christian churches continued to burn frankincense before services. We now know that this pre-service frankincense burning helped clear the church of germs and air-borne communicable diseases that were rampant at the time.
- Circulation, Joint Pain. When added to a carrier oil, frankincense oil can be massaged into skin to improve circulation and relieve joint and muscle pain. Joint pain relief may be a result of the oil’s Boswellic acid, which reduces inflammation. As a result, the oil may be beneficial for inflammatory conditions like arthritis and asthma.
- Immune System. Studies show that frankincense can boost your immune system. Other research demonstrates that frankincense has an antiseptic and disinfectant effect, so it’s excellent for preventing topical infections on skin and orally.
- Respiratory. Inhaling vaporised frankincense helps to open nasal passages for better breathing. It also helps to reduce phlegm and relieve a cold-related cough.
- Cancer Studies. Several clinical research studies have found promising results in frankincense oil’s ability to fight some cancers. While the evidence is not yet enough to lead medical practitioners to use the oil as a treatment, additional clinical studies are underway to verify and expand the original studies’ results.
- Digestion. Frankincense essential oil helps to reduce flatulence and bloating.
- Relaxation, Stress. Frankincense aromatherapy helps open your nasal passages, allowing you to take the deep breaths you need to relax fully after a stressful day.
- Anxiety. Lab mice who inhaled frankincense oil showed a reduction in anxiety and were more amenable to spending time out in the open, more vulnerable areas of the lab environment.
- Anti-ageing. The astringent components of frankincense oil make it a popular choice for anti-ageing skin care products.
- Aftershave. Some men find that the astringent properties of the oil help to reduce the inflammation and skin imperfections revealed after shaving.
- Cleanse negative energy. Frankincense oil is frequently used to clear away the negative energy that may be impeding your aura energy fields, your physical body, your psyche and your surrounding space.
- Root Chakra. Frankincense provides a grounding influence to your chakra-balancing meditations. Its protective elements also provide another level of security to do the work you need to balance your body’s subtle energy.
If you are pregnant or nursing, it’s best to avoid frankincense oil. Do not use frankincense aromatherapy around babies or small children as its effects on our little ones isn’t fully known. Remember to always dilute frankincense oil in carrier oil before topical use, and never use the oil internally.
- Botanical Name: Boswellia carterii, Boswellia serrata
- Common Method of Extraction: Steam distillation
- Plant Part Typically Used: Sap, resin from the tree bark
- Color: Pale yellow
- Consistency: Thin
- Perfumery Note: Base
- Strength of Initial Aroma: Mild to medium
- Aromatic Description: Woody and slightly lemony with a faint sweet note