Broadly perceived to promote general well-being, this exotic and illustrious essence with its evocative, mysterious and sweet-balsamic undertones has been seen as a symbol of The Devine and an emblem of prayer for thousands of years.
As a highly prized and a highly sought after commodity, Frankincense has been an object of trade for over 4000 years and its value was even likened to that of gold.
The use of Frankincense has pervasive ties to some of the greatest ancient cultures in history.
In ancient Judaism, Frankincense was viewed as sacred for use during holy ceremonies while the Ancient Egyptians used it in the embalming process during mummification, to fumigate the ill, as an insecticide and also during religious occasions. In ancient Greek and Roman history, Frankincense was also an integral part of their culture, used in medicinal practices as well as revered as a holy perfume burned as incense during mass.
In the Hindu art of healing, Ayurvedic medicine, Frankincense has been used for hundreds of years for treating arthritis, healing wounds and strengthening the female hormone system.
Modern day medicine has taken its cue from Ayurvedic practice where Frankincense has showed some promising results in clinical trials for treatment of arthritis whereby patients experienced a decrease in inflammation and a significant reduction of many other symptoms.
Where Does Frankincense Oil Come From?
There are four main species of the Boswellia tree that produce Frankincense. The bark of the tree is lashed and over a period of weeks a hard and aromatic oleo gum resin called ‘tears’ form. These tears are then collected and Frankincense oil is produced by means of steam distillation.
Derived from the old French ‘franc encens’ and also known as ‘olibanum’, the plant is renowned for its ability to grow and withstand exceedingly harsh and unforgiving environments.
- Antiseptic properties in Frankincense Oil successfully kill harmful infection-causing organisms making it a safe remedy on minor wounds, abrasions, cold sores and acne break-outs.
- By tightening skin tissue and causing muscles and nerves to contract, the astringency of Frankincense Oil can help prevent sagging skin, wrinkles and hair fall.
- Due to its emmenagogue properties, this essential oil has been used in the treatment of irregular menstrual cycles and has the ability to help reduce water retention during menstruation.
- Being a diuretic, it can help to provide relief from urinary disorders as it causes the body to get rid of excess water and reduce inflammation of the bladder as well as detoxify the body.
- Frankincense is a popular ingredient in cosmetics and healing lotions as its cicatrisant constituent helps in the formation of scar tissue aiding in the reduction of visible scars, stretch marks and broken capillaries.
- As a cholagogue it helps promote the release of bile from the system, allowing for easier digestion.
- In addition it aids in the release of gas in the alimentary tract making this a suitable remedy for anyone suffering from cramps associated with sluggish digestion or flatulence.
- With its expectorant properties it helps to diminish phlegm lodged in the respiratory tract and lungs, and regulates excessive mucus production, thereby helping to relieve discomfort caused by shortness of breath, bronchitis, colds and flu as well as loss of voice.
- As an analgesic and anti-inflammatory agent it aids in the relief of rheumatic pain, general muscle aches, and headaches.
- The cytophylactic property of this oil make it beneficial to skin conditions such as dermatitis and eczema, and provides the overall cleansing of the skin on a cellular level as it encourages cell regeneration and protects existing cells.
- As a sedative, Frankincense Essential Oil can be used to calm nerves and promote relaxation which can help to obtain a restful, replete night’s sleep.
- To help ease congestion and headaches caused by blocked sinuses and head colds, add 4-6 drops of Frankincense Essential Oil and 4 drops of Eucalyptus Essential Oil to a bowl of boiling water and drape a towel over your head. With deep breaths, slowly inhale in the vapour; be careful to keep a safe distance as not to burn yourself with the steam.
- Frankincense Essential Oil can be used to promote relaxation and facilitate a restful night’s sleep by adding 3 drops of Frankincense Essential Oil, 3 drops Lavender Essential Oil and 1 drop of Cedarwood Essential Oil to 65 millilitres of Sweet Almond Oil. Add a tablespoon of this mixture to a hot bath just before bedtime. Store in a dark bottle, in a cool area.
- For a deep muscle-rub for the relief of achy, stiff or sore muscles combine 4 drops of Frankincense Essential Oil, 1 drop of Black Pepper Essential Oil, 3 Drops of Ginger Essential and Oil 5 drops of Lavender Essential Oil with 10 millilitres of a carrier oil such as Apricot Kernel Oil. Rub slowly and firmly over the affected area.
- Frankincense can be used to effectively repel insects and at the same time can be used to disinfect and clean surfaces. Add 10 drops of Frankincense Essential Oil and 10 drops of Lemon Essential Oil to a spray bottle filled with 120 millilitres of water. Use to wipe down doors and windowsills where insects might enter as well as surfaces and furniture.
- For a purifying and disinfecting general surface spray mix 12 drops of Frankincense Essential Oil, 10 Drops of Lemon Essential Oil and 8 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil into a spray bottle with 125 millilitres of distilled water. Shake well before every use. Spray liberally onto surfaces and wipe down with a clean cloth, not only will this safely clean and sterilise, but it will leave behind a beautifully refreshing smell too.
- Natural and organic cleaning products are always the better option, and creating your own at home is as simple as it is safe. For an effective all purpose cleaner add 10 drops of Frankincense Essential Oil and 15 drops of Patchouli Essential Oil in a bucket filled with 500 millilitres of warm water. Add 125 millilitres of vinegar and use as you would a standard all purpose cleaner.
Caution: Because essential oils are concentrated, highly potent substances dilute properly and never use undiluted on the skin. Avoid eyes and mucous membranes. Overuse may cause nausea and/or skin irritation. Should you be pregnant or breast feeding, avoid using as a precaution.