Frankincense has a spicy, woody, resinous aroma that is reminiscent of incense. It can smell fresh and occasionally fruity, like citrus. Much like wine made from grapes in a specific region, frankincense’s fragrance is characteristic of the soil in which it is grown. Frankincense essential oil adds depth and a stable, grounded quality to aromatherapy blends.
Frankincense Essential Oil
Most people think of frankincense as one of the gifts from the three wise men in the Christian story about the birth of Christ, but it has a lengthy history in spiritual, medicinal, and aromatherapy practices as well.
The extraction process for frankincense is quite different from most essential oils. Frankincense comes from tree bark. When the sap is removed from the tree, it is allowed to harden into a resin and then scraped into “tears” (which are little chunks). These resin drops are then steam distilled into a light yellow oil.
Also Known As: Olibanum
Variations of Frankincense Oil
Frankincense essential oil may be made from several species in the genus Boswellia. Generally, all variations are assumed to have similar properties.
Benefits of Frankincense Essential Oil
Frankincense is a multi-tasking powerhouse with widespread uses and extensive benefits. Its ability to improve skin and help produce healthy cells, as well as improve the texture and appearance of scars and stretch marks, makes it a go-to choice for preventing further skin damage and reducing the possibility of wrinkles due to the natural aging process.
Respiratory problems, including bronchitis, asthma, and coughing have also been relieved due to frankincense’s decongestant properties. The body as a whole may benefit from frankincense’s potential for reducing inflammation, eliminating phlegm from colds or allergies, and improving digestion.
When used with a diffuser or a vaporizer, frankincense has a calming effect, which is why it is frequently burned as incense during meditation. Frankincense has been used for thousands of years in religious rituals, and is highly regarded in promoting spirituality and a meditative state of mind.
Therapeutic Properties of Frankincense Essential Oil
Research on Frankincense Essential Oil
Some studies have shown promising anti-cancer properties of frankincense essential oil. For instance, one study demonstrated the ability of frankincense essentail oil to induce cell death in pancreatic cancer cells. However, these studies are only preliminary, and claims that frankincense can be used to treat or even cure cancer are spurious. For a sensible look at the research we recommend this excellent article by Robert Tisserand, one of the foremost experts in the field of aromatherapy.
Precautions When Using Frankincense Essential Oil
Observe the standard safety guidelines when using Frankincense essential oil.
If your frankincense oil has been exposed to the air and has oxidized (darkened in color), then you should avoid using it because it may cause skin irritation.
Buying Frankincense Essential Oil
Typically, Frankincense essential oil sells for around $30 per ounce.
Recommended Sources for Frankincense Essential Oil
The following are reputable sources for Frankincense essential oils and extracts.
Frankincense Essential Oil at Mountain Rose Herbs
Frankincense Blends Well With...
Essential Oil Safety
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils
Essential Oils: A Handbook for Aromatherapy Practice
Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit
Aromatherapy and the Mind
The Aromatherapy Workbook