Frankincense. It’s one essential oil that is praised, claimed to heal all sorts of calamities, and can be almost as costly as gold. And although frankincense has been getting more and more attention lately, we seem to hear more about it during Christmas than most other times of the year.
Those who are familiar with the Bible, know it was one of the gifts the magi presented the Christ child. A seemingly odd gift for a small child, but it did possess deep spiritual meaning. And it probably was sold to finance a move to Egypt to escape the wrath of King Herod.
But beyond that it was used for several centuries before this one event. Frankincense was used in the temple incense in Israel, and also valued in many other religious ceremonies in several countries in the ancient world. And with the cost of the oil, one can easily see why this oil was considered “precious”. It has even been called “liquid gold”. Thus it became associated with the wealthy or those involved in spiritual affairs.
Frankincense essential oil is steam distilled from a resin taken from three species of the Boswellia tree—Carterii, Frereana, and Sacra. These are commonly grown in Somalia. The process is a long tedious process that can take over five months.(1) First sap must be “liberated” from the trees and allowed to harden into resin. Then the resin is scraped off into tear shaped droplets which must be collected and sorted then it will finally be distilled.(2) Workers will often leave their families, travel long distances and even live in caves as they harvest the resin. Unfortunately, many are not paid near enough for their tedious labor. This is one reason we should be mindful when purchasing frankincense oil and only purchase from a reputable company that strives to pay their workers and partners a fair wage. And yes, that means that you will pay more for this precious oil.
Check out my video on frankincense oil.
Fankincense was highly valued in Biblical times and still is today. But why? And is it really worth it’s weight in gold?
Properties of frankincense oil.
- promotes a healthy immune system
- promotes cell regeneration
- improves skin appearance
- balances mood
- promotes attention and focus
Ways to use frankincense oil.
- aromatically-probably the most commonly known use of frankincense oil is aromatically. This is not surprising considering it’s use in the temple incense of Biblical days. But even today, the most common use is diffusing. But this is a great way to get many of the benefits of the oil-mood, focus and stress relief. And many people, including me, really like the smell of frankincense.
- topically-also a great way to get the skin improving benefits of frankincense. Frankincense can improve aged skin, sooth dry skin, speed up the healing of blemishes, and help remove age spots and uneven skin tone. Add it to your moisturizer or face wash to easily get the benefits.
- internally-although many people do not think of ingesting frankincense oil, internal use has it’s benefits. Frankincense is not a “hot” or spicy oil, but I wouldn’t say it taste great either. For best internal use, make a chew, dilute it in honey or coconut oil, or add it to a veggie capsule. (Though I don’t recommend children or pregnant women to take oils internally without the supervision of a trained aromatic specialist.)
Benefits of frankincense oil.
- Can help break up phlegm during a cold or respiratory infection. (3)
- Can aid in digestion by increasing the secretion of digestive juices and stimulating peristaltic motion.(4)
- Can calm and soothe. Diffuse it to help ease stress and tension.
- Frankincense, with it’s anti-inflammatory properties, can help diminish red marks on the skin, tone, improve elasticity and help wounds heal quicker. It can also reduce the appear of scars, acne and stretch marks.(5)
- Can lift the mood, soothe the spirit, deepen breathing, and relax and calm fears.
- Some research even suggest the use of frankincense in healing cancer.(6)
As you can see, frankincense has a multitude of uses. It blends well with citrus, cinnamon, geranium, pine, rose, lavender, sandalwood, and of course, myrrh. And while yes, you will spend a pretty penny on it, it truly is worth the cost. Again, make sure you buy a quality oil that is pure. Once I experienced the real deal, I don’t ever want to be without a bottle in my house. And especially during the Christmas season.
Until next time,
Want more essential oil info? Check out my post on
Learn how to make your own natural air freshener (aka natural lysol).
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