The therapeutic and healing properties of essential oils have enabled them to be used for thousands of years as part of the practice of aromatherapy. Essential oils are sourced from leaves, stems or roots of plants that are known for their health properties.
Frankincense, also known as Olibanum, is a common type of essential oil that can offer a variety of health benefits including help reduce pain and inflammation, relieve chronic stress and anxiety, boost immunity and even help fight cancer.
Frankincense oil is sourced from the gum of Boswellia sacara or Boswellia carterii tree which is commonly grown in Somalia. Unlike most other trees, this tree is able to grow with very little soil in dry and desolate conditions.
The origin of its name, Frankincense, is derived from the term “franc encens”, which translates to quality incense in old French. Frankincense has also been associated with a number of different religions, particularly the Christian religion, where it was one of the first gifts given to Jesus by the wise men.
What Can Frankincense Oil Be Used For?
Often Frankincense is used by either inhaling it or absorbing it through the skin via topical application where it is mixed with a carrier oil, such as jojoba oil or an unscented lotion. It’s understood that Frankincense oil transmits messages to the limbic system of the brain, which influences the nervous system. Due to its high potency, not much is needed to reap the benefits of this amazing oil.
When purchasing essential oils, it is best to avoid oils that are labelled with “fragrance oil” or “perfume oil” as these may be synthetic and don’t provide the desired health benefits. Rather, it is recommended to purchase oils that say “pure essential oil” or “100% essential oil” to ensure you are using the highest quality essential oil.
Top 8 Frankincense Uses
1. Natural Flu or Cold Medicine
Frankincense oil helps provide relief from coughing and can help eliminate phlegm in the lungs. Its anti-inflammatory properties help clear the nasal passages, making it easier to breathe, even for those with allergies or asthma. Simply add a few drops of Frankincense oil to a tissue and inhale for the respiratory benefits or use in an oil diffuser.
2. Wound, Stretch Mark, Scar or Acne Remedy
Frankincense oil is wonderful in helping heal wounds and may also decrease the appearance of scars. It may also help reduce stretch marks, eczema, the appearance of dark spots caused from acne blemishes and help with healing of surgical wounds. Just mix 2-3 drops of Frankincense oil with a carrier oil and apply directly to skin. Take care when applying to broken skin, it’s fine to use for skin that is in the process of healing.
3. Helps Relieve Inflammation and Pain
Frankincense oil is wonderful to help improve circulation and lower symptoms of joint pain or muscle pain related to conditions such as arthritis, digestive disorders and asthma. Simply massaging some Frankincense oil into the painful area or diffusing it in your home can help relieve symptoms. You may also want to try adding a drop of Frankincense to steaming water and soaking a towel in it, then place the towel on your body or face to inhale and decrease muscle aches. Adding several drops in your diffuser, or combining with carrier oil to massage into your muscle, joins, fee or neck work very effectively too.
4. Stress Relieving Bath-Soak
Frankincense oil helps induce the feeling of peace, relaxation and satisfaction. Adding a few drops of Frankincense oil to a hot bath is great to help reduce stress relief. Also using Frankincense oil in an oil diffuser helps fight anxiety and encourage relaxation in your home. It’s also believed that Frankincense oil can increase your intuition and spiritual connection.
5. Natural Hygiene Product
Frankincense oil has natural antiseptic properties making it a great addition to any oral hygiene regimen. Oral care product with Frankincense oil can help prevent dental health issues such as tooth decay, bad breath, oral infections and cavities. It may also be worth considering making your own toothpaste, mixing Frankincense oil with baking soda.
6. Relieves Symptoms of Indigestions
Frankincense oil can help relieve gastrointestinal discomfort that may be due to digestive distress from gas, constipation, stomach aches, irritable bowel syndrome, PMS or cramps. Similar to digestive enzymes, Frankincense oil helps speed up the digestion food. Try adding 1 – 2 drop s of Frankincense to a cup of water or a tablespoon of honey to help in gastrointestinal relief. As always, if you are considering to ingest it orally, ensure it is 100% pure oil, not a fragrance or perfume oil.
7. Anti-Aging & Wrinkle Fighter
Frankincense oil is able to help protect skin cells thanks to its powerful astringent properties. It will help lift and tighten skin to naturally slow the signs of aging along with being used to help reduce acne blemishes, the appearance of large pores and wrinkle prevention. Application of Frankincense oil can be made anywhere on the skin, such as the abdomen, jowls or under the eyes that are common areas susceptible to saggy skin. Try mixing 6 drops of oil to 2 tablespoons of carrier oil and apply it directly to the skin. Always be sure to do a small patch test to an area first to check for possible allergic reactions.
8. Natural Household Cleaner
Frankincense oil can be used to help eliminate bacteria and viruses from your home and clean indoor spaces due to its antiseptic properties. The plant is often burned to help disinfect an area and is commonly used as a natural deodorizer. Using Frankincense oil in an oil diffuser will help reduce indoor pollution and deodorize and disinfect any room or surface in your home.
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Frankincense Side Effects & Interactions
Frankincense essential oil is very well tolerated, particularly when also compared to prescription medications. There are no reported serious side effects when using Frankincense oil to date, provided large quantities are not ingested as this can result in it becoming toxic.
It is rare for Frankincense oil to cause a reaction for people, however possible reactions may include minor skin rashes and digestive challenges such as nausea or stomach pains. Frankincense oil is has a known blood thinning effect, so is not recommended to be used by anyone who has blood clotting problems. It is also important to be mindful that Frankincense may have potential to negatively react with certain anticoagulant medications, again making it important to discuss use with doctor first.