Essential oils have been used for thousands of years for their therapeutic and healing properties as part of the practice of aromatherapy. They’re sourced from leaves, stems or roots of plants that are known for their health properties. So then, what is frankincense essential oil?
Frankincense oil is sourced from the resin of the Boswellia carterii or Boswellia sacara tree that’s commonly grown in Somalia. This tree is different from many others in that it can grow with very little soil in dry and desolate conditions.
The word frankincense comes from the term “franc encens,” which means quality incense in old French. Frankincense has been associated with many different religions over the years, especially the Christian religion, as it was one of the first gifts given to Jesus by the wise men.
The following uses of Frankincense are based upon my own personal experience or on the experience and knowledge of trusted colleagues in the online community. In going through this list, I am sure that you will agree that Frankincense deserves its reputation as the “King of Oils”.
15 Powerful Uses of Frankincense for Health, Healing and Wellness
1. Heal wounds from cuts, scrapes, and burns. For even greater benefit, apply Lavender essential oil first then layer Frankincense on top. The combination of these two oils together is amazing when it comes to healing wounds.
2. Reduce and fade scars. Continue use after the wound has healed to reduce and fade scarring.
3. Relieve the symptoms of gout. Mixed 50/50 with a carrier oil, Frankincense has been known to relieve the painful symptoms of gout. I know this is true because during our recent vacation, my husband had a flare-up of gout and after applying frank and coconut oil 4 times daily, the pain was all but gone within three days.
4. Foster strong immune system. The antiseptic properties of Frankincense make it ideal for supporting a strong immune system. Massage a few drops into the balls of your feet every day. In addition, try diffusing it throughout your home and especially in the bedroom at night. This is especially good during cold and flu season.
5. Stress and anxiety management. Apply a drop at the temples to relieve stress and evoke a feeling of calmness. You can also rub a few drops mixed in a carrier oil on the back of the neck when you feel anxious. Something else you can do is simply inhale the aroma of the oil by rubbing a drop or two between the palms of your hands then bringing them up to your nose and taking a deep breath.
6. Mitigate depression and feelings of helplessness. Apply a few drops to the back of the neck and especially around the brain stem two or more times daily.
7. Anti-aging. None of us likes to look old. Dabbing Frankincense on fine lines and wrinkles will make them less noticeable. A 50/50 blend with a carrier oil (fractionated coconut oil, sweet almond oil) in a glass roller ball is recommended. You can also add a drop of Frank to your daily moisturizer.
8. Replacement for NSAIDS/Advil. Frankincense is a powerful anti-Inflammatory and can be used to relieve conditions where pain and inflammation are present.
9. Colds and congestion. Put up to six drops in a sink or bowl filled with very hot water then bend over the sink with a towel draped over your head to contain the steam. Breathe in the vapors for at least five minutes, adding more hot water as needed. Be careful not to scald yourself; the water should be hot, not boiling.
10. Relieve arthritis pain and swelling. Mix with a carrier (such a Simple Salve or DIY healing salve) and rub into aching joints at night before bed and throughout the day,
11. Clear up cystic acne. Dab one drop on stubborn spots of cystic acne morning and night. According to my friend Wendy at Mom’s Essential Oils, this treatment cleared things up for her son in just two or three applications!
12. Relaxation. Add 5 or 6 drops to a diffuser and breath in the oil to open the senses and create a calming atmosphere. Perfect for quiet meditation.
13. Remove moles, skin tags, and warts. Apply a single drop 3 or 4 times a day until gone. Note that if the mole is dark and ragged around the edges and/or growing quickly, see your healthcare professional for an assessment and possible treatment.
14. Reduce swelling from insect bites. A single drop dabbed on an insect bite will reduce the swelling and stop the itching.
15. Enhance vision. I have seen many references to “studies” that indicate that Frankincense will improve vision and possibly eliminate the need for reading glasses. I could not find a single study myself, however. That said, my personal experience tells me that Frank will indeed improve vision and if my latest test results are accurate, using Frankincense along my optical bone and under my eye has halted, for now, the progression of glaucoma. Please take care not to get any oil in the eye itself. In this case, less is more.
How to Make Frankincense Oil
Frankincense oil is made by steam-distilling the raw resin. When buying frankincense oil, make sure that you only choose 100 percent pure essential oil of the highest quality.
Also, do not confuse frankincense essential oil with fragrance oil. Essential oils come from plants, while fragrance oils are usually artificially created and often contain synthetic chemicals. Although they smell good and are typically less expensive, fragrance oils do not give you the therapeutic benefits of organic essential oils.
How Does Frankincense Oil Work?
The effects and benefits of frankincense oil can be acquired by applying it topically, inhaling it using a diffuser or vaporizer, or ingesting it in very small amounts.24 For pain relief, simply massage the oil onto the affected areas. Meanwhile, using a diffuser or inhaler works for treating colds and clearing up respiratory blockages. You can also sprinkle a few drops on a clean cloth and inhale the scent, or add it to your bathwater for a rejuvenating soak.25
Frankincense oil can be directly applied to the skin or blended with other carrier oils such as jojoba, sweet almond, avocado, patchouli, rosemary, clary sage, citrus, and basil oils.