Frankincense Essential Oil
Frankincense essential oil is derived from a tree or shrub that produces a gum or resin. This can then be steam distilled into this essential oil which comes with a huge range of health benefits. Frankincense trees will grow almost anywhere in the world, however they are most commonly found in the Middle East, with the region of Oman and Somalia being renowned for producing the best quality oils. The uniquely warm, rich, deep and incense-like aroma of frankincense essential oil makes it incredibly popular for use around the home as well as a health product.
Primary Physical Benefits
The physical benefits of frankincense essential oil center primarily around the skin. They include:
- Reducing the appearance of stretch marks and scars on the skin;
- Calming and soothing irritated or dry skin;
- Promoting and building good cellular health, and
- Boosting and maintaining a healthy immune system.
Primary Emotional Benefits
The highly vibrational aroma of frankincense essential oil is commonly used in periods of meditation and prayer due to its emotional and spiritual effect. Aromatic use of frankincense essential oil can help a person to drop out of their mind and ego, moving into presence with their spirit or center of consciousness.
Use of frankincense essential oil whether during meditation or at other times can assist a person in leaning into their own spiritual practice with trust by dropping emotional barriers such as fear, resulting in a deeper connection with one’s own understanding.
In much the same way that harmful chemicals and compounds can do damage to our health by being absorbed into the bloodstream through inhalation, the positive and hugely beneficial properties of frankincense essential oil can also be inhaled. Due to the gorgeous, rich aroma of frankincense essential oil, aromatic use is one of the most popular ways of getting its benefits.
There are a number of different ways in which you can use frankincense essential oil aromatically, with the most popular being:
- Diffusion: Diffusing the scent of this oil around the home is a firm favorite amongst users. Not only does this release the aroma around your home as a fantastic natural alternative to air freshening products, you also have the health benefits of the oil available to inhale in the air in your home at all times. Choose a high quality diffuser for this, as it will use ultrasonic vibrations or cool/room temperature to diffuse the oil molecules into the air and allow them to remain air-bound for as long as possible.
- Direct inhalation: Directly inhaling frankincense essential oil is a great way to get a hit of the beautiful smell as well as absorb the goodness into your bloodstream. To do this, simply hold the bottle of essential oil a few inches away from your nose and breathe deeply. Or, place a few drops in the palms of your hands and cup over your mouth and nose.
- Indirect Inhalation: Indirect inhalation of frankincense essential oil is commonly used as a way of promoting good emotional health and clearing barriers in the mind. Simply place a few drops of the oil on a cotton ball, handkerchief or pillowcase.
- Steam Tent: To clear your nasal passageways as well as absorb all the goodness of frankincense essential oil through inhalation, a steam tent can work wonders. Simply add a few drops of the essential oil to a bowl of warm, but not boiling water. Place a towel over your head and lean over the bowl to inhale the frankincense infused steam.
- Fans and vents: Rather than using a diffuser, you can distribute the gorgeous scent of frankincense essential oil around your home with a fan or vent opening. Simply add a few drops of the oil to a cloth or handkerchief, and place in front of the vent opening or fan. Replace the cloth regularly to avoid fading over the odor.
- Perfume: If you particularly enjoy the scent of frankincense essential oil, you might want to consider it as a perfume or cologne. This will allow you to inhale the positive properties of the oil wherever you are, as well as being a much healthier alternative to chemical based perfume products. Simply dab behind the ears or on the insides of the wrists.
Frankincense essential oil is safe to use topically on all types of skin. Topical use has a range of different benefits. These include:
- Rubbing on hands after long periods of manual labor to relieve joint pain and stiffness
- Apply to the soles of the feet to both soothe sore feet and help to alleviate mood swings
- Rub onto skin imperfections such as scars and stretch marks to help them to fade quicker and reduce their appearance
- Massage into the toes and pads of the feet for mood support
- Add to bathwater to create a bath which is relaxing and calming for the mind
- Massage over the abdomen and/or lower back to relieve stomach pain, back pain or menstrual discomfort
- Mix with a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil for a full-body massage
- Massage the oil into your fingernails to heal cracks, promote healthy nail growth and strengthen weak, dry nails
Although frankincense essential oil is not commonly used in cooking or food, it is safe to take internally. For those using frankincense essential oil to boost cellular health, strengthen the immune system, or relieve internal pain or menstrual symptoms can place a couple of drops of the oil into an empty veggie capsule to take in tablet form. Frankincense oil can also be mixed with hot drinks either on its own or along with other essential oils to relieve stomach pain, digestive problems or menstrual symptoms.
Using Around the Home
Around the home is one of the most popular ways to use frankincense essential oil, thanks to its appealing aroma. Homeowners enjoy using frankincense essential oil in a range of ways, including as an air freshener or home scent or by adding to other products to create a more appealing odor. Some of the ways in which you could use this essential oil around the home include:
- Using in a diffuser or reed diffuser as a natural home scent or air purifier
- Mixing with distilled water and placing in a spray bottle to use as an air freshener
- Adding to unscented laundry detergent or fabric conditioner to provide clothes with a rich, spicy scent
- Spraying onto clothes before drying
- Adding to cleaning products around the home for additional aroma or to mask the smell of chemicals
- Using in candle making – frankincense is commonly associated with Christmas, making it the perfect essential oil to add to homemade candles for the festive season
- Add to household paint, craft paint or other craft supplies for a more pleasant aroma. If you have children, adding to children’s dough before use – again a great idea for the holiday season – can give it a more appealing odor.
As with any essential oil, there are a range of precautions which you must take before using frankincense essential oil either aromatically, topically or internally. In most cases, you will not need to dilute the oil before use.
Before applying frankincense essential oil topically, you should conduct an initial skin patch test in order to rule out any allergies and be aware of how your skin is likely to react to application of the oil. You can do this by rubbing a small amount of the oil on to your inner arm and leaving for around a day. How your skin reacts after this period will give you an indication as to whether you should apply the oil, dilute it, or avoid using it. It is advisable to dilute the oil before use with children or infants. Bear in mind that excessive use of frankincense essential oil can result in skin sensitization.
Frankincense essential oil is generally safe to use whilst pregnant, although you should use caution if planning to use this oil internally during pregnancy. It is also advisable to get the opinion of your doctor, midwife or OBGYN before commencing use.
Always store this oil out of the reach of children. Keep out of eyes, nose and ears. If irritation occurs, wash the area with clean water immediately and seek medical attention if needed. If you experience an adverse reaction to using this oil, stop using and seek the advice of a medical professional.