Highly treasured and rich with ancient roots, Frankincense was considered a gift of kings. Beyond the fables, this precious oil that comes from the Boswellia tree brings a whole heap of healing benefits with it. From soothing stress to boosting the respiratory system, we take a look at all the benefits of Frankincense incense.
But first a little history.
Frankincense comes from different kinds of Boswellia trees. These trees tend to push through in dry and rocky climates - from India to Africa and the Middle East, these environments are perfect for Frankincense trees to grow. The specific species that bring forth this sacred sap are Boswellia carterii, Boswellia frereana, Boswellia serrata, and Boswellia sacra. Thousands of years ago, you could follow the ‘Frankincense Trail’ which marked the route between Oman and Yemen and Jordan, as the golden sap made its way to a far-flung destination. These aren’t the only places where Frankincense has made the grade. Somalia and Ethiopia, across the Arabian Peninsula and beyond, for centuries we have been tapping into these trees to find the precious essential oil of Frankincense.
The name Frankincense comes from an old French word that translates into high-quality incense. It is commonly used in religious ceremonies and in our modern world, we are starting to see the health benefits with many people taking it as a supplement. As an essential oil and when used in incense, it has a rich and smoky profile with notes of citrus and pine - similar in some ways to the soothing earthy scent of rosemary. If you want to know more about incense you can check out our guide here.
Benefits of Frankincense
Since ancient times, Frankincense has been used to help heal the body, mind, and soul. It can be used for meditation and cultivating inner peace, as a skin care remedy, and to help strengthen the lungs. It has been used in ayurvedic medicine. Frankincense extract is also believed to suppress the growth of tumors. Whether you want an emotional detox, a bright bodily fix, or to step out into supportive territory on a spiritual path, Frankincense can guide you.
Many believe that good gut health is the foundation of wonderful well being and Frankincense is believed to help the gut find its balance. Studies have been done that came back with the all-important information that Frankincense helped ease pain, bloating, and even symptoms associated with IBS and colitis. For those who struggle with their gut, this golden sap in supplement form could be a soothing solution.
Frankincense is full of anti-inflammatory properties meaning that it can help to alleviate all kinds of aches and pains. If you have a flare-up in your skin, you can dilute your Frankincense with some carrier oil and apply it topically to the problem zone. Frankincense incense may help heal headaches. There are many health issues that can be caused by inflammation, so turning to Frankincense to soothe can certainly help.
Frankincense can also help ease the aches and pains that come with osteoarthritis. Studies have shown that it’s because this resin can prevent the release of leukotrienes which are the compounds that actually cause inflammation in the first place and can add to stiff joints and pains. Other studies have shown that the boswellic acids found in Frankincense helped to reduce cartilage loss and inflammation in mice too.
More research may be needed but from the studies conducted it does look like Frankincense may be able to inhibit the growth of tumors and may be able to stop cancer cells from spreading. This is most likely linked to the boswellic acids contained within the Frankincense preventing the formation of DNA in cancer cells.
Antiseptic properties and anti-inflammatory features mean that Frankincense can be a dab hand at helping soothe acne. As Frankincense is super soothing it's also good for sensitive skin. Of course, to combat any skin issues you may want to look for approved facial products that include a blend of Frankincense in with the ingredients.
Frankincense isn’t just good for acne issues but all kinds of skin problems and overall skin health too. Rich in antioxidant properties, this sweet and precious sap can encourage regeneration in skin cells, help nourish and feed the skin what it needs, and can also have an impact on wrinkles and fine lines too. Look for Frankincense in your ointment blends and lend some love to your face.
For centuries Frankincense has been considered to be a remedy for helping to open the lungs and reduce symptoms of asthma. Again, this could be linked to the leukotrienes and the fact that the compounds in Frankincense stop them from constricting the chest. For those who are battling bronchitis or any kind of breathing difficulty whether from a cold or something chronic, you can create a Frankincense herbal blend and rub it on your chest or burn Frankincense resin in a diffuser.
Freshen your breath, kick out gingivitis, and say yes to good oral health with Frankincense. Thanks to the powerful antibacterial properties found in Frankincense, it can help to treat all kinds of oral infections. A short study showed that people who chewed gum with Frankincense in it for several hours had fewer microbes in their saliva for every hour counted.
Always here to be a salve for stress, Frankincense can help you breathe deep, calm the mind, and find your way to sweet and juicy sleep. If you are someone who struggles with clearing your mental plate before bed, simply spritz a little Frankincense onto your pillow or burn a little incense before snuggling down.
As an amazing antiseptic, Frankincense kills bacteria with its magical antimicrobial effects. As far back as 1500 BC, it has been used as a household cleaner and to this very day, it can still fight the good fight with its antibacterial properties. It also has that beautiful scent, making it a pleasure to spritz around the home.
Like all incense, Frankincense can also help cleanse your environment and your mind. If you feel like your space (internally and externally) is a little cluttered, the soft and smoky scent can cut through the noise and clear the path. Frankincense is also believed to be a beautiful remedy for those craving an emotional release. If you are tired of something having a hold on you, this could be the scent and energy to help you let it go. Frankincense can be used in all kinds of meditation and mindfulness practices.
Uses of Frankincense
There are plenty of amazing ways to use Frankincense in your life. We have a few examples of daily delights that can connect you to the healing powers of this ancient extract…
- As a diffuser or in incense for aromatherapy
- Burning essential oils or incense for energetic clearing
- A few drops of essential oil in the bath for stress relief
- A few drops in steam distillation for clearing a cold
- As a topical skincare remedy
- Blended up to create a bacteria-fighting household cleaner
- In incense to help improve focus and memory
- A few drops on the pillow or incense to facilitate good sleep
- In supplement form to ease aches and pains
- In supplement form to help healthy digestion
Overall Frankincense is considered safe with few side effects reported. However, some people may be sensitive to Frankincense which can cause nausea, indigestion, and constipation. Those who are trying to conceive or who are pregnant should also avoid Frankincense as more research is needed around fertility and the safety of using this scent or sap. Frankincense may also interfere with other medicines such as blood thinners and non-steroid anti-inflammatories. Always speak to your medical professional first.
Frankincense is so much more than a scent. Over the years it has established itself as a healing remedy and ancient medicine. For those who are drawn to its fabled history, its sweeter scents, and it's beautiful properties, light up a stick and let the flow of Frankincense hold you.