Updated: Oct 6
Frankincense is a powerful and versatile essential oil that has been used for centuries in various cultures and religions. From its historical significance as a gift to baby Jesus, to its modern-day use in aromatherapy, this oil has a rich and fascinating history. In this blog, we will explore the origins of frankincense, its various uses, precautions to keep in mind, and a few surprising facts that you may not have known.
Origins of Frankincense Essential Oil
Frankincense essential oil is derived from the resin of the Boswellia tree, which is native to the Arabian Peninsula and northeastern Africa. The Boswellia tree is a medium-sized, deciduous tree that belongs to the Burseraceae family. The tree has a distinctive appearance, with a short, crooked trunk, and sparse branches that spread outwards, forming a broad, umbrella-like canopy.
Frankincense has been used for thousands of years in traditional medicine, religious ceremonies, and as a perfume. The ancient Egyptians used frankincense in embalming rituals, while the Babylonians and Assyrians used it in their religious ceremonies. Frankincense was considered so valuable that it was used as a form of currency in ancient times, and was even one of the gifts brought to baby Jesus by the three wise men.
Today, frankincense essential oil is still primarily produced in the Middle East, particularly in Oman, Yemen, and Somalia, although other regions like India and China have also started to produce it. The production of frankincense remains an important part of the economy and culture of these regions.
How is Frankincense Essential Oil Made?
The process of making frankincense essential oil typically involves the following steps:
1. Harvesting the Resin
The Boswellia tree is typically harvested during the dry season, when the resin is most plentiful. The bark of the tree is cut to allow the resin to ooze out and harden into small lumps or tears.
2. Sorting the Resin:
The resin is then sorted into different grades based on its quality and purity. The highest grade of resin is the most pure and has the strongest aroma.
3. Grinding the Resin
The resin is then ground into a powder using a mortar and pestle or a mechanical grinder.
4. Steam Distillation
The ground resin is placed in a still and heated with steam. The steam causes the essential oil to vaporize, which is then captured and condensed into a liquid form.
5. Separating the Oil
The essential oil is then separated from any remaining water or plant material and bottled for use.
The resulting essential oil has a warm, spicy, and woody aroma, and is prized for its ability to promote relaxation, reduce stress, and enhance meditation. It is also used in skincare products for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
Therapeutic Properties of Frankincense
Frankincense has historically been used to treat a wide range of conditions, including respiratory issues, skin problems, digestive disorders, and pain and inflammation. The oil's anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and anti-anxiety properties make it a popular choice for natural remedies. Frankincense might be able to help you with:
Reducing Stress and Anxiety
The aroma of frankincense essential oil is calming and soothing, and can help to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety.
Frankincense oil has been shown to have mood-enhancing properties, making it a popular choice for aromatherapy.
Supporting Respiratory Health
The oil has been shown to have anti-inflammatory and expectorant properties, making it helpful for respiratory issues like asthma and bronchitis.
Supporting Skin Health
Frankincense essential oil is often used in skincare products for its anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties. It can help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and may also help to soothe skin irritations.
The oil has been shown to have antimicrobial properties, and may help to boost the immune system.
Relieving Pain and Inflammation
Frankincense essential oil has been used for centuries to help relieve pain and inflammation, particularly in conditions like arthritis and muscle pain.
Where to Buy Frankincense Essential Oil
If you are looking for high quality, organic frankincense essential oil, consider checking out our shop page. All of our essential oils and blends are USDA Certified organic, GC/MS tested, and Non GMO. Try it today to experience all of the benefits that frankincense has to offer!
Precautions For Frankincense Essential Oil
Frankincense essential oil is generally considered safe when used as directed. However, there are a few precautions to keep in mind:
Skin Irritation: As with any essential oil, it’s important to dilute frankincense before use, as it can cause skin irritation when used undiluted. Simply mix a few drops of oil with a carrier oil, such as coconut oil or jojoba oil, before applying to the skin.
Pregnancy: If you are pregnant, it’s important to exercise caution when using frankincense essential oil, as some oils may have an effect on hormone levels. Consult with your healthcare provider before using during pregnancy.
Always consult a medical professional before using any essential oil, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have certain medical conditions. By following these tips, you can safely use frankincense essential oil and enjoy its many benefits. Remember to always use a high-quality, pure essential oil and to follow the recommended guidelines for usage.
Frankincense is a versatile and powerful essential oil with a rich history and a wide range of uses. From its calming effects to its potential health benefits, it is no wonder that frankincense has been a staple in various cultures and traditions for thousands of years. When used as directed, frankincense is generally considered safe, but it’s always best to consult with a healthcare provider before use, especially if you have any health concerns. So, go ahead, add some frankincense to your collection and find out for yourself if it truly is the Holy Grail of essential oils!