Frankincense is a resin from the frankincense tree (Boswellia carterii, sacra, etc.) that is native to many countries in North Africa. Steam distillation is used to to extract the essential oil from the resin. Frankincense has been used in religious rituals and burned in temples and churches, for thousands of years. It is said that frankincense can slow down the breath, and the resin is often burned during meditation. In some cultures, frankincense was used in the past to drive away evil spirits. The ancient Egyptians also used frankincense for embalming.
How to Use Frankincense Essential Oil
Because it has the ability to slow down the breath, frankincense is one of the best essential oils to use if you suffer from stress and anxiety. Breathing affects the nervous system, and taking slow deep breaths helps to calm the mind and the emotions. Simply inhaling from a bottle of frankincense oil can help in a stressful situation. Diffuse frankincense oil at home or during meditation and relaxation sessions to create a calming atmosphere.
Aromatherapists use frankincense essential oil for many respiratory problems. It is antiseptic and can relieve respiratory infections, and it can be added to steam inhalations to alleviate coughs. You can also add 1-2 drops of frankincense to a teaspoon of carrier oil, such as sweet almond oil, and massage the blend on the chest.
Frankincense is a popular ingredient in skin care, especially in anti-aging skincare products. It has a toning effect on skin and it is often added to anti-wrinkle creams. The essential oil is also used in perfumery.
If you enjoy making your own body oils and massage oils, frankincense is a great ingredient for relaxing oil blends. Frankincense blends well with many essential oils including lavender, sandalwood, myrrh, patchouli, vetivert and all the citrus oils (especially orange). Add 2-3 drops of essential oil to each 5 ml of base oil and mix well. If you are adding frankincense to baths, add a few drops directly into the bath water or blend it with some carrier oil or sea salt first.
Frankincense is a safe essential oil that does not have any known contraindications. It is a calming oil that can be diffused, used in steam inhalations or added to massage oils or bath oils. Use frankincense to reduce stress and anxiety, and diffuse it at home or during yoga or meditation sessions to create a meditative atmosphere.