Frankincense Oil


Frankincense oil is widely recognized and used for its therapeutic properties. Aromatherapy practitioners often use frankincense oil for healing. It can be used to treat a variety of common health ailments and conditions. The beneficial uses of frankincense oil also help to calm the spirit and clear the mind.

What is Frankincense Oil?

How is frankincense oil made and where does it come from?

Frankincense oil is made from an aromatic hardened gum resin that is produced by the frankincense tree. Going by the scientific name of Boswellia carterii, the frankincense tree is an unusual looking tree with twisted branches. It looks like a compact pine tree with angular branches.

The production of frankincense oil relies upon trees that are primarily grown in India, Africa, China, Ethiopia, and Somalia. The process of making frankincense oil starts with gathering the milky white resin substance that collects in the bark. The resin is stored deep within the bark and not on the surface.

credit: Kanechka/
credit: kanechka/

When the resin is harvested from the trees, it is collected in a way similar to the way that maple syrup is processed. Segments of the bark are cut out and the resin then exudes and drips out. After the emulsion sets it will turn a golden color and resemble sugar coated ginger candy drops.

Frankincense oil is made from the hardened gum resin by using a process of steam distillation. After the essence of frankincense is mixed with a carrier oil, it has a light straw color. The essential oil of frankincense has a warm, woodsy, balsamic fragrance. Some describe it as citrusy with lemon overtones.


How is Frankincense Oil Used?

Holistic health practitioners that specialize in aromatherapy regularly use frankincense oil for its healing properties. Frankincense oil is appealing because it is effective at inducing a sense of relaxation which helps relieve stress. It is often used during meditation and prayer as it imparts a spiritual quality.

This essential oil is useful for a variety of purposes, including the treatment of common health ailments. Frankincense is effective for managing respiratory conditions and has excellent antiseptic properties to prevent infections. It is good for relieving stomach ailments and urinary tract infections.

credit: markbonica/
credit: markbonica/

When the essential oil of frankincense is mixed in a diffuser, inhaling the scent can help soothe and melt away tension and agitation. Frankincense is also often used to make incense, which is a favorite among those who enjoy aromatherapy products. You can also make a spray by mixing the oil with water.

Frankincense oil can be added to creams and lotions and then applied to the skin for your daily care regimen. This essential oil is widely used by massage therapists for its beneficial effects in relieving joint pain and soothing sore muscles.


Therapeutic Properties of Frankincense Oil

The therapeutic properties of frankincense as an essential oil can benefit the body and senses as well as the mind and spirit.

Benefits to the Body and Senses

Frankincense oil is effective in treating a variety of physical ailments and common skin care problems. Properties and health benefits include:

  • Oral hygiene

The natural antibacterial properties of frankincense oil are excellent when used for daily oral care. It is effective for bad breath and can help prevent cavities. Some holistic health stores carry oral care products that are made with frankincense oil.

  • Immune system

Frankincense oil is a natural immune system booster because of its ability to prevent infection within the body. This essential oil is good for stimulating the body’s natural defenses and keeping viruses and germs at bay.

  • Skin care

You can use frankincense oil for a variety of skin care essentials in your daily routine. It works as an astringent and toner and has anti-aging properties that are good for reducing wrinkles and fine lines on the face.

  • Wart remover

The essential oil of frankincense is an old-fashioned remedy that can be used to effectively remove warts. Applying a small amount of frankincense oil daily will successfully eliminate warts.

  • Antiseptic

Frankincense oil is widely used for its strong antibacterial properties. As an essential oil, it works well at preventing infection in wounds and cuts. Frankincense oil also helps wounds heal much faster when used as a topical antiseptic.

  • Digestive ailments

Frankincense oil is a wonderful all-natural alternative to over-the-counter (OTC) products such as antacids. This essential oil helps to eliminate gas and ease digestive problems such as indigestion and an upset stomach.

  • Pain reliever

The essential oil of frankincense is an effective pain reliever, helping to combat joint pain from arthritis, aching muscles, or rheumatism. Frankincense is known for its anti-inflammatory properties which reduce swelling and discomfort.

  • Respiratory ailments

Frankincense oil is effective for clearing the body’s breathing passageways from congestion. The essential oil helps eliminate phlegm and eases symptoms of asthma, coughing, and bronchitis.

  • Insect bites

The itching and swelling that is common with insect bites can be relieved by applying frankincense oil to the affected area. The antibacterial and astringent properties help to soothe the skin and reduce irritation.



Benefits to the Mind and Spirit

The scent of frankincense oil is often used in aromatherapy to soothe the mind and comfort the spirit. Properties and health benefits include:

  • Mood booster

The essential oil of frankincense is effective for eliminating negative emotions. It can rejuvenate the spirit with a more positive and lighthearted sense of happiness. Frankincense oil restores balance and helps invigorate and clear the mind.

  • Eases frustration

Frankincense oil helps to remove negative influences that can block positive energy. This essential oil eliminates stagnation, which can lead to frustration and discouragement.

  • Reduces anxiety

The calmzing properties of frankincense oil are effective at replacing anxiety with a sense of peace. The scent of this essential oil helps to infuse calmness and tranquility. Apprehension is eliminated and a relaxed state is restored.

  • Strengthens concentration

Frankincense oil’s powerful properties help to boost concentration and clarify the mind’s focus. It is very effective at eliminating negative elements, which helps to cleanse and free the mind.

  • Calms agitation

Because of its soothing properties, frankincense oil is good for reducing agitation. The essential oil helps to settle the mind and spirit by removing emotional turmoil and upheaval.

  • Diminishes stress

Frankincense oil works well at reducing increased levels of stress. It induces a sense of tranquility and calmness to help alleviate tension that results from the strain and pressures of everyday life.

  • Eliminates fear

The negative emotion of fear is replaced by composure and a quiet calmness when using frankincense oil. The benefits of this essential oil have a positive and uplifting influence on the mind and spirit that is quite effective.

  • Quiets impatience

If you need an all-natural product to help calm you down and soothe your hurried nature, frankincense oil will do the trick. This essential oil is useful for eliminating restlessness and producing a sense of peace.

  • Soothes insomnia

Trouble falling asleep at night can be relieved by using frankincense oil. Effective ways to use this essential oil include placing it within a diffuser or inhaling the delightful scent prior to retiring to bed for a more restful sleep.


Possible Side Effects of Frankincense Oil

Essential oils such as frankincense generally do not produce negative side effects when used properly. Consumers still need to be careful, however, when using all-natural holistic products as some people may suffer from mild reactions. As an example, some people who have skin allergies may experience mild irritation.

The best way to proceed when using an essential oil for the first time is to try the product out first on a small area of your skin. Try to avoid rubbing frankincense oil on the face to avoid contact with the eyes and mouth. A better place to apply the oil would be your arms or feet.

Women that are pregnant should check with their doctor before using frankincense oil. Your physician will tell you if it is safe to use essential oils. Those that take prescription medications should ask their pharmacist about possible side effects when using frankincense oil.

Closely follow the directions provided on the bottle while using frankincense oil. Some people are tempted to use more than they should. Do not apply or inhale more than the recommended dosage amount. Some people experience side effects when using any type of product including essential oils.


Quality and Purity are Important When Using Essential Oils

There are many places where a consumer can buy essential oils. Quality and product purity are important whether you prefer to shop at your local holistic health store or go online. Try to check out the reputation of a potential retailer by looking at reviews posted by satisfied customers.

Holistic aromatherapy practitioners are a great source for more information about essential oils. Many of them sell the products and they also offer services such as therapeutic massage. It is also a good place to learn more about essential oils and get first hand answers to all your questions.

Frankincense essential oil blends well with all essential oils especially benzoin, bergamot, lavender, lemon, myrrh, orange, pine and sandalwood.



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  10. Copyright © Quinessence Aromatherapy Ltd 2009. Written by Geoff Lyth


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