7 INSANE Things You MUST Know About Using Frankincense Essential Oil (WHY it Should Be in Your Home!)
This article is a discussion about everything Frankincense Essential Oil: Benefits and uses, where it comes from, how to use it, and how to source it.
When I first started out using essential oils many years ago, I really didn't give Frankincense essential oil much thought--except I thought it was pretty cool that Frankincense was one of the gifts of the Magi at the time of Christ's birth. And isn't that the way with things we know very little about? Sometimes we miss out on important information and ways to do things when we get stuck in a rut.
And I was certainly in an essential oils rut.
For example, years ago as a beginning dabbler in essential oils, I used to use only use the oils I was very familiar with: Lemon, Lavender, Peppermint, and once in a great while, I'd branch out into Tea Tree or Eucalyptus.
Then I began learning about herbs, and with this blessed confidence in using actual plants as medicine, I truly began to understand the value of using essential oils for more than simple cleaning and a wonderful and natural way to scent our house (and my classroom).
That's when I started wondering about the uses for frankincense essential oil. What is it good for? How can it help your health? Why do so many people rave about frankincense? So, I started using it because that is actually the BEST way for you to really learn how it works for you. Along with doing a little research of course.
Keep reading to find out about the benefits and uses of Frankincense essential oil and just how wonderful it is. Everyone should have this essential oil in their natural health arsenal and home.
(You may also be interested in these articles too:
FTC Disclosure: There are affiliate links scattered throughout this article. If you click through and make any kind of purchase, I may receive a very small commission at no extra cost to you--Heidi (Full disclosure here)
Frankincense Oil: Therapeutic Properties
Herbs and essential oils that are used for health reasons have what are called "properties," thus they can be categorized into one or often many more different areas. Aromatherapists and Herbalists then know how to mix and match herbs and oils to create remedies.
Frankincense is a wonderful all-around essential oil. It has these properties: anti-inflammatory, astringent, antiseptic, disinfectant, carminative, expectorant, emmenagogue, and a diuretic.
Because of these properties, Frankincense is often used for skin care, cellular rejuvenation (for anti-aging), flatulence, balancing female hormones, and wound healing, to name just a few.
Ways You Can Easily Use Frankincense Oil for Maximum Health Benefits
1) Boosts the Immune System
Did you know that burning Frankincense tears (resin) or diffusing the essential oil cleans the air and space in the room? Used aromatically (rub a drop or two into your palms, rub, and inhale deeply a few times) or topically (on your skin, neat or diluted in a carrier oil), it may help the body fight off infections as well.
I personally use Frankincense on my throat around my lymph nodes if ever I feel a sore throat or cold coming on. I believe it truly helps move the lymph and helps me heal more quickly.
2) Speeds Wound Healing & to Help Prevent Infection
There is evidence that due to the antiseptic properties of Frankincense, it helps speed up healing of wounds, including burns, scrapes, and cuts while significantly decreasing the risk of infection. You can apply it to wounds diluted in a carrier oil or you can create a salve for healing.
3) Mood Enhancer and Stress Reliever
Frankincense contains chemicals that help relieve negative feelings (including stress, anger, sadness, and more). Many people like to rub Frankincense oil on the bottoms of their feet, where not only are you getting the benefits of the scent but the chemical constituents of the oil enters your body through the (over) 200 pores in the soles of your feet. (Find out some other great ways to deal with stress and fatigue.)
My favorite way to use Frankincense as a mood enhancer is to keep Frankincense and a carrier oil in a roll on that I keep with me all the time. I love to rub it on my temples and/or on the back of my neck where my brain stem is and breathe in the scent. I can seriously feel the positive effects immediately. If you want to make your own roll on, it's easy! Just add between 10 and 20 drops or so of Frankincense essential Oil and fill the rest of the way with your carrier oil of choice. I like Almond Oil, Jojoba Oil, or a combination of the two.
4) Skin Health
Frankincense has been proven to help support the function of your cells, including cell turnover. It's found in high quality skin care products, but you can simply add it to your own unscented lotions and creams!
Based on my research, it can help reduce scars and stretch marks, reduce age spots, and help with wrinkles too! You may also enjoy this article on Which Essential Oils are Best for Improving Skin, Wrinkles, and Scars.
Here's how I like to use Frankincense for my skin---
After I apply my face cream, I take a drop or two and rub it into my face before the cream is absorbed. It all goes in together this way!
Using the roll-on described above for stress, I actually roll a bit under my eyes one or two times throughout the day to (hopefully) reduce my eye wrinkles! (I'm in my 50's, so I'm really noticing those lines these days!)
I've begun using that same roll on for the backs of my hands. I took a "before" photo of my age spots, and I'll do a couple "durings" and an "after" after a couple of weeks go by. I'm curious to see if it will really help with those ugly spots!
Scars and Stretch Marks:
I don't have a problem with scars or stretch marks, but if I did, I'd go ahead and apply Frankincense directly to the areas or if I had sensitive skin, dilute it in some carrier oil or moisturizer. I can't say if this works, but I have heard from a number of sources that it does!
I rub a drop or two into my cuticles once a day. I've seen a huge improvement in my fingernails since I've been doing this---especially through these past winter months of dry and cold.
Your skin is the largest organ on your body! It pays to take good care of it. I add Frankincense to both my own homemade creams and butters as well as to unscented organic creams I purchase. I love the clean fresh scent, and I love the way it makes my skin look!
5) Oral Health
There is evidence that Frankincense may help with oral issues such as bad breath and mouth sores. I don't want to say it can help with cavities (although I've heard it can), but I don't have personal experience with this. Place a drop or two in a small bit of water, and swish it around your mouth for a couple of minutes after brushing your teeth. You can also add a drop to your toothpaste and brush away!
If you are interested in natural dental alternatives, you will enjoy Natural Options for Healthy Teeth, Pain, and Infection, as well as How to Make Your Own Natural Tooth Powder (and yes, you can add Frankincense to it!)
6) Digestive Issues
Since Frankincense is a carminative, it helps with your digestion--especially with flatulence. Some people say you can add a drop or two to water, mix and drink--and this will help with digestive issues. Frankly, I'm not a fan of adding essential oils to water because, you know: oil and water don't mix. Adding a drop or two in a little teaspoon of honey followed by a drink of water is something I'd go for, though. You can also just rub a few drops into your stomach and abdominal area.
NOTE: Any time you are using any kind of essential oil internally or on mucous membranes of your body, you MUST use pure essential oil. With that said, however, I do NOT endorse internal use of essential oils of any kind or quality.
7) Household Cleaning
I make my own cleaning products, and I've recently begun adding Frankincense to these. Here are a couple of recipes you can make quickly that will keep your home sparkling:
1 cup of water
1/2 cup of vinegar (I like to infuse my vinegar with lavender flowers first, but you don't have to)
10 drops Lemon
10 drops Frankincense (For making Cleaning products and soaps, I get my essential oils from Starwest Botanicals---also high quality, but they cost less.)
5 drops Tea Tree
Put all in a spray bottle, and give a good shake before spraying. You can use this on all surfaces EXCEPT wood. I have wood laminate flooring, and it's fine for that.
This is SO easy. My favorite scrub consists of using baking soda, which I liberally sprinkle where I need to, followed by a spray of vinegar (I use the spray above), then add a couple extra drops of Frankincense & Tea Tree for extra disinfecting if you want.
Why this works? The baking soda reacts with the vinegar in the spray to immediately start breaking down grease and grime. It's WAY better than using chemical scrubs like Comet, I promise! Adding extra essential oil drops just increases the power of the disinfectant action and helps even more with the dirt/grime.
Where Does Frankincense Essential Oil Come From?
Frankincense essential oil is known as the "King" of oils, and has been used since ancient times. I like to say, "If in doubt, use Frankincense!" It is aromatic, promotes health in multiple body systems, and is beautifying & antiaging too. Isn't that just amazing? All from one little oil---
Frankincense comes from the Boswellia tree species. There are three different types: carterri, frereana, and sacra of this species. The tree bark is cut, which causes it to release its resin. As the resin leaks out, it hardens into "tears." This resin is where the essential oil comes from . One tree can only produce a pound or two of resin a year, so you can see how precious this oil is. However, if the tree is taken care of well, it can continue to produce resin for hundreds of years!
What Essential Oils Blend with Frankincense Oil?
Frankincense essential oil blends well with the Citrus group (Lemon, Wild Orange, Lime) as well as Cypress, Lavender, Ylang Ylang, Clary Sage, and Geranium if you want to create a blend to diffuse!
Where Do I Get My Frankincense Essential Oil?
There are five criteria I use to ascertain if an essential oil brand is good enough for me to use with my family: 1) They use third party testing; 2) They have at least some organic options; 3) Is their an education proponent to their website; 3) Do they have a Kid-safe line or at least specify which are ok for kids to use?; 4) NOT an MLM--as I just think they are over-priced; 5) Are they reasonably priced but still high quality?
Here are my favorite brands I have found that meet these criteria: Plant Therapy, Rocky Mountain Oils, and Organic Aromas. I especially love Organic Aromas nebulizers for diffusing. They are the best I've found. You can also find Plant Therapy essential oils on Amazon.
I have used so many different brands of essential oils over the years. For making things that require a larger quantity of essential oil (like soap making), I order from Starwest Botanicals. They have good quality essential oils for things like this or using therapeutically as well.
This gives you a good array of quality companies that I personally vouch for to research and choose between for yourself.
Contraindications (Safety Factors) for Using Frankincense Oil:
When used "neat" (without dilution) Frankincense may cause skin sensitivity. I personally have not ever run across this, but be aware, and do a patch test if you have sensitive skin or if, after using your skin feels sensitive--switch to diluting in a carrier oil or salve. Since Frankincense is an emmenagogue, please consult a physician before using if you are pregnant or nursing. Personally, I would just avoid it altogether if I were pregnant, just in case. As with all essential oils, avoid use around the eyes, ears (inside), and sensitive areas of your body.
Final Thoughts About Using Frankincense Essential Oil
Would you like more information about using essential oils? You'll probably also enjoy
INSANE Things to Know About Tea Tree Oil and Why It Should Be in Your Home (and many others on the blog).
I'd love to hear what you think of Frankincense essential oil-- Since this is an oil that I kind of shied away from for awhile because it was so "exotic" sounding, and I have had such great experiences with it, I'd sure like to know your thoughts about it too! Leave a comment in the comments section!
Hugs, Health, & Self-Reliance,
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I am not a doctor or medical professional. The statements found in the article and elsewhere on my website are in no manner, stated or implied, any type of diagnosis, treatment, cure, or prevention for any health problem. Please be sure to seek medical attention from a medical professional if you are experiencing a health issue. The statements found here are simply my own personal opinion based on experience and study. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.