Frankincense Oil: Benefits, Uses, Properties, and Side Effects
As an essential oil, Frankincense has perhaps the most famous historical origin, mentioned in the Bible, as a precious gift. The frankincense oil benefits have been recorded from the ancient times and has been regarded valuable.
The aromatic resin is one among the most popular and commonly used ingredients in perfumery. It is sought after for its aromatic qualities and for multiple health benefits.
As a sensory experience, smelling a fragrant substance induces sensations that are uplifting. Frankincense essential oil brings the power of the aromatic resin in oil form that can be massaged/used as a topical application, in addition to being inhaled.
The amount of information regarding “frankincense” is vast and pertains to the source, the actual use of the aromatic resin and the manifold health benefits.
This post will explore and highlight all important information about this essential oil, unraveling its extensive use cases, the incredible benefits and the ability of the essential oil to blend perfectly with other substances to create a great combination.
Another important aspect of this post is to help users in understanding the identifiable features of high-quality frankincense, which will help in spotting fake and inferior products.
Let’s dive deeper into the facts sheet.
What Is Frankincense Oil?
Extracted from the resin of the Boswellia carterii, Boswellia serrata, and Boswellia ferreana trees, Frankincense oil is used as a skincare product and in aromatherapy.
Typically grown in the regions of Southern Arabia, Central Africa, and Pakistan, it is different from other varieties, as it grows in areas with little soil cover and in dry arid conditions.
Frankincense essential oil is one among the more fragrant and sweet smelling perfumery ingredients and is extracted through a distillation process.
Incisions are made on the barks of the above-mentioned trees and the dried out resin is collected. This then goes through a process of steam distillation which results in the production of the essential oil, which finds numerous applications, beginning from historical accounts of its use thousands of years ago.
The oil has many therapeutic and aromatic properties which explains its popularity in addition to medicinal value.
It is perhaps, the oldest among fragrances and is the preferred choice for use in aroma diffusers in homes and business establishments. Humidifiers with frankincense are popular both for the pleasant fragrance and the soothing sensation.
Scientific Name Of Frankincense Oil
History Of Frankincense Oil
Perhaps, the biggest reference in history is the gift of frankincense by the three kings as mentioned in the Holy Bible. In certain locations, the resin and its extract are used for most products of everyday use, from drink flavors to toothpaste.
There was a period when the resin was prohibitively expensive. However, the prices are reasonable now and find widespread use in an extensive range of products, including as a form of treatment for sore throat inflammation, and digestive issues.
The trees are tapped for the resin twice a year – once early in the first three months of the calendar year, and the second time between August and October.
In China, Frankincense has been used a medicine since 500 BC. It is this ancient link that has helped the essential oil to become popular as it is a proven product.
It has also been a part of rituals and the aroma was so popular that the Egyptians procured full boatloads of the resin. Prior to Frankincense becoming a popular essential oil it was also used as an eyeliner after being burnt/charred.
In Jewish history, Frankincense was used as a ritual in temples. It is this age-old association that has made frankincense the first choice among a large number of people.
While it finds applications in multiple uses from humidifiers to deodorants and products with medicinal value, it was earlier best known for its superior scent that made it the default aroma for religious rituals.
This powerful and pleasing smell is now finding its way into multiple products of routine use. As a natural product, it is easy on the body when inhaled or applied as a topical solution.
It has a mind-boggling range of properties that make it a great product to have on every kitchen shelf. For instance, it is an effective formula to fight coughs and respiratory problems, in addition to offering relief to individuals grappling with digestive problems.
Color, Consistency, and Smell Of Frankincense Oil
- The color of frankincense oil is generally light yellow. This has more to do with the steam distillation process which extracts the essence from the resin.
- The smell of frankincense oil ranges from moderate to medium, with a woody aroma that is suggestive of a spicy and fruity flavor. The fresh fragrance is distinct with just the perfect balsamic smell.
- The consistency of frankincense oil is typically thin. The extraction process partly determines the consistency of essential oils. The steam distillation process keeps this thin.
Properties Of Frankincense Essential Oil
The therapeutic properties of frankincense oil include the following:
- Fights cancer
- Boosts immunity
- Reduces stress
- Promotes memory
- Vulnerary substance
- Improves skin health
Chemical Compounds Of Frankincense Oil
The main chemical compounds of frankincense essential oil include acid resin, gum, 3-acetyl-beta-boswellic acid, alpha-boswellic acid, 4-O-methyl-glucuronic acid, incensole acetate, phellandrene, a-pinene, actanol, Linalool, octyl acetate, bornyl acetate, (+)-cis- and (+)-trans-olibanic acids.
Benefits Of Frankincense Oil
The medicinal benefits of Frankincense essential oil combined with its therapeutic properties have been scientifically proven.
There are multiple uses that one can find for this versatile product – it can be an effective home remedy, it could be one among the best aromatic ingredients for perfumery and diffusers and it can be used to improve overall health by virtue of having medicinal properties.
Profiled below are three popular benefits of Frankincense oil. The documented results are backed scientifically through research and accepted internationally.
1. Effective Anti-inflammatory Agent
Apart from having strong aromatic qualities, Frankincense essential oil has powerful anti-inflammatory qualities. A study published in the year 2015 reported that Frankincense essential oil in combination with myrrh had strong anti-inflammatory properties.
The study concluded that Frankincense and Myrrh offered intervention for HPV and inflammatory cytokines. In other words, it is an effective combination to treat rheumatoid arthritis, and he research paved the way for more clinical studies on the effective use of the essential oil as an effective treatment.
2. Proven Wound Healing Properties
Any product with medicinal value that is also edible is bound to be a better choice. It simply means that the product is natural and will be easily acceptable to the body in different forms.
The resin of Frankincense from which the essential oil is extracted is edible and has been used as a cure for ages in many locations. From ulcers to sores to wounds and hemorrhoids, list of healing actions of Frankincense is impressive.
The therapeutic qualities of the essential oil have been outlined clearly in a 2012 study. It has been used by the Chinese and Indians in traditional medicine to heal many diseases including wounds. By sanitizing the wound and cleansing it of germs, the wound is put on the path to recovery quickly.
3. Improves Uterus Health
Essential oils have always been a part of interventions for the treatment of infections that are gynecologic in nature. Not only are essential oils regarded as a potent method to help treat and improve sexual health, they are known to be good for the health of the uterus.
It achieves this by regulating the production of estrogen, which helps to reduce the risk of uterine cancer. The regulation and proper maintenance of menstrual cycles are the secrets to good health and this is one of the reasons why Frankincense essential oil is a reliable ingredient to improve uterine health.
Uses Of Frankincense Oil
The list of benefits and use of Frankincense essential oil that make it a popular choice in most geographical locations is mainly because of the proven medicinal and therapeutic qualities.
A large number of products rely on the essential oil – deodorants, toothpaste, food and drink flavoring agents, medical uses including treatment of hypertension, nausea, indigestion, cough, and recovery after childbirth. Many home remedies and perfumes have this essential oil as the base/foundation.
What Blends With Frankincense Oil?
By virtue of being an edible resin, Frankincense and its essential oil blends in naturally with many other substances and popular essential oils. The more popular blends of Frankincense essential oil with other oils and substances include the following:
- With Lime – for anti-oxidative results
- With Lemon – for purifying fresh aroma
- With Wild Orange – ideal aromatic diffuser
- With Cypress – soothing, sedative properties
- With Lavender – natural cleanser, antiseptic
- With Geranium – for anti-aging results
- With Rose – for glowing skin
- With Sandalwood – for anti-inflammatory qualities
- With Ylang Ylang – for treating anxiety
- With Clary Sage– to improve circulation
How To Use Frankincense Oil Safely?
All essential oils are potent. And it is this potency that gives the essential oils the power to heal and treat. Therefore it is important to ensure that the right concentration of the oil is used always to prevent any consequences arising out of using stronger than necessary dosage or concentration.
No doubt, the resin is edible, but it needs to be remembered that intake needs to be regulated to just the right quantities. Therefore, when it is used a topical application or in combination with any other substance, the sensitivity of the individual who will be the recipient needs to be taken into consideration.
Side Effects Of Frankincense Oil
Frankincense oil should be applied, or taken as per required dosage and concentration. Regardless of its healing properties, it needs to be remembered that a double dosage of any product with medicinal properties will not deliver faster results and it is highly likely to result in adverse effects.
It needs to be taken in moderation and wherever it is used as a medicine, it needs to be procured from reputed stores that offer superior quality. Some of the possible side effects of Frankincense essential oil include the following:
- Pregnant women need to consult specialists before using this oil
- Allergies are possible in individuals who have sensitive skin
- Possible skin reactions may be experienced if undiluted oil is applied
- Ingesting of frankincense essential oil is not recommended despite its edible nature
- Frankincense essential oil should not be used for self-medication in the absence of adequate knowledge which can result in toxic effects