Health benefits of Frankincense Essential Oil
Frankincense essential oil begins as a sap from a unique family of trees called Boswellia trees. Most of the trees in the Boswellia genus produce sap, but two species specifically – the Boswellia sacra and the Boswellia carteri – produce the highest grade frankincense. During certain times of the year, the tree is cut in several places, allowing the sap to pour out. Once the sap is collected, it’s allowed to harden into a thick substance called resin. The essential oil is then collected from the resin using a process called steam distillation.
Benefits of Frankincense Essential Oil
Frankincense oil has a wide array of health benefits. It’s anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and an astringent. The oil is also considered a tonic because it benefits all of the body systems, including the digestive, respiratory and nervous systems.
Boosts the immune system – Studies have shown that frankincense oil can boost your immune system, allowing you to fight off bacteria, viruses and even certain types of cancers more effectively. Frankincense oil can also break up phlegm in your respiratory tract and lungs, helping alleviate congestion and reduce coughing, and reduce the pain associated with minor cuts and bug bites or stings.
Because frankincense has antiseptic properties, it can also kill germs and reduce inflammation in the mouth, which may prevent bad breath, cavities, mouth sores, toothaches and other oral infections.
Reduces stress and anxiety – When inhaled, frankincense oil has been shown to reduce both high blood pressure and heart rate. Inhaling the oil can also reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety without any of the unwanted side effects of prescription medications.
Improve digestion – Frankincense essential oil speeds up the release of gastric juices, like bile and acids, in the digestive tract. It can also stimulate peristalsis – the muscle contractions that help move food through your digestive tract. This can relieve constipation and reduce any associated pain and cramping.
Fights cancer – A study done in 2012 found that a specific compound in frankincense oil, called AKBA, can kill cancer cells that have become resistant to chemotherapy. Frankincense oil may also help reduce nausea associated with chemotherapy.
Improves appearance of skin – Frankincense oil promotes cell regeneration and keeps your cells and tissues healthy. Applying frankincense oil to your face can help prevent wrinkles and lift and tighten skin to stop or reverse the signs of aging. Because it’s a powerful astringent, it also helps reduce acne blemishes and the appearance of large pores. The skin benefits of frankincense do not stop with the face, as you can apply it anywhere you experience sagging skin, from your arms to your abdomen to your knees.
Frankincense oil safety
When used in aromatherapy, frankincense oil is typically inhaled (either directly or with a diffuser) or applied topically (directly on the skin).
Because essential oils are so powerful, it’s critical for you to dilute the frankincense properly with a carrier oil before applying them to your skin. It’s also a good idea to do a patch test – or apply a small amount to the inside of your elbow to make sure you don’t experience any adverse reactions to the oil – before using the oil on large areas of your body.
Although all essential oils are different, a good rule of thumb for frankincense oil is to use a dilution of one percent. This means using only one drop of essential oil per teaspoon of carrier oil.
Getting started with frankincense
To improve the skin’s appearance, add one drop of frankincense to one teaspoon of jojoba oil and rub gently on face after normal cleansing.
To help alleviate stomach pain and cramping, add two drops of frankincense oil to two teaspoons of almond oil (or a carrier oil of your choice) and gently massage onto the lower abdomen.
To help relieve congestion, put two to three drops of frankincense into a small bowl and pour hot, but not boiling, water on top of the oil. Put your face over the bowl, cover your head with a towel, and close your eyes and breathe in deeply.
To reduce pain, add one drop of frankincense oil to one teaspoon of jojoba oil and apply directly to a minor cut or bug bite.
To reduce stress, add one drop of frankincense oil to one teaspoon of jojoba oil and rub onto temples.