The Amazing Benefits Of Frankincense
Frankincense also known as olibanum is extracted from the Boswellia tree which is native to the Arabian Peninsula (Oman and Yemen), North East Africa (Somalia, Sudan and Egypt) and some parts of India. The Boswellia tree comes in 5 species which are: Boswellia carterii/Boswellia sacra native to Somalia and Dhofar valley in Oman, Boswellia frereana/Boswellia thurifera in Somalia, Boswellia serrata in India and Boswellia papyrifera in Ethiopia. These trees grow in harsh conditions with little soil and water.
Frankincense essential oil which has a woody, spicy and haunting smell is extracted by steam distillation of the frankincense resin that is tapped or stripped by making deep incisions in the Boswellia tree with a special knife.
The word frankincense is derived from the ancient French name “frankincense,” meaning “pure incense.” Frankincense is also known in Greek as “libanos;” in Ethiopia as “etan” in Arabic as “luban;” which means “cream” or “white.”
Frankincense the holy grail of Essential oil
Frankincense has been used over the years and it was popular during the time of Christ. It has been mentioned in the Bible quite a number of times with the birth of Jesus Christ being the most popular event where frankincense was given to him as a gift. The Babylonians, Assyrians, Hebrews used frankincense in their temples during religious precisions. The Greeks, Egyptians and Romans used frankincense resin as burning incense during burial precisions. The ancient people also used frankincense for medicinal purposes.
Frankincense oil in aromatherapy
Today, frankincense is greatly used in aromatherapy to promote a state of relaxation while offering a variety of health benefits. Frankincense is actually believed to potentially fight cancer. Many studies have been done by researchers to show that frankincense essential oil offers a great deal of benefits for our health and skin. It was actually named the ‘King of oils’. Frankincense can be used in 3 different ways:
- Aromatically- can be inhaled directly from the bottle or diffused in the house using a diffuser.
- Topically-applied directly to the skin
- It can also be ingested in small quantities.
Studies have shown that the sweet fragrance that frankincense has helps by assisting the mood of a person in that the scent is able to transmit a message to the limbic system in the brain which controls emotions, memories and stimulation.
Properties of frankincense essential oil.
- Non comedogenic
- Anti fungal
Chemical constituents of frankincense oil
The main chemical constituents of Frankincense essential oil; α-pinene (2.0–64.7%); α-thujene (0.3–52.4%); β-pinene (0.3–13.1%); myrcene (1.1–22.4%); sabinene (0.5–7.0%); limonene (1.3–20.4%); p-cymene (2.7–16.9%) and β-caryophyllene (0.1–10.5%).
- Boosts immunity.
Frankincense is a powerful and natural immune booster. It has inflammatory properties which eradicate any inflammation in the human body hence enhancing the immune system. A study shows that Frankincense has a chemical compound that is similar to that of steroids which help in getting rid of pain and inflammation. This therefore enhances a strong immune system. Studies have shown that frankincense essential oil interact with several cells and enzymes of the immune system which make it act quickly upon infections.
- Promotes a healthy respiratory system
Frankincense can help fight cold and flu. Acts as a remedy for sinus infections as it clears airways. When inhaled, it opens up breathing passages making it a good remedy for asthmatic people due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It also soothes cough reduces phlegm.
- Helps with digestive issues
Frankincense has properties which speed up the secretion of digestive juices in the stomach and simulates peristaltic motion which is the movement of food in the intestines and does not have any side effects. Any digestive distress such as stomach aches, indigestion, constipation gas, irritable bowel syndrome, PMS or cramps can be solved using Frankincense by adding two drops of the pure oil to water in a glass then drink the mixture.
- Boosts cellular health.
Frankincense essential oils supports the natural cell life of each of our body systems by encouraging normal cell growth. As the other cells keep on regenerating, it also helps the body to recognize the cells that are not regenerating properly which will eventually be eliminated to ensure good health of the entire body. Skin cells grow and regenerate quickly while those of the brain grow slowly.
- Relieves stress.
This frankincense is produced from pure floral water created through painstaking steam distillation of crisp fresh plant material scented with steam distilled
- Balances hormonal levels.
Frankincense essential oil regulates the production of oestrogen hormone hence reducing the chances of post- menopause tumour. It also reduces the chances or risk of uterine cancer. It regulates proper menstrual cycle and is one of the essential oils for sexual health as per the study done by Dr. Jane Buckle, author of clinical Aromatherapy in nursing.
- Relieves inflammation.
Frankincense essential oils contains Boswellia acid that helps fight inflammation. Inflammation causes swelling, a bit of redness and temperature rising which mostly happens after an injury or during many infections or illness. Our bodies react by inflaming during illnesses to fight it. During this time, a lot of white blood cells are produced as a defence mechanism causing pain. Frankincense helps reduce levels of inflammation and pain in out body and skin. Inflammation can be severe in conditions like arthritis.
- Helps fight cancer.
Frankincense essential oil has properties which have shown to fight cancerous cells of specific types of cancer.it has also been proven to reduce the spreading of skin and breast cancer by applying topically on the affected area and massaging it in. a study that was conducted by researchers in China shows that human breast and skin cells showed increased sensitivity to combination of frankincense and myrrh essential oils.
- Boosts oral health.
Frankincense oil has antiseptic properties which make it a natural solution in fighting oral health problems like bad breath, toothaches, cavities, mouth sores and other infections. It fights the bacteria which causes bad breath and plaque hence preventing tooth decay and other oral infections. You can add frankincense essential oil in your daily mouth wash to help with your oral health.
Frankincense Skin benefits.
Frankincense essential oil has properties that are suitable for acne prone skin. It is non comedogenic meaning that it will not clog the pores in case of oily skin which actively produces sebum. Frankincense has got properties that help cure acne its anti-inflammatory properties that cool down irritated skin, soothe acne and provide relief. It has anti-bacterial properties that fight the bacteria and acne from forming. Its astringent properties cause the contraction of skin cells making it useful in acne prone skin to reduce appearance of pores. Its healing properties helps in acne and scars altogether.
- Fades away blemishes, darks spots, sunspots, age spots, acne scars and also stretch marks.
Frankincense helps with wound healing and fading away of the scars. It may reduce the appearance of blemishes. Regular application of the oil will result to better appearance. It can also fade away the appearance of stretch marks and pregnancy scars. Do not apply on broken skin.
Eczema is the rash, dryness, flaking skin, redness, peeling of the skin and itching of the skin which is painful. Frankincense essential oils has strong anti-inflammatory properties which help to soothe the skin by reducing itchiness and any irritation or sensitivity caused by eczema. It helps the skin cells so that they can repair and heal faster.
- It is antiaging and reduces appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Frankincense promotes regeneration skin cells while keeping the existing cells healthy. It tightens, tones and lifts the skins while enhancing and improving its elasticity.
Before trying Frankincense oil as a remedy for any ailment or infection, consult a doctor.
Frankincense oil cannot replace the standard treatment for cancer.
It is important to follow the instructions or guidelines given by the manufacturer before ingesting frankincense oil.
Pregnant and lactating mothers should avoid using frankincense oil without consulting their doctor. Using frankincense when pregnant can simulate blood flow in the uterus and pelvis thereby inducing miscarriage.
Most people can use frankincense on the skin but it is advised to attempt a patch test first to find out if you are allergic to it.
When purchasing frankincense essential oil or rather any essential oil, avoid the ones that are labelled fragrance or perfumed as they do not provide any benefits to your health or skin.
Look for the 100% pure essential oil and those labelled by their scientific name, i.e. Boswellia serrata for Frankincense.
It is best to dilute Frankincense essential oil with carrier oil before applying topically to avoid skin irritation. Frankincense also enhances the benefits of the carrier oils making them work effectively.
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By Eila Oketch.