Frankincense oil is a beautiful seasonal scent, but it also has many therapeutic properties. The oil comes from the resin of the frankincense tree (Boswellia carteri). The resin has a long history of use in incense, in perfumes and cosmetics. Here’s how to use Frankincense essential oil at home:
1. Add a couple of drops of Frankincense oil and a few drops of Orange or Bergamot essential oil to your essential oil burner. Frankincense blends well with citrus oils, especially orange. Citrus oils are cheerful and uplifting, and very useful during the cold, dark winter months – especially if you are prone to the winter blues. Frankincense with Orange and/or Bergamot is a great anti-stress blend.
2. Frankincense oil is an excellent home remedy for coughs, chest infections, and other respiratory problems. Add a few drops of Frankincense oil to a bowl of steaming hot water and inhale the steam for a few minutes to relieve chest congestion (read How to Do a Steam Inhalation with Essential Oils for more tips). You can also add it to homemade chest rubs.
3. Frankincense helps to slow down the breath and so it can also help to calm down a busy mind. These properties make it one of the best anti-stress oils, especially if the stress is making you anxious. Use Frankincense in burners and diffusers, or put a drop on a handkerchief and inhale deeply. If you like incense and resin, Frankincense resin is available from many aromatherapy suppliers. Frankincense has been used in religious ceremonies for thousands of years and is still burned in churches, during prayer and to help meditation.
4. Add a few drops of Frankincense oil to bath water for a relaxing, stress-relieving bath. Other stress-relieving oils that Frankincense blends well with include Cedarwood and Vetiver, and the citrus oils Orange, Bergamot and Tangerine/Mandarin.
5. Frankincense essential oil is one of the best oils for aging skin. Add it to homemade face oils for aging or dry skin, or use it in homemade hand creams for dry skin. The ancient Egyptians used frankincense in perfumes and cosmetics, and in embalming. The scent of frankincense has apparently been still recognizable in jars that have been found inside Egyptian pyramids – thousands of years after the ointments or cosmetics in the jars were made.
Patricia Davis: Aromatherapy: an A-Z (Random House, UK, 2004)
Photo: Wikimedia Commons