Frankincense has been popular in India, China and Egypt throughout history and we still love and continue to use it today for a wide range of purposes. When the frankincense tree is cut, it releases a sap which hardens into a resin over time (similarly to how our bodies would heal a wound), and from there the essential oil is distilled.
Frankincense oil can smell cleaner than the tree’s gum resin with the fragrance being described as fresh, warm, rich and sweet-balsamic. It is a popular ingredient for use in perfumes and is widely used in incense. Some popular oils it blends well with include lavender, orange, sandalwood, bergamot and pepper.
Frankincense essential oil has a ‘sedating effect on the nervous system’ which helps to calm the mind and body, making it useful for relieving anxiety and stress. The oil can help soothe respiratory issues such as asthma, bronchitis and stubborn coughs by loosening mucus. In terms of skin care, it’s also a surprisingly great oil because it can help with dry skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, blemishes, scars and stretch marks.
If using as a skin care oil, do not apply it undiluted to the skin of yourself or others. It’s non-toxic and non-irritant but always do a patch test when using for the first time just in case of any possible allergies.
Lawless, J 2013, The Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, Conari Press, San Francisco.
Lawless, J 1993, Home Aromatherapy, Kyle Cathie Limited, London.
Wong , C 2019, The Health Benefits of Frankincense Essential Oil, Very Well Health, https://www.verywellhealth.com/frankincense-essential-oil-what-you-should-know-88778