Frankincense oil derives from the sap of the Boswellia and Commiphora trees, and has been considered a precious commodity since the Bible claimed that one of the three wise men gifted the baby Jesus with frankincense. It was traded in the Middle East and North Africa for approximately 5,000 years to be used in religious ceremonies, to heal wounds, as insect repellents and for perfume. It was highly sought after and expensive due to the sap’s multiple functions, and some say that it was desirable due to its ability to help alleviate symptoms of arthritis. In the modern world of aromatherapy, these are the common uses for frankincense:
- Digestive: Frankincense contains digestive properties to facilitate fast movement of food and to reduce the level of stomach acid that can cause heartburn and indigestion.
- Respiratory issues: Like many essential oils, the scent is powerful enough to clear your sinuses to permit easy breathing and the elimination of phlegm.
- Carminative: Helps relieve gas build up in the body and flatulence.
- Immune system: Frankincense may be used as an antiseptic to remove germs from your environment and to clean wounds and cuts.
- Stress buster: The scent of the frankincense oil travels through your nose and is directly sent to the limbic system in your brain which is concerned with emotions and attitude. Frankincense has been used in religious ceremonies because the scent assists in clearing the mind and uplifting your spirits.
NOTE: If you decide to use essential oils on the skin, it is recommended to dilute them first using water or a carrier oil to avoid irritation.