Frankincense essential oil has been used for over five thousand years for a variety of health conditions. It possesses many healing properties, including antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal, analgesic and anti-inflammatory. The oil is said to effect the digestive system, respiratory system and brain function. It has also been used for centuries as a cosmetic agent and has a strong presence in the culinary world.
Remember that when using any essential oil, including frankincense, quality is of the utmost importance. A high quality oil will be distilled from ingredients that were grown without the use of chemical pesticides, harvested correctly and were extracted correctly to preserve oil molecules. The provider of your oil should stand behind their product and should have conducted third-party testing of every batch to ensure quality.
As an Antiseptic
Frankincense oil exhibits an extraordinary antiseptic quality. It is a great treatment for cuts or wounds, as it cleans and prevents infections. Keep in mind that the oil should not be applied neat on wounds but instead diluted with a carrier oil to make a disinfecting cream.
It’s also a great addition to any oral hygiene routine. There are many natural oral products that contain frankincense oil as it can help prevent tooth decay, eliminate bad breath, protect your teeth from cavities and treat oral infections. A simple homemade toothpaste recipe consists of only baking soda mixed with a few drops of frankincense oil.
Frankincense is also anti-viral and antibacterial, making it a great ingredient in homemade cleaning products or an additive to store bought products. It is safe for most household materials but always do a conspicuous test patch to avoid damage to fabrics or surfaces. The oil can also be diffused to clean the air, eliminating odor and airborne bacteria.
As a Digestive Aid
Frankincense oil can be used to help with indigestion, flatulence, stomach cramps, constipation and bloating. Studies have shown that the oil is detoxifying for the liver while also helping to regulate the creation and release of bile, a key component of a healthy digestive system. It can also help the body absorb more nutrients from food by stimulating blood flow and improving circulation. The oil can also help with uncomfortable heartburn, with some studies showing that it is just as effective as over the counter acid reducing tablets.
As A Pain Reliever
Clinical research shows that frankincense may be one of the better essential oils to use when it comes to basic pain relief. This is because of a specific acid found in frankincense oil, called 3-O-acetyle-1-1-keto-beta-boswellic acid, or AKBA. This compound has been isolated and administered in controlled studies with promising results that have led scientists to suggest that frankincense oil may be just as effective in treating pain and inflammation as common over the counter ibuprofen. It works by blocking enzymes in the body’s natural inflammation response.
As A Depression Treatment
Many essential oils have been getting recognition lately as natural treatments for mild depression symptoms, helping people to avoid expensive and sometimes addicting prescribed medications. Frankincense is one of those oils that have shown great results when used by people suffering from low energy, mood swings and lingering sad thoughts. A study conducted between Johns Hopkins University and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem supported frankincense as a natural depression treatment, based on the compound incensole acetate found in the oil. Parts of the brain and nerve circuits that positively respond to prescribed depression medications reacted in a similar manner to this compound.
Frankincense can also serve as a sedative and sleep aid. As it lowers levels of anxiety or chronic stress, it can make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep longer. It also helps to open breathing passages and allows the body to reach an ideal sleeping temperature.
To administer, diffuse the oil throughout the room or simply inhale directly from the bottle for an instant improvement in your mood. It can also be diluted with a carrier oil and applied to reflex points on the feet or massaged over the body. These applications can also work for stressful situations and will help you to see things in a different light while also calming and relaxing nerves.
As an Emmenagogue
Frankincense oil can reduce the symptoms associated with menstruation and menopause by balancing hormone levels. It can help relieve cramps, pain, headaches, nausea, anxiety, fatigue and mood swings. It also regulates the production of estrogen and may reduce the risk of developing tumors or cysts in per-menopausal women. It can also be useful if a woman suffers from amenorrhea, or the absence of regular menstrual flow. Because frankincense can help to stimulate the uterus, it should be avoided by pregnant women as it may stimulate early labor or in extreme circumstances, miscarriage.
As A Natural Cosmetic
Frankincense oil is both a cicatrisant and cytophylactic. It encourages the generation of scar tissue, helping wounds to heal more efficiently. It also encourages the growth of new skin cells, reducing the appearance of aging and repairing skin damage from the sun. Frankincense is a common ingredient found in soaps and lotions because of its positive effects on the skin. While many essential oils are known for their moisturizing properties, frankincense is used mainly for its positive effect on the overall appearance of skin. It can help to tone and lift skin all over the body.
Because of its antibacterial properties, frankincense is also a natural acne fighter. Use it as a toner every night or make an acne fighting cream by mixing a few drops with coconut oil for a natural yet effective way to fight blemishes and imperfections without drying the skin or causing redness.
As A Cooking Agent
Frankincense oil may not be the first ingredient that you reach for when making dinner but it was once a common ingredient in the culinary world. It works well when added to many baked goods, including cakes and cookies and has a long history of being used with bread. It is an approved food and flavor additive and can add a rich dimension to a variety of dishes.