While frankincense essential oil can be purchased through specialty stores and online, it is fun and easy to make your own version at home. Frankincense oil is also on the more expensive side so you can save a bit of money by buying the resin to make your own. Making essential oils at home can turn into a fun hobby that is beneficial for the entire family. A fresh bottle of homemade frankincense oil even makes a great gift, especially during the holiday season.
Keep in mind that no homemade oil is as potent as a purchased oil. This is because it is near impossible to duplicate the complicated process with at home materials. As long as you use quality ingredients and are patient, your homemade oil will be strong enough to use just as you would a commercially produced version. Always follow safety guides when working with any essential oil, purchased or homemade.
What You Will Need
It is very important to make sure that all of your materials are clean and sterile, otherwise your final oil product may spoil. If you have a sanitizing option on your dishwasher, sanitize your glass bottles. If you don’t have this option, consider boiling the bottles to ensure that there will be no risk of the oil developing bacteria.
- Frankincense Resin
Frankincense resin can be purchased easily online. Just be sure that you are buying from a company with a reputation of providing high quality resin. Like most essential oils, the quality of the raw materials will determine the overall quality of the final product. You will need several tablespoons of resin, depending on the final strength that you desire.
- Large Glass Container
This is what you will make the oil in so make sure that it is big enough to hold all of the resin and oil. It should also have a tight fitting lid. You can use an old food container as long as it has been cleaned thoroughly and is made of glass. A canning jar would be ideal.
- Mortar and Pestle
If you don’t have a mortar and pestle, find some kitchen utensils that will allow you to break the resin down into smaller pieces. For example, the resin can be placed in a plastic bag and rolled over or hit gently with a meat tenderizer.
- Safflower Oil
Safflower oil is recommended for making frankincense oil, especially if you will be using it frequently in your cooking, but any carrier oil will do. Make sure that its scent doesn’t mix strangely with the smell of the frankincense, which is quite strong on its own.
- Cheesecloth or Coffee Filter
A cheesecloth is ideal but a coffee filter will do in a pinch. You can use a regular mesh strainer as well as long as the slots are small enough that the resin will not be able to pass through.
- Dark Glass Bottle
This is what you will be storing your essential oil in. They store best in dark glass and will stay fresher longer this way. Try to use one with an eyedropper attached to the lid to make distribution easier. Be cautious if using a bottle that previously held a different essential oil. It can be difficult to completely clean the bottle and remove all the residue and fragrance from the previous oil, which can affect the new oil that will be placed in it.
Begin by lightly cracking the resin using the mortar and pestle or a similar method. You don’t want to create a powder but simply break the resin down a bit to allow the oil to easily escape. Fill your jar about halfway with safflower oil and add the resin. Stir well and then give the jar a little shake and place in a safe spot where it will receive enough sunlight to warm up a bit. A sun-room or the kitchen windowsill is a great option. Let the jar sit for a couple of days, remembering to shake the jar on occasion.
After the soaking time has passed, open the jar and begin to strain the mixture through the cheesecloth or coffee filter. Do your best to get all of the oil off of the pieces of resin before discarding them. Once the straining has been completed, the oil that is left is your essential oil. Transfer the oil to a dark glass bottle and store it in a cool, dark place.
If you would like to make a stronger oil, don’t bottle up your essential oil just yet. Instead, start with another fresh batch of resin and repeat the process, using your essential oil as part of your carrier oil. This can be repeated several times, leaving you with a stronger oil after the end of each batch. This is an ideal method for when making the oil for cosmetic uses.
If you are short on time, you can try a sped up version of this method. You will need plenty of frankincense resin though. After breaking down the resin, add it to a slow cooker and cover with safflower oil. Turn the cooker on low and let it sit for as long as possible but at least five hours. Strain and store as previously described. Your final product will not be as potent but this is a great option if you are using your oil in the kitchen. It will also fill your home with a heavenly smell.
Your frankincense oil should be used within a year but it may last longer if stored properly. Essential oils should be stored in a cool, dry area without any exposure to sunlight. Try adding a few drops of vitamin E oil to extend the life of your the oil, if you are using cosmetically. If you are using the oil for cooking, feel free to store it in a decorative glass container to store on your kitchen counter. Just check the oil before each use to make sure that it has not spoiled.