There is so much to say about this essential oil that it may need to become a mini-series so I can do it all justice!
Of all the essential oils, Frankincense has a very colorful and well recorded history.
It is a very old essential oil believed used in Chinese medicine as early as 500 B.C. but even before that there has been evidence found of its use in Egypt and other ancient lands. It was found in an Egyptian Queen’s temple who is believed to have died around 480 B.C.
Many Christians recognize Frankincense through the Bible story as a valuable gift from the Wise Men to the Baby Jesus. By this time, Frankincense had become well known for many of its healing, religious and beauty uses and was one of the most expensive products known at the time.
Frankincense is mentioned in nearly every ancient religion and known to be used in spiritual practices including those of the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists.
This history of this oil is fascinating and really gives a great understanding for why it was considered so valuable in ancient times.
If you’d like to read more about the history of this oil I recommend:
Frankincense looks like small amber, yellow or even golden colored stones but is actually the sap derived from Boswellia trees.
These tress are rather unique in that they look like overgrown shrubs in some cases and they thrive in places that not much else seems to grow. Scattered among mountain foothills and grasslands in soil that is a dry arid mix of sand and rock. These places receive little to no water so any plant that grows in these areas must be strong and heat resilient.
I am fascinated with how someone in ancient times thought to go up to a tree that looks like this, get this sappy goo out and realize they had discovered one of the most valuable elements man has ever found ever.
Were they looking for food or water when they found it? How did they think to try this? What did they first use it for?
Can you imagine the conversation that was going at when this happened?
Frankincense has many ancient and modern day medicine uses. It continues to be a well used oil in many natural health regimes for managing health and treating illnesses and diseases.
In ancient times this oil helped as an insect repellent, salve for wounds and sores, pain management, digestive aid and for any sickness. Due to its value it was often used in only the most sparingly ways and sadly limited mostly to those that could afford it.
Today, this oil is used to compliment or treat alone cancer, tumors, skin irritations, astringent and germ protection, scar reduction, congestion relief, warts, Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia, jaundice, fibromyalgia and more!
In addition to its acute medicinal uses, Frankincense is a go-to for behavioral and emotional conditions and needs. It is well known for it’s help in treating anxiety, PTSD, nervousness, abandonment issues, emotional healing therapies, and negativity.
NOTE: I will always advocate talking to your doctor about complimenting any prescribed treatment with alternative and natural solutions, including essential oils. Be forewarned that not all doctors will support this decision but it is your health! Find doctors who are open to the discussion and working with you to find ways, naturally or traditionally, that will help you achieve your health goals and needs.
The ancient religions used frankincense regularly in prayers and spiritual rituals. It was also used in funerals for the royal and rich individuals often as a gift to the gods to allow entry of the person’s soul in the next place. It was also used by Egyptian royalty for the embalming process.
Buddhists believe use of this oil in their ceremonies helps lift the soul and spirit to align with God and open the mind to receive.
Today, many modern day religions continue to incorporate this oil into their rituals. Most notably it is used in prayers, meditative practices, funerals, and Christmas celebrations.
One of the reasons the oil became so valuable in ancient times was because it was discovered to be the very first anti-aging product available. Again, I say who was the first person to say, “hey I’m going to take this sap and rub it all over my face to see what happens.”
I’m personally glad whoever did this first did it because it is one of my absolute favorite oils to use in my facial care routine every day. Though I would have loved to have been there the first time in what I imagine was a “dare you” game to try it first on your skin.
This oil continues to be a go-to in modern day beauty products and routines because of it’s well known ability to fight aging signs including wrinkles, dark spots and other skin needs.
Frankincense can be used aromatically, topically and internally.
The properties in this oil also allow it be used “neat” meaning undiluted though use of a carrier oil is always recommended when using any essential oil on your skin.
I will only take essential oils internally if they are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade rated. This is important because oils that are not rated as such do not have a guarantee they are pure in content which may harm you and not give you the desired benefits from using the oil. (doTERRA’s oils are 100% CPTG rated and do not contain any chemicals, fillers or synthetics.)
The oil also blends well with other oils to enhance its benefits and support the oils it is blended. For instance, blending Frankincense with Lavender is an excellent way to soothe anxiety and nervousness.