Frankincense essential oil is extracted from the oleo-gum resin of a small tree, native to the Red Sea region. Frankincense is best known as one of the gifts offered to Jesus at his birth, along with myrrh and gold, which indicates how highly prized it was in the ancient world. Indeed, this precious substance has been valued for thousands of years for a wide range of different purposes: as a perfume, medicine and as an important cosmetic ingredient … but above all, as an incense material..

According to the Bible, it was called ‘frank’ because of the freeness with which the gum resin burned for a long time with a steady flame. As ‘incense’ which emitted a fragrant, uplifting odour, it was one of the main ingredients in the ‘perfume of the sanctuary’, a symbol of the Divine and an emblem of prayer. The English word is derived from an old French term: ‘franc encens’, meaning ‘pure incense’ having a warm, balsamic & rich aroma, which is still used today during the Roman Catholic Mass.

The powerful psychoactive properties of frankincense have been well documented over the years: for example, it is said that the Greek philosopher Pythagoras used frankincense to enable him to prophesy. In more recent times, scientific research has confirmed it has an elevating effect on our mood, enhancing sensory cognition and deepening our breath. At the same time, the inhaled vapours induce a soothing, relaxing and anti-depressant effect on the nerves, helping to lower high blood pressure and reduce feelings of anxiety or nervous tension. Frankincense oil therefore makes the ideal room fragrance for practising meditation and in helping to reduce the numerous stresses of modern day living!

Related to this aspect, is the supportive effect that frankincense oil has on the entire respiratory system. It has powerful anti-septic and anti-inflammatory properties, providing relief from coughs, bronchitis and congestion when inhaled, and can aid in preventing asthma attacks. It can also help to protect against the onset of colds or flu due to its ability to eliminate airborne germs or bacteria, whilst simultaneously boosting the immune system when simply vaporised.

As a medicine, frankincense has enjoyed a very wide range of uses over the centuries, including improving muscle tone; soothing menstrual, muscular or abdominal cramp; a well as relieving pain associated with rheumatism and arthritis when applied topically in a massage oil blend. However, the main reason why Frankincense has hit the headlines again in the last few years, is due to its remarkable skin healing properties and as a valuable cosmetic ingredient... something which has been recognised for thousands of years! Indeed, the early Egyptians used frankincense in their potent anti-aging facemasks as well as a ‘preservative agent’ in their famous embalming process!

Scars, stretch marks, wrinkles and aging skin all respond well to frankincense oil due to its outstanding cytophylactic property, having an immediate healing & rejuvenating effect on skin tissue. As an astringent and cicatrisant, it also promotes the rapid healing of cuts and sores … even acne, ulcers and swollen gums respond quickly to it’s unique, multi-faceted skin healing powers. Used correctly, this oil can thus help to improve the health of the skin in numerous ways… above all by replacing old dermal cellular layers with new, fresh and healthy ones. It is no wonder that frankincense oil is enjoying a popular revival these days!

NOTE: Do not use the essential oil internally and only apply externally in dilution as indicted for specific conditions. It is best avoided during pregnancy.