Frankincense is from the Burseraceae family (resinous trees and shrubs). The oil is steam distilled from the gum or resin.
One of the oldest medical documents known to man, dating back to 1500 B.C., recorded the use of frankincense oil, by physicians and priests alike, for the treatment of disease and illness. Today, modern science is giving validity to these early ancient practices and, once again, the essential oil of frankincense is bringing new hope for achieving and maintaining optimal health.
The α-Copaene molecule: One of the sesquiterpene compounds in frankincense oil.
Like all essential oils, frankincense brings a complexity and synergy, through its many beneficial compounds and structures. Researchers have discovered that compounds, identified as sesquiterpenes, stimulate the limbic system, the emotional center of the brain, as well as key glands.
No wonder the rich aromatic scent of this unique essential oil is calming to the senses, emotional state and overall sense of well-being.
Key properties of frankincense oil
Some of the therapeutic properties of frankincense include: analgesic, anti-depressant, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent, diuretic and sedative.
Common uses for frankincense oil
Frankincense oil can be used very effectively to relieve stress and bring about a sense of calm. It has a relaxing effect on the body, and is very uplifting to the mood and sense of awareness. Its mood lifting properties can be applied aromatically, either through diffusion or direct inhalation, or through topical application, including various forms of massage.
Frainkincense is also beneficial for various skin conditions. It is mild enough to be applied without dilution, in most instances. It can be used for dermatitis, acne and other skin conditions, as well as to reduce wrinkles or scarring from cuts and wounds. The most practical way to use frankincense for skin care applications is to dilute it down to 1% – 2% in a carrier oil or ointment before using.
Frankincense is also a powerful immune enhancer. It is great for use during the cold and flu season; but then, your immune system is constantly challenged in today’s world, and boosting your immune system is a great idea any time. The chemical constituents in frankincense oil support the healthy production of white blood cells. This was a special benefit to my mom, during her bout with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2000.
On more than one occasion, the chemo-therapy left my mom’s white blood count dangerously low, and her doctor was about to order her into the hospital. We applied frankincense oil along her spine, using RainDrop, and her white count returned to normal. We did this one three separate occasions before we had the sense to start applying the frankincense every day.
Modern research into frankincense oil
It’s nearly impossible to list all of the benefits linked to this potent essential oil. Science is just beginning to understand some of its more prominent benefits.
Researchers from Japan and the University of Maryland both determined that frankincense oil has anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have shown that the boswellic acids in frankincense have an anti-inflammatory action, much like the conventional nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) used for many inflammatory conditions today.
This is critical when you realize that inflammation is widely-believed to be the root cause of many chronic and degenerative diseases, from heart disease to diabetes to Lupus and Crohn’s disease to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease to arthritis to cancer. And it takes on even more significance when you consider the serious risks posed by most of these drugs, from cardiovascular risks to joint deterioration to cancer.
Clinical studies using frankincense have shown its benefits for both osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis. Its anti-inflammatory properties have also been shown to make frankincense a safe and effective treatment for asthma, inflammatory bowel diseases, such as colitis, Crohn’s disease and ileitis.
French medicinal uses of frankincense include asthma, depression and ulcers. Its anti-inflammatory properties make it perfect for bronchial restrictions with asthma and bronchitis. Several properties of the oil make it beneficial for indigestion and ulcers.
Other uses for frankincense oil
This oil may help with aging. Just add one drop to your morning facial cream.