Essential Oil Spotlight: Frankincense

Frankincense (Boswellia frereana, Boswellia carterii, Boswellia sacra) essential oil is steam-distilled from the gum/resin of Burseraceae trees and shrubs. It is well known for its rich, deep, warm, balsamic, and sweet odor.

Frankincense has been used historically as a holy oil in the Middle East. Today it is primarily used for arthritis, asthma, balance, brain (injury), cancer, depression, inflammation, memory, scar prevention, and warts. Frankincense contains anticatarrhal, anticancer, antidepressant, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antitumor, expectorant, immune stimulant, and sedative health properties.

Other common uses of frankincense include aging, bronchitis, diarrhea, herpes, meningitis, sciatic pain, stress, tonsillitis, and wounds. It contains sesquiterpenes, enabling it to go beyond the blood-brain barrier, and can also help the body against infection. It affects emotional balance, the immune and nervous systems, and skin.

Applications of Frankincense Essential Oil and Safety Data:

Topical Application: Frankincense can be applied neat (with no dilution) directly to the area of concern.
Aromatic Application: Diffuse, or inhale the aroma of frankincense directly. The aroma of frankincense helps to focus energy, improve concentration, and minimize distractions.
Internal Application: Frankincense can be taken internally. Place 1–2 drops under the tongue, or take in a capsule. Dilute 1 drop oil in 1 tsp. (5 ml) honey or in 1/2 cup (125 ml) of beverage.
Safety Data: For internal application, frankincense is not for children under 6 years old and should be used in greater dilution for children 6 years old and older.

5 Ways to Use Frankincense Essential Oil:

1. Diffuse
Here are some great diffuser blends to help you concentrate and focus your energy.

2. Roll-on Blends
The anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties of frankincense make this an ideal oil to use for arthritis pains. Frankincense is great for your skin and can help to prevent and repair scars. Frankincense has a powerful effect on emotions and helps to focus energy, improve concentration, and minimize distractions—all very helpful when you need to communicate effectively! Try these roll-ons if you need help in these areas:

Arthritis Roll-on
3 drops frankincense
4 drops peppermint
2 drops marjoram
2 tsp. (10 ml) Fractionated
Coconut Oil
Scar Roll-on
4 drops frankincense
4 drops helichrysum
2 tsp. (10 ml) Sweet Almond Oil
Communication
Enhancement Roll-on

5 drops frankincense
5 drops clary sage
5 drops sandalwood
2 tsp. (10 ml) carrier oil
Add essential oils to a 10 ml roll-on bottle. Fill the remainder of the bottle with a carrier oil. Apply the formula to the area of concern (for the Communication Enhancement blend, apply to upper chest, back of the neck, and shoulders). These blends are a 5% dilution, so you can use them daily if needed.

3. Direct Application
Frankincense can be used directly without dilution. Try these simple solutions:

  • Confusion: Inhale frankincense aroma directly from bottle, or rub a drop on your hands and breathe in.
  • Headache: Rub 1 drop each of lavender, peppermint, and frankincense to the base of your neck and forehead, then cup your hands and breath in deep.
  • Inflammation from Injury: Combine 3 drops frankincense and 2 drops lavender in a bowl of cold water. Dampen a washcloth in the mixture, and hold on location for 15–30 minutes.

4. Massage Oil
Frankincense essential oil is helpful in lifting a depressed mood. Try using this massage blend when you are feeling a bit down.

Mood-Elevating Massage Blend
5 drops frankincense
5 drops ginger
5 drops grapefruit
1 Tbsp. (15 ml) carrier oil
Combine these oils, and massage on the upper chest, back of the neck, and shoulders. Some common carrier oils for massage include Fractionated Coconut Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, and Jojoba Oil.

5. Bath
Make a bath bomb with the following blend for a refreshing bath that is sure to help you breathe easy. You can also simply add this essential oil blend to 1/4 cup (60 g) epsom salt and add to your bath while filling.

Calm Breathing Bath Bomb:
6 drops frankincense
2 drops eucalyptus
2 drops lavender

To learn more about this amazing essential oil, see the book Modern Essentials™: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils.

Sources:
Modern Essentials™: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 9th Edition, pp. 94–95.
Healing Oils: 500 Formulas for Aromatherapy by Carol & David Schiller

Healthy Nails Serum

Keep your cuticles soft and your nails healthy and strong with this serum! This recipe is designed for easy application with a roll-on bottle.

Healthy Nails Serum

  • Servings: 1 tsp. (5 ml)
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Drop the essential oils, in the order listed, into the roll-on bottle. Fill the rest of the bottle with fractionated coconut oil (about 1 tsp).
  2. To use, roll mixture on nails and cuticles as needed.

Note: You can double the recipe and fill a 1/3 oz. (10 ml) Roll-on Bottle instead.