Frankincense is definitely one of the most widespread and used essential oils. It has incredible properties for both our physical and mental health and is great for our magickal craft. Let’s unveil all the properties and wonders of frankincense and learn what frankincense essential oil is used for.
What is Frankincense?
Boswellia is a plant with rich foliage that can reach 6 meters in height. Its flowers are white or pink. It is characterized by producing a rubbery resin that is collected by making cuts in the bark.
Boswellia trees grow along the coasts of the Red Sea, in African and Arab regions including Yemen, Oman, Somalia, and Ethiopia. In particular, Oman has been known for the production and trade of incense with India, China, and Mediterranean countries for thousands of years.
Oman is considered the oldest source of incense. Frankincense trees can produce resins of different colors. Yellow-brown and muddy incense is considered the cheapest and most easily accessible, while silver and light incense are considered high quality. If you are in Oman, the latter is usually reserved for the sultan and is rarely shipped out of the country—it is difficult to buy if you live in western parts of the world.
There are several species of incense. All share some similar therapeutic and aromatic properties. This tree is also known as olibanum, a name of Arabic origin that means “milky juice” and refers precisely to the yellowish resin that comes out from the incisions on the bark: it was probably one of the first substances to be used individually in fumigation and for other preparations.
It is a curious assumption that the name of Lebanon may derive from the fact that in those areas which were once very flourishing, this plant grew in abundance.
What is frankincense essential oil used for?
- Helps against cutting wounds, galls, and burns. For greater benefits, apply lavender essential oil and then a layer of frankincense oil. Combining these two essential oils is very effective for healing these types of injuries.
- Neurological support. Frankincense oil is probably the best essential oil for neurological support. It particularly helps the function of the central nervous system. It helps us to be more careful and balance our emotions!
- Reduces and eliminates scars. Combine 2-3 drops of frankincense oil with coconut oil and apply directly to the skin.
- Strengthens the immune system. Massage a few drops of oil into the soles of your feet to improve your immune system. You can also spread it around the house or in your bedroom overnight.
- It reduces stress and anxiety. It instills a feeling of relaxation and calm. You can simply combine a few drops of essential oil with a carrier oil and spread the mix on the nape of your neck when you feel stressed.
- Hormones and memory. It helps keep hormones in balance and improves memory.
- Mature skin. Combine a few drops of frankincense oil with an odorless oil (coconut oil) and apply it on the skin. You can also add a few drops to your daily moisturizer.
- Tension in the head. It can be used to relieve tension and pain. Put more than 6 drops in a container with very hot water and cover it with a towel, covering your head to contain the steam. Breathe in the steam for 5 minutes, adding more hot water if needed. Be careful not to burn yourself; the water must be warm, not boiling.
- Relieves sneezing. A single drop applied on the affected area will bring immediate relief.
- Relieves joint pain and swelling. Combine with a carrier oil and spread on aching joints during the day and night before bedtime.
- Purify the skin. Spread a drop of frankincense essential oil on pimples in the morning and evening.
- Help your mood. Add 5 or 6 drops to a diffuser and breathe the oil to create a peaceful atmosphere. To improve your mood, a few drops are enough.
- Improve eyesight and concentration. Put 1-2 drops in your hand and massage both temples with your index fingers. This improves eyesight and concentration.
- Removes musty smells. Put a couple of drops on a plate filled with water and the room will have a fresher smell.
- Oral cavity health. Useful against oral cavity problems such as bad breath, toothache, tooth decay, canker sores, and other infections. Try combining it with baking soda and coconut oil to get a natural toothpaste.
- Improve sleep. Spread frankincense oil at night to slow down your breath and relieve nervous tension and anxiety. You will sleep like a stone! Also, read more about sleep magick here.
- It improves the effectiveness of other essential oils. Add frankincense oil to the other oils to improve the properties of the latter and make them absorb better.
Origins and history of frankincense
It did not take much for early humans, after the discovery of fire, to realize that depending on the quality of burnt wood the odor produced also varied, especially when among the various stumps there were branches, roots, flowers, resins, or fruits.
Air and Fire are therefore the two main elements, but also the Earth from which the essential components for the mixtures come. On the other hand, water is represented by the liquid form in which resins are often found before crystallizing, as well as an ingredient used to dissolve the rubbery elements to make the mixture compact and elastic before processing.
The perfume, in essence, can be assimilated to the Spirit or to the Ether.
This vision of the natural archetypes gathered in a single matter may be the reason why wise men of every age decided to use frankincense during their sacred ceremonies or ritual works.
In addition to this, some substances present in the ingredients may favor the purpose for which they are used: for example, during combustion, the oliban resin produces cannabinoids very similar to those of Indian hemp, which was used in Egyptian rituals to encourage concentration.
It is impossible to say with certainty who the first populations to integrate the use of fumigation into their mystical practices were.
However, we have evidence of the use of some substances starting from the oldest texts of Ayurvedic medicine and from findings from the Assyrian populations, who knew about their physical, subtle, and energetic properties three thousand years before the Christian era.
The West would have waited around eight hundred years before the Babylonians annexed incense to their religious practices.
Other evidence can be found in the Egyptian Book of the Dead or in Tibetan writings, which provide precise instructions on the ceremonial use of incense as adjuvants for meditation or prayer.
In the Bible, we find the rules for composing sacred incense, and similar uses have been found in the ceremonies of pre-Colombian populations, in those of Amerindian or Siberian shamanism, and in Nordic, Hellenic, and Roman paganism.
There are also elements of pharmacopoeia based on fumigation within Chinese, Tibetan, and Indian medicine and throughout the eastern part of the world, as well as in the shamanic practices of African and South American tribes.
Some made the preparation and combustion of aromatic substances a real art: in Japan, we find a discipline called Koh-Doh (Koh = incense; Doh = road) with its own philosophy, codified rules, and spirit of continuous research and improvement of blends that, in addition to the psychophysical effect, develop delicate and harmonious perfumes.
The principle behind this method is the belief that observing, listening to, and focusing on the smoke produced by incense, it is possible to drain all our worries and anxious states that prevent the emotional and mental dimension of our being from finding harmony.
It was also a fundamental part of funeral ceremonies to ensure that the energies given off serenely accompanied the deceased’s soul towards the world of the dead.
Magickal properties of frankincense essential oil
Frankincense essential oil is a wonderful ingredient to boost your magickal practices such as spells, rituals, and also visualizations and focus. Bringing harmony and calmness, frankincense is a great ingredient for love spells too. You can learn more about frankincense here in this article!
Uses and practical advice on frankincense essential oil
Purifying masks: add 2 drops of frankincense essential oil to a spoonful of sweet almond oil to add to the ventilated clay already diluted in water. The astringent power adds up to purify the skin of the face and neck.
Anti-aging creams: add 2-3 drops of frankincense essential oil to a jar of your normal moisturizing or firming cream to enhance its effect.
Massage: Add 3 drops of frankincense essential oil to two tablespoons of sesame oil, to be rubbed on the part to be treated. Cover with a warm cloth and leave to absorb.
Fumigation: add 1 or 2 drops to boiling water to breathe and spread in the environment in which you live.
Contraindications of frankincense essential oil
There are no particular contraindications reported, except for internal use, as for all essential oils they must be used with caution and always conveyed in another medium; for example, honey is an excellent carrier of essential oils.
A curiosity linked to the aroma of incense is that it seems to dampen sexual desire, perhaps being incompatible with its strong spiritual value.
Frankincense essential oil: where to buy it
You can find many different versions of this portentous essential oil online! Just rely on organic products, especially for massages! If you are still not convinced if frankincense essential oil is the right fit for you, just ask your nearby herbalist for some guidance!