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Our Complete Guide to Frankincense Essential Oil: Benefits, Uses and Cautions

Frankincense oil has been used as a holistic remedy for centuries, and its benefits and uses are vast. For example, when used topically, frankincense oil is said to be helpful in reducing the appearance of scars and stretch marks. It’s also effective in treating acne, eczema and other inflammatory skin conditions. When used in aromatherapy, frankincense oil is said to help relieve stress, anxiety and tension.

Our Complete Guide to Frankincense Essential Oil: Benefits, Uses and Cautions

Thanks to its wide range of benefits, frankincense essential oil is used in a broad range of products including skincare, haircare, aromatherapy and holistic healing. However, if you’re thinking of using frankincense oil, it’s important to be aware of the possible side effects, as well as contraindications of this essential oil.

In this guide, we'll explore the different ways in which frankincense essential oil can be used, as well as explaining the potential risks and side effects of using this essential oil. We'll also take you through some important safety guidelines to enable you to use frankincense essential oil safely and to its full potential.

Content/Quick links

  • What is frankincense essential oil?
  • Frankincense essential oil - quick facts
  • How is frankincense essential oil made?
  • Benefits of frankincense essential oil
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Relieving pain
  • Boosting immunity
  • Reducing stress and anxiety
  • Slowing the signs of aging
  • Reducing the appearance of acne
  • How to use frankincense essential oil
  • Inhalation of frankincense essential oil
  • Aromatherapy massage with frankincense oil
  • Topical application of frankincense oil
  • Aromatherapy bath with frankincense essential oil
  • Frankincense essential oil research
  • Therapeutic properties of frankincense essential oil - 2016
  • Anti-inflammatory properties of frankincense oil - 2002
  • The effect of frankincense essential oil on stress - 2019
  • Frankincense and the immune system - 2010
  • Side effects of frankincense essential oil
  • Contraindications of frankincense essential oil
  • Where to buy frankincense essential oil
  • volant
  • Amazon
  • Pharmacies
  • Health food stores
  • DoTERRA
  • Frankincense essential oil FAQs
  • What is frankincense essential oil good for?
  • Can frankincense oil be applied directly to the skin?
  • What is the best way to use frankincense essential oil?
  • In summary

What is frankincense essential oil?

Frankincense essential oil is derived from the resin of Boswellia trees, which are found in India, Somalia, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Oman, Kenya and Yemen. The resin is harvested from the tree and then steam-distilled to produce the essential oil.

While frankincense comes from the Boswellia tree, it gets its name from Old French, where 'franc encens' means 'high quality incense'. It's easy to see how frankincense got its name!

Frankincense essential oil has a woody, spicy aroma which is said to be grounding and centering. It’s this unique scent that has made it a popular ingredient in perfume and incense for centuries.

One of the most common uses for frankincense essential oil is in religious ceremonies. In fact, the Roman Catholic church alone is estimated to use around 50 metric tonnes of frankincense oil every year. However, it is also a popular choice in aromatherapy, cosmetics and skincare, with this essential oil being used for a wide range of purposes across the world.

Frankincense essential oil - quick facts

🔶   Latin name: Boswellia

🔶   Also known as: Olibanum

🔶   Country of origin: North Africa and India 🇮🇳

🔶   Scent note: Base

🔶   Annual production: 3,000 metric tonnes per year

🔶   Popular uses: Anti-inflammatory and analgesic

How is frankincense essential oil made?

Frankincense essential oil is derived from the resin or sap of Boswellia trees. The resin is harvested from the tree and then steam distilled to produce the essential oil.

The most common type of frankincense that is used to make essential oil is Boswellia carteri, which is found in Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya. However, there are also several other varieties of the Boswellia tree which are used to produce frankincense oil, including Boswellia serrata (found in India and Pakistan) and Boswellia papyrifera (found in Ethiopia, Eritrea and Sudan).

The process of steam distillation is fairly straightforward. The resin is placed in a still and heated until the resin melts. This causes the essential oils to be released from the resin in the form of steam. The steam is then passed through a condenser, which cools it down and turns it back into a liquid. The essential oil is then separated from the water, collected and bottled before being transported around the globe for use in aromatherapy, cosmetics and skincare.

Benefits of frankincense essential oil

Photo by Mikhail Nilov from Pexels

Frankincense essential oil has a wide range of benefits, both for physical and mental health.

Some of the most well-known benefits of frankincense oil include:

  • 🔶   Reducing inflammation
  • 🔶   Relieving pain
  • 🔶   Boosting immunity
  • 🔶   Reducing stress and anxiety
  • 🔶   Slowing the signs of aging
  • 🔶   Reducing the appearance of acne

Let's take a look at these benefits in more detail.

Reducing inflammation

Frankincense essential oil is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent, which makes it effective in relieving the symptoms of conditions such as arthritis, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

Relieving pain

The anti-inflammatory properties of frankincense essential oil can also help to relieve pain when applied topically. This makes it a popular choice for those suffering from conditions such as migraines, headaches, menstrual cramps and muscle aches.

Boosting immunity

woman drinking coffee and relaxing with diffuser

Frankincense essential oil has been proven to be beneficial for the immune system, helping to protect against colds, flu and other infections. This is thought to be due to the presence of compounds such as alpha-pinene and limonene, which have antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties.

Reducing stress and anxiety

The calming and grounding aroma of frankincense essential oil is said to be helpful in reducing stress and anxiety. This makes it a popular choice for use in relaxation and meditation practices.

Slowing the signs of aging

Frankincense oil is great for skin health. It promotes cell regeneration and keeps your cells and tissues healthy. Applying frankincense oil to your face can help to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and lift and tighten your skin.

Reducing the appearance of acne

Frankincense oil is also a great choice for those with acne-prone skin. It’s a powerful astringent, meaning it helps to reduce the appearance of acne blemishes and the appearance of large pores.

How to use frankincense essential oil

There are many different ways in which frankincense essential oil can be used. The method that you'll choose will depend on the benefits that you're hoping to achieve from this age-old essential oil.

Some of the different ways you can use frankincense essential oil include:

  • 🔶   Inhalation
  • 🔶   Aromatherapy massage
  • 🔶   Topical application
  • 🔶   Aromatherapy bath

Let’s take a look at each of these methods of using frankincense essential oil in more detail.

Inhalation of frankincense essential oil

There are a few different ways that you can choose to inhale frankincense essential oil. The most effective way is to add a few drops of the oil to a diffuser and inhale the aromatic vapors. Alternatively, you can place a few drops of the oil on a tissue or handkerchief and inhale deeply. Even just opening the bottle and taking a whiff or two can be handy if you’re in a hurry!

Inhaling frankincense essential oil is a great way to unwind after a stressful day. Many people enjoy diffusing frankincense oil during meditation or while practicing yoga to reduce stress levels and focus the mind.

Aromatherapy massage with frankincense oil

Frankincense oil can be used as part of an aromatherapy massage. This is a great way to soothe aching muscles or the symptoms of conditions such as arthritis, as well as promoting relaxation and reducing stress.

To use frankincense oil in an aromatherapy massage, add a few drops of the oil to a carrier oil such as jojoba or sweet almond oil. Apply the mixture to your skin and massage into the muscles.

volant jojoba carrier oil bottle. the most popular carrier oils  for essential oils because it can be used on your hair or your skin
volant jojoba carrier oil bottle. the most popular carrier oils  for essential oils because it can be used on your hair or your skin
volant jojoba oil carrier oil for your hair and skin
volant jojoba oil carrier oil packaging. best for hair and skin
volant jojoba oil carrier oil rich with the beneficial nutrients, including vitamins A, D and E, making it holistically great for your body.

Jojoba Carrier Oil

14 €

Topical application of frankincense oil

Frankincense essential oil can also be applied topically to the skin. This is a great way to enjoy the anti-inflammatory, wound-healing and scar-reducing benefits of this oil.

It’s important to remember that essential oils should always be diluted before being applied to the skin. This is because they’re very concentrated and can cause irritation if used undiluted.

To dilute frankincense oil, add a few drops of the oil to a carrier oil such as jojoba or sweet almond oil. Apply the mixture to your skin and massage it in gently.

Aromatherapy bath with frankincense essential oil

Frankincense oil can also be added to an aromatherapy bath. This is a great way to relax and reduce stress levels. The warm water will help to release the aromatic vapors of the essential oil, which can be inhaled deeply to enjoy the full benefits.

To use frankincense oil in an aromatherapy bath, mix a few drops of the essential oil with a tablespoon of your favorite carrier oil and add the solution to a warm bath. You'll find that the aromas of the essential oil are enhanced thanks to the warm water.

Frankincense essential oil research

It's important that you carefully consider the research before making decisions about your health. Luckily, there is a wealth of research available regarding frankincense essential oil, enabling us to understand the benefits of this essential oil, as well as safety considerations.

In this section, we'll explore some of the key studies that have given us an insight into the holistic benefits that frankincense essential oil can offer.

Therapeutic properties of frankincense essential oil - 2016

A 2016 review of studies considered the therapeutic benefits of frankincense essential oil. This review concluded that frankincense essential oil has an analgesic effect, reducing pain caused by conditions such as arthritis. This study also highlighted the anti-inflammatory properties of frankincense oil, easing the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, bronchitis and sinusitis.

Anti-inflammatory properties of frankincense oil - 2002

A 2002 study investigated the potential for frankincense essential oil to be used as an anti-inflammatory, and the results were extremely positive. In fact, the study found that frankincense essential oil was able to inhibit elastase in leukocytes, reducing the symptoms of conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, bronchial asthma, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

The effect of frankincense essential oil on stress - 2019

In 2019, a group of researchers set out to discover whether frankincense essential oil could reduce stress in rats. The study found that frankincense oil reduced cortisol levels in the rats while increasing sleep quality. This highlights the effectiveness of frankincense essential oil in reducing stress.

Frankincense and the immune system - 2010

A 2010 study proved that frankincense essential oil can have a positive effect on the immune system, helping the body to defend itself against illness. This can help you to fight off viruses and bacteria more effectively.

Side effects of frankincense essential oil

As with any essential oil, there are some potential side effects of frankincense essential oil that you need to be aware of. These include:

  • Skin irritation or sensitivity
  • Nausea
  • Headaches
  • Drowsiness
  • Allergic reaction

If you experience side effects of frankincense oil, you should stop using it immediately. If the side effect is serious or doesn’t go away, seek medical advice as soon as possible.

Contraindications of frankincense essential oil

For most people, frankincense essential oil is safe and effective. However, there are some groups of people that should avoid using frankincense essential oil or consult their doctor before use.

There has not yet been any research done on the use of frankincense essential oil during pregnancy or breastfeeding. For this reason, we'd advise caution during the maternity period. If you're considering using frankincense essential oil during pregnancy or breastfeeding, you should check with your doctor before proceeding.

Although it is rare to be allergic to frankincense essential oil, it does happen. If you know that you are allergic to the Boswellia plant or to frankincense essential oil, it is crucial that you avoid using this essential oil. If you need help choosing an alternative essential oil to frankincense, email us at volant and we’ll be happy to assist you.

Where to buy frankincense essential oil

You'll find frankincense essential oil available both online and in stores. However, it's important to ensure that your chosen essential oil is 100% pure, rather than being an extract. This will ensure that you are receiving a pure and authentic product that will provide the therapeutic benefits of frankincense.

Let's take a look at some of the different places where you can buy frankincense essential oil.

volant

Here at volant, all of our essential oils are produced using only the highest-quality plants, which are harvested and distilled with the utmost care. Our frankincense essential oil is no exception - we use only the finest Boswellia resin to produce a truly therapeutic oil. If you're looking for an essential oil that is guaranteed to be pure and authentic, volant is the perfect place to shop.

volant organic frankincense essential oil for glowing skin
volant organic frankincense essential oil for glowing skin
organic frankincense
volant organic frankincense essential oil bottle packaging for glowing skin
volant grey diffuser using organic frankincense essential oil helps you find your inner peace

Organic Frankincense Essential Oil

11 €

Amazon

Amazon is a great place to buy essential oils, as you'll find a wide range of different products to choose from. However, it's important to read the reviews before purchasing, as not all essential oils on Amazon are 100% pure. When buying essential oils on Amazon, we recommend choosing a product that has at least 4 stars and checking the reviews to be sure you're getting a quality product.

Pharmacies

Frankincense oil is available in some pharmacies; however, it's important to check that the product is 100% pure before purchasing. Many products that are labeled as 'frankincense oil' may not actually be an essential oil but rather an extract or fragrance oil. These products won't provide the same therapeutic benefits as a true essential oil.

Health food stores

Frankincense oil is available in some pharmacies; however, it's important to check that the product is 100% pure before purchasing. Many products that are labeled as 'frankincense oil' may not actually be an essential oil but rather an extract or fragrance oil. These products won't provide the same therapeutic benefits as a true essential oil.

DoTERRA

DoTERRA is a company that specializes in essential oils. They offer a wide range of different essential oils, including frankincense oil. All of their products are guaranteed to be 100% pure and authentic.

Frankincense essential oil FAQs

What is frankincense essential oil good for?

Frankincense essential oil has a wide range of therapeutic benefits. For example, frankincense oil can be used to help relieve pain, reduce inflammation, boost immunity, reduce stress and smooth the skin.

Can frankincense oil be applied directly to the skin?

As with any essential oil, we'd recommend diluting frankincense essential oil with a carrier oil before applying it to the skin. This will help to reduce the risk of skin irritation, as well as helping the essential oil to disperse evenly across your skin and remain longer, making a small amount of essential oil go further.

What is the best way to use frankincense essential oil?

There are many different ways that you can use frankincense essential oil. For example, you can add a few drops of frankincense oil to your diffuser to enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy, or add it to your bathwater for a relaxing and stress-relieving soak.

Alternatively, you could dilute frankincense oil with a carrier oil and use it for a soothing massage.

In summary

Frankincense essential oil has been used for thousands of years in religious rituals as well as for its therapeutic benefits. These include reducing inflammation, relieving pain, boosting immunity, reducing stress and smoothing the skin. It’s no wonder that frankincense essential oil is so popular across the globe!

Frankincense oil is available from a number of different retailers; however, it's important to check that the product is 100% pure before purchasing. This will ensure that you're receiving a quality product that will provide the full range of benefits.

Here at volant, every essential oil that we produce is 100% pure, ensuring that you receive the highest quality product possible. Our frankincense oil is no exception - we only use the finest Boswellia resin to produce a truly therapeutic oil.

We’re here to help if you have any questions about frankincense essential oil. Contact us at support@volantaroma.com and we’ll be happy to help!

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