Frankincense Essential Oil a Christmas Oil
Christmas is nearly upon us and the essential oils that always spring to mind are Frankincense and Myrrh, two of the precious gifts given to Jesus at his birth.
People often joke that they’d keep the gold, but many have no idea really what Frankincense and Myrrh are and why were they deemed so special! I’ll leave the wonderful Myrrh for another day, but let me explain what a gift Frankincense is to the world…
Frankincense, also called Olibanum, comes from the Boswellia genus of trees of which there are five different species. The most common one used today in Aromatherapy is the Boswellia carterii. Native to the Middle East region, the biggest quantity is now grown and harvested in Somalia.
This small, gnarly tree, thrives in dry, hot, harsh climates and the essential is extracted by tapping the bark, where a sticky resin exudes and forms ‘tears’ that harden in cooler climates. These ‘tears’ are what have traditionally been burned in incense holders, especially during mass in the Catholic church. The Catholic Church is still today the biggest single buyer of the Frankincense resin.
The essential oil is extracted from the resin or ‘tears’ by steam distillation and its predominant chemical contents are monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes and alcohols; pinene, limonene, octanol, terpinene.
The use of Frankincense
Frankincense has been used for thousands of years, throughout the Middle East, India and China. It was traded and highly prized for it’s spiritual, medicinal and cosmetic properties.
The resin protects the tree from infection and repairs damage and disease. It has been used for humans in the same way; the incense in the churches had a fumigating effect as well as it’s elevating and spiritual effects to help the individual connect with their God. By weight it was as expensive as gold and was given to Jesus in recognition of his Divinity.
Frankincense essential oil is very anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, diuretic, sedative and expectorant.
Frankincense is wonderful for the skin, soothing, nourishing, particularly for mature skins. It has a relaxing quality, which helps you to slow down and breathe, particularly useful for meditation, or to relieve stress and anxiety. Also, an expectorant for coughs and colds and an anti-inflammatory effect for many different inflammatory conditions.
In perfumery, it is a gentle base note, with lemony, warm, woody, balsamic tones. It is very popular in both male and female perfumes.
New Forest Aromatics Products that contain Frankincense:
True Bliss Products
The blend created for these products is designed to help you let go of the day’s stresses, relax, or meditate and feel pampered.
The scent includes: Frankincense, Jasmine, Sandalwood, clary Sage, Geranium and Mandarin
Please note: As with all essential oils – always dilute first before applying to the skin and consult a qualified aromatherapist if you are uncertain of how to use or dosage. If you have a specific allergy or contra-indications avoid use.