Frankincense (Boswellia carterii) is derived from the milky white sap that is secreted by the Frankincense tree. After the tree’s sap droplets are allowed to dry and harden into tear-shapes on the tree over the course of a few days, they are finally scraped off to be made into an essential oil.
The Boswellia tree is native to regions such as Africa and the southern Arabian Peninsula. The earliest and best-known source of Frankincense is the country of Oman, which has shipped this fragrant resin to regions like the Mediterranean, India, and China for thousands of years. The name of the tree comes from the term “franc encens,” which is French for “high-quality incense.” “Franc” is known to mean “pure” while “encens” comes from a word that means “to burn.” It was thus considered a “pure incense” and the most desirable of all the other types of incense. Its potent aroma can be described as woody, earthy, and spicy with a fruity nuance. For some, its scent is comparable to that of licorice.
BENEFITS AND USES OF FRANKINCENSE OIL
The main chemical constituents of the essential oil are Limonene, Pinene, Borneol, Farnesol, Phellandrene, Myrcene, and other constituents. Limonene demonstrates antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal properties. It is believed to reduce feelings of anxiety and to stimulate the immune system. Pinene is known to strengthen and invigorate the respiratory system and is reported to have diuretic properties based on empirical evidence. Borneol contributes tonic, anesthetic, sedative and anti-spasmodic properties to this oil. Farnesol is the component that allows this oil to reduce the user’s signs of aging by smoothing the look of wrinkles and increasing skin’s elasticity.
Used topically and cosmetically, its astringent and cytophylactic qualities help Frankincense oil to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and skin imperfections such as discoloration. It stimulates the growth of new cells, thus when used on cuts it promotes faster healing.
Used in aromatherapy, Frankincense works as an expectorant to clear the nasal passageway, promote the relief of congestion, and encourage easy breathing. It’s sweet, woody aroma is sedative and enhances mood by diminishing feelings of stress and anxiety while improving concentration and memory.
Used medicinally, this anti-inflammatory oil is known to soothe inflamed skin by reducing the sensations of redness, swelling, and itching. It helps to disinfect and tighten the pores, thereby promoting the speedy healing of cuts, wounds, and scars. It is used to relieve flatulence, stimulate the growth of new skin cells, and stimulate blood flow and circulation among other competencies.