With its mellow yet fresh aroma and warm comforting undertones, Frankincense essential oil can soothe fraught emotions, encourage a deep sense of calm without making you sleepy and help you feel grounded. A go-to oil for everyday wellbeing, it is also perfect for enhancing your yoga practice, meditation or quiet me-time.
Frankincense trees grow in the dry arid climates of Oman and Somalia. The trees are fairly small, only growing to a height of approximately 7 metres, with abundant narrow leaves and white or pale pink flowers. It belongs to the Burseraceae family; all the trees in this family produce a resin and have bark that peels leaving a smooth under surface. The resin is collected by cutting the tree and allowing the resin (or ‘tears’) to exude and dry before being collected and steam distilled to produce the essential oil.
Frankincense has been used for millennium and is probably the most important aromatic incense throughout history. It has played an important role in religious and domestic life in many ancient civilisations, including Egypt, Babylon, Persia, Hebrew, Greek and Roman. It is still used today in religious rites and ceremonies across the world, and extensively in the world of Aromatherapy.
In ancient Egypt it was used as a cosmetic and was probably the first ‘eyeliner’. The resin was charred and then used to decorate around the eyes. It was called Kohl.
For the mood:
Frankincense’s ability to calm and soothe the emotions is well documented. It deepens the breath, helping you take stock of a stressful situation and ground you. Part of its ability to relax the breath is also useful for respiratory conditions and it can help soothe coughs and sinus-related discomfort.
For the skin:
Frankincense can also be used as a wonderful skin oil. It is rejuvenating and restorative so especially useful for older, more mature skin. When applied topically, it can also be used to ease muscular aches and pains, as it can improve local circulation, bringing warmth and relief to tired over-worked muscles.
Frankincense is a very versatile essential oil, blending well with many essential oils, particularly from the floral and citrus families, as well as the spices and wood oils.
For a luxurious night-time face blend
To 10ml of Jojoba Oil add:
- 1 drop of Neroli Essential Oil Citrus aurantium
- 1 drop of Frankincense Essential Oil Boswellia carterii
Following your usual cleansing routine, apply to your face before bed. Take your time massaging the blend into your face, avoiding the delicate skin around the eyes and mouth.
For a calming diffuser blend
To the water in your Aroma Spa Diffuser add:
- 2 drops of Frankincense Essential Oil Boswellia carterii
- 2 drops of Bergamot Essential Oil Citrus bergamia
- 3 drops of Orange Essential Oil Citrus dulcis
- 1 drop of Cypress Essential Oil Cupressus sempervirens
Use when feeling overwhelmed or in need of a calm soothing aroma at the end of a busy day. It is particularly useful for soothing the mind and bringing serenity to your thoughts.
About Jo Kellett
Our essential oil expert, Jo Kellett TIDHA MIFPA CIMI, graduated from the Tisserand Institute of Holistic Aromatherapy in 1996. She returned to the college in 1999 as an Essential Oil Therapeutics Tutor, where she taught until the college closed. Jo runs a successful private Aromatherapy practice in Brighton, specialising in Women’s health. Jo is also an internationally published author and has lectured on the subject of Aromatherapy both in the UK and abroad. @fromtheseedaroma