What are Essential Oils?

Essential oils are organic compounds extracted from the bark, flower, fruit, leaf, seed or root of a plant or tree and have several healing properties. The oils in the plants are made up of very small molecules that can penetrate your cells, and some can even penetrate the blood-brain barrier. These oils are highly concentrated and have a strong aroma and can be used in aromatherapy and their benefits range from mental to physical healing.

What Is Frankincense Essential Oil?

Boswellia carterii, OR olibanum is commonly known as Frankincense oil. Frankincense is derived from the milky white sap that is secreted by the Frankincense tree which is native to specific regions of Africa and the Middle East. Once the sap has dried and hardened into tear-drop shapes on the tree over the course of a few days, they are scraped off and made into essential oil.

Frankincense gets its name from the term “franc encens” meaning “high quality incense in French. It is considered to pure a pure incense and it was once the most desired over all other types of incense.

Frankincense has a potent aroma that can be described as earthy, spicy, and woody with a fruity nuance. The aromas from frankincense is believed to strengthen and invigorate the respiratory system and is very sedative and comforting. 

Benefits of Frankincense Essential Oil

Reduce Stress

When inhaled, Frankincense can slow the heart rate and can bring down high blood pressure giving us a relaxing feeling overall. It can help reduce symptoms of depression, and anxiety without the side effects of medications that can cause drowsiness. It is believed that frankincense strengthens both spiritual connection and intuition.

Improve Sleep

Insomnia is no fun but it seems to be a serious issue with most of us today. We deal with a lot of stress and anxiety that tends to keep us up at night when we need some much needed sleep. With the use of frankincense oil, we can actually reduce the levels of anxiety or chronic stress we may be experiencing and gain a feeling of calm and grounding which can help us get to sleep. Not only that, but frankincense has the ability to allow our bodies to reach the ideal sleeping temperature, eliminate pain, and open our breathing passages.

Read more on how to improve sleep

Kills Harmful Bacteria and Germs

Frankincense contains antiseptic and disinfecting properties that helps the body get rid of dangerous bacteria. When applied topically, it can help get rid or prevent germs that may accumulate on the skin. When diffused, it can help prevent harmful germs and bacteria from a cold or flu from developing around the house by eliminating them completely. Instead of reaching for chemical household cleaners, try diffusing or using frankincense oil instead.

Oral Care

To help prevent gingivitis, bad breath, cavities, toothaches, mouth sores or other infections of the mouth, we can use frankincense essential oil. The antiseptic properties may help relieve these and other oral health problems.

Boost Immunity

Frankincense oil can help boost your immunity and have you feeling better and able to breathe better. This oil is considered an expectorant and will help get rid of mucus to clear the nasal passages. Due to the anti-inflammatory properties, it can also help to reduce the swelling in nasal passages to promote the relief of congestion and easy breathing when inhaled. 

Skin Health

Frankincense essential oil contains properties that can help with the appearance of our skin. Not only can it help strengthen the skin, it can also improve skin elasticity and improve skin tone by reducing appearance of blemishes, acne, scars and stretch marks. When applied topically, this oil can actually lift and tighten skin which helps with the appearance of aging along with reducing the appearance of wrinkles and crows feet. It can help heal wounds by stimulating the growth of new cells and reduce redness and skin irritation.

Helps With PMS Symptoms

Frankincense essential oil has been used to reduce symptoms of PMS. It has been shown that it may help balance hormones, relieve pain, cramps, anxiety, mood swings, nausea, headaches and fatigue. It may also be used to help regulate estrogen production and reduce the risks of tumors or cysts in premenopausal women.

May Reduce Joint Pain

Inflammation in general is the root for most diseases but Inflammation of the joints is one of the main causes of arthritis pain. Frankincense essential oil can help reduce joint inflammation due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Compounds such as terpenes and boswellic acids appear to be the strongest anti-inflammatory agents in frankincense.

May Improve Intestinal Function

Suffering from Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis or any other inflammation of the stomach? Frankincense may be able to reduce the inflammation for it contains anti-inflammatory properties when taken internally. By helping the digestive system, the body can properly detox and produce bowel movements. Frankincense can speed up the secretion of digestive enzymes, relax the muscles of the digestive track, improve circulation and increase urination production. When this is done, our digestive system can work effectively and we can expect reduced cramping and pain in the stomach, flushing of excess water, and relief from bloating.

Essential Oil Applications

Essential oils can be used to help with many ailments ranging from mental to physical ailments. You can find an essential oil that helps with just about anything. Think of them as nature’s gifts. We can reap the benefits of essential oils through aromatherapy, oral application or topically. Each application has its own benefits and its own precautions.


Aromatherapy is a term used when we use essential oils aromatically. When the aromas of an essential oil Is inhaled, the molecules enter the nasal cavities and stimulate mental responses in the limbic system which can trigger a powerful emotional response.

Aromatherapy can be obtained by adding a few drops of oils to your bath or shower, by relaxing in a warm bath with bath salts and essential oils, by diffusing the oils in an essential oil diffuser, using room or body sprays containing essential oils, essential oil nasal inhalers, essential oil roll ons used as perfumes or colognes, or just simply inhaling the aromas from the bottle. 

Topical Application

Topical application is the process of placing essential oils on your skin, hair, mouth, teeth, nails or mucous membranes of the body. When the oils are applied to the skin, they are absorbed and penetrate the skin rapidly due to their small molecular makeup.

Most essential oils need to be diluted with carrier oils such as coconut oil or almond oil before direct application to the skin. Essential oils are highly concentrated and can cause serious harm or negative skin reactions if not diluted or used properly. Once mixed with a carrier oil, you can apply the mixture directly to the bottom of your feet, pulse points, the affected area, rims of the ears or using a compress.

You can use essential oils topically through body butters, lotions, bath salts, body scrubs, essential oil rollers or massage oils that contain essential oils in them. 

Oral Application

Many essential oils can be ingested- taken by the mouth or eaten. You can cook with foods that contain essential oils in them such as lemongrass, ginger or cinnamon. You can also use them in teas to create our own herbal tea remedy. A few popular teas would be chamomile tea or peppermint tea. A few other common ways to ingest them is through capsule form, adding a few drops to your beverage or food dish or by adding a few drops of essential oils under your tongue for fast absorption. 

Frankincense Essential Oil Precautions

Frankincense essential oil is extremely well-tolerated. To date, there are no reported serious side effects of using frankincense oil. Even with that being said, it is still important to follow essential oil safety when using this oil.

It is rare, but frankincense oil can cause certain reactions for some people such as minor skin rashes and digestive problems like nausea or stomach pain. Frankincense is known to have blood thinning effects so if you are someone who has problems related to blood clotting, you should not use frankincense oil or at least speak to your doctor before using it. Otherwise, the oil may have potential to negatively react with certain anticoagulant medications. 

Essential Oil Precautions

When using any type of essential oil topically for the first time, it is always safe practice to perform a patch test on a small part of your skin before full body application. To do this, dilute the essential oils in a 1:1 ratio, then apply a small amount to the inner part of your forearm or a sensitive part of skin. Wait 24- 48 hours to be sure that no negative skin irritations occur such as swelling, redness, hives or rashes. It is best to start with an even ratio, then work your way up slowly to avoid any irritations.

When inhaling essential oils for the first time, keep the amount of exposure at a minimum to be sure you or anyone else in the household doesn’t experience any negative effects of the aromas. If you do, then ventilate the room being diffused immediately. If irritations continue to occur, seek medical or professional help.

If you are ingesting essential oils, it is critical to make sure that the essential oils you use are safe and pure and are a very high quality, organic, “therapeutic grade” brand. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) considers these safe for consumption and has approved some essential oils generically for internal use and given them the generally recognized as safe (GRAS) designation for human consumption.

It is best to talk to your doctor if you are unsure how using essential oil will impact existing health conditions such as heart disease, liver damage, cancer or skin disorders. If you have a reaction, or unsure about using any type of essential oils, it is best to speak with your doctor.

If you are taking any medications that you are not sure if they will interact with essential oils, be sure to speak to your physician before use. If you are pregnant, nursing, or elderly, be sure to speak to a physician or professionally before using essential oils. 

Read more on essential oil safety

Essential Oil Storage

Be sure to keep essential oils out of direct sunlight. Some essential oils are light sensitive and will lose their benefits if exposed to direct sunlight or heat. Some essential oils can be corrosive if used in plastic in their concentrated form. This is also why most essential oils or products that contain essential oils in them are packaged in deep amber or cobalt glass bottles.

Be sure to keep your essential oils in a cool dry place out of the reach of children and pets. 

Read Next: Top 8 Frankincense Uses

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The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. Self Verve is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. Be sure to contact your physician before trying any of the items stated in the above article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. Self Verve does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

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