Frankincense is known as one of the more prized essential oils. It is known for it's extensive use throughout history. While best known for it's use as incense and during ancient rituals, frankincense also has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties and was considered an effective remedy for everything from a toothache to leprosy.
Frankincense is a unique essential oil because it must be extracted from a resin rather than a leaf or flower. Today frankincense is used for many things, although it is not as popular a cure as it was in 3000 BC. Most common uses include skin health and perfume, however these is research being done on its effectiveness against more serious health conditions.
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Here are 11 ways that frankincense essential oil can benefit you:
11 Uses for Frankincense
1. Relieve inflammation and pain - To decrease symptoms of inflammation, joint discomfort, or muscle soreness, digestive disorders, or respiratory challenges, massage frankincense over the painful area or try diffusing it. You can also add a drop of oil to warm or hot water and soak a towel in it, then place the towel on your body or over your face.
2. Relieves congestion - For a stuffy nose or a minor cough diffusing frankincense can help clear your head and ease your cough. It can help eliminate mucous in the lungs and also acts as an anti-inflammatory in the nasal passages, making breathing easier, even during times when seasonal threats are high or in the presence of other respiratory difficulties. Add a few drops to a cloth and inhale for the respiratory benefits or use an oil diffuser.
3. Immune booster - Many studies have shown that frankincense has cleansing and immune boosting properties. Use it to prevent germs from invading your skin, mouth, or home. It is very effective in naturally relieving and preventing oral health concerns such as unhealthy gums, toothaches, or mouth sores. Diffuse a few drops if you feel an illness coming on or when seasonal threats are high (October through March). Add to water and use as a mouthwash.
4. Reduces appearance of stretch marks and scars - Frankincense has been used for centuries to help fade scars and stretch marks. It can also be used to decrease the appearance of spots caused by acne and eczema. Mix 2-3 drops of oil with an unscented base oil or lotion and apply directly to skin.
5. Improves digestion - Frankincense can help relieve digestive distress (gas, constipation, stomach ache, PMS/cramps, etc.), reduces cramping, and relieves nausea. It aids in digestion in a similar fashion to digestive enzymes as well as helping to relax the muscles of the digestive tract. Add 1-2 drops to water or honey and take orally. Remember, if you are using essential oils internally, make sure that it is a pure therapeutic grade oil. Fragrance or synthetic oils are not safe to ingest internally.
6. Meditation - Frankincense has been used for centuries as a calming oil and is thought to open the mind as well as increase understanding and awareness. Diffuse a few drops and try meditating for a few minutes each morning to focus your mind on your day.
7. Stress reduction - Frankincense is known as natural sedative and can help calm you. It has been shown to decrease heart rate and blood pressure when inhaled. It also has calming and uplifting properties which can help reduce unwanted feelings of sadness without unwanted side effects or drowsiness. Rub a few drops of oil mixed with a carrier oil onto the back of your neck when you feel anxious or place a drop on your hands, rub them together, and inhale.
8. Disinfectant - Frankincense can act a cleansing and disinfecting agent. It has the ability to fight various germs in both the home and the body. It can also be used in place of chemical household cleaners. Add a few drops to soaps and homemade cleaning solutions.
9. Air freshener - Frankincense is known for its pleasant smell and the plant has been burned to help disinfect and deodorize the air. Use it in an essential oil diffuser to help deodorize and disinfect any room or surface in your home.
10. Perfume - Apply a drop or two of Frankincense mixed with a carrier oil in the same places you would apply perfume. It is a less toxic option than artificial perfume.
11. Balances hormone levels - Frankincense oil can help to reduce symptoms associated with menstruation and menopause by balancing hormone levels. It can help relieve discomfort, cramps, constipation, headaches, anxiousness, nausea, fatigue, and mood swings. It is also possible that frankincense helps with regulating estrogen production and supports healthy cellular function, especially in pre-menopausal women.
How to Use Frankincense
Diffusing essential oils is one of the easiest and most effective ways to use them. Simply add 3-4 drops to a diffuser or a pot of water on the stove. If using water on the stove, heat to a low boil and continue to boil until the water is gone.
You can also apply frankincense directly to your skin (dilute with a carrier oil for sensitive skin) and take internally if using a pure therapeutic grade oil. One drop under the tongue daily will help fight inflammation. Remember that quality really does matter when using essential oils inside your body (i.e. internally), grocery store brands are not guaranteed to be safe. I have done my research and as a medical professional I am keenly aware of potential risks and benefits of putting anything into the body!
Grounding Blend for Diffuser:
2 drops frankincense
2 drops sandalwood
2 drops bergamot
Add to diffuser and diffuse for calm and grounded feelings.
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