EO Spotlight: Frankincense Essential Oil
Frankincense Essential Oil (Boswellia carterii) is one of the most powerful and deeply spiritual essential oils available. As we move into the colder months, I find myself craving its complex, woodsy, balsamic aroma more than ever. Frankincense has a long history of use in a multitude of religious and spiritual practices going back thousands of years – so much so that it has ingrained itself into the root of human consciousness. The profound connection felt when we inhale its warm, grounding aroma is the reason that it resonates with most everyone.
Frankincense, or Olibanum as it is also called, comes from the resin of the frankincense tree that grows in North Africa and Arabia. It was one of the most prized commodities in early commerce, finding universal appreciation as it was traded throughout the ancient world on the “Incense Road.” The resin itself has been burnt for many thousands of years for its ability to purify, protect and connect us to the divine. Following this tradition, we can still burn Frankincense resin today with incense charcoal for an intense, aromatic experience that fills any space with purifying smoke. Frankincense resin has been depicted in Egyptian temples, mentioned in Hebrew texts and the three Magi presented it as a precious gift to baby Jesus.
Leading aromatherapist Valerie Ann Worwood puts it perfectly: “Frankincense is elevating, spiritual, and meditative, and holds some of the wisdom of the universe, that which is manifested in the spiritual self.” This is why Kate made it one of the key ingredients in our Meditation and Trance Anointing Oil and Breath of Life Diffuser Oil, where it combines with Sandalwood and other oils to open the crown chakra and foster connection to our higher self. It also serves to purify our environment and uplift the mood, as it is used in the Purification & Protection Aura Mist. Frankincense’s deep, protective energy is also why Kate chose to include it in the formulation for the Archangel Michael Sacred Perfume.
Pure Frankincense Essential Oil is steam distilled from the resin and captures the complex aromatic nuances wonderfully. When I feel frazzled or out of sorts, I reach for my bottle of Frankincense Essential Oil and put a couple of drops onto my palms, rub together and inhale deeply. I feel immediately supported, grounded and able to regain my inner peace. It is also a wonderful oil to diffuse in the home as it creates a warm, welcoming aroma that benefits guests and residents alike.
Medicinally, we are only now starting to fully realize Frankincense's full range of benefits for healing both the mind and body. Adding a couple of drops of the essential oil to your skincare regimen promotes healing and skin cell regeneration, especially in those exposed to environmental stress. Additionally, many studies have demonstrated its ability to help treat depression and anxiety, lowering cortisol levels and producing calmative effects on the psyche. Its anti-inflammatory and anti-depressant properties benefit the respiratory system – easing coughs and supporting deep breathing for relief from symptoms of bronchitis and asthma. Even more incredibly, some findings (including those from a study at Leicester University) suggest that Frankincense compounds may be effective in prohibiting the growth of cancer cells.
One could write an entire book on the amazing history and spectrum of benefits derived from the unassuming Frankincense tree. I find that the intoxicating fragrance of pure Frankincense is one of my greatest emotional helpers available. It encourages the incredible feeling of interconnection between all people and is able to enlighten us to the powerful correlation between ritual, spirituality and aroma. Deeply sacred and divinely powerful, Frankincense essential oil calms the mind, uplifts the spirit and provides healing for all inhabitants of this earth.
By Matthew Campbell, Kate's Magik General Manager + Aroma Enthusiast