The Health Benefits of Frankincense and Frankincense Oil

frankincense oil benefits

Frankincense has been revered for its mystical and medicinal properties for thousands of years. Found in the arid mountain regions of India, Africa, and the Middle East, frankincense is harvested from the resin of the Boswellia tree. This aromatic resin has been a key component in religious rituals, traditional medicines, and even skincare. Today, frankincense oil and frankincense essential oil are gaining popularity for their potential health benefits, ranging from anti-inflammatory properties to mental health support. In this article, we discuss the many potential health benefits that frankincense offers.


What is Frankincense Used For?


Historically, frankincense was as valuable as gold and often traded or given as a high gift. Its primary uses were in incense and perfumes, and it was a key element in religious ceremonies across different cultures, including Christianity, where it was one of the gifts offered to Jesus by the wise men. (1) Medicinally, frankincense has been used in various cultures for thousands of years, particularly in Ayurvedic medicine, to treat arthritis, healing wounds, and counteracting the aging process.


Today, the uses of frankincense have broadened significantly. It is incorporated into modern aromatherapy practices, natural skincare solutions, and holistic health treatments. Frankincense oil, with its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, is believed to help with conditions ranging from gum disease to skin ailments and even chronic conditions such as arthritis and asthma.


Frankincense Essential Oil and Its Potency

frankincense oil


The essential oil of frankincense is distilled from the resin of the Boswellia tree and embodies all the potent properties of frankincense in a concentrated form. This oil is widely used in aromatherapy for its earthy and uplifting fragrance which is believed to help reduce anxiety and improve concentration.


What does frankincense smell like? The aroma of frankincense is typically warm, deep, and rich, with woody and slightly fruity undertones. It is often described as clean and soothing, making it a favorite for use in meditation and yoga practices.


The Health Benefits of Frankincense


Below, we will discuss some of the top health benefits of frankincense:


1. Frankincense Has Anti-inflammatory Properties


Frankincense oil, with its rich content of Boswellia acids, offers significant anti-inflammatory benefits. Research has shown that these compounds inhibit the production of key inflammatory molecules, helping to prevent the breakdown of cartilage tissue, which is crucial for those suffering from conditions like rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. (2) Moreover, the anti-inflammatory properties extend beyond pain relief. They play a critical role in skincare by diminishing the appearance of blemishes, acne, and scars, making the skin appear smoother and more even. This soothing effect also aids in reducing the redness and irritation that is associated with inflammatory skin conditions.


We use frankincense oil in our Botanical Face Oil Serum for its many benefits for skin health.


2. Frankincense Supports Respiratory Health


Frankincense has remarkable benefits for respiratory health due to its soothing properties, which help clear the nasal passages and relax the breathing passages. It acts as an expectorant, providing relief from coughs, clearing phlegm, and reducing the frequency of asthma attacks. Additionally, its anti-inflammatory properties help soothe irritated bronchial tubes, making frankincense essential oil a natural remedy for people suffering from bronchitis, sinusitis, asthma, and allergies. (3The use of frankincense for respiratory conditions is not just about symptom relief but also about enhancing the overall respiratory capacity and health.


3. Frankincense Promotes Mental Health and Emotional Well-being


The psychological benefits of frankincense essential oil are also profound. Its calming aroma is not only soothing but is known to enhance mental clarity and emotional balance. It has been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression by lowering cortisol levels and calming the nervous system. (4The use of this essential oil in aromatherapy is particularly beneficial during times of stress or emotional turmoil, providing a natural, therapeutic approach to managing mental health.


4. Frankincense Antiseptic and Antibacterial Qualities


Frankincense oil possesses natural antiseptic and antibacterial qualities that make it a great remedy for preventing and treating infections. It is commonly used to promote oral health because of these effects. When applied topically, it helps to protect wounds from tetanus and becoming septic while also promoting faster healing. (5) Moreover, it's effective in combating internal infections, reducing the possibility of ulcers in the stomach, and providing relief from infections in the urinary tract, kidneys, and bladder. These protective qualities make frankincense oil a versatile tool in both preventive health measures and active management of infections.


5. Frankincense May Enhance Immunity


The immune-enhancing properties of frankincense oil are notable. It boosts the immune system by increasing the production of white blood cells, the body's primary defense mechanism against pathogens(5) Additionally, frankincense is rich in antioxidants which help to fight free radicals that can lead to cellular damage and numerous health issues. Regular use of frankincense oil can strengthen the body's natural defenses, making it a great addition to daily health routines, particularly during seasons when the immune system might be compromised.


6. Frankincense Supports Digestive Health


Frankincense has been traditionally valued for its ability to enhance digestive health as it promotes the secretion of gastric juices and bile. (6) Additionally, frankincense can be beneficial for soothing stomach upsets, reducing abdominal pain, and alleviating symptoms of nausea. For those dealing with chronic digestive disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or Crohn's disease, frankincense may offer natural relief by reducing inflammation in the digestive tract, promoting overall digestive health and comfort.


7. Frankincense Supports Neurological Health


Recent studies have highlighted frankincense's potential in providing neurological support. Compounds in frankincense are thought to have neuroprotective properties, which may help protect nerve cells against damage, degradation, or impairment. (7) Additionally, the soothing effects of frankincense oil may also help in managing mood swings and reducing symptoms related to anxiety and depression, thereby supporting overall neurological health.


How to Use Frankincense for Health



Frankincense can be utilized in various forms, including resin, essential oil, and supplements, each serving different purposes and suited for different methods of application. Here are some of the most effective ways to incorporate frankincense into your health regimen:


Essential Oil Aromatherapy


For mental clarity, stress relief, and emotional well-being, frankincense essential oil can be used in aromatherapy. You can add a few drops of the oil to a diffuser or vaporizer to fill your space with its calming aroma. Alternatively, you can apply a drop or two to your wrists or temples or use it as part of a massage oil blend. Make sure to dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil, such as coconut or jojoba oil, to avoid skin irritation.


Topical Application


For skin health, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic benefits, frankincense oil can be applied topically. Simply mix the frankincense oil with a carrier oil and apply it directly to the skin to help heal scars, wounds, acne, or inflamed areas. It's also beneficial for reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines when used regularly. This is why we use frankincense oil in our Botanical Face Oil Serum.




For respiratory support, frankincense can be inhaled directly from the bottle or through steam inhalation. Add a few drops of frankincense oil to hot water in a bowl, cover your head with a towel, and inhale the steam. This method helps to clear nasal passages and relieve congestion.


Oral Consumption


Frankincense is also available in capsule or tablet form, often as an extract of Boswellia. These supplements can help manage chronic inflammatory conditions and support digestive health. Always follow the dosage instructions provided on the label or as directed by a healthcare provider.


Direct Application of Resin


The raw resin from the Boswellia tree can be chewed directly for oral health benefits, like natural gum. It's also been used traditionally to aid digestion and support stomach health. However, if you choose to use frankincense resin, make sure it is pure and intended for consumption.


Frankincense Precautions


While frankincense is generally safe for most people, it's important to consider potential side effects. Always test a small amount of frankincense oil on your skin first to check for any allergic reactions before using more. Pregnant and nursing women should also consult with a healthcare provider before using frankincense oil, and it should be used cautiously in children. Additionally, if you are taking any medication or have a medical condition, consult with a healthcare provider to ensure that frankincense will not interfere with your health regimen.


The Healing Benefits of Frankincense and Myrrh

frankincense and myrrh


Frankincense and myrrh are often mentioned together as they have been historically used in conjunction with various therapeutic practices. Both resins are known for their healing properties. Myrrh, like frankincense, is a resin extracted from tree sapand it boasts similar yet distinct medicinal qualities. While frankincense is often praised for its soothing effects on the mind and the ability to alleviate inflammation, myrrh is particularly noted for its antimicrobial and astringent properties.


When used together, frankincense and myrrh can enhance each other's efficacy, making them a powerful duo in natural medicine. They are often used in tandem to boost the immune system, promote skin health, and support respiratory health.




Frankincense, with its rich history and extensive medicinal properties, continues to be a valuable resource in both traditional and contemporary health practices. Whether used in its resin form, as an essential oil, or in conjunction with myrrh, frankincense has a myriad of benefits that can contribute to overall well-being and a healthier lifestyle. As modern research continues to explore and confirm the ancient wisdom surrounding frankincense, it remains a timeless remedy, soothing to both body and mind.




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