Frankincense oil has been used for thousands of years for its therapeutic and healing properties as part of the practice of aromatherapy. Frankincense, sometimes referred to as olibanum, is a common type of essential oil used in aromatherapy that can offer a variety of health benefits, including helping relieve chronic stress and anxiety, reducing pain and inflammation, and boosting immunity.
Frankincense oil is from the genus Boswellia and sourced from the resin of the Boswellia carterii, Boswellia frereana or Boswellia serrata trees that’s commonly grown in Somalia and regions of Pakistan. These trees are different from many others in that they can grow with very little soil in dry and desolate conditions.
What does Frankincense smell like? It smells like a combination of pine, lemon and woody scents.
Boswellia serrata is a tree native to India that produces special compounds that have been found to have strong anti-inflammatory, and potentially anti-cancer, effects. Among the valuable Boswellia tree extracts that researchers have identified, several stand out as most beneficial, including terpenes and boswellic acids, which are strongly anti-inflammatory and protective over healthy cells.
Common NameFrankincense (Organic)
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Benefits of Frankincense Oil
Helps Reduce Stress Reactions and Negative Emotions
When inhaled, frankincense oil has been shown to reduce heart rate and high blood pressure. It has anti-anxiety and depression-reducing abilities, but unlike prescription medications, it does not have negative side effects or cause unwanted drowsiness. A 2019 study found that compounds in frankincense, incensole and incensole acetate, have the ability to activate ion channels in the brain to alleviate anxiety or depression.
May Help to reduce Chemotherapy Side Effects
Several research groups have found that frankincense has promising anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor effects when tested in lab studies and on animals. Frankincense oil has been shown to help fight cells of specific types of cancer. A 2012 study even found that a chemical compound found in frankincense called AKBA is successful at killing cancer cells that have become resistant to chemotherapy, which may make it a potential natural cancer treatment.
Protects Skin and Prevents Signs of Aging
Frankincense benefits include the ability to strengthen skin and improve its tone, elasticity, defence mechanisms against bacteria or blemishes, and appearance as someone ages. It may help tone and lift skin, reduce the appearance of scars and acne, and treat wounds. It may also be beneficial for fading stretch marks, surgery scars or marks associated with pregnancy, and healing dry or cracked skin. A review published in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine indicates that frankincense oil reduces redness and skin irritation, while also producing a more even skin tone. Studies suggest that it’s the pentacyclic triterpene (steroid-like) structure of frankincense oil that contributes to its soothing effect on irritated skin.
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