The aromatic resin called Frankincense is obtained from the Boswellia tree, which grows throughout Asia and Africa. While most of us are familiar with frankincense from religious ceremonies as a piece of the white aromatic resin is put on a charcoal fire.
Frankincense, if we look at history is one of the oldest fragrances, and 5000 years ago it was traded in the Arabian Peninsula and North Africa, where it was valued as high as gold. Now the frankincense route runs from southern Arabia to the Mediterranean, and it is one of the oldest trade routes in the world. The Egyptian people have used it for embalming mummies.
The Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches have been using it for a very long time because they believe that it can chase away evil spirits, so not only the frankincense has been used not only in aromatherapy, massage, cosmetics, and religious rituals, but also in treatments for the health.
The healing properties of the frankincense
Ayurvedic medicine has been using the Indian frankincense (Boswellia serrata) for thousands of years to treat arthritis, heal wounds, or even strengthen the female hormonal system as also to protect against pathogenic microorganisms.
According to Ayurveda, the daily burning of frankincense in the home will bring good health to all of the family members. In the Middle Eastern countries they have been using it since ancient times for maintaining oral health.
The local people have a habit of chewing it in resin form, because they believe it improves the health of the teeth and gums, and that it will prevent infection due to its antimicrobial properties. While in the West, frankincense is most known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
Aactive medicinal ingredients of Frankincense are: monoterpenes, sesquiterpene hydrocarbons, diterpenes and boswellic acid. The most important ingredient of the frankincense is the Boswellic acid because It has a strong anti-inflammatory effect that effectively relieves pain caused by arthritis, but, unlike conventional drugs, doesn’t cause any side effects.
The frankincense improves circulation and blood flow through the vessels damaged by inflammation, which further helps the joints endangered by arthritis. Its powerful anti-inflammatory effect helps with Crohn’s disease and cysts.
Some studies have shown that the frankincense may help in the treatment of several types of cancer – malignant melanoma, bladder cancer and brain tumor.
It was confirmed that the extract of frankincense, incensole acetate, reduces neurological damage, eases depression and anxiety, prevents vascular disease and reduces bad cholesterol. In aromatherapy, the frankincense is used for relieving stress, tension, hysteria and depression.
Having a massage or a bath with frankincense oil can really help with menstrual pain and inflammation of the bladder. A therapy with frankincense oil has a beneficial effect on the respiratory system and helps with bronchitis, asthma, sinusitis, frequent colds and allergies.
Sprinkle a couple of drops of the oil on your hand and inhale it several times a day. You can also inhale frankincense tincture (1 teaspoon per liter of hot water). This plant is excellent for skin care – it helps with acne, scars, stretch marks, wrinkles and wounds.
There have never been any significant side effects observed from using frankincense. Recent toxicological studies have confirmed that the extract of frankincense is safe for outdoor and indoor use.
Don’t use frankincense if you take blood thinners, or if you suffer from high blood pressure, are pregnant or breast-feeding. And also don’t use pure frankincense oil, because it must be diluted in base oil or water.
Uses of frankincense
The frankincense and its products are imported from India. The frankincense resin is collected throughout the whole year and is used for treatment. The resin is used to prepare tinctures, oils, creams and food supplements.
The edible frankincense must be transparent without any black or brown dots. It is usually slightly yellowish with a touch of green, and it is chewed like a chewing gum. You can also use frankincense in capsules.
The Boswellia tincture can be bought or made at home by pouring 80 percent alcohol on the resin. You can also purify your home by putting the resin on charcoal fire, or by lightning up some frankincense sticks.
You can find frankincense and its products in herbal pharmacies and health food stores.
Frankincense was given to baby Jesus as a gift. It is a gift that we should not reject. The ancient tradition of using frankincense speaks for itself.