You have probably heard that Frankincense was one of the three gifts brought to the baby Jesus by the three wise men, according to The Gospel of Matthew. Then what!
Frankincense oil is from the genus Boswellia and sourced from the resin of the Boswellia carterii, Boswellia ferreana or Boswellia serrata (knowns as Indian Frankincense) trees that is commonly grown in Somalia, Ethiopia and regions of Pakistan. This tree is different from many others, it can grow with very little soil in dry and desolate conditions.
Frankincense is the dried sap of trees in the Boswellia genus. When dried, the sap is burned as incense and thought to have several medicinal properties. Frankincense producers “cut a wound in the tree” using a traditional chisel-like tool, after which a milky white sap leeches out of the hole, forming "tears."
The first sap is not collected and is thought to cleanse the wood of impurities. Once this dries, the hole is enlarged and deepened, after which sap comes out, dries, and is collected about two weeks later.
Frankincense, sometimes referred to as olibanum, is a common type of essential oil used in aromatherapy. It offers a variety of health benefits, including helping revive chronic stress and anxiety, reducing pain and inflammation and boosting immunity. Frankincense uses even potentially apply to fight cancer.
In this blog, instead of state the benefit of Frankincense oil which you may already know or heard of, I would like to use different angle to decompose its chemical compounds so we can get deeper understanding of Frankincense oil and its beneficial, and how to use it in different ways.
Let’s look the top 3 chemical components of Frankincense (Boswellia carterii) – Alpha-pinene, D-limonene, and myrcene. Don’t freak out! They are just names… please stay with me.
Alpha- Pinene (around 44-45% in Frankincense essential oil)
Alpha-pinene is Monoerpene belonging to a broader family of chemical compounds called terpenes. It commonly found in conifer trees like pine trees and occurs in the essential oils derived from plants like rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), eucalyptus and orange peel. It is clear, colorless and smell of pine trees.
Health benefits of alpha-pinene included:
- Anti-inflammatory activity – unleash the cooling effects of alpha-pinene to cool and soothe inflamed tissues. One reach indicated a-pinene may help fight arthritis and related inflammation within the cartilage of joints (1).
- Antimicrobial properties – alpha-pinene has antibacterial activity against the dangerous antibiotic – resistant and capable of killing harmful bacteria.
- Cancer fighting properties – alpha-pinene seems to arrest cancer cell growth, reducing cancer’s ability to spread to other parts of the body. (2)
- Anti-ulcerogenic and gastroprotective properties
- As a memory boosting
D- Limonene (around 10-11% in Frankincense essential oil)
D-limonene is a major constituent of citrus fruits like lemons, limes and oranges. Because of its citrus smell and taste, it is often use as a dietary supplement, flavoring agent, aromatic oil or in skin creams.
Health benefits of d-limonene included:
- Reduces heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux
- Lowers inflammation and acts as an antioxidant, not only does d-limonene coat your stomach lining, but it also coats your large intestine to help ensure a healthy digestive tract. (3)
- Helps to dissolve gallstones
- Eases metabolic disorders and weight loss
- Helps to reduce skin inflammation. Study suggest topically apply d-limonene can soothe your aching, burning skin while improving wound-healing (4)
- Reduce anxiety and stress
Myrcene (around 7-10% in Frankincense essential oil)
Mycrene known as beta-myrcene, is a terpene with a fruity, clove-like aroma and is found in Mangoes, Hops, Ylang-Ylang, wild Thyme and more. Myrcene is able to enhance the effectiveness of other terpenes and cannabinoids, it also interacts with the human brain in a very unique way. Myrcene also play an important role in enhancing the effectiveness of certain compounds that is call entourage effect.
Medical benefits of Myrcene included:
- Sedative effects – sleeps ads. One study performed on mice, myrcene increased sleep duration by around 2,6 times. (5)
- Analgesic effects – pain relief
- Anti-inflammatory effects
- Antimutagenic effect
Now you know the top 3 chemical components of frankincense oil and you know what Frankincense can offer!
Besides these therapeutic properties, Frankincense can also be used to enhance wellness, like natural deodorizer, mediation and relaxation. For the oil safety concerns, the Frankincense essential oil is extremely well-tolerated compared to prescription medications. However, the proper dilution is needed when using Frankincense.
I personally like to blend Frankincense, Rosemary and Peppermint when I need to focus and be efficiency. Frankincense calms the mind, while Rosemary enhance memory and Peppermint boost energy. This blend is my best botanical helper when I need to get things done!
You can find Frankincense oil in these TRUESSENCE products:
- Wellness Roller: Focus & Memory
- Body Butter: No. 1 Love and Intimacy
- Body Butter: No. 2 Soothing & Relexation
- Body Butter: No. 5 Mind Detox & Optimism
- Body Butter: No. 6 Anti-Aging & Balance
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