Updated: Feb 15
Since ancient times, frankincense oil has been used to help heal the body, mind and the soul. For many, it is associated with the birth of Christ as one of the gifts bestowed on Jesus by the three wise men. Even today, frankincense continues to be valued in Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox, churches, as well as throughout India and Africa. So, what is it exactly?
Frankincense is a hardened gum-like material (resin) that comes from the trunk of the Boswellia Serrata tree. People use its oil for many reasons, whether on the skin and in aromatherapy, or as fragrance in soaps, lotions and perfumes, it smells good and has many healing properties. Frankincense oil seems to kill some types of bacteria and fungi (yeasts), as well as potentially for aging skin, healing surface-level wounds and many other conditions.
According to a recent article about frankincense and its therapeutic properties from the National Library of Medicine, “this traditional medicine of the East is believed to have anti-inflammatory, expectorant, antiseptic, and even anxiolytic and anti-neurotic effects.” Used in traditional Ayurvedic medicine, frankincense appears to offer certain health benefits, from improved digestion to reduced asthma and better oral health. It also has anti-anxiety and depression-reducing effects as well. There are a variety of ways to apply the frankincense resin. Whether via inhalation, consumption, pill, or cream, it can aid in various types of arthritis, asthma, bowel disease and more. You may be wondering how you eat it and if you want to…well, to eat it you would simply pop a piece of Frankincense in your mouth and start chewing until it becomes the consistency of chewing gum. “Unlike commercial chewing gum, Frankincense tears can be chewed for hours (maybe indefinitely?)”. I can’t speak from experience; I haven’t tried it yet. 😊 So, what are some of the health benefits of Frankincense?
Through inhalation, frankincense oil been shown to:
Reduce heart rate and high blood pressure
Clear the nasal passageway, promote the relief of congestion, and encourage easy breathing.
Diminishes feelings of stress and anxiety
Improve concentration and memory
When eating/drinking (steep for tea):
Stimulate healing to the digestive processes, clearing stagnation and decreasing excess gas, relieving the pain of colic.
Invigorate the oral cavity, helping rejuvenate your gums and teeth
Appling to skin/face/body:
Can be used as an eyewash
Healing salves for wounds, bruises and abrasions
Beautification of the skin
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. I love adding it into my daily moisturizer, it really helps improve my skins appearance and I also added it into a shortbread cookie recipe and a candied almond recipe -- it so very versatile! You can check out these recipes on our Facebook page or visit us in the future as we develop other areas on the site dedicated to recipes.
To learn more about the supplements I use and ingredients we cook with or get help in cooking easy 5-ingredient meals, reach out to me for a free consultation or visit us to grab some vegan / vegetarian food to-go. Let’s figure out how to make it easy to look at the end of your fork and get excited about what you’re putting into your body.
To your health and happiness,
~ Sam, Founder of Mettacasa
*Disclaimer: As always, please consult your doctor before trying any new supplements as many can interact with OTC and prescribed medications. I am not a medical doctor and do not diagnose illness or prescribe treatments of any kind, all information provided is to enlighten and educate on various health options. I am a nutritional consultant and will make suggestions relating to nutrition but none of the information offered here is intended to replace any program that your chosen health professional has prescribed for you.
Please make sure to consult with your healthcare professional before adopting new nutritional regimens.