Frankincense Essential Oil; Self-reflection and the Change of Season
The Frankincense tree can grow right out of a rock. Native to the middle east, in a most unforgiving terrain, its bulbous and twisted roots can just latch on to a rock’s scraggy surface and live. I find its metaphor really inspiring.
And what is even more amazing is that over 5000 years ago the ancient cultures of Egypt, China, India and Israel were somehow drawn to this small sturdy tree, and discovered it produced a resin that when burned emits an aroma that deeply stirred their emotions and their spirits. These ancient cultures burned Frankincense in both their healing and religious ceremonies, providing them a link to a Divine Presence.
What makes Aromatherapy such a powerful and dynamic form of herbal medicine, is that it activates and engages our sense of smell. We’ve all had the experience of a smell transporting us to a memory, or a feeling, or particular state-of-mind. That’s because the collection of our olfactory nerves are hidden deep inside the limbic system of our inner brain. An area scientists and neurologists both continue to find mysterious and beguiling- despite medicine’s great advances.
For me, the Fall always brings with it a time for introspection. The shift from the bright outward energy of summer towards the inner stillness of winter, inspires me to reflect about my own personal changes. And during this transition, Frankincense Essential Oil has always been like a good friend.
Frankincense Essential Oil (Boswellia carterii) is steamed distilled from the dried resin of the Frankincense tree. While the tree is between 8-l0 years old, the tree is tapped so that the resin may slowly ooze and drip down the bark. Once dried, the resin looks like white crystals – and are called tears. These tears are then hand harvested off the surface of the bark. The highest quality of resin is usually the whitest. The crystallized resin may be burned as incense,(not directly, but rather placed on burning coals) or ground into a fine powder for use in herbal medicine, both topically and internally — and the essential oil is extracted through steam distillation.
In addition to its spiritual, emotional and psychological healing properties, Frankincense Oil is also enormously effective for a variety of physical issues. I’ve listed a few below:
Skin Care: Great for mature skin, anti-aging, reduces wrinkles by promoting support to collagen cells; Excellent wound healer, soften scars and diminishes their appearance by encouraging new cell growth. Also very soothing and antiseptic for all skin disorders like eczema and dermatitis , as well skin infections and blemishes.
Muscles and Joints: Effective for muscle soreness and strain and for muscle aches caused by emotional stress; It’s anti-inflammatory properties are particularly effective for arthritis and general joint swelling and soreness.
Respiratory: It’s antibacterial and antiviral, and anti-inflammatory, properties are great for easing respiratory infections and clearing mucus.
Mental Health: Known to be a very effective anti-depressant, and disperses mental stress.
How to use it? Try adding a few drops of Frankincense essential oil to a bath, unscented creams and lotions, liquid soaps and shampoos, or carry a little soaked on a cotton ball to smell throughout the day.
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