Botanical Name: Boswellia Seratta
Common Method of Extraction: Steam Distillation
Parts Used: The resin or the gum of the tree is used.
Note Classification: Base
Aroma: Frankincense oil has a sweet and haunting smell. It is woody and spicy too and slightly camphoric.
Largest Producing Countries: Some of the largest frankincense oil producers are North Africa, Europe and India
Traditional Use: The most common aspect of Frankincense known to almost all in the world was that one of the wise men who went to see infant Jesus took Frankincense as a gift. There is a depiction of frankincense in the form of painting in an ancient Egyptian temple. It has been in use in Arabia and North Africa for many centuries. In India also this has been used in Ayurvedic medicines. This oil is seen buried in the tomb of King Tutankhamen who died in1323.
The colour of frankincense oil is pale yellow-green. The chemical components of the oil are actanol, incensyl acetate, a-pinene, linalool, incensole, bornyl acetate and octyl acetate. The main components are sesquiterpenols, ketones and monoterpenoles. Its properties are diuretic, antiseptic, carminative, cicatrizant, astringent, cytophylactic, emmenagogue, vulnerary, expectorant and uterine. It has sedative and digestive properties. It is also used to tone up the body. It is used in muscle relaxants and in immune stimulants. It is anti-depressant, anti-tumoral, anti-catarrhal and anti-infectious too. Due to a variety of properties it is used as a cure for many a health problem. It is also used to support some systems in the body. It stimulates the immune system and helps in the smooth functioning of the nervous system.
Frankincense oil is used to treat ulcers, asthma, other lung infections, inflammation and vertigo to name a few. It is found to be effective in the treatment of cancer. Severe nervous conditions, stress, depression is also treated with the help of frankincense oil. It is said to be used in the skin care products. However the most popular use of frankincense is in perfumery. For many centuries it has been used to create a pleasant smell and it is that property for which it is famous for even today.
Blends Well With: Frankincense oil blends well with pine, orange, lavender, lemon, benzoin, sandalwood, myrrh and bergamot oil.
Of Interest: The English word Frankincense comes from the original word “Francium Incenseum” found in the original version of Catholic Bible Olibanum. This tree is referred to in the Bible more than 52 times. Though frankincense was used by the later Roman Catholic Church it was a taboo for the earlier church. It was brought back to Europe by Frank Crusaders. It is known as “oil of Lebanon” as Lebanon was the central trading place for frankincense.
Safety Data: Frankincense oil is approved by the FDA to be used as a food additive and as flavouring agent. It is sometimes used as a dietary supplement. It is non toxic and non irritant. The only precaution is to keep it away from young children especially children below the age of six.