Welcome to my letter F post in the #AtoZChallenge. I focus my A to Z posts on aromatherapy and essential oils. Today, I want to talk about frankincense.
Frankincense is a resin (highly viscose substance that the plant uses to protect itself) derived from any of five species of Boswellia. It is used in both incense and in perfume-making or aromatherapy.
Frankincense has been used ever since at least 1500 BC. It was introduced to western Europe by the Franks, who had found it on their journeys to the eastern Roman empire. The name, though, doesn’t refer to the Franks, but is derived from the old French word for high quality incense.
Frankincense has been claimed to have medicinal benefits for many centuries. In traditional Chinese medicine, frankincense and myrrh combined are used for their antimicrobial and blood moving properties. In Persian medicine, frankincense was used for diabetes and stomach ulcers.
Frankincense essential oil is produced via steam distillation of the resin from a Boswellia plant. I only own Boswellia Carterii essential oil.
Frankincense essential oil has a fresh and fruity yet warm, woodsy and spicy scent. It is a stimulating essential oil and can be used to clear the mind and increase focus.
When applied to the skin in massage oils or other skincare products, it is supposed to help prevent skin aging and help with dry skin.
Frankincense essential oil blends well with citrus oils such as lime, lemon and orange. It also blends well with oils such as lavender, geranium, ylang ylang and woodsy oils such as cypress and sandalwood.
Please note that some species of Boswellia are near threatened status. Although they are exempt from the international regulations on trading endangered plants or animals, it may be advised to take their rarity into account when buying frankincense.