When it comes to essential oils, I believe practical and anecdotal uses are those that can be relied upon to deliver the best results. And so it is with one of the most powerful and versatile oils available, frankincense.
I do not say this lightly because, truth be told, I initially shunned frankincense, or “frank” as it is called, because I thought it both exotic and expensive. Slowly, though, I began to recognize its value especially when it comes to skin and wound care and its remarkable ability to relieve inflammation and pain.
What is Frankincense?
Many know of frankincense as one of the plant-derived treasures, along with myrrh, given to the newborn Jesus in the New Testament. Its use in a religious context goes beyond Christianity, however. According to the Hebrew Bible, frankincense and myrrh were components of the holy incense ritually burned in Jerusalem’s sacred temples during ancient times.
Frankincense is derived from the sap from a specific variety of trees in the genus Boswelia. Harvests are done at various times and the more opaque resins are considered to be the best quality.
22 powerful uses of frankincense for health, wellness and healing
The following uses of frankincense are based upon my own personal experience or on the experience and knowledge of trusted colleagues in the online community. In going through this list, I am sure that you will agree that frankincense deserves its reputation as the “King of Oils.”
1) Heal wounds from cuts, scrapes and burns.
For even greater benefit, apply lavender essential oil first then layer frankincense on top. The combination of these two oils together is amazing when it comes to healing wounds.
2) Reduce and fade scars.
Continue use after the wound has healed to reduce and fade scarring.
3) Relieve the symptoms of gout.
Mixed 50/50 with a carrier oil, frankincense has been known to relieve the painful symptoms of gout. I know this is true because during our recent vacation, my husband had a flare-up of gout and after applying frank and coconut oil four times daily, the pain was all but gone within three days.
4) Foster strong immune system.
The antiseptic properties of frankincense make it ideal for supporting a strong immune system. Massage a few drops into the balls of your feet every day. In addition, try diffusing it throughout your home and especially in the bedroom at night. This is especially good during cold and flu season.
5) Stress and anxiety management.
Apply a drop at the temples to relieve stress and evoke a feeling of calmness. You can also rub a few drops mixed in a carrier oil on the back of the neck when you feel anxious. Something else you can do is simply inhale the aroma of the oil by rubbing a drop or two between the palms of your hands then bringing them up to your nose and taking a deep breath.
6) Mitigate depression and feelings of helplessness.
Apply a few drops to the back of the neck and especially around the brain stem two or more times daily.
None of us likes to look old. Dabbing frankincense on fine lines and wrinkles will make them less noticeable. A 50/50 blend with a carrier oil (fractionated coconut oil, sweet almond oil) in a glass roller ball is recommended. You can also add a drop of frank to your daily moisturizer.
8) Replacement for NSAIDS/Advil.
Frankincense is a powerful anti-Inflammatory and can be used to relieve conditions where pain and inflammation are present.
9) Colds and congestion.
Put up to six drops in a sink or bowl filled with very hot water then bend over the sink with a towel draped over your head to contain the steam. Breathe in the vapors for at least five minutes, adding more hot water as needed. Be careful not to scald yourself; the water should be hot, not boiling.
10) Relieve itching.
A single drop applied to the affected area will bring immediate relief.
11) Relieve arthritis pain and swelling.
Mix with a carrier (such a Simple Salve or DIY healing salve) and rub into aching joints at night before bed and throughout the day,
12) Clear up cystic acne.
Dab one drop on stubborn spots of cystic acne morning and night.
Add five or six drops to a diffuser and breath in the oil to open the senses and create a calming atmosphere. Perfect for quiet meditation.
14) Remove moles, skin tags, and warts.
Apply a single drop three or four times a day until gone. Note that if the mole is dark and ragged around the edges and/or growing quickly, see your healthcare professional for an assessment and possible treatment.
15) Reduce swelling from insect bites.
A single drop dabbed on an insect bite will reduce the swelling and stop the itching.
16) Enhance vision.
I have seen many references to “studies” that indicate that frankincense will improve vision and possibly eliminate the need for reading glasses. I could not find a single study myself, however. That said, my personal experience tells me that frank will indeed improve vision and if my latest test results are accurate, using frankincense along the orbital bones and under my eye has halted, for now, the progression of glaucoma. Please take care not to get any oil in the eye itself. In this case, less is more.
17) Remove musty odors.
Place a couple of drops in a small dish of water and the room will take on a much fresher smell.
18) Restless leg syndrome.
Apply two drops Frankincense with carrier oil to the bottom of each foot and massage each night to relieve restless leg syndrome.
19) Oral health:
Useful as preventative measure against oral health problems such as bad breath, toothaches, cavities, canker sores and other infections. Try mixing with baking soda and coconut oil to make your own toothpaste.
20) Promote sleep and prevent insomnia.
Diffuse frankincense at bedtime to help you slow down your breathing and relieve nervous tension and anxiety. You will sleep like a baby!
21) Boost the healing power of homemade remedies and beauty products.
Add a few drops of frankincense to DIY salves, lip balms, and roller balls. It boosts the power of everything else! (More about that in #22 below.)
22) Enhance the efficacy of other essential oils.
The best is saved for last. Layer frankincense over another essential oil to enhance that oil’s properties and drive the oils deeper into the cells. This layering will deliver amazing results for those times when you need to kick it up a notch.
Essential oils and you
Essential oils are adaptive, meaning they adapt to your unique body chemistry. What this means is that sometimes an oil will work for you right away and sometimes you have to be consistent and use it over a period of days to see results. And, in some cases, a particular oil may not work for you at all.
Finding the right combination of oil or oils may take some trial and error. In my own experience, I have found that the basics such as lavender, peppermint, oregano, lemon, melaleuca (tea tree) and rosemary work for me without fail, every time. Other, more complex blends may take a while but when they kick in, they carry a punch. And always, frankincense seems to make every oil I use more effective sooner.
You will notice that I frequently mention the use of a carrier oil. In most cases, mixing frankincense with a carrier (such as coconut oil or a salve) will make the application easier. In addition, you will be saving money because you will be diluting the oil 50/50. Be cautious, though, and ensure that the Frankincense you purchase is 100 percent essential oil and not pre-diluted. You will want 100 percent pure frankincense so that you can dilute, or not, yourself.
I like to dilute 50/50 in a roller ball bottle. For that I use fractionated coconut oil which is in liquid form. If you see the term FCO used, it is an acronym for fractionated coconut oil.
Coconut oil is a wondrous substance. To learn more, be sure to read Every Prepper Needs Coconut Oil in Their Pantry. Fair warning though, you will fall in love with this stuff.
Although not known for side effects, frankincense essential oil should not be used during pregnancy unless cleared in advance with your healthcare provider. Likewise, always dilute with a carrier oil when used on children.
The final word
It was over a year ago that I tossed two drawers full of over-the-counter remedies into a box in favor of essential oils. To this day, I am still learning how to use the various oils to improve my health and to remedy everyday aches and pains. You might say that essential oils are my Band-Aid® of choice!
My own education continues. A few months back I purchased a big fat book entitled “Essential Oils Desk Reference 6th Edition” and I use it almost daily. If you can afford it, I highly recommend that you add this desk reference to your survival library. Although it promotes another brand of oils, the information is presented in an unbiased manner and there is never a sales pitch one way or another.
Going forward, I plan to continue to share information on additional, less common, essential oils. There are dozens of oils out there and I am convinced that we can all maintain our health and wellness during times of crisis with the proper selection of essential oils in our first aid kits.
Be well and stay safe!
– Gaye Levy
This article originally appeared on BackdoorSurvival.com.