How To Use Frankincense Essential Oil: Benefits & Best Practices

Pranarom Frankincense Essential Oil Resin

Harvesters have been collecting frankincense from the gnarled and knotty Boswellia shrub for thousands of years. It is one of the few woody trees capable of surviving the harsh, scorching environments of Middle Eastern deserts. The sweet, resinous oil is obtained by making incisions into the trees and collecting the tears of sap, which harden into a pale, caramel-colored resin that is then steam distilled into essential oil.

Today, frankincense’s resinous, citrusy aroma is still used in the sacred ceremonies and spiritual practices of many faiths across the globe. Often known as the king of essential oils, frankincense also holds a revered place in holistic health and wellness communities. Its complex aroma and multifaceted properties make it a versatile tool in anyone's natural health arsenal. 

Beyond its captivating fragrance, recent studies have started to unveil the remarkable therapeutic potential of frankincense for both mind and body. Frankincense essential oil is now well-known for promoting a sense of peace and well-being, making it an excellent addition to meditation and yoga practices. Topically, its calming properties offer potential relief to those dealing with minor joint discomfort and muscle aches. Additionally, when applied topically in a diluted form, it can help with many common skincare concerns.

In this article, we’ll explore the multiple benefits of frankincense essential oil. We’ll also delve into its various applications, from aromatherapy to topical use, and how to incorporate them into your daily routine.  

What is Frankincense Oil

Extracted from the Boswellia tree, which thrives in the arid climates of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, frankincense is a product of the tree's resilience in harsh environments. 

The process involves tapping the tree for its sap. To do this, harvesters create tiny cuts in the tree's bark, allowing the milky sap to emerge. As this sap is exposed to the air, it solidifies into amber-hued beads, known traditionally as “tears.” These tears are carefully collected and then steam distilled for essential oil or sold in their natural resin form. 

This sustainable harvesting method taps into the ancient wisdom of land stewardship, ensuring that the precious resource remains available for future generations. This method respects the tree's lifecycle and directly connects to frankincense's traditional uses and cultural significance, bridging ancient practices with contemporary wellness methods. 

The word “frankincense” comes from the French term “franc encens,” which translates to “high-quality incense.” Frankincense oil is highly valued for both its balancing aroma and its therapeutic effects resulting from its natural chemical composition. 

Alpha-pinene and limonene are some of the primary constituents of frankincense oil, and a topic of study for their potential anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Caryophyllene, a type of sesquiterpene also present in frankincense, has been shown in studies to have potential anti-inflammatory activity.

Moreover, frankincense oil contains boswellic acids, as well as other compounds, including terpenoids and flavonoids, which contribute to its complex scent and its health benefits.

Benefits of Frankincense Oil 

From ancient rituals to modern-day practices, this sacred oil has been shown to promote health on both emotional and physical levels. Here are a few of the many frankincense oil benefits you can try:

1. Uplifting Aroma

The captivating scent of frankincense oil has the extraordinary ability to uplift the spirit and elevate the mind. Whether diffused in the air or applied topically, its clear, resinous notes can evoke feelings of positivity and balance, making it a popular choice for promoting emotional well-being.

2. Creates a Relaxing Atmosphere

Frankincense oil is known for its calming and grounding properties, making it an ideal choice for cultivating a peaceful and relaxing atmosphere. Its uplifting yet soothing scent can help reduce tension and promote deep relaxation when diffused in the air. This calming effect can be especially beneficial during times of heightened stress or when you’re looking to wind down after a long day. 


3. Balances the Skin

Many people use frankincense oil for skin health, particularly in the case of impurities and excess oil. When applied topically, frankincense gently penetrates deep into the pores, supporting balanced sebum production. 

4. Supports Your Complexion

Frankincense oil provides a host of benefits for achieving a better complexion. It is rich in antioxidants, which are said to help counter the effects of free radicals, which have been shown to cause premature aging. Studies suggest that frankincense can also improve the appearance of fine lines, soothe blemishes, and help minimize the visibility of scars. 

Moreover, frankincense oil is widely studied for its effect on the skin’s natural regeneration process and the possibility that it stimulates cell turnover and collagen production. This results in firmer, more supple skin with a smoother texture and even tone. Plus, its mildness makes it ideal for all skin types, including sensitive, acne-prone, and oily.

5. Supports the Respiratory System

When we’re stressed, our muscles tense up and our breathing becomes short and shallow. Inhaling the scent of frankincense essential oil calms the body and encourages you to relax, making breathing easier. 

The calming properties of the oil’s compounds are also beneficial as they are breathed into the body and make their way through the sinuses, respiratory passages and the lungs. Frankincense’s soothing effect is especially useful during pollen season or in the colder months when congestion is common. 

6. Enhances Mental Clarity

The refreshing scent of frankincense oil can help enhance mental clarity and focus, making it an invaluable ally for boosting productivity and concentration. Its refreshing aroma calms the mind and promotes mental alertness so you can stay focused throughout the day. 

Research suggests that certain compounds found in frankincense oil and other essential oils for focus may have potential neuroprotective effects, helping support brain health and cognitive function. Add it to a diffuser or vaporizer in your workspace, or use a carrier oil, like jojoba or coconut, to gently massage it into your temples and wrists.

How to Use Frankincense Oil

If you're aiming to tap into the therapeutic benefits of frankincense, there are ways to make sure you get the most out of it without any downsides or adverse reactions. Here are some simple guidelines:

Skincare and Hygiene Products 

When using frankincense in skincare products, make sure you dilute it properly to prevent skin irritation. Do this by mixing one drop of frankincense into your favorite lotion, cream, serum, or facial oil. Additionally, adding frankincense oil to bath salts or body washes provides a luxurious and aromatic bathing experience, promoting overall skin health and vitality.

Household Cleaners 

Harness the natural purifying properties of frankincense oil & create a homemade household cleaner. Make your own natural cleaning spray by combining 20 drops of frankincense with two cups of water, two cups of distilled vinegar, and 20 drops of another essential oil of your choice, such as lemon or cedarwood essential oils. This will enhance its purifying properties and add a refreshing scent. Shake the mixture well before each use and apply it to surfaces like countertops, floors, and bathroom fixtures. 

Diffusion for Aromatherapy and Meditation

To use frankincense essential oil’s benefits when you’re meditating, working, or doing any activity that requires you to stay mindful and focused, try dispersing it in the air with a diffuser. Simply add a few drops of the oil into a diffuser filled with water and let the gentle mist permeate the air. This creates a calming and uplifting atmosphere perfect for meditation, work, yoga practice, or simply relaxing at the end of the day. 

DIY Essential Oil Room Spray

Create your own refreshing room spray by combining frankincense oil with other essential oils and water in a spray bottle. Use the spray to freshen up living spaces, linens, or yoga mats, infusing your surroundings with a delightful aroma that elevates the senses and promotes well-being. 

Here are a few complementary oils that pair beautifully with frankincense:

    • Lavender: Promotes relaxation and better sleep. Its soothing aroma can help calm negative thoughts and provide a peaceful atmosphere for rest.
    • Peppermint: Helps release head and neck tension and improve focus.
    • Lemon: Energizing and uplifting, it’s a wonderful option for enhancing your mood. It’s also great for cleaning due to its purifying properties.
    • Rosemary: Enhances memory and concentration. This makes it a valuable aid during study sessions or work that requires mental alertness.
    • Chamomile: Soothes tension and promotes relaxation. Its calming properties make it ideal for creating a tranquil environment to relax in.
    • Bergamot: Relieves stress and uplifts mood. Its light, citrusy fragrance promotes feelings of joy and energy. 
    • Ylang ylang: Helps reduce anxious feelings. Its sweet, floral scent helps to promote a sense of calm.
    • Lemongrass: Refreshing and invigorating, known for its ability to uplift mood and promote mental clarity.
    • Patchouli: Grounding and calming, often used in meditation. Its rich, earthy aroma can help ease the mind.
    • Sweet orange: Helps promote a positive mood. It's a wonderful choice for creating a bright and inviting atmosphere.
    • Clary sage: Calming and balancing. It’s also known for supporting women’s health.

Explore Frankincense Essential Oil with Pranarôm

At Pranarôm, we’re passionate about providing natural solutions for all your wellness needs. We carefully source our organic essential oils from sustainable farms and distilleries worldwide, ensuring our products are of the highest quality. Explore our selection of sustainable, plant-powered formulas and see how they can support your journey towards a healthier, more harmonious life. 

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