Frankincense. Not just an aromatic oil….

Frankincense, also known as Olibanum is an oleo-gum resin that is obtained from the trees known as Boswellia which are found in Oman, Yemen, North Africa and Somalia. The resin is obtained by tapping the Boswellia tree using a process called striping, whereby the bark of the tree is cut allowing the oleo-gum resin to drain out and harden. The first cut is usually white and is not taken as this is the tree excreting the impurities. It’s two weeks later that another striping is performed in which case the resin will be anything from yellow with a slight greenish tinge to translucent, brown or even black. This is then collected and depending on what the Frankincense resin will be used for is either sold or processed further.


The most popular use of Frankincense is in Essential Oil. This is created by steam distilling the gum. You can also find the resin in edible form in some health food stores. It’s chewed like chewing gum and aids with digestion and healthy skin. The resin is also being researched for a possibility as an option for Cancer Treatment.

In 2013, the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom revealed their research findings with regards to Frankincense and the treatment for ovarian cancer. Within the Frankincense resin they found a compound called AKBA (acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid) that successfully targeted ovarian cancer, in particular late-stage ovarian cancer.

Kamla Al-Salmani, PhD student and lead researcher at the University’s Department of Cancer studies & Molecular Medicine explains “After a year of studying the AKBA compound with ovarian cancer cell lines in vitro, we have been able to show it is effective at killing the cancer cells.  Frankincense is taken by many people with no known side effects. This finding has enormous potential to be taken to a clinical trial in the future and developed into an additional treatment for ovarian cancer.”

Due to Frankincense and its anti-inflammatory properties it’s also a worthwhile treatment for asthma, skin conditions and gastroenteritis. AKBA has also been linked to helping other cancers including colon, breast and prostate.

Dr Mark Evans, supervisor and lecturer in the University’s Department of Cancer Studies & Molecular medicine also said, “We have shown that this frankincense compound is effective at killing ovarian cancer cells at realistic concentrations. What has been most surprising is that the cells we have tested which are resistant to chemotherapy have shown to be more sensitive to this compound, suggesting frankincense may indeed be able to help overcome drug resistance, and lead to an improved survival rate for patients with late-stage ovarian cancer.”

It’s also available as incense.


Frankincense Essential Oil has a delicately sweet, resinous scent with a wood undertone. As Frankincense has the ability of creating overall good health and mind/body well-being it’s also known as a tonic.

Here are the top eleven uses of Frankincense Essential Oil:-

  1. Anti-Inflammatory: With its anti-inflammatory properties Frankincense Essential Oil is particularly favour some for treating Arthritis, Joint Pain and Muscle spasms. With the ability to help reduce inflammation of the airways, it can also assist those who suffer from Asthma and allergies.
  2. Anti-Septic: Fantastic for wound healing and to help treat infections. Also useful for oral health and to help combat bad breath, gum disease, mouth ulcers & infections.
  3. Astringent: Helps to tone and lift the skin, preventing wrinkles and loss of skin firmness. Also helps with skin conditions like acne, allergies, fungal infections and insect bites.
  4. Carminative: An ideal oil to help prevent the formation of gas in the gastrointestinal tract, thereby combating flatulence. It also gives relief from stomach aches and wind pain.
  5. Cicatrizant: Excellent at healing wounds and assists in helping to fade scars including marks left from Acne and Boils.
  6. Cytophylactic: With the ability of Frankincense to stimulate the formation of new cells, it’s wonderful for rejuvenating the skin, treating burns and maintaining overall health.
  7. Digestive: This oil speeds up the secretion of digestive juices in the stomach and expedites the movement of food through the intestines improving digestion.
  8. Diuretic: Frankincense Oil is the perfect option to help regulate the fluid in the body and prevent fluid retention. It works by promoting urination and ridding the body of excess water, fats, uric acid and toxins. This is fantastic for people who suffer from high blood pressure, liver disease, kidney disease, oedema, diabetes and POS.
  9. Emmemagogue: It’s beneficial for women who suffer from delayed menstruation and those who are pre-menopausal as it stimulates blood flow to the uterus and pelvic area, encouraging menstruation.
  10. Expectorant: For those suffering from congestion and phlegmy coughs, Frankincense is an amazing natural expectorant, assisting with the removal of mucous from the respiratory tracts.
  11. Sedative: With its astonishing abilities to induce feelings of mental peace and relaxation, Frankincense oil has long been used to help those who suffer with insomnia, stress, anxiety and even depression. Exceptional oil to use during meditation.

So how do you use this miraculous oil?

  1. Topically – add 4 drops of Frankincense Oil to 10ml of carrier oil. Use a high quality carrier oil that also has health benefits like Coconut Oil, Hemp Oil or Jojoba Oil.
  2. Bath – add 5 drops to your bath water along with a solubiliser and soak for 20 minutes.
  3. Diffuser – add 10 drops to the water in your diffuser.   Note: Diffusers are safer to use over the traditional vaporiser as they remain cold and do not heat, making it a safer option for households with small children.                                                                 500x500-sol-blue-insitu
  4. Oil Burner – add 7-15 drops to the top of your oil burner. Can be used with water or wax melts.
  5. Internally – before ingesting Frankincense Oil, always seek the advice of your naturopath or medical professional and never ingest without diluting. Children under six should never ingest Frankincense oil and it’s also not safe if you are pregnant. To take internally it is best to add 1-2 drops to coconut oil, honey or water.
  6. Orally – Add 1-2 drops of Frankincense oil and 1 teaspoon of Himalayan Salt Sole to a full glass of water and gargle to help sore throats, mouth ulcers and oral infections.

Are there any differences I should look for when purchasing Frankincense Oil?

Yes. For starters always make sure that the oil is 100% pure Essential and not fragrance oil. Fragrance oil is man-made and is full of chemicals and synthetic ingredients, whereas pure Essential Oil is made straight from the resin of the Boswellia tree and is natural.

I also prefer to use 100% Certified Organic Essential Oils. After you have determined that the oil you are purchasing is pure and not fragrance, the next best thing is to determine if the plant the oil was sourced from and/or the methods for processing are organic. That is, that no chemicals or pesticides have been used on the plant and no chemical processors used in producing the oil.

After a lot of research, I came across an Australian company called Mt. Retour that is Australian Certified Organic (ACO) and Certified Organic with the Organic Food Chain (OFC). They also are against animal testing, use 100% Pure Essential Oils, don’t contain any petrochemicals, artificial colours, fragrance, parabens, sulphates or ethoxylate. They don’t use GM products and they do use recycled packaging. They are also extremely affordable.

They have a huge range of Essential Oils including a variety of blends plus massage oil and a skincare range.


Is it safe to use Frankincense Oil?

To date there are no known side effects, however, as with all oils, it is safer to perform a patch test when using topically in a carrier oil to make sure you don’t have a sensitivity to the oil. Also, due to the oil having Emmemagogue properties, pregnant women should not use this oil as it can bring on miscarriage. If you have a medical problem and/or are on medication, please seek the advice from your doctor before using Frankincense oil.

Melanie’s Holistic Healing stocks the entire Mt Retour range including Certified Organic Frankincense Oil. If interested, please visit the website.

Disclaimer: Melanie’s Holistic Healing makes every effort to provide accurate information. Readers should evaluate the findings for accuracy and up to date relevance themselves. The information provided is for information purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Melanie’s Holistic Healing does not accept any legal liability  or responsibility for the interpretation of information contained within this article. Melanie’s Holistic Healing does not advise, diagnose or treat medical conditions and does not accept any legal liability or responsibility for any injury, loss or damage incurred by use of information or products.


2 thoughts on “Frankincense. Not just an aromatic oil….

  1. Hi Melanie, thank you for that very interesting information on Frankincense. I love the smell from Frankincense but didn’t realise it was so useful for other things. I used to use it years ago in an Oil burner and I found it had a nice relaxing affect. My interest is renewed. Will be in touch. Hope all is well with you and yours…..Jessie

    Sent from my iPad

    Liked by 1 person

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