Healthy living: The magic within frankincense oil – The South African

For us to understand the importance of frankincense, we must first understand what it is, where it comes from and how it is processed. Frankincense, also referred to as olibanum, is a resin that is taken from the Boswellia Carterii tree. The tree has an unusual tendency to grow in difficult conditions and is often found growing out of solid rock faces. The Boswellia tree is indigenous to the mountainous regions of Africa, the Middle East and India.

The bark on the tree trunk is cut and the resin is tapped out and allowed to harden. The dry hardened resin is then made into essential oil by the process of steam distillation. The tree needs to be 10 years old before it can produce resin and then is tapped two or three times per year.

Due to the strong aroma of frankincense oil and its benefits, it is often used in religious rituals, in the cosmetic industry as perfume and in aromatherapy as an essential oil. The oil is a natural anti-septic and makes an effective disinfectant and cleaner when mixed with bicarb and lemon. This mixture has been found to help remove grease and fat stains. When blended with water and thyme essential oil, this can be used to wipe down your countertops leaving the surfaces clean and aromatic.

Here are some helpful health benefits of frankincense. Always ask your doctor if you are unsure of how to use essential oils, if you are pregnant, or if you have a medical condition. Essential oils should never be ingested unless under strict medical supervision. When used topically, essential oils should always be diluted unless otherwise stated.

Due to the anti-inflammatory effect of frankincense, it can assist in reducing inflammation in the joints caused by osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. This can help to ease the pain and improve mobility. To use, dilute the frankincense oil in a carrier oil before applying topically.

Frankincense has proven to be effective in combating the symptoms of Crohns disease and other inflammatory gut issues (internal use). More research has to be done in this matter to be more conclusive. Frankincense oil can be diluted in a carrier oil and massaged over the stomach area to aid digestion. Place two drops of essential oil into two teaspoons of olive or coconut oil.

When inhaling frankincense, it has been known to help reduce stress and reduce blood pressure and heart rate.

Frankincense, due to its antibacterial properties, can help in preventing mouth sores, gum disease (gingivitis), toothache and bad breath, thereby improving oral health.

The oil can help to improve the tone of the skin and reduce the signs of ageing. The oil can also reduce the appearance of scars and help to heal wounds. Always perform a skin patch test before use if you have sensitive skin.

When sprayed in the bedroom before going to bed at night, it assists in relaxing you and prepares you for a good nights sleep. Adding a few drops into your bath water helps in relieving your stress after a busy day at work. Add 1-2 drops to your shampoo to help improve the health of your hair. Place a drop or two into your face cream or body lotion for added benefits.

In a vaporiser or diffuser 1-2 drops on a tissue for inhalation

Frankincense oil tends to be a little more expensive than other oils, but it is well worth the investment into your health and well-being.

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Healthy living: The magic within frankincense oil - The South African

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