Frankincense Herb Profile

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BOTANICAL NAME:  Boswellia carterii (African), Boswellia serrata(Indian) The 2 main Frankincenses, but there are many others.

FAMILY:  Burseraceae (Boswellia trees)

PARTS USED:  Oleogum Resin

ACTIVES:  Boswellic acids

Actions:   

Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, immune stimulant, nervine, vulnerary, antiseptic, anti-depressant, antibacterial, expectorant.

Description

Frankincense comes from the tree when the bark is cut.  It exudes a resin that hardens on the bark and is then scraped off.  These look like little beads and are sometimes called tears. 

History

For thousands of years it has been used in embalming, as well as incense and perfume. Traditionally it has been burnt around the dead to inhibit the spread of disease and it is most well-known for its topic use for healing wounds and infection. 

It is also well-known for its skin rejuvenating properties, which reportedly helps with fine lines/wrinkles and keeping elasticity in mature skin, hence why it has been used in skincare for thousands of years. 

Indications

Frankincense has been used for osteoarthritis, autoimmune inflammations such as rheumatoid arthritis, oedema, pain, bronchial asthma[i].  Studies also suggest it may have anti-cancer properties 

The resin has a water soluble part and an oil soluble part.  Therefore to utilise the entire plant profile, one must  create a product utilising both the water and oil parts. Frankincense essential oil contains little to no Boswellic acids.  Therefore preparations made from the full resin are preferable for use with specific physical ailments. 

Chinese Herbal Properties:

Known as Ru Xiang.  Invigorates the blood, promotes movement of qi, stops pain and generates flesh.[ii]

Spiritual Properties:

Frankincense has a beautiful strength to its spirit. As the resin heals the tree of its wounds, so does it heal our wounds.  It helps us push through what we need to get to our healing and it does it fast.


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What products do I use my special Frankincense infused oil in?:  

  • Frankincense Moisturiser.  Click HERE for more information on my awesome moisturiser I use every day!
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Do you want to learn how to make your own Frankincense infused oil the right way?:

  • Click HERE for my DIY post on how to make Frankincense infused oil.  

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[i]Menon & Kar, 1971; Wildfeuer et al., 1998; Roy et al., 2005; Peckel & Werz, 2006.
[ii]Bensky et al, 2004; Chinese Herbal Materia Medica, 3rdEdition, Eastland Press, Seattle.