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How to Use Frankincense

Frankincense has plenty of uses.

Fundamentally, it promotes calmness, serenity and relaxation. These indications will always be present, no matter how frankincense is used, and for what.

Skin Care

Frankincense essential oil is great for skin care and nearly everything related to skin; burns, rashes, cuts, scrapes, and oozing sores. It’s also fabulous for mature, prematurely aging, and environmentally challenged skin.

To use as a night (or day) cream: just add a few drops to the base of your choice. This can be as simple as something like a bottle of Whole Foods unscented lotion, liquid soap, shower gel, or moisturizer. Or it can be as complex as you like. If you are making your own creams or oils, frankincense will be an excellent and appropriate addition. percentages will vary but a reasonable rule is about 6 drops per oz. That’s not set in stone! Feel free to experiment. Here are some general rules regarding use on the skin:

You can use more drops in lotions meant for body --they can be stronger. Use less drops for facial creams--they should be less strong, as your face is usually more sensitive.

Making a blend for massage of a specific (limited) area--such as feet, hands, lower legs, can be stronger in general than an all around massage blend.

Soaps, shampoos, conditioners (things that you wash off) can be stronger in general than products you leave on your skin.

Frankincense oil can be added to pure water and used as a toner or refresher. You can add a little vodka to help it blend if you like. If you don’t have any way to mix them, don’t despair. The oil will float on top, yes, but all that means is you have to shake the bottle before you spray it.

In the shower

No need to add frankincense oil to your bath gel if you don’t want to, or have something other blend in there. Just add a few drops to your washcloth and run it over yourself during your final (hot water) rinse. The steam will infuse with frankincense and you will enjoy a quick and intense frankincense steam bath. refreshing and relaxing at the same time!

In the bath

For a quick frankincense bath, it’s best add the essential oil to something so it dissolves a bit in the bath water. Frankincense is not usually sensitizing for most people, but it depends on the amount and circumstances. Putting a few drops of neat essential oil in a hot bath is not recommended. For anyone. With any oil. Even old friends can burn you in that environment. The situation is that the oils, not being water soluble, remain on the surface of the hot water in original and exclusive drops. Your pores open from the hot water and the frankincense might cause an irritation. If it’s ever going to burn you, this would be when. If you add frankincense oil to a vegetable or nut oil, meaning a massage oil, like olive oil, jojoba, coconut, etc, then it will still float on top of the water but it will be diluted in amount, if not in placement. Some people will be ok with this. Some not.

You can add your frankincense to alcohol (vodka) or honey and this may be better, as it will dissolve, at least partly, in these mediums. Epsom salts work well too. Bath soap or solubulizer will work the best, if you have them. If in doubt, stick with a couple of drops of the oil, maybe make the water not so hot, and don’t stay in for hours. Don’t forget, you can always take a normal bath, and rinse yourself with frankincense on a washcloth afterward.

It’s always possible to add frankincense hydrosol to the bath water. It’s completely water soluble and a nice change. Although it varies in composition from frankincense essential oil (it’s hydrophilic and oil is hydrophobic) it still promotes many of the same effects.

As a facial steam

Frankincense is a great mini-facial. Just take a pot or pan of boiling water, add a drop or two (no more) frankincense oil to it. Lean over it and cover your head with a towel, breathing deeply. Your lungs will be so happy! And your face will rejoice! You can also try one drop frankincense and one drop lavender.

For lung support & during Yoga

The best ways are by inhalation, see above, and massage of head and neck, breathing in deeply. You can even just put a few drops in your palm, rub your hands together, and breathe the oil directly from them. This is great to do before or after yoga, particularly during pranayama. The experience will calm you, centering your energy and elevate your spirit even as it connects you to the earth. You will be able to give more presence to your yoga practice, and concentrate more fully on your breathing through each asana.

Meditation

It’s the same as listed above. Whether your meditation is sitting, standing, walking, yogic or even very active, such as martial arts, frankincense will enable you to deepen the experience and aid your focus so that you benefit as much as possible from your practice, whatever it is. Just take a few drops on your palms, rub them together, breathe in deeply, and enjoy.

Compresses

Fill a bowl with cool water (or warm water if desired) add a few (3-5) drops frankincense and toss a washcloth in, then wringing it out and placing the cool cloth on your forehead. This is so nice and relaxing in the heat and after exercise. A warm compress will be beneficial for sore muscles and anywhere heat is desired.

Joint and Muscle Pain

Frankincense can help both of these conditions. Just add it to your mix of oils, and that mix will depend on what you are mixing for. If you are a beginner mixing for yourself, consult an aromatherapy book, or have your blend done professionally. The practical application of this will depend on where you live. Frankincense will always be a valuable addition to your blend. In addition to its anti-inflammatory property, it will calm, soothe and relax you, don’t forget!

Stomach problems

There is a lot of talk these days about frankincense being a cure for stomach tumors. Let’s get something straight--this research may or may not be conclusive, but it’s research on a constituent of frankincense called boswellic acid.

Boswellic acid is a heavy molecule and doesn’t come over in distillation. If someone claims to have it in their oil, they are most likely mis-informed. It’s not in our oil, it’s not in anyone’s oil.

Boswellic acid can be found in supplements, and also in the gum itself. The traditional Omani use for frankincense is to soothe the stomach. Very high quality green frankincense tears are soaked overnight in water and the water drunk upon waking. If you have access to green frankincense, this is a lovely thing to do. The water is delicious, enlivening and refreshing. And it will soothe your stomach for sure. Gas, nausea, billiousness, reflux, frankincense will help.

Green frankincense is not usually available in stores unless they are very specialized. Green frankincense is expensive, rare and fleeting, with a comparatively short shelf life. Sunlight destroys the freshness and it will fade to white or yellow. If you ever see green frankincense on a store shelf, don’t buy it, unless it’s completely protected from the light. That means no glass jars, even blue or amber ones. No Light at all. In Oman, shops keep it in baskets under the counter and only bring it out upon request.

Eating it

Sure you can eat it. In additional to what I’ve written above, regarding drinking the water of green gum, you can drink the hydrosol and even a drop or two of the oil. Hydrosol is a new thing in Southern Oman. There is not a history of distillation here so there is no history involving hydrosol or essential oil, but people are experimenting with our hydrosol and so far they say it makes them happy, it makes their wives happy, and it’s an integral part of peoples lives immediately. if you want to try it, just make sure you dilute it at least 10:1 in water. Otherwise it will be too strong.

You can have a drop or two of essential oil in honey if you like. It’s probably not the most efficient way to use frankincense, but you might enjoy it. Don’t do more than a drop or two, it’s very strong. You will probably sweat frankincense for a while after. Don’t drink a lot of it every day. Remember, it’s going to pass though your liver. No need to make your liver work too hard. As with all things, moderation.

You can also add them for flavor, hydrosol as a substitute for water, essential oil as an addition in ice cream, shortbread...let your imagination take you!

Myrrh 

Myrrh Hydrosol is hard to find, and the reason is that since the essential oil and hydrosol weigh about the same, they are hard to separate after distillation. So most distillers destroy the hydrosol by adding things like salt, in order to take the oil off. Oil is a lot more valuable. At the Enfleurage distillery we produce a tiny amount of myrrh. So the separation is not really a problem. We don’t sell the oil. We count our myrrh production in kilos, meaning it’s not really worth separating out from the oil. We may get a few ml of oil, easily separated from the hydrosol, but that’s it. So we don’t touch the hydrosol; we leave it imbued with millions of micro-droplets of myrrh oil. So this myrrh hydrosol is a great product as is. It wouldn’t be feasible for a larger distillery, as they would need the oil.

We find this hydrosol to be excellent for spraying on skin. Weepy wounds, bruises, burns, bites, scrapes, rashes....myrrh is great in general for these conditions. Anti-microbial and disinfecting, myrrh is a respected and famous favorite here in Oman. It’s not a “pretty” smell, this is a plant medicine, and it’s serious and useful, no frippery about it.

Myrrh hydrosol is used basically one way: spray it on the skin directly.

As you can see, frankincense has many uses. It’s an active and biologically capable essential oil--with a minimum of sensitization issues. Frankincense is non-toxic and forgives easily. You can have fun with it.

Remember, all frankincense oils are not alike. If you use ours regularly and then use a different one, you may find some differences, including side effects.

 

Disclaimer

Enfleurage and Enfleurage Middle East make no medical claims regarding frankincense or any other product. This item has not been rated by the FDA as far as I know. This website is informational use only. All frankincense information is commonly and generally recognized to be such as listed. As with any product, if a rash appears, discontinue use. In case of accidental ingestion, (of more than a drop or two,) call your nearby poison control centre for instructions. Use common sense caution: keep away from children and pets. If using in a burner, don’t leave the flame unattended or where tails may brush it. Keep frankincense oil out of ears, eyes and mucus membranes.

                        

 

 

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