Olibanum, which is commonly known in the west as frankincense aromatherapy oil, is steam distilled from the resin of the hardy Boswellia tree. The bark of the tree is slashed and the exuded resins are allowed to bleed out and harden. The Boswellia plant is grown from eastern Africa through to southern Arabia and north western India.
Frankincense is probably best known from the Christmas story, as one of the gifts brought by the three wise men to Bethlehem. However, what few people realize is that the substance was then valued as high as gold or jewels hence the reason that the Magi included Frankincense as a gift to the baby Jesus.
Frankincense aromatherapy oil has a thin consistency which is pale yellow to greenish yellow in color. It is often described as having a fresh, woody, balsamic, slightly spicy and fruity, and peppery aroma.
Frankincense is used in perfumery and aromatherapy and has long been valued for the sweet smelling fumes it produces when burnt. To that end, the oil is widely used in meditation and spiritual work as it’s centering aroma slows the nervous system and promotes feelings of calm and inner peace.
Frankincense has anti inflammatory properties and is often used for conditions where the joints and muscles are very stiff, swollen and painful. It is said to help rejuvenate aging skin as well as being effective as a skin tonic. It can be used on dry and oily skin as well as for acne, scars, stretch marks, wrinkles and other skin inflammations.
Inhalation of Frankincense has many benefits on the respiratory system as it deepens breathing and regulates mucus secretion. It is also beneficial for anxiety, asthma, bronchitis and extreme coughing.
Frankincense aromatherapy oil has anti inflammatory, antiseptic, antidepressant, cicatrizing, cytophylactic, immuno-stimulant, sedative, emmenagogue, and tonic digestive properties.
The oil can be kept for a shelf life of 3-5 years under proper storage conditions. It should be kept in well-sealed bottles at 5-25 degrees Celsius, in a dry, well-ventilated area away from direct heat and sunlight.