The Frankincense tree has been associated with spiritual beliefs for thousands of years. The word ‘Frankincense’ comes from the medieval French word ‘franc’, which means ‘free’ or ‘pure’ and from the Latin word ‘incensium’, which means ‘to smoke’.
At it is believed the resin which is taken from the tree has many health benefits. In ancient Egypt, it was one ingredient used for a rejuvenating face mask, a treatment for any illness, and was charred and used as the heavy eyeliner you see in the art from the same period.
In Ayurveda medicine, it was used as a treatment for arthritis and many other conditions. More commonly known as salaiguggul, active compounds have been isolated by science for the anti-arthritic properties found in it. The inflammation of arthritis is inhibited and the blood supply is improved which prevents the cartilage reduction.
Frankincense – A Mystery
In great ancient cultures of Babylonian, Egyptian, Greek, Hebrew, Persian, and Roman, there was a significant domestic and religious roles for Frankincense. Kings sought Frankincense and it was as highly valued like gold in those days. Today, the essential oil made from Frankincense has become popular with natural-method healers and spiritual seekers alike.
A Hardy Tree With Tears
The Olibanum, aka the Frankincense tree, at first glance seems unremarkable. It looks like a big shrub that has knurled branches and slender leaves with an occasional small white flower scattered about. It comes from northern Africa with a unique desert look. And yet, it is grown in harsh conditions around the world.
It is not the tree that folklore is made, but the sap from the tree. Piercing the bark with a Mingaf (a knife), a milky-white oleoresin is exposed. Droplets form from the resin, referred to as it’s ‘pearls’ or ‘tears’, which turn in to a hard orange-brown gum that we know as Frankincense.
The Essential Oil Of Frankincense
Aromatherapy and today’s natural medicine have found that the essential oil of Frankincense and its many health benefits. You’ll notice a sweet, citrus, warm, and woodsy aroma. Used in a CO2 distillery or a steam to treat respiratory conditions like asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, cystitis, dry skin, leukorrhea, rheumatism, wounds, and wrinkles.
One therapy that this essential oil is used for in growing popularity is as an antidepressant. It has been found that it calms the nervous system and helps one to relax and become revitalized. The sesquiterpenes found in Frankincense oil stimulate the hypothalamus, limbic system, the pineal, and the pituitary glands. Today, research is in the process to see if human growth hormone production can be increased with this essential oil. And experts believe that it strengthens the immune system as well.
Frankincense essential oil can be used by burning it in a candle, an incense, or applying directly to the temples. It helps you to breathe deeper, quiets your mind, and promote stillness as you meditate. It is blended with Cedar, Myrrh, and Sandalwood as well.