In case you hadn’t already noticed, we’re big on essential oils. We use them for anything from fighting off colds to cleaning around the house. It’s fair to say that there’s a doTERRA essential oil for almost any ailment, and in the right hands essential oils can really be a powerful therapeutic tool. Today, my focus is going to be on doTERRA’s frankincense essential oil, easily one of our top five most-used essential oils. Stay tuned for more reviews on our favorite oils, as we examine the scientific evidence for their effectiveness and how they help us on a personal level.
Frankincense essential oil uses
Frankincense essential oil is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and analgesic…meaning it can be used for a wide range of applications in and around the home. Here’s a quick overview of the more popular uses for frankincense essential oil.
Frankincense essential oil can help to relieve symptoms of indigestion, such as gas, bloating, tummy aches, constipation, IBS and cramps. Frankincense essential oil acts similar to a digestive enzyme, speeding up the process by which your gastrointestinal system breaks down proteins, fats and carbohydrates. You can simply rub frankincense oil straight on your stomach to get the benefits, or, if you’re planning on taking it internally, make sure you use only 100% therapeutic-grade essential oil. If you’re using doTERRA frankincense essential oil, it meets this important criterion so you’re good to go.
Treat skin problems
For whatever reason, anecdotal evidence suggests that frankincense essential oil can speed up the healing of superficial wounds and visibly reduce scarring over time. It can be used to treat eczema (just make sure you mix it with a carrier oil like coconut oil or jojoba to reduce potential sensitivities), stretch marks, blemishes, and acne. Remember: a little goes a long way, so just a drop or two mixed with a carrier oil should be enough for each application.
Relieve joint and muscle pain
This is where the anti-inflammatory powers of frankincense really come into their own. Frankincense has been used to effectively relieve joint pain, muscle pain, and areas of swelling from blunt trauma injuries. Usually just rubbing a drop of doTERRA frankincense essential oil along with a small amount of carrier oil on the affected area is the most effective way of treating the inflammation and pain, but for faster relief try putting a drop of frankincense on a warm, moist towel and leave it on the affected area until it cools.
Reduce wrinkles and signs of aging
Frankincense essential oil is an astringent, meaning it causes the skin cells to contract and appear smoother and younger. This means that applying frankincense to your skin, along with a moisturizing carrier oil like jojoba or coconut, can not only reduce the development of wrinkles, it can also potentially make your skin appear younger. Essentially the same as what a toner and moisturizer would do, but without the chemicals and nasty side effects.
The aroma of frankincense oil is amazingly soothing, make it a great companion to lavender essential oil for relieving stress and relaxing your mind and body. The best way to whip up an anti-stress remedy with doTERRA frankincense essential oil is to simply put 3-4 drops in your diffuser and allow the aromatics to spread throughout your home. If you haven’t yet invested in a diffuser, sprinkle 2-3 drops in a hot bath and soak away your worries for 20 blissful minutes.
The science behind frankincense oil benefits
It’s one thing to read about all the anecdotal success that people have had with frankincense essential oil, but what about the cold, hard facts? I’ve reviewed the scientific literature, and here’s what I found.
Frankincense oil fights cancer
Happily, the claim that frankincense can actually inhibit the development of cancer is very much true. There’s countless articles in the literature demonstrating frankincense essential oils ability to kill tumor cells and induce cancer cell death. In addition to fighting breast cancer and pancreatic cancer, frankincense has also been shown to alleviate bladder cancer via oxidative stress.
Frankincense oil and immunity
Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of evidence to back up this claim, however what research has been completed suggests that frankincense essential oil exhibits “lymphoproliferative activity“. This means that it supports your lymphatic system, a critical part of a healthy functioning immune system.
Frankincense oil and microbes
There’s plenty of research showing the antimicrobial prowess of frankincense essential oil (which comes from the genus Boswellia, FYI). As this study indicated, frankincense essential oils were particularly effective against the fungal strains B. carteri, B. papyrifera and C. albicans. Another article indicated that frankincense may also be effective against B. cereus and E. coli.
Frankincense oil and inflammation
They weren’t lying when they said that frankincense is anti-inflammatory. This 2006 study tested frankincense’s anti-inflammatory effects on mice, and the results were favorable. Another study in the same year indicated that frankincense species are effective in treating a range of chronic inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative bronchitis. Another study found much the same thing, concluding that frankincense can be used to treat inflammatory diseases and inflammatory pain.
Our personal experience with frankincense essential oil
We probably bust open a bottle of doTERRA frankincense essential oil 2-3 times a week. I use frankincense oil on the bottom of my feet after my bi-weekly sprint sessions, as I used to have plantar fasciitis and it helps to reduce post-workout inflammation. I also use frankincense on a mole or two on my stomach that I don’t want to turn into melanomas, and I often mix it in with some coconut oil and lavender essential oil to create a soothing aftershave, or even a beard oil when I’m giving my razor the cold shoulder. Liivi likes to diffuse frankincense when she’s feeling uptight or stressed, and rubs some on her adenoids when she feels a sore throat coming on.
If you’re keen on getting your hands on some wonderful therapeutic-grade frankincense essential oil, or you’d like to learn more, click here.