Frankincense Essential Oil

Frankincense is the oldest recorded essential oil, dating back to ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics listing 877 prescriptions and recipes for Frankincense alone. There are many species of Frankincense, my favorite comes from the species Boswelia Carterii.  Boswelia Sacra species is another therapeutic species. They are  both steam distilled from the resin of the Boswelia tree. 

Frankincense translated means “Holy Wood”.  Palo Santo is another essential oil harvested from a tree in Ecuador and has similar properties to Frankincense.  Boswelia Frereana is a perfume grade frankincense typically used just for fragrance and may offer little therapeutic value. Boswelia carterii, Boswelia sacra and boswelic acid (extracted from frankincense resin) are the components most used in research against cancer. Don’t spend your money on other species for therapeutic purposes as there are several species of frankincense that are used mainly for meditation and perfume purposes. Know where your frankincense comes from, as there are many fillers added to extend supplies of this valuable essential oil. One research study found a huge variance in the components of 

Used by Royalty Frankincense has been used for centuries and was often more valued than gold.  It has been highly researched and found effective to:

  • Promote emotional well-being
  • Support the nervous system
  • Aid healthy immune function
  • Balance mind & body
  • Relax the nerves
  • Support healthy lung function
  • Soothing mature skin

Immune Support Our family has found it to be effective for seasonal bugs (place 1 drop on the tongue or massaged into the feet – using only food grade therapeutic essential oils for internal use). 

Respiratory Support Frankincense also supports the respiratory tract and can be soothing when inhaled .  It is one of the most powerful essential oils, yet is gentle enough for newborn babies.  

 Absolutely only use Therapeutic, food grade frankincense (Boswelia carterii or Boswelia Sacra). Many frankincense essential oils are “cut” with chemicals to extend the supply. These could be harmful to everyone.

Concentration Frankincense promotes meditation and spiritual awareness – not surprising that the Lord instructed Moses to burn Frankincense in the temple as it would keep worship focused on him and keep worshipers healthy.  Frankincense helps you to focus and concentrate and has been researched with autism and ADHD/ADD treatments when combined with dietary changes.  Frankincense is very high in sesquiterpenes which stimulate the limbic system of the brain – the center of memory and emotions, the hypothalamus, pineal and pituitary glands. (

High Demand, Little Quality Control Frankincense is typically harvested by families in many regions throughout Africa and the Middle East. The harvesting is done in a random order, with no regard to species or sorting when the resin is sold in markets. Because it is highly valued and versatile, frankincense is a most sought after oil and therefore, often diluted and adultered to extend a supply.  Verify any source of frankincense to be sure it is comprised of only frankincense-no additives, from the Boswelia Carteri or Boswelia Sacra species. Frankincense in Oman is one of the best resources of Boswellia carteri. Look for a manufacturer that has full control over the distillation of frankincense essential oil, one of the most adultured and filled essential oils because of it’s great value.

Quality Control Boswelia Sacra Frankincense resin cannot be exported from Oman since it is considered an incense for royalty alone. Simple quality control over the distillation ensures consumers get a pure product. When researching where to get your frankincense essential oil, ask for verification of the frankincense source. 

Trust the source for your Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils if you intend to use them for non-emergency situations at home.

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.


Woolley CL1, Suhail MM, Smith BL, Boren KE, Taylor LC, Schreuder MF, Chai JK, Casabianca H, Haq S, Lin HK, Al-Shahri AA, Al-Hatmi S, Young DG. Chemical differentiation of Boswellia sacra and Boswellia carterii essential oils by gas chromatography and chiral gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. J Chromatogr A. 2012 Oct 26;1261:158-63. doi: 10.1016/j.chroma.2012.06.073. Epub 2012 Jun 28.

Al-Saidi S1, Rameshkumar KB, Hisham A, Sivakumar N, Al-Kindy S Composition and antibacterial activity of the essential oils of four commercial grades of Omani luban, the oleo-gum resin of Boswellia sacra FLUECK. Chem Biodivers. 2012 Mar;9(3):615-24. doi: 10.1002/cbdv.201100189.

S.F. Van Vuurena, G.P.P. Kamatoub, A.M. Viljoenb, ,.  Volatile composition and antimicrobial activity of twenty commercial frankincense essential oil samples. South African Journal of Botany Volume 76, Issue 4, October 2010, Pages 686–691.

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