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Benefits of Frankincense Essential Oil: Uses, How to Use, Safety | Gyalabs

Overview of Frankincense Oil

Looking for a higher calling? Deepen your spirituality with the mind, body and soul-enriching properties of this earthy extract.

What is Frankincense Essential Oil

Frankincense essential oil is a unique scent that can be described as a blend of warm, woodsy, and balsamic notes. It’s a smell that is known for soothing the soul, making it a must-have for spiritual practices.

Boswellia Serrata, also called Indian frankincense, is an herbal extract that comes from the Boswellia tree. This tree is native to India and has been used in traditional Indian medicine for centuries. Boswellia serrata is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties and is commonly used to treat conditions like arthritis and asthma.

Its delicious scent made it a staple in the homes of ancient Romans and was even used by ancient Egyptians in their rituals and practices. Today, the spiritual benefits of frankincense oil are still used by modern Catholic masses but more commonly, you’ll find frankincense essential oil in skincare products, indoor scents, perfumes, incense, and even teas.

This time-tested healing remedy is a concentrated liquid extracted from the olibanum tree. Olibanum oil is another common name for frankincense oil. It is traditionally made through distilling Boswellia sacra; however, this essential oil can also be extracted through mechanical methods such as cold-pressing. This helps the essential oil capture the “essence” of the plant’s scent as well as its soothing and relaxing properties. 

The plant’s powerful properties have been praised since the 6th century B.C.E, with many of its benefits linked to relaxation and healing of the mind, body and soul. The concentrated oil of frankincense is used in aromatherapy along with other sweet or citrus oils. The fragrance of the blend and its aromatic molecules boost mental, emotional, and physical health.

This oil is sometimes referred to as the king of essential oils because of its numerous benefits and uses.


Frankincense Essential Oil

Botanical Name

Boswellia carterii Pelargonium

Native to

Somalia and regions of Pakistan


Astringent, uterine, emmenagogue, diuretic, vulnerary, carminative, antiseptic

Main ingredients

Alpha-pinene, octyl acetate, octanol, alpha-thujene, methylanisole, incensole, beta-pinene and incensole acetate


Woody, earthy and balsamic with a hint of citrus

Blends well with

Sandalwood, grapefruit, lime, lemon, orange, bergamot, sandalwood, lavender, ylang ylang, Clary sage and pine essential oils


Resinous or Musky


Cedarwood, Sandalwood or Vetiver essential oils


History Of Frankincense

The history of frankincense essential oil is much more interesting than other essential oils. Well, maybe myrrh can give it a run for its money. The history of frankincense involves the gift given by the three wise men or the biblical Magi to baby Jesus. Yes, Frankincense finds mention in the Bible.

Frankincense and myrrh were, in those times, as expensive as gold. But, this was not the first time the world was introduced to frankincense. The essential oils in Bible mention frankincense and its uses several times. Frankincense was also mentioned in other religious tests.

The trade of frankincense and its oil started some 5000 years ago. The frankincense tree, botanically called Boswellia sacra, is native to India, Pakistan, Middle East and North Africa, but it was perhaps made popular by the Egyptians. It is believed that ancient Egyptians bough boatloads of frankincense resins from traders.

Archeologists have found evidence that frankincense was used for its medicinal and aromatic uses. It is said that the frankincense sticks were burned to a char, which was crushed and powdered and used as an eyeliner by Egyptian women. The embalming process in Egypt also made use of frankincense. It was also used to drive out insects, treat wounds and sores, and in incense to spread its earthy aroma.

The popularity and demand for frankincense was so high that sailors and traders used to make up stories that the frankincense trees, the Boswellia sacra, was guarded by flying snakes. This was to ward off competitors.

How Egyptians Used Frankincense

The first mention of frankincense was from the Egyptian Ebers Papyrus dated back to 1500 BCE. Here, it was said to treat throat infections and for controlling asthma. Pliny, the Elder, a Roman author in his work mentioned frankincense as a cure for hemlock poisoning.

Fragrances were a part of Egyptian culture. Their festivals and celebrations were resplendent with fragrances. It is said that women in Egypt used to wear fragrant cones on their head which would melt from the heat, thereby releasing a delightful aroma.

Egypt also has a hot dry climate. Hence, aromatic oils have another use. It was extensively used in skin care. The oil would be applied on the entire body after bathing to protect it from the harsh weather. The oil would act as a moisturizer in the dry climate.

And Egyptians also did their own research and changes in the use of aromatic oils, including frankincense. The oils were used in medicines and cosmetics; but its biggest use was maybe in perfumery.

In fact, the perfume from Egypt in the period from 1540 to 655 BCE were considered to be the best in the trade world. It is said that when Julius Caesar of Rome, returned after conquering Egypt, he threw Egyptian perfumes to the crowd gathered to greet him. The aromatic oils were soon added to bath water to reap its fragrant and therapeutic benefits.

Downfall Of Frankincense And Other Essential Oils

Essential oils were a rave in the Roman Empire. But, it would see a downfall very soon. At the time of Jesus’ birth, frankincense was considered to be as expensive as gold. And its trade flourished.

However, with the downfall of the Roman Empire and the rise of Christianity across Europe, essential oils fell out of favor as it was considered to a practice of paganism, even though it finds mention in both the Old and New Testament. This also put a dent in the trade routes developed centuries ago.

However, the story of frankincense does have a happy ending. The therapeutic and cosmetic uses of frankincense oil and other essential oils could not be neglected for long and it did make a comeback and this time around it was here to stay and make an impact. And with time frankincense oil was also used in religious ceremonies. It is diffused in prayer rooms because it has a grounding effect which enhances the quest for spirituality.

Frankincense Elsewhere

The Muslim physician from Iran, Avicenna, suggested that frankincense has therapeutic properties which can be used to treat several ailments affecting the body, specifically fevers and ulcers. Frankincense also finds place in Mingyi Bielu, the Chinese herbal manuscript.

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Frankincense Essential Oil Benefits | Boswelia Benefits

Frankincense Essential Oil has potential benefits such as reducing inflammation, improving skin health, relieving stress and anxiety, supporting immune system, and supporting respiratory health. It can be used cosmetically, medicinally, and for eliminating surface and airborne bacteria.

Looking for all-round goodness? Frankincense essential oil has it in abundance! Frankincense oil can be used to treat day-to-day concerns as well as nourish the body with powerful health benefits.


Promotes Peace of Mind

Channel your inner zen with this calming essential oil. Frankincense has a scent that quiets busy minds, which is why it’s a popular choice for spiritual meditation and mindfulness.

Diffusing this oil in a closed room while meditating or performing yoga will lower stress-causing thoughts and hormones and introduce tranquility. The aromatic molecules of the oil enter the limbic system directly through the olfactory nerves and hence the effect of aromatherapy is felt quickly.


Soothes Skin Irritation

Because the essential oil of frankincense contains the active ingredient boswellic acid, this oil boasts of anti-inflammatory properties to reduce skin redness and irritation. A slight rub with frankincense essential oils will soothe burning, aching or irritated skin. The oil may also repair damaged skin cells. The oil can be applied on minor wounds and burns because of its analgesic properties and soothing effect.


Relieves Muscle Aches

Tired of tired muscles? The anti-inflammatory health benefits of frankincense essential can help alleviate pains and aches for quicker post-workout recovery. Massaging the whole body once a week with essential oils will revitalize the muscles.

Heavy workouts in the gym or the regular routine of world class athletes break the muscles on a daily basis. Proper nutrition and physiotherapy are effective in rebuilding the muscles, but a thorough body massage supplements the efforts and rejuvenates the body for the next day’s work. Generally, a blend of essential oils (including frankincense, tea tree, lavender etc.) is used with carrier oil.


Boosts Oral Health

Frankincense’s boswellic acid also gives the oil antibacterial properties. This helps to treat oral infections while preventing bad breath, toothaches and cavities. Essential oils are used for boosting oral health by ad a drop to toothpaste or mouthwash.


Strengthens Immunity

Stay strong from the inside out with this ancient oil. Frankincense oil is able to bust bacteria to aid your immunity and keep you and your loved ones safe. A whole body or lymph node massage with frankincense and olive oil blend will boost immune power.


Regulates Menstruation

Frankincense oil has been shown to be an effective way to regulate menstruation. It can help to delay menstruation, and also to ease the symptoms of menopause and PMS. Frankincense oil is also effective in treating premenstrual syndromes.


Reduces Scars

Frankincense oil has been shown to be effective in reducing the appearance of scars. A study published in the International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences found that frankincense oil was able to significantly reduce the appearance of scars when applied topically to the skin.(1)

The study participants who used frankincense oil saw a significant reduction in the size, depth, and redness of their scars. Frankincense oil is thought to work by promoting the regeneration of skin cells, which can help to improve the appearance of scars.


Keep Uterus Healthy

Frankincense oil is known to be very effective in keeping the uterus healthy. This is because it helps to regulate the estrogen hormone, which can prevent the formation of tumors and cysts after menopause. It can also help to relieve stress and other gynecologic conditions.


Helps To Cure Respiratory Issues

Frankincense oil is effective in reducing respiratory issues such as phlegm, bronchitis and congestion of the nasal tract. It is also an antidepressant and anti-inflammatory agent.

Research On Frankincense Essential Oil

Frankincense essential oil has several pharmacological properties, antimicrobial activity being one of it.

A study was conducted to ascertain the anti-infective potential of commercial frankincense essential oil obtained from different suppliers. Gas chromatography linked to mass spectrometry technique was utilized to analyze twenty samples of the oil.

Here, the antimicrobial activities were tested against five reference organisms including Staphylococcus aureus Candida albicans and Proteus vulgaris. Inhibitory activities were found against all variants of pathogens. These inhibitory activities were not remarkable; however, evidence points towards the immunomodulatory activity of the oil.

The antimicrobial activity in synergy with the immunomodulatory activity of the oil gave an anti-infective quality to the oil.

The research also analyzed the twenty samples from twenty different suppliers and found that the active ingredient composition these oils varied widely. And since there is no industry standard on the composition of essential oil, the onus falls on the consumer to analyze the percentage composition of the oil before buying. The research recommended a need for uniformity in this oil segment.(2)

The effect of Boswellia oil on stress in rats was conducted by Shukan Okano, Yoshiko Honda and team. The team diluted frankincense oil in jojoba oil (which acted as the vehicle for the essential oil) and applied it on sleep-deprived ants.

The research found that by applying this oil the corticosterone or cortisol levels of the body decreased and countered the effects of stress in the rats.(3). It also did not increase oxidative stress.

The conclusion of this research was that frankincense oil may be effective in managing stress.

A case study was conducted on a patient diagnosed with cancer. It was found that topical application of frankincense oil got the patient moving – from barely able to get off the bed to being able to do mild menial work.

It was found that frankincense was able to reduce the fatigue caused due to cancer. However, the research and studies related to the use of frankincense as a supportive therapy for cancer needs to include more human participants.(4) (Hence, for now, this is not considered amongst frankincense oil uses and benefits.) 

Frankincense Oil Uses

Whether you’re looking to achieve luscious locks or get an Insta-worthy complexion, frankincense oil should 10/10 be in your self-care routine.

Frankincense Essential Oil For Skin

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Improves Skin Elasticity

Frankincense is able to moisturize and hydrate complexions, repair damaged skin cells and give back its elasticity. Along with coconut oil, essential oils also help to fade stretch marks and firm up loose skin. Blend essential oils with carrier oils including coconut and/or olive oil and apply on the skin to reap the benefits of frankincense.

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Soothes Sensitive Skin

Anti-inflammatory and antibacterial are two words we love in skincare, especially for sensitive and irritated skin. Frankincense can keep skin clean and calm it down during acne breakouts. Its soothing effect also ensures good skin tone. It can be used on different skin types including dry and oily skin.

A woman have smoothe skin

Treats Razor Bumps and Scars

Nicked yourself while shaving again? Happens to the best of us! Just use some frankincense oil to heal nasty razor bumps and fade scars for pristine-looking and healthy skin.

Gets Rid of Acne Scars

Frankincense oil has derivatives of benzoic and phthalic acids, which gives the oil its antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties. It can hence treat red bumps and dents from pus. It also soothes irritated skin.

No Wrinkles, No Worries

The antioxidant properties of the bioactive ingredients of the resin based oil slows down the process of ageing. The oil rejuvenates the skin by revitalizing the synthesis of collagen.

The oil has been used for its skincare benefits since ages. A few drops of essential oil can repair cracked skin. Use of frankincense essential oil regularly is good for the skin.

Frankincense Essential Oil For Hair

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Promotes Healthy Hair

Healthy roots, here we come! This hair-loving extract strengthens hair follicles for healthy hair growth. It can also breathe life into limp and dull hair, giving it natural shine and bounce. Applying the oil with a blend of myrrh oil and carrier oils will boost the scalp health.

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Reduce Hair Fall

Because frankincense works to strengthen your roots, you’ll also experience reduced hair loss. It delivers moisture to your follicles and luscious locks, so you won’t have to worry about hair breakage either.

It has astringent properties that constricts the pores and ensures tightly bond hair. The astringent property is good for hair and skin health.

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Does Away With Dandruff

Don’t let anyone call you Snow White again! Frankincense essential oil has antimicrobial properties to get rid of dandruff. It’ll keep your scalp clean to ensure your hair is free from flakes. Dandruff is an embarrassing malady that afflicts the scalp.

Frankincense benefits the scalp and hair by eliminating the white flakes.

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Soothes Scalp Irritation

This natural anti-inflammatory is the perfect treatment for inflamed and itchy scalps. The oil can help calm down and reduce the severity of scalp conditions such as eczema and scalp psoriasis.

Several studies on the benefits of frankincense on scalp health have concluded that the early stages of scalp conditions can be controlled by applying oil. Frankincense can be used on the scalp and the hair tip.

Keeps Hair Hydrated

Applying the oil mixed with carrier oil of coconut or almond keeps the hair hydrated for a long period of time. Massaging the hair with this oil nourishes the dry hair and prevents hair from breaking

Frankincense Essential Oil for Oral Health

It Prevents Gum Diseases

It has antimicrobial properties that are useful in preventing gum diseases and infections including Gingivitis. The oil can be added to toothpaste to avoid infections.

It eliminates bad breath

Bad or foul breath is an embarrassing issue that many people face. A drop of frankincense can be added to water (cold or warm) and gargled to prevent or treat bad breaths.

Prevents Cavities

Frankincense has boswellic acid that prevents the accumulation of bacteria and prevents cavity. It is used as an ingredient in oral healthcare medicines.

Firmer teeth

Obtained from the resin of the Boswellia tree it has astringent properties. It is made used in medicines and toothpastes to constrict the gums, which then hold the tooth firmly. Astringent properties of frankincense have skin benefits as it tightens skin for youthful looks. Frankincense can help delay ageing of the skin.

Gives Teeth Whitened Look
Frankincense oil can repair the damaged cells in the outer dermal layer, which gives the teeth a new and whitened look. However, frankincense does not actually whiten teeth.

Frankincense Essential Oil Other Uses

Frankincense Essential oil for Cancer Treatment

The ability of frankincense and its compounds in treating, preventing and repressing certain types of cancers are currently been studied. Frankincense oil may be beneficial in future treatments, let’s be optimistic.

Oil for Arthritis

Use frankincense essential oil to get relief from the joint pain conditions including rheumatism and arthritis. A blend of frankincense and myrrh oil is considered potent for anti-inflammatory uses.

Frankincense For Pain Management

The analgesic properties of the oil are useful in subduing and managing pain. These benefits of frankincense oil are utilized by diluting and applying it on the affected region to minimize pain.

Frankincense for Stomach health

The therapeutic properties of the oil help improve the gut health by promoting digestion and preventing flatulence. Research has shown that frankincense oil was better at treating Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis than certain OTC drugs.(5). The oil is highly concentrated and a powerful essential oil; hence, dilute the oil before applying on the abdomen.

Oil for Asthma

Uses and benefits of the oil include treating respiratory ailments (asthma and bronchitis). In severe cases of the illness the oil mitigates the symptoms, thus offering relief. Three drops of frankincense with almond oil or rosehip oil can be applied on the chest and nose to mitigate the symptoms.

Aromatherapy And How Aroma Affects The Brain

There are two ways in which the molecules of the oil enter the body –

  1. Topical Application
  2. Aromatherapy.
The fastest way the molecules the body is when the aroma of the oil is inhaled. When an aroma enters the nostrils the millions of receptors in the nose absorb the vapours and through the olfactory bulb send signals to the limbic system.


The olfactory system starts from the nose all the way through the brain and is the system responsible for the sense of smell, subsequently affecting our behaviors and moods. The aromas are processed in the olfactory cortex located in the temporal lobe of the brain.

Here, the term bioavailability must be understood in the context of aroma – it is the number of aromatic molecules that get absorbed into the body – generally, in essential oils, the amount is 27% to 67%.

The limbic system comprises of four parts - thalamus, amygdala, hippocampus, and hypothalamus.

These are parts of the brain which deals with issues such as hormone secretion, breathing, memory, heartbeats etc.

The aroma of these plant oils affects the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. When these systems are activated they secrete or regulate the secretion of hormones in the body.

Essential oil uses and benefits have different properties and elicit responses from the proper limbic system.

For instance, there are several essential oils such as lavender oil relaxes the mind and its sedative property helps with sleep; whereas citrus based oils have a euphoric effect that enhances self-esteem and confidence.

Peppermint essential oil interacts with the limbic system and produce feelings of alertness and concentration with improved memory. Frankincense essential oil reduces anxiety

How To Use Frankincense Oil

This versatile oil can be used to achieve the desired effect you’re looking for, whether that’s better skin or better sleep.

Frankincense Oil In An Aroma Diffuser

Add a spiritual feeling to your home with some frankincense aromatherapy by using a diffuser. If you’re using an ultrasonic, heat or nebulizer type diffuser, all you need is between 3 to 10 drops of frankincense oil to fill your home with its warm and woodsy scent. However, reed diffusers will need about 30 to 50 drops to really get the aroma going.

You can also combine frankincense oil with other essential oils, to craft a scent that’s perfect for your mood. Here are some frankincense blends we can’t get enough of:

frankincense blends - fresh start blend frankincense blends - true zen blend frankincense blends - deep sleep blend

Frankincense Oil For Sleep

Drift off to dreamland without any pit stops. Frankincense has long been hailed as a potent sleeping aid. This is partly due to its warm and relaxing scent that sets a perfectly cozy mood for a deeply satisfying snooze. Inhaling the aroma of the oil lowers high blood pressure and heartbeats, which calms the mind and body.

The aromatic molecule of the body also calms the body and balances the hormones, thus lowering the stress causing hormone in the body during bedtime. You can enjoy its sleep-promoting qualities by adding a few drops into your diffuser at bedtime or, if you’re feeling crafty.

Try your hand at a DIY sleepy pillow spray!

  1. All you need to do is fill up a 2oz amber spray bottle with clean, distilled water.
  2. Add in 5 drops of frankincense oil, 15 drops of lavender oil and 1 tablespoon of unscented witch hazel.
  3. Give it a good shake and voila!
  4. Spritz 2–3 times over your pillow then lay back and get ready to hit the hay without a hitch. With over 150 varieties of essential oils,
DIY diffuser blends can be formulated with different types of sleep inducing oils.

Frankincense Oil For Acne

If there was a list of things we’d want to stop after puberty, acne would be number 1! And some people, especially older people would wish to slow down the signs of ageing.

If you’re still struggling to achieve flawless, pimple-free skin, then you should definitely look into incorporating frankincense essential oil into your skincare routine. This anti-inflammatory oil is great at calming down acne flare-ups while its cell-regenerating properties help you overcome the aftermath by healing and fading acne scars and pockmarks. The oil can be applied topically to deal with age spots and dark spots.

We recommend mixing 2 to 3 drops of frankincense oil with skin-loving carrier oil such as jojoba oil and applying it to cleansed and toned skin. If you’ve got pretty sensitive skin and want to play things on the even safer side, add it to a thick moisturizer instead as a final skincare step.

Using frankincense oil for hair, skin and aromatherapy

Frankincense Oil For Menstrual Cramps

Frankincense won’t let that time of the month get you down! A natural anti-inflammatory, this woodsy extract is great for alleviating those monthly cramps and reducing any pain. Frankincense is also great at boosting the immune system, leaving your body better equipped to balance out your hormones for better gut health. So not only will you be cramp-free, but you’ll also experience fewer mood swings (yay!)

DIY Oil Blend For Menstrual Cramps

To start using this oil for menstrual cramps, you can brew your own DIY frankincense massage oil to rub over your abdomen and lower back.

  • Add between 30 to 60 drops of pure frankincense essential oil to 1oz of jojoba oil, depending on how potent you want its pain-relieving qualities to be.
  • Give it a gentle shake to make sure the frankincense is diluted and start massaging for some sweet relief!
  • This approach has another benefit. Applying the oil on the abdominal region helps clear the digestive tract and boost the defense mechanisms of the body and improve the immune power.

Safety With Frankincense Essential Oil

Essential oils are great for self-care routines. However, we should also take care and follow caution when using them to keep ourselves and loved ones safe from its side effects.

Generally essential oils are safe, but a few guidelines must be followed to avoid any adverse effects. Also, the oils are different, made up of different compounds. Some people may be allergic to certain compounds while others may be allergic to others. Concentrated oil must be bought after careful deliberation. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind.

  1. Read the label and instructions to make sure you’re using the oil correctly.
  2. While buying essential oils be wary of the terms fragrance oil, perfume oil and natural identical oil.
  3. The term pure essential oil can be widely seen on the bottles. These may be made from substandard sources.
  4. Ensure that you are not allergic to any ingredients or compounds in the oil.
  5. Make sure to dilute the essential oil in a carrier oil for safe application.
  6. Do not add too much of the oil in the diffuser.
  7. Avoid using essential oils of sensitive areas like the eyes and nose.
  8. Don’t apply it on broken skin either unless it’s mentioned on the bottle or label.
  9. Keep it out of reach of kids and fur kids.
  10. Pregnant women and nursing mothers must always consult their gynecologist about using concentrated plant oils, regardless of the type of oil.
  11. Do not diffuse the oil near kids and pets. Consult a doctor before doing so.
  12. Some essential oils may trigger unwanted effects in pets. Consult an aromatherapist to know the oils that are safe for cats, dogs and other pets.
  13. Some oils may make you sensitive to sun damage, so be sure to load up on SPF.
  14. Check the label to see if the oil is photo-toxic.
  15. Always do a small patch test before topical application.
  16. If aromatherapy is performed directly from the bottle, make sure that the oil does not touch the skin.
  17. The common unwanted effects caused by essential oils up on topical application are rashes, redness and swelling.
  18. If you show signs of irritation, stop use and consult a health professional.
  19. Some essential oils cannot be used by people with kidney problems, whereas some essential oils cannot be used with blood disorders. It is always advisable to consult a doctor about your essential oil needs and predisposition for diseases.
  20. Pregnancy and Breast-FeedingSome are warning about the use of frankincense during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

Recommended Frankincense Essential Oil Products

Whether you’re trying to boost your health or connect with yourself on a deeper level, you’ll want to weave some frankincense into your daily self-care routine. Be sure to check out our Gya Labs Frankincense Essential Oil products which are 100% pure and natural.

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