Frankincense is sap extracted from the boswellia tree, native to parts of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Harvesters turn the resin from the sap into oils and incense. Frankincense has been appreciated by different cultures for over 5,000 years. Its most common use is as a gift offered to baby Jesus by three wise men in the New Testament. However, the oil is also an all-natural herbal medicine used to aid digestion and cure flesh wounds, among many other uses. Read on to find out why you should keep frankincense in stock year-round and not just at Christmastime.
1) Skin-Healing Properties
When diluted with a carrier oil, such as rose or almond oil, frankincense can have many skin-healing properties. Frankincense has been used topically for curing wrinkles, treating dry skin, and lessening the appearance of scar tissue. The oil has also been used to even out skin tone and treat minor scratches and abrasions.
2) Respiratory Relief Treatment
Add seven or eight drops of frankincense to your bath water to help calm and relax your breathing, temporarily ease asthma symptoms, or treat tough coughs and colds. Alternatively, mix three to four drops with a warm bowl of water, and inhale the vapors from the bowl for one to three minutes.
3) Hair-Strengthening Benefits
Add a few drops of frankincense oil to your favorite shampoo to help strengthen the roots of your hair. Mixing a few drops of frankincense with castor oil and massaging it into the scalp before shampooing and conditioning will moisturize the scalp, strengthen hair follicles, and fight hair loss.
4) Immune System Booster
As mentioned before, frankincense aids the respiratory system and helps you breathe easier. It also can help rid your lungs of phlegm and reduce swelling in the nasal passages. Try the vapor bowl method mentioned above the next time you come down with a cold, using a warm towel to trap the vapor. Breathe the diluted vapors in for at least one to three minutes.
5) Calming and Relaxing Effects
Aromatherapists use frankincense for its calming, relaxing scent. The oils and incense are often used during meditation or to combat anxiety and stress. Diluted frankincense oil can be used as an addition to massage oil or, like a perfume, rubbed into the neck or temples.
6) Dental Care Assistant
Diluted frankincense oil has been used to treat toothaches and work as an antibacterial astringent on abscesses, cavities, and infections. You can also find frankincense as an ingredient in natural toothpastes and mouthwashes. The oil is a natural antiseptic, which will draw out impurities and freshen your breath.
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7) Cancer Cell Killer
Though more research is certainly needed, early tests have shown that frankincense targets and fights cancer cells without harming the cells around them, as cancer treatments like chemotherapy seem to do. Researchers have had positive results linking frankincense oil usage and the elimination of cancer cells in studies on breast and bladder cancer.
Whether you are in need of some hair and skin revitalization, seeking a reprieve from a cold or flu, or just want to relax to a soothing smell and free yourself from a hectic day of stress, frankincense may be right for you. Frankincense oil can be found in most natural health food and supplement stores.
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