Frankincense: The Golden Oil

Today is known as ‘El Dia de Reyes’ (Three Kings Day), this holiday represents the height of the Christmas season for most Latin American countries.  The holiday is also known by the name of the Epiphany which dates back to the 4th century. A grand feast would be held on this day to honor the occasion of Jesus’ baptism and to pay homage to the three wise men who brought with them fine gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Boswellia serrata

Frankincense is in the spotlight today. One of the three gifts to the baby Jesus. And a gift indeed! My all time favorite oil that I use for myself during meditation and in my skincare practice. Frankincense is the gum or resin of the Boswellia tree, used for making perfume and incense. The boswellia sacra, one of approximately  5 different species is a deciduous shrubby small, much branched tree. Highly aromatic because of the resin contained inside. The resin is extracted by deep incision to the trunk. Frankincense oil has a clean, fresh, earthy and woody scent. Very rich in terpenes and esters, ( the chemical features in the structure) encourages wound healing and skin cell regeneration. Its an amazing antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and sedative oil and works on the entire nervous system and very soothing to the dermis/epidermis.

Highly prized and was considered more valuable than gold. Frankincense was  very expensive substance because it was and still is collected in remote parts of Arabia, North Africa, and India. Gathering frankincense resin was a time-consuming process. The harvester scraped a 5-inch long cut on the trunk of tree. Over a period of two or three months, the sap would leak from the tree and harden into  crystallized clear liquid or white “tears.” The harvester would return and scrape the crystals off, and also collect the less pure resin that had dripped down the trunk onto a palm leaf placed on the ground. Frankincense and myrrh actually had much greater value than gold too because they were effective as medicines.

It has great powers for healing. I believe that using this oil is potent. It gives us the ability to heal ourselves just like the the tree itself and move through obstacles. One word comes to mind with this oil. Perseverance!

The sap that oozes  out once its cut deep is the plants blood flow. It’s life force. It can literally regenerate itself and grow out of rocks, limestone in the desert  to be exact. It’s been revered in many religions including Judaic and Christianity used in prayer, rituals and offerrings, meditations. On the  physical, frankincense is quite useful in  skincare, the central nervous system and respiratory. On the emotional, its wonderful to uplift spiritually and connect you to a higher faith. It’s very grounding and calming for the mind and body. It creates almost a soulful connection and great for apathy and depression.

Skin Application:

for dry/irritated winter skin, mix this simple recipe and massage on the face with long effleurage strokes. Before massaging.  Shake oil and let the blend sit  in a glass bottle for several minutes. Warm  the bottle in your hands and then slowly bring it up to the nose keeping your eyes closed and taking in the scent and the healing and uplifting  power of oil blend.

1 tbsp Jojoba oil

3 drops of Frankincense

5 drops of Lavender

1 drop of Roman Chammomile

Diffuse Application:

Pour 5 drops of Frankincense in a diffuser and let your olfactory senses start working. This is great way to receive the respiratory benefits and to increase immunity especially right now with the winter season.  It supports the respiratory system via its  expectorant action and to act as an antidepressant.

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