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23 Incredible Ways to Use Frankincense Essential Oil

Frankincense Essential Oil

Frankincense has been appreciated for its medicinal benefits for thousands of years. Known also as olibanum and boswellia essential oil, this amazing oil is most often associated with the Three Wise Men and the birth of Jesus. There are very good reasons that it was considered to be a treasured gift.

Some of its beneficial properties include antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, diuretic, expectorant, sedative and anti-cancer. This wonderful essential oil has some really incredible ways that it can be used to improve your emotional and physical health as well as your environment.

1. Improve Digestion

Use frankincense EO to improve digestion, get relief from irritable bowel syndrome and relieve general digestive upset. Add 1 to 2 drops of frankincense oil to an 8-ounce glass of water or 1 tablespoon of honey and ingest it. The oil acts like digestive enzymes, speeding up the digestive process.

*Make sure you get food grade frankincense essential oil for ingestion and therapeutic grade for topical applications or aromatherapy.*

2. Relieve Cold and Flu Symptoms

Put 2 to 3 drops of frankincense oil in your diffuser and run it for 45 to 60 minutes to get relief from coughing and excess phlegm. It has anti-inflammatory and expectorant properties that relieve congestion and loosen phlegm. Drink plenty of water to help thin out the mucous. If you don’t want to use a diffuser, you can put 2 to 3 drops of frankincense oil in a pan of steaming water and inhale the vapors or just put the oil on a cotton ball and inhale the oil from that.

3. Reduce Inflammation

Put 2 to 3 drops of frankincense EO in your diffuser and run it for 45 to 60 minutes to reduce inflammation. This is especially effective for inflammation in the joints from arthritis. You can also mix it into a carrier oil like coconut oil, jojoba oil or argan oil and rub it into inflamed joints. The blend can be as strong as half frankincense oil and half carrier oil.

Important Note: Whatever you choose for an oil, make sure that the oils you purchase are high quality. Remember, you're breathing this oil into your lungs so essential oil quality is a terrible place to cut corners.

4. Treat Gout

Use frankincense oil to treat gout. Its anti-inflammatory and diuretic properties will quickly give you relief by helping to clear out the uric acid and reduce inflammation. You can mix it with a carrier oil like you would to reduce inflammation and gently apply it to the affected area. You can also mix 6 drops of frankincense with 8 drops of peppermint essential oil, 12 drops of chamomile EO and 4 teaspoons of a carrier oil and use that blend. Either way, you should apply it to the affected area at least 3 times a day.

5. Treat Bursitis

Use frankincense oil to treat bursitis. It reduces inflammation and pain while it improves circulation so it can heal more quickly. You can use it alone or mix it with peppermint EO. 6 drops of frankincense and 8 drops of peppermint in 4 teaspoons of a carrier oil will provide quick, cooling relief. Apply it to the affected area 3 to 4 times a day.

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6. Relieve Aches and Pains

Practice frankincense aromatherapy for 30 to 60 minutes to get relief from muscle pain or general aches and pains. You can use the inflammation blend but moist heat often speeds pain relief and healing. Mix 1 to 2 drops of oil into a bowl of hot water, dip a towel into the water, wring it out then drape it over your sore muscles. Draping it over your face works, too, for all-over aches and pains. The warmth relaxes you while you inhale the anti-inflammatory vapors.

7. Improve your Immune System

Rub frankincense EO into the bottoms of your feet once daily to improve your immune system and help prevent sickness. You can use straight frankincense oil, mix it with a carrier oil at a rate of 1 drop frankincense to 2 drops carrier oil or even use a half and half mixture. Any carrier oil like coconut, argan, jojoba or sweet almond oil will work fine. Practicing frankincense essential oil aromatherapy for 45 to 60 minutes a day will boost your immune system, too.

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8. Fight and/or Prevent Cancer

Use frankincense EO to help prevent cancer or add it to your cancer treatment. Studies have indicated that it does kill cancer cells, especially in brain, colon, pancreatic, prostate, ovarian, breast, bladder, stomach, uterine and skin cancers. You can add 1 drop of frankincense oil to 2 drops of a carrier oil and massaging it into the skin directly above the cancer or tumor.

It is also effective if you rub the oil on your neck 3 times each day. You can take 1 to 3 drops mixed into 8 ounces of water or 1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil or honey by mouth twice each day, too. Take it when you get up in the morning and just before you go to bed. If you are being treated for cancer, be sure to discuss using frankincense essential oil with your physician.

9. Speed the Healing of Gingivitis and Mouth Sores

Brush your teeth with frankincense oil toothpaste and rinse your mouth with frankincense mouthwash to kill germs in your mouth and speed healing. You can buy toothpaste and mouthwash that contain frankincense or make your own. Just add a few drops to a teaspoon or 2 of baking soda for a plaque-fighting, germ-killing toothpaste. You can mix the oil and baking soda into a tablespoon of coconut oil for added benefits. To make your own mouthwash, mix a few drops of frankincense oil into 4 ounces of tepid water.

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Try oil pulling to help heal your mouth as well as your whole body. Mix a few drops of frankincense oil into 1 to 2 tablespoons of coconut oil and gently swish it around in your mouth for 20 minutes every morning.

10. Kill Harmful Bacteria on Your Body

Mix frankincense EO into a carrier oil and use it on your hands, feet or really any part of the body to kill bacteria. It can be used straight or diluted to as much as half and half. Keep it in your purse or vehicle to use when you need a disinfectant.

11. Kill Bacteria in Your Environment

Clean and disinfect your kitchen and bathroom with frankincense EO instead of harsh commercial cleansers. For non-porous surfaces: mix 10 drops of frankincense EO, 5 to 10 drops of lemon essential oil and 3 to 4 tablespoons of baking soda together. For any type of surface: mix 30 drops of frankincense oil into 1/2 cup of water in a spray bottle.

For carpets: add 15 drops of frankincense oil to 1/2 cup of baking soda, put into a sealable bottle with a shaker top, sprinkle evenly over your carpet then vacuum after 1 hour. Clean and disinfect the air in your home with frankincense aromatherapy. Just add a few drops to your diffuser and run it for about an hour.

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12. Improve Hormonal Balance

Place 2 to 3 drops of frankincense EO under your tongue when you get up in the morning and again in the evening after dinner. It keeps your endocrine system working properly and balances your hormone levels.

*Do not use on very young children or when pregnant or nursing.*

13. Enhance Uterine Health

Use frankincense EO to relieve menstrual problems and help prevent uterine cancer. Mix 2 to 3 drops of frankincense oil into about 1/4 teaspoon of evening primrose oil. Apply the blend to your lower abdominal area. It will give you relief from painful cramps, digestive issues and irritability.

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14. Reduce Scars from Acne and Blemishes

For acne, mix 3 drops each of frankincense EO, tea tree EO and lavender EO into 2 teaspoons of honey. Wash your face 1 hour before you plan to go to bed and apply the honey/EO blend. Rinse it off after 1 hour. You will not believe the smooth results.

15. Improve Skin Health

Blend 6 drops of frankincense with 6 teaspoons of a carrier oil and massage it into your skin to firm it and improve its health and appearance. The oil’s astringent properties tighten, lift and tone your skin while helping to prevent wrinkles and minimizing your pores. You can use this anywhere on the body. Got saggy skin on your belly? This blend will firm it up. It is also great on your face, throat, upper arms and thighs.

16. Reduce Wrinkles, Stretch Marks and Scars

Add 2 to 3 drops of frankincense essential oil to 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of a carrier oil like jojoba, argan or coconut. Apply it to your skin after washing with a mild cleanser. Its antiseptic properties will help smooth wrinkles, minimize pores and fade stretch marks and scars.

17. Speed up Wound Healing

Mix 2 to 3 drops of frankincense oil with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of a carrier oil and apply it to wounds to speed healing. You shouldn’t put it on open wounds but, after the wound has scabbed over and begun to heal, this oil will help speed healing and prevent scarring.

18. Eliminate Water Weight or Edema

Use a frankincense/carrier oil blend to eliminate edema or excess water weight. You can mix a few drops into 1/2 teaspoon of carrier oil or even mix it in equal amounts. Massage it into your ankles, legs, hips, abdomen or anywhere you have edema. Coconut oil and argan oil are wonderful for this as they add their own incredible skin-health benefits.

*Put a drop of frankincense oil on your skin in an inconspicuous area and wait at least a few hours to make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction before putting it all over your body.*

19. Improve your Mood

Blend a few drops each of frankincense, lavender and bergamot essential oils with about 1 teaspoon of sweet almond oil and massage it into your hands once a day to lift your spirits. According to the American College of Healthcare Sciences, this blend was tested on 58 hospice patients and “all the patients who received the aromatherapy hand massage reported less pain and depression.”

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20. Relieve Stress

Practice frankincense aromatherapy to relieve stress. It actually lowers your blood pressure and heart rate. Just put a few drops of the oil in your diffuser and run it for 30 to 60 minutes when you begin to feel stressed. You can also put 3 to 5 drops in your bath water for a stress-relieving, soothing soak.

21. Calm Anxiety

Put a few drops of frankincense oil in your diffuser and run it for 30 to 60 minutes to calm anxiety. You can take some deep breaths of the vapors when you first turn it on for a quick reduction in anxiety then run the diffuser off and on throughout the day as needed. Frankincense is known to be so soothing that it is often diffused or burned to encourage a quiet state of mind for prayer and meditation.

22. Improve your Sleep

Practice frankincense oil aromatherapy for about 1 hour before you go to bed. It calms you so you can fall asleep more quickly and sleep more soundly. Its natural decongestant and anti-inflammatory properties also help you breath better when you go to bed and can help relieve pain that may prevent restful sleep.

23. Strengthen Hair Follicles

Use frankincense to strengthen your hair follicles and help prevent hair loss. Mix 2 to 3 drops of frankincense oil, 2 drops of cypress EO and 3 drops of rosemary EO into 1/4 cup of coconut oil. Gently massage the blend into your scalp. You can leave it on for an hour or two or even overnight then wash your hair as usual. Just put a towel over your pillow or wear a shower cap when you go to bed as it is a bit greasy.

Was this list helpful to you? I could not believe it when I learned about all of the incredible uses for this wonderful essential oil. Frankincense has been treasured for its medicinal benefits for thousands of years, so much so that there have been times when it was considered to be as valuable as gold. As with many other oils, modern science is realizing how useful it can be. I hope you will give it a try.

Please leave a comment to let me know if this list helped and tell me about your own personal experiences with frankincense essential oil. We can all share our experiences to take part in compiling a more complete list of its benefits. Be sure to share, too, so that others can learn about all of this oil’s natural benefits.

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About the author

Reannan Raine

Reannan worked in the non-profit sector for 30 years. Now she devotes her time to freelance writing and sharing knowledge about alternative ways to stay healthy. She believes we could all benefit from the use of fresh herbs and spices in our cooking, essential oils in our medicine cabinets and daily meditation.

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