Everything you need to know about the healing benefits of Frankincense

Everything you need to know about the healing benefits of Frankincense

Frankincense is a fragrant spice that’s just as well-known today as it was in ancient times. Commonly used in perfumes and incense, this aromatic tree resin produces a permeating, balsam-like odor when burned. The ancient Egyptians, who are credited with inventing incense, thought its fragrance suited religious ceremonies and used frankincense lavishly for rituals, including mummification. [1] Historical records also reveal that after burning frankincense, the Egyptians would grind its charred remains into a powder known as kohl and use it as an eyeliner. [2]

The use of frankincense for spiritual practices is also mentioned in the Bible. In the Old Testament, God gave the Israelites specific instructions on how to prepare the incense they were to burn in the Tabernacle. Frankincense was one of the fragrant spices they were asked to gather. [3] In the New Testament, the highly prized resin was also briefly mentioned as one of the gifts the three Wise Men offered to the baby Jesus. According to a Roman historian, frankincense, at that time, was more valuable than gold. [4]

One of things that made frankincense so expensive was its source. Because the trees that produced this aromatic resin only grew in remote parts of Arabia, Africa and India, frankincense had to be transported long distances to reach market stalls. The process of collecting frankincense was also time-consuming; even today, harvesters wait for weeks or months just for the resin to dry and harden. [5] But thanks to the high demand for frankincense – be it now or centuries ago – the long wait is well worth it.

Frankincense’s uses aren’t limited to just perfumes, incense and cosmetics. The dried resin was once used to support oral health, make hair smoother, repair cracked pots and jars, and used as home remedies for various issues. In fact, as early as 1500 BC, Egyptian healers have been using frankincense for medicinal purposes. [6] The ancient Greeks and Romans also wrote about frankincense and its restorative qualities. [7] In traditional systems of medicine like Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), frankincense and the oil distilled from it are highly valued for their health-supporting properties. [8][9] 

Frankincense serrata and its active components

Frankincense is derived from trees that belong to the genus Boswellia. Although many Boswellia species exist, only five are known to produce resins that can be used as incense. These frankincense trees are B. carteri, which is native to East Africa and the Dhofar valley of Oman; B. frereana and B. thurifera, which are native to Somalia; B. papyrifera, which is native to Ethiopia, Eritrea and Sudan; and B. serrata, which is native to India. [10]

According to studies, environmental factors such as geography, climate, soil and even time of harvest affect the chemical composition of frankincense. Because of these factors, the resins produced by different Boswellia species vary in terms of bioactive components and scent. For instance, frankincense serrata, commonly known as Indian frankincense, is said to have a brighter citrus aroma than other types of frankincense. It also contains the highest amount of a-thujene. [11] A monoterpene also found in eucalyptus, a-thujene is believed to be responsible for some of the beneficial properties of frankincense serrata resin and essential oil. [12]

Besides a-thujene, the health benefits of frankincense are attributed to bioactive compounds called boswellic acids. These compounds are pentacyclic triterpenes that can be found in the oleo-gum-resin obtained from Boswellia trees. [13] The oleo-gum-resin is a mixture of volatile oils, tree gum and resin that oozes out when the trees are harvested. When allowed to dry and harden, this natural product becomes the highly sought-after frankincense exported around the globe. [14] Frankincense essential oil is usually obtained from the dried oleo-gum-resin either through hydrodistillation or steam distillation. [15][16]

Frankincense serrata resin contains four major boswellic acids, namely, B-boswellic acid (BBA), acetyl-B-boswellic acid (ABA), 11-keto-B-boswellic acid (KBA) and acetyl-11-keto-B-boswellic acid (AKBA). [17] Each of these powerful compounds has been linked to certain health benefits. For instance, a study published in the journal Neurological Sciences reported that BBA can support the healthy functions of nerve cells. [18] Meanwhile, separate studies have found that KBA, ABA and AKBA can support a healthy immune system. [19][20] 

The health benefits of frankincense serrata*

Frankincense oil is called the “King of Oils” because of its wide variety of uses and benefits. [21] Some types, like frankincense serrata, also taste bitter and may contain impurities, so only high-grade, translucent pieces of dried frankincense resin are recommended for internal consumption. [22] With this in mind, diffusing frankincense oil or applying it topically (remember to dilute it in a carrier oil first) are the safest and most convenient ways to enjoy the health-supporting properties of frankincense.

Although some reports suggest that frankincense oil does not contain boswellic acids, studies have shown that it is possible to extract oils from pure frankincense that contain high amounts of these beneficial components. One particular study published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine reported that, under optimal conditions, the researchers were able to obtain essential oil fractions with high boswellic acid content using hydrodistillation. [23]

Here are some of the amazing benefits offered by frankincense serrata oil:

Supports healthy joint function and mobility

According to a study published in the journal Arthritis Research & Therapy, the AKBA in frankincense serrata can help you maintain healthy cartilage and joints. [24] AKBA exerts protective effects against enzymes that breaks down structural proteins like collagen. [25] Collagen is the main component of your articular cartilage, which helps your joints move smoothly. The study corroborates the findings of previous research, which also reported that frankincense serrata can support healthy joint function and mobility. [26]

Supports healthy, glowing skin

The ability of AKBA in frankincense serrata to protect collagen from degrading enzymes is also beneficial for your skin. After all, collagen is one of your skin’s building blocks and helps keep it from sagging. [27][28] A study published in the journal Frontiers in Physiology also reported that frankincense serrata can protect against the enzyme that dissolves hyaluronic acid. [29] This naturally occurring compound is crucial for maintaining healthy, younger-looking skin because it helps keep it moisturized. [30]

Supports the body’s natural defenses

Frankincense serrata can also provide invaluable support for your immune system. Because your skin harbors several types of immune cells, it can be considered an active immune organ. [31][32] One of its main functions is to serve as a physical barrier against external threats. According to a study published in Letters in Applied Microbiology, frankincense serrata essential oil contains bioactive compounds like a-thujene and p-cymene, whose biological activities can support the protective functions of your skin. [33] A study that appeared in the journal Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity also found that the AKBA in frankincense serrata can further support optimal immune health. [34]

Supports healthy teeth and gums

Frankincense serrata is also useful for supporting optimal oral health. In a study published in the journal BMC Research Notes, researchers found that the potent biological activities of boswellic acids, particularly AKBA, can support optimal oral health. [35] Holistic dentists also recommend using frankincense oil as part of your oral care routine because its unique properties can help you maintain healthy teeth and gums. [36]

Supports healthy sleep patterns

There’s a good reason why frankincense serrata essential oil is one of the most widely used fragrances for aromatherapy. Apart from rejuvenating the mind and body, its unique scent can also induce feelings of relaxation. [37] This can not only help put your mind at ease, but it can also help you get a deep and restful sleep.   

Naturally uplifts mood

According to a study published in The FASEB Journal, frankincense contains an active component called incensole acetate that positively influences certain ion channels in the brain involved in emotional regulation. [38] This has the effect of reducing anxious feelings and naturally elevating your mood.

Contains natural cleansing properties

Thanks to the presence of boswellic acids, frankincense serrata essential oil has natural cleansing properties that make it the perfect non-toxic (and fragrant) cleaning agent to use around your home. Use it in combination with myrrh essential oil to maximize myrrh’s potent properties. You can also diffuse frankincense essential oil to purify the air inside your house and enjoy the oil’s wonderfully soothing fragrance. 

Where to get lab-verified organic Frankincense serrata essential oil

Since ancient times, frankincense serrata essential oil has been highly prized for its versatility, fragrance and beneficial properties. More than just an oil for aromatherapy, this natural product can also be used for cleaning around your house, as well as for supporting optimal health and well-being.

To let you experience the remarkable properties and versatility of this one-of-a-kind oil, the Health Ranger Store is bringing you Health Ranger’s Organic Frankincense Serrata Essential Oil. Carefully steam-distilled from Indian frankincense derived from the Boswellia serrata tree, our premium frankincense oil is packed with bioactive compounds like boswellic acids that offer support for your skin, joints, mood, oral health and immune system.

Thanks to the natural cleansing properties of some of its active components, Health Ranger’s Organic Frankincense Serrata Essential Oil is also a fragrant, non-toxic alternative to commercial cleaning products, which are formulated with harmful chemicals. This makes our lab-verified essential oil a useful product to have in hand for your home and self-care needs.

Every bottle of Health Ranger’s Organic Frankincense Serrata Essential Oil contains only 100% pure, high-quality frankincense serrata essential oil and is free of additives, fillers and synthetic chemicals. It is therapeutic grade, certified organic and rigorously lab tested for glyphosate, heavy metals and microbiology.

Try frankincense serrata essential oil today and experience the wonderful benefits of the King of Oils!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not recommended to treat, cure or diagnose any disease.


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