Frankincense oil is one of the main ingredients in incense, but it's more than just a sweet-smelling oil.
When Boswellia trees are slashed, frankincense resin flows from the bark. The resin is left to harden then the farmers scrape off the sap. This sap can either be crushed into a powder, used as is, hardened, or steamed to produce frankincense oil.
In ancient cultures, the oil was highly valued and pricey. It was used in religious ceremonies and burials, in perfumes, and medicinal purposes.
According to ancient legends, the land where Boswellia trees grew was protected by dragons. Frankincense was more valuable than gold in those days. Greek writer Herodotus (5th century B.C.) wrote that Arabia's trees were 'guarded by winged serpents of small size and various colors.'
Appleton's Popular Science Monthly's 1896 edition records that old Sabaean merchants crafted fables about the trees being protected by genii and dragons. These tales were to keep off any competitors.
Frankincense oil is fantastic for skin care, particularly if you have oily skin. It's an excellent moisturizer and reduces the appearance of fine lines. As with all essential oils, you should combine it with a carrier oil.
In ancient cultures, people chewed it like gum to treat digestive ailments. It was also consumed to boost the immune system. Frankincense is edible both in the hardened state and the oil. The edible varieties are translucent in color, with no dark-colored impurities.
Add a few drops of frankincense oil to your warm bath water, or burn a bit of incense in your home or office.
Eyeliner goes way back to the ancient Egyptian civilization. Women used frankincense as an ingredient of their famed intense black "kohl" eyeliner. They burnt it, then ground it into a powder and applied it on their eyelids.
Mosquitos and other pesky insects are deterred by frankincense smell when it's burned. Ancient Egyptians fumigated wheat silos to repel wheat moths. Apart from burning it, you can apply it directly to your skin.
Frankincense was used for tooth care in ancient times. You can still find frankincense in some toothpaste brands today. If you're a DIY buff, consider adding frankincense essential oil to your homemade toothpaste.
The Sole Toscana Beauty Team