Frankincense essential oil comes from steam distilling a resin found in the Boswellia carterii tree. Frankincense essential oil has a LONG history of use throughout the world. Its story in history books often starts in the middle east, where the trees that the oil comes from are native.
In the Middle East, Frankincense is considered a holy oil, and often used during religious ceremonies to enhance spiritual awareness and communications. The bible refers to Frankincense oil 52 separate times! Today the uses for Frankincense are countless, and only increasing as people experience the benefits of having this oil in their wellness kits.
How is Frankincense Essential Oil Harvested?
Key constituents in frankincense essential oil
Frankincense consist of monoterpenes, alpha pinenes, d-limonine, and sequiterpines (just to name a few constituents), all of which have incredible properties for maximizing health and spirituality. Keep in mind, essential oils are not medicine. One use may have noticeable effects, but more often you will need to incorporate them into your lifestyle to maximize the benefits you receive from them.
How Long Does Frankincense Essential Oil Last?
Frankincense essential oil typically has a shelf life of 2 years if the bottle is opened.
Frankincense, like many essential oils, begins oxidizing once exposed to oxygen. It may also break down when exposed to heat.
For best results, make sure the frankincense you purchase is stored in a dark amber bottle, and that bottle is stored in a cool, dry, and dark place. This will extend the life of your oil as long as possible. If you’re not planning on using it, keep it sealed.
I’ve had frankincense bottles for a few years unopened and they were still good to use. The longest I’ve personally had an open bottle of frankincense essential oil was 6 months. There is no real point of having it if you’re not using it.
In fact… frankincense essential oil has been found in tombs with Ancient Egyptian mummies… and was still in excellent condition! (probably because the tombs are sealed in an airtight manner)
Each 15ml bottle of frankincense essential oil contains approximately 250 drops of oil. If you use just one drop a day, you’ll use up your bottle in approximately 8 months and 1 week. If you use 5 drops a week, you’ll use up your bottle in just under 12 months.
Different Types of Frankincense Essential Oil
** PLEASE NOTE ** Don’t be fooled by clever marketing. Not all essential oils are created equally. Make sure you’re not wasting your money on fake essential oils, or oils diluted in questionable solvents. Don’t miss our guide on how to find quality essential oils to make sure you’re not wasting your money on brands that legally carry out questionable or unethical practices and mislead you through deceitful marketing practices.
Frankincense Carterii Frankincense Essential Oil
The most popular frankincense variety sold is Frankincense Carterii. It has a smooth aroma perfect for relaxing and spiritual connection. Frankincense Carterii is high in alpha-pinene and other monoterpenes, making it great for immune support.
Frankincense Carterii has many skin benefits, able to reduce the appearance of mature skin and scars by repairing skin cells. The respiratory system can also benefit from Frankincense, as it helps remedy illnesses and aids in breathing. The aroma of Frankincense Carterii is what most people are familiar with, and it’s commonly used in making natural incense and resin-burning. It has a deep, rich, grounding aroma which touts the ability to quiet the mind, support focus and encourage tranquility.
Frankincense Frereana Frankincense Essential Oil
Frankincense Frereana is typically grown at a higher altitude in Somalia than other varieties, giving this oil more unique constituents. This variety of Frankincense is high in pinene, thujene and cymene, which provides excellent support for inflammation and healing properties.
Frankincense Sacra Frankincense Essential Oil
Frankincense Sacra is native to Oman, and one of the most coveted varieties of Frankincense in the Middle East. Out of all four Frankincense varietals available anywhere on the market, Frankincense Sacra has the highest amount of alpha-pinene, which makes it ideal for certain health needs.
When paired with oils high in limonene, such as Lemon and other citruses, Frankincense Sacra has been found to be specifically healing to bodies fighting infections. Containing high amounts of alpha-pinene also gives Frankincense Sacra the ability to help sooth inflammation.
Its aroma is pungent and strong, with a deep, earthy Frankincense aroma with woodsy overtones. This variety is a must-have if you’re using frankincense for healing purposes.
Frankincense Serrata Frankincense Essential Oil
Frankincense Serrata is the oldest documented Frankincense, and may be the Frankincense variety that is mentioned in the Bible and Ayurvedic medicine. Frankincense Serrata is high in natural constituents that provide powerful healing abilities:
- alpha thujene,
You may want to choose Frankincense Serrata Essential Oil when you’re in need of a deodorizer or air purifier. This oil is also commonly used for meditation and as anointing oil. The Frankincense resin from which it is produced is soft, sticky and rich in oil.
Frankincense Serrata tends to yield a higher amount of essential oil compared to other varieties, which often causes it to be slightly less expensive than our other Frankincense varieties. Its aroma is sweeter and more delicate than other frankincense varieties.
How do you use Frankincense Essential Oil?
There are several ways to use essential oils safely and effectively. I do have a separate article about essential oils and medication contraindications you’re welcome to check out if you’re worried about interactions.
Aromatic Ways To Use Frankincense Essential Oil
To use Frankincense Essential Oil aromatically, you’ll be breathing in in one of several ways:
- Diffuse frankincense (with or without other oils) in a nebulizing diffuser, ultrasonic diffuser, or reed diffuser.
- Add frankincense (with or without other oils) to diffusing jewelry. You may use any porous stone, leather, felt, or cord as a wearable diffuser.
- Drip a few drops of frankincense into an oil inhaler and keep it with you, opening it to sniff periodically.
- Sniff the oil straight from the bottle
- Apply frankincense in your hands, and bring your hands up to your face to breathe it in.
- Add a couple drops to the collar of your shirt or to your bed’s pillow case to breathe in
- Add 2-3 drops of frankincense essential oil to your favorite diffusing jewelry to wear on you throughout the day
I personally LOVE wearing diffuser necklaces and occasionally wear diffusing bracelets. You can find some of my favorites at Drops of Joy (use code DROP10-ESSENTIALOILSLIFE coupon code for a 10% discount).
Topical Ways To Use Frankincense Essential Oil
To use frankincense topically (on your skin), please dilute it. There are rare circumstances when frankincense may be use neat (without dilution), and many people swear by it but I highly recommend against it. I’m personally a huge advocate for using essential oils safely.
I always suggest diluting at least 1 drop of frankincense essential oil to one drop of your favorite carrier oil at the minimum. For children, I recommend 1 drop of frankincense essential oil per ml of carrier oil. This is easiest to achieve by using a roller bottle and adding 1 drop per ml (usually a 10ml), and fill it the rest of the way with your favorite carrier oil.
A carrier oil is any cold-pressed seed-based oil. My favorites include: sweet almond, fractionated coconut, grapeseed, and jojoba oils.
The benefits to applying your essential oils topically on your skin,
When you massage your skin (or receive a massage) your body increases blood flow to that area, which in effect gives that area of your body more access to the oils that have absorbed into your blood stream. This provides the cells in that area with more support from the oils, helping them work in that area faster.
Ingestion Ways To Use Frankincense Essential Oil
This is a really controversial topic in the essential oil world. Many people will freak out over ingesting… others will swear by it after experiencing some wonderful benefits.
DO NOT INGEST ESSENTIAL OILS STRAIGHT FROM THE BOTTLE
When it comes to ingesting, please always dilute… and NOT in water. Oil and water do not mix, and may damage your mucus membranes in your body. While many people swear by it, mixing in only water is not the safe way to do so.
To dilute an essential oil properly for ingestion, add it to some oil (like olive or avocado) or honey first before adding it to any water or encapsulating it to take as a supplement.
Supplements that include frankincense essential oil include:
There are supplements available that are infused safely with essential oils that may be worth considering and investing in. I do personally take a few and have had excellent results with it in my personal wellness journey.
Which method for using frankincense essential oil is best?
I don’t feel there is a best way. Just using essential oils will help benefit you, your physical wellness, your mental wellness, and your spiritual wellness.
Go with what you’re comfortable with, and start slow. Give your body time to adjust. Some people have a larger presence of harmful chemicals built up in their bodies… this may result in light headedness when using essential oils as they help your body purge those chemicals. Starting slow is always beneficial.
If you’re not comfortable with ingesting, don’t. If you aren’t sure whether you should diffuse, then apply topically for a while and work your way up to it later if you choose to. If you aren’t sure about putting them on your skin, then start out with diffusing a couple drops for 10 minutes at a time until you feel comfortable doing more.
There is no right or wrong… go with what you’re comfortable with… and follow your intuition.
Our favorite ways to use Frankincense Essential Oil?
Frankincense is unlike any other essential oil, with its ability to support every system in the body, plus providing spiritual benefits as well.
Spiritual uses for Frankincense Essential Oil
Frankincense enhances your meditation, bringing you higher spiritual awareness, regardless of your religious or spiritual beliefs. Frankincense helps you feel a deeper spiritual connection, which makes you feel more gracious and compassionate. This increases your positive relationships and helps inspire people around you, which only increases how positive and happy you feel.
- Drop a drop of Frankincense on the crown chakra (at the very top center of your head) to enhance your yoga or deep meditation sessions.
- Diffuse to enhance your senses and spirituality connection
- Apply to the center of your forehead (Third Eye Chakra) to deepen your spiritual connection, prayer, or meditation.
My favorite use for spiritual connectivity is to drip a drop of Frankincense on the center top of my head. It never fails to give me a wave of giggly chills that feel like the universe is hugging me.
Frankincense supports your skin by reducing wrinkles, brightening your skin, and reducing spots, making you feel more confident and beautiful. Feeling beautiful and confident help you become more productive and happier, which in turn creates a whole new level of happiness and positivity. When you look good, you feel better and act more confidently.
- Make your own skin toner with 1/4 cup witch hazel, 2 Tbs apple cider vinegar, 2 Tbs purified water, 1 tsp vegetable glycerin, 5 drops of geranium essential oil, and 10 drops each of frankincense and lavender essential oils.
- You can also make this face cream (its incredible) created by my mentor, Kate from RealFoodRN. Definitely check it out to give your skin a special treat.
- Reduce the size of warts and skin tags by dripping frankincense essential oils on a q-tip and rubbing it over the wart or skin tag
- Frankincense has anti-aging properties that help tighten skin and reduce blemishes.
** DO NOT put any essential oil into your eyes.
Frankincense has many benefits for your eyes, when used properly.
- Reduce dark circles
Mix ¼ cup of rose water (rich in vitamin c), 6 drops of frankincense oil and 2 drops of roman chamomile oil. Cut a circular cotton round in half, and soak both halves in the rosewater mixture.
Rest each of round half under each eye, while lying down for at least 15 minutes.
- Help Tired Eyes
Create and use essential oil ice packs when your eyes are tired, sore, or irritated. Add 6 drops of frankincense oil into ¼ cup of water. Freeze the mixture until solid. Once frozen, wrap up your ice pack in a thick towel and rest it over your eyes, while you’re lying down with your eyes closed.
- Strengthen Eyelashes
In a clean empty mascara bottle (you can use your own old mascara bottle or buy one here), pour in 2 drops of frankincense oil and 1 drop of lavender oil. Fill the rest of the tube with castor oil. Mix thoroughly and apply this serum on clean eye lashes every night before bed.
Frankicense is fantastic to help reduce stress, calm nerves, or just help you relax and unwind from a long day, making you feel rejuvenated, and removing that extra weight on your shoulders associated with long, stressful days.
- Add a few drops to some epsom salts for a relaxing bath
- Diffuse while relaxing or before going to bed
- Dilute frankincense in your favorite carrier oil, and massage tired muscles
Purify the air
Frankincense is has an appealing, woodsy, balsamic aroma that can help purify the air along with providing a natural, uplifting scent. It helps make your home smell wonderful while giving you peace of mind that you’re not contributing to toxic overload in your home since you won’t need any room air fresheners that could contain toxic ingredients.
Frankincense is great at helping you relax, which helps you fall asleep. It also supports your respiratory system, so you can breathe easier, which helps you sleep longer with higher quality of sleep.
Frankincense also helps you feel better by specifically offering support to your:
- immune system
- nervous system
- cardiovascular system
- digestive system
Frankincense is one of those oils that is easy to use everyday. Its grounding, uplifting, and pleasant aroma has so many uses and can easily be blended with other oils for targeted support, or just simply enjoyment.
Essential Oils That Blend Well With Frankincense Essential Oil
There are many essential oils that blend well with Frankincense. But which essential oils go with Frankincense?
Frankincense essential oil blends well with all essential oils. Quite literally.. I have yet to find an essential oil that doesn’t blend well with Frankincense.
Frankincense is typically referred to as a “bass note” with its rich, deep, balsamic aroma with an incense-like overtone.
DIY Diffuser Essential Oil Blends Featuring Frankincense Essential Oil
- Stress Free Day – 3 drops each lavender and frankincense essential oils
- Hope – 4 drops frankincense, and 3 drops each bergamot and ylang ylang essential oils
- Feeling Happy – 2 drops each frankincense and peppermint essential oils
- Relax – 4 drops each of frankincense, lavender, and cedarwood essential oils
- Focus – 2 drops frankincense, 3 drops peppermint, 2 drops lime essential oils
- Morning Yoga – 4 drops frankincense, 3 drops peppermint, and 2 drops lavender essential oils;
- Calm Morning – 2 drops each orange, vetiver, and frankincense essential oils
- Bright Morning – 2 drops each frankincense, tangerine, lemongrass essential oils
- Wakeup – 2 drops each frankincense, lemon, and peppermint essential oils
- Citrus Grace – 5 drops frankincense, 3 drops rosemary, 2 drops each of grapefruit and orange, and 1 drop of eucalyptus essential oils
- Keep Calm – 3 drops each lavender and orange with 2 drops each cedarwood and frankincense essential oils
- Anger Away – 4 drops lavender with 2 drops each of frankincense, orange, and ylang ylang
- Zen Blend – 2 drops each frankincense, lemon, and bergamot essential oils
- Peaceful Orchard – 2 drops orange, 2 drops frankincense, 1 drop ylang ylang essential oils
- Mountain Mood – 2 drops each basil, rosemary, and lemongrass with 1 drop each of frankincense and cedarwood essential oils
- Emotional Strength – 5 drops lemongrass, 4 drops frankincense, 3 drops orange, and 2 drops peppermint essential oils
- Fresh and Grounded – 4 drops grapefruit, 3 drops frankincense, and 2 drops lemongrass essential oils
- Uplift – 3 drops lemon, 1 drop black spruce, 1 drop frankincense essential oils
- Unwind – 3 drops patchouli, 2 drops orange, and 1 drop frankincense essential oils
- Sweet Dreams – 3 drops each frankincense, tangerine, and lavender essential oils
- Frankly Herbal – 1 drop each basil and geranium with 2 drops frankincense essential oils
- Banish Stale Air – 4 drops each frankincense and cypress with 2 drops ylang ylang essential oils
- Breathe Easy – 3 drops each lavender, eucalyptus, and frankincense essential oils
- Spring Relief – 3 drops each of lavender and lemon with 2 drops each of frankincense and peppermint essential oils
- Rejuvenate – 3 drops bergamot, 2 drops clary sage, and 1 drop of frankincense essential oils
- Walk in the Leaves – 3 drops each frankincense, lime, peppermint, and orange essential oils
- Into the Woods – 1 drop each cedarwood and black spruce, with 2 drops frankincense essential oils
- Happy Harvest – 3 drops each cedarwood and orange with 2 drops frankincense essential oils
- By The Fire – 2 drops each frankincense, cinnamon, and tangerine essential oils
- Sweater Weather – 5 drops orange, 4 drops frankincense, and 1 drop ginger essential oils
Non-DIY Essential Oil Blends Featuring Frankincense Essential Oil You’ll Love
- Abundance – helps you stay in tune with and attract abundance
- Acceptance – stimulates your mind, helping you be open to new opportunities and ideas
- Awaken – Enhance your inner self-awareness that strengthens your desire to reach your potential
- Believe – Acknowledge and release your unlimited potential, restoring feelings of hope
- Brain Power – Stimulates your pineal and pituitary glands to help you deepen your concentration, clarity, and mental energy
- Common Sense – Increases your mental acuity, helping improve and strengthen your thinking skills
- Egyptian Gold – may help stimulate and support your nervous and respiratory functioning
- Exodus II – may help support your body’s natural immune functioning
- Forgiveness – release hurt feelings and negative emotions and memories, and move past emotional barriers to attain a higher awareness, forgive past events, and release resentment.
- Gathering – overcome bombarding chaotic energy, helping you achieve a greater sense of focus and clarity
- Gratitude – elevates and soothes your mind to help you foster a grateful mindset
- Harmony – may help create a harmonic balance of your energy centers, helping reduce stress, and uplift your mind
- ImmuPower – may help support your body’s natural immune functioning
- Into The Future – Helps inspire you to not settle for mediocrity by inspiring determination, creative thinking, and capable feelings
- Longevity – Helps support your body through your natural antioxidant processes, and helping your skin fight premature aging
- Oola Balance – helps you align and balance your center, providing increased concentration and positive outlook
- Oola Grow – encourages you to focus and helps you move forward through positive advancements
- 3 Wise Men – a heavy hitter for helping you overcome emotional strife and uplifts your emotional state
- Transformation – Helps you navigate healing buried negative emotions, empowering you to release them, paving the way to a deeper emotional healing
- Trauma Life – may help you release pent up emotional burdens that affect your sleep, moods, courage, and self inflicted limitations
- Valor – instills courage, confidence, and self-esteem
Frequently Asked Questions about Frankincense Essential Oil
What is the difference between Frankincense and Frankincense vitality essential oils?
Absolutely nothing aside from the label printed. They are 100% the exact same oil the may be used in the exact same ways interchangeably. Young Living adopted the Vitality label in 2015 to remain legal with the FDA and FTC’s marketing requirements that state a supplement cannot be labeled as topical and oral at the same time.
This means legally, you cannot discuss using an essential oil in your cooking, baking, drinks, or any oral supplement form if it is the same bottle you’re discussing using in your diffuser or topically on your skin.
To reduce confusion and stay in the eyes in the law, Young Living separated their labels to compliantly discuss all the benefits essential oils can provide in all use capacities.
Is Frankincense essential oil safe to use while pregnant?
Yes. Generally Frankincense essential oil is considered safe to use while you’re pregnant.
If you’re using oils while pregnant, I highly recommend this reference guide. It contains some great advice for using essential oils while pregnant, plus some DIY Recipes you’ll love too.
Is Frankincense essential oil safe for kids and babies?
Yes. Frankincense is among the most gentle essential oils. We confidently use it all the time with our young kids from the time they were born. Just make sure you dilute it more than normal. I recommend one drop of Frankincense essential oil per 5 ml carrier oil.
While essential oils may be safe for kids to use, please do not have your child use an essential oil internally without being under the direct guidance of a naturopathic doctor.
Can you be allergic to Frankincense essential oil?
There are a few reasons why you would experience an allergy-like reaction to essential oils. Usually, this is caused by not diluting the oil you’re applying (or not diluting it enough). Please refer to our essential oils and allergies article for more in-depth information.
Is Frankincense essential oil safe for dogs and cats?
Frankincense essential oil is considered safe to use with your pets.
If you’re using essential oils around your family pets, be sure to allow them access out of the room and into a room where you’re not diffusing. This way they’re able to escape when they feel they’ve had enough. Please also consider picking up a reference guide specific to using essential oils with animals.
Should you use Frankincense essential oil if you’re taking medication?
This is a very personal question, and really depend on which medications you’re taking. I have an entire article dedicated to known medication contraindications that I highly recommend you check out… in addition to having a lengthy conversation with your local aromatherapist or pharmacist.
How often should you use Frankincense essential oil?
This is also a personal question. This depends on what you’re using it for and how experienced you are using it. For beginners, I recommend only diffusing for 30 minutes at a time, then giving your body an hour break. If you diffuse too much, you could end up light headed. Personally, I have a diffuser running most of the day intermittently (using the intermittent setting on our diffuser). Or I’ll wear a piece of diffusing jewelry with 3 drops of oil on it throughout the day (those 3 drops usually last a few days). Check out our article about diffusing essential oils safely for more info.
Don’t see an answer to the question you have about Frankincense essential oil?
Have a question you don’t see? You’re welcome to ask in the comments or fill out this form to ask anonymously.
Where to find QUALITY Frankincense Essential Oil
After spending several years comparing essential oil brands to see which would work best for our family, we settled on purchasing our oils through Young Living because they felt the best to use.
I love how they set a higher industry standard for farming and distilling essential oils than what the rest of the industry practices. Their Seed to Seal guarantee is unmatched, and shows their dedication to a farm-to-table type of approach. They do not use any synthetic or harmful chemicals in any process, including the farming, and own many of their own farms. The farms they don’t own, they have representatives closely supervise to ensure the proper farming practices are always used. Each batch is tested through each phase of farming, distilling, and bottling, and any batch not meeting their high standards is used as pest control or mixed with compost. They distill at low temperatures for longer time periods, unlike anyone else in the industry, to ensure more constituents are unlocked.
When going through the healing phase of my chronic health journey, Young Living oils worked the best on my body while needing to use less than the several competing brands I tried. Frankincense was a hug part of that, and I’m truly grateful for it.
If you’re not yet a member with Young Living, please consider investing in yourself. You won’t regret it. Frankincense is one of the 12 oils provided in their Premium Starter Kit, which contains each of the most popular oils you’ll need for maximizing you journey getting started with quality essential oils.
How much does Frankincense Essential Oil Cost?
Frankincense is not the most expensive essential oil on the market, but it isn’t cheap. Typically, you’re looking at spending $75+ per 15ml, depending on where you find it. We spend about $75 for a 15ml.
Why does it cost so much?
Frankincense essential oil comes from a tree in the Middle East. There are very few places allowed to farm it, and harvesting the resin used to make Frankincense Essential Oil is an intricate skill few people have. There are a very limited number of trees that need to be treated a certain way in order to produce the resin.
To collect the resin, the farmer must cut the tree in a specific manner that can only be done a limited number of times per branch within a set amount of time. This is not something that can be automated… the entire process must be done by hand, which costs money.
In fact, Frankincense historically has always been worth more than gold.
The better question is… why are some frankincense essential oils so cheap?
The answer to that… many companies dilute (often down to 5% essential oil) or completely synthesize the entire product. I highly recommend you take a look at my article about how to find quality essential oils where I write in detail about common shady practices and explain the nonexistent regulations for essential oils. Also be sure to check out our article outlining all the dirty little secrets happening in the essential oil industry that no one is talking about.
Can you find Frankincense Essential Oil for cheaper?
Yes, but it may not actually be Frankincense. It could be completely synthetic (causing more damage to your body)… it could be a completely different oil that may or may not be chemically altered… or it could be diluted with a variety of solvents (that may or may not be safe for your body) so you’re really only getting a small percentage of Frankincense essential oil.
There are four other ways to acquire Frankincense without breaking your bank if this oil is outside of your price range. Young Living sells the Frankincense Vitality (which is frankincense in a bottle labeled for consumption) in a 5ml bottle for only $31. Or Young Living has a few additional options where you can get it for free:
- Essential Rewards: allows you to purchase $50+ each month in oils and oil-infused products to earn points that you can cash in to use as product credit, allowing you to purchase Frankincense at no cost to you.
- Qualifying Purchase: some months (especially in November or December), when you make a qualifying purchase, Young Living may send a free 15ml bottle to you with your order. Check our Current Promotions page for more info about which orders qualify for which freebies.
- Join us as an affiliate business builder. When you take advantage of Young Living’s wholesale membership and spend $50+ each month, you become eligible for Young Living’s business opportunity that allows you to earn a supplemental income that you can use to help you afford purchasing the oils you need and want in your life.
Is there a good substitute for Frankincense Essential Oil?
Yes, Frankincense is often too expensive for many people. Is it a fantastic oil? Yes. And I truly do believe it has value in every home. However, having gone through a season of homelessness and unemployment, I totally understand the need for a more cost-effective frankincense essential oil substitute.
- Helichrysum – has similar benefits
- Elemi – considered the “poor man’s frankincense” containing a very similar structure
- Black Spruce – considered the “Frankincense of North America,” containing very similar constituents and benefits.
How do YOU use Frankincense Essential Oil?
I would love to hear about it in the comments below!
Looking for more information about how essential oils can help you live your highest quality of life? Be sure to sign up for my FREE online introduction to essential oils class, to learn the basics.
Other posts you may enjoy:
- How To Find Quality Essential Oils
- Using Essential Oils Safely
- More articles including Frankincense Essential Oil
- Diffusing Essential Oils Safely
- Can Diffusing Make You Feel Light-Headed?
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