By Katrina Scampini, Certified Aromatherapist
If you love Frankincense Essential Oil, then this month’s selection likely left you feeling pretty darn happy! And you know what? Even if Frankincense isn’t your favorite, or maybe you’ve never even given it a try before, then we hope this month gave us the opportunity to showcase just how versatile and valuable it can be in your life.
So Who’s Frank?
Fantastic Franks is a blend of four species of Frankincense: Frankincense Carteri, Frankincense Frereana, Frankincense Papyrifera, and Frankincense Sacra. Each species offers its own aromatic qualities and therapeutic properties, beautifully blended together for you to enjoy. The profound psychological and physical benefits of Frankincense has long been recognized by religious, spiritual, and cultural traditions throughout the world .
So let’s take a deep breath (hopefully from your Fantastic Franks bottle!) and dive into all the best parts of this wonderful new blend.
All people, regardless of how they feel about essential oils, can pay homage to the indisputably rich historical relevance of Frankincense. In the religious and domestic lives of the Ancient Egyptians, Babylonians, Persians, Hebrews, Greeks, and Romans, it can be argued that Frankincense is possibly the most important aromatic incense ingredient since time immemorial . It would be burned during religious ceremonies, employed as a fumigant, cosmetic, personal fragrance, and insect repellent. Frankincense was additionally a critical component for burial rituals and for embalming material, as both an offering to the departed and to mask the odor of decay .
Today, we have both textual and archaeological evidence that suggest Frankincense was also used as a medicinal substance in antiquity .
Frankincense is collected from multiple Boswellia species, which means there are several varieties available.
The shrubby Boswellia trees are native to the Middle East and North Africa, and can now also be found in Southern Arabia and parts of China . When Boswellia trees are carefully cut, a gummy, resinous sap slowly pours out then hardens into an orange-brown gum, which is steam distilled for its essential oil. The essential oil retains all the woody, pungent, sweet notes of the resin from which it is extracted , though each species has its own unique character.
Simply put, just like brothers and sisters may come from the same lineage and have some very similar traits, they are still unquestionably different from one another.
Carteri, Frereana, and Sacra are all alpha-pinene chemotypes. Frereana typically yields the lowest levels of alpha-pinene and comes from Somalia and Somaliland. As for Carteri and Sacra, there is some debate surrounding the confusion with whether or not Carteri and Sacra are different names for the same oil. Sacra contains the overall highest levels of alpha-pinene and comes from Oman, while Carteri is not quite as high in alpha-pinene and comes from Somalia and Somaliland. And what about Frankincense Papyrifera? It’s an octyl acetate chemotype and comes from Ethiopia.
If that didn’t make a ton of sense — don’t worry. Just know that all of their similarities and differences come together in Fantastic Franks for you to enjoy.
If you love essential oils that can multitask, Fantastic Franks is a perfect addition to your home. Ancient practices aside, there are many ways to use this blend. First, it is one of the most important essential oils for skin care and provides remarkable rejuvenating and healing properties . Great for anything from blemishes to minor skin wounds to aging concerns, just dilute it in a carrier oil and apply it to your face (1-2% dilution) or other areas of your body (3-5% dilution). As a gentle “balancer” for oily skin, Frankincense is thought to help regenerate aging skin, keep wrinkles at bay, and may even smooth out the appearance of some existing ones .
For other topical uses, use Fantastic Franks to help soothe sore joints and muscles. Because of Frankincense’s ability to calm the nerves, it can be useful when dealing with pain and discomfort . It also supports immune health, making it great for topical application throughout the whole year!
Curious about Fantastic Franks for aromatic use?
It’s important to remember that Frankincense has always been prized as an incense material. If hundreds of thousands of years of recorded Frankincense use isn’t reason enough to make you want to rush right over to your diffuser and drop some in, then let’s go over a few reasons why you just may want to indulge.
Today, we appreciate all species of Frankincense for their relaxing properties. One of its most important actions revolves around its influence on the nervous system, where its ability to both relax and revitalize make it excellent for supporting nervous tension and exhaustion. This makes it practical to use every day if you wish! You can call upon it for feelings of agitation, worry, and a busy brain that is overwhelmed by a disconcerting clamor of thoughts .
Diffusing Fantastic Franks before or during meditation practices, or just whenever you want some personal time for reflection, can help bring about a feeling of overall well-being and peace. Frankincense may help allow you to look inward enough to cherish the past but still live, rooted and confident, in the present . It is thought to clear your awareness in order to deepen your spiritual understanding .
Additionally, Frankincense is valuable for respiratory issues and is thought to help loosen mucus from the lungs . It can also help to deepen the breath and relieve feelings of tightness in the chest [1,4].
Just like any single bottle of Frankincense, Fantastic Franks is a joy to blend with other essential oils. With the warm, spicy, fresh, and clean aroma, it pairs well with essential oils that smell fruity, floral, woody, earthy, spicy, and green. This leaves lots of room for experimenting and playing around with different blends to find something you truly love!
Try Fantastic Franks for a relaxing and rejuvenating bath time! Just mix 13 drops to a tablespoon of unscented body wash and add it to the running bath water. Bath blends are a great opportunity to try your hand at mixing, just try to keep the total amount of drops to 13 in order to keep a safe 3% dilution.
Here are a few recipe ideas to get your blending started!
Frankly Sane Bath Blend
What you’ll need:
- 1 Tbsp. Castile Soap
- 1 Tbsp. Jojoba Carrier Oil
- 10 drops Fantastic Franks
- 5 drops Bergamot
- 4 drops Mandarin
What you’ll do:
Blend all ingredients together and pour into warm, running bath water.
Immune Boosting Diffuser Blend
What you’ll need:
What you’ll do:
Add to your diffuser to enjoy this blend’s immune-boosting properties!
Frank’s Fresh and Fabulous Face Serum
What you’ll need:
What you’ll do:
To use, mix ingredients together and apply to a clean face. Use only as much as needed to feel moisturized and store the rest in a small airtight container.
Some things you need to know about Fantastic Franks…
Is it KidSafe? No
Cautions: Do not use undiluted on the skin. Keep out of reach of children. If pregnant or under a doctor’s care, consult your physician.
Shelf Life: 2-3 years
1. Mojay, G. (2005). Aromatherapy for healing the spirit: A guide to restoring emotional and mental balance through essential oils. London: Gaia. Pgs. 74-75.
2. The Story of Frankincense. Middle East Institute. Retrieved from https://www.mei.edu/sqcc/frankincense
3. Cohen, J. (2011). A Wise Man’s Cure: Frankincense and Myrrh. Retrieved from https://www.history.com/news/a-wise-mans-cure-frankincense-and-myrrh
4. Harding, J. (2008). The essential oils handbook: all the oils you will ever need for health, vitality and well-being. London: Watkins Media Ltd. Pgs. 126-127.
5. Purchon, N., & Cantele, L. (2014). The Complete Aromatherapy and Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness Paperback. Pgs. 58-59
6. Worwood, V. (2016). The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, 25th Anniversary Edition (Novato, CA: New World Library. Pg. 589.