By Katrina Scampini, Certified Aromatherapist
When Frankincense and Myrrh are your very famous relatives, it can be easy to get overlooked—just ask Elemi. This oil may not be at the forefront of every EO lover’s list of go-to oils, but maybe that’s just because we don’t give it enough time to shine! Let’s change that. It’s time to get to know this resinous gem and some practical ways you can include it in your life.
Much like how Frankincense oil is extracted, the trunk of the Canarium luzonicum tree is carefully cut in long horizontal lines to release a white gum resin, which is then steam distilled to create our beloved Elemi Essential Oil. Not only does this tree create a fragrant essential oil, but its seeds, nuts, and fruit pulp are all edible and the bark is used in baths to help provide postpartum relief .
Traditionally, it has been used as an incense and an embalming ingredient, not to mention it was added artists’ lacquers and varnish to help increase their artwork’s durability. It was first introduced into European medicine in the sixteenth century and was said to heal wounds and even broken bones !
Since then, we’ve learned more about Elemi and how it can play a part in encouraging happy, healthy lives. No, it won’t mend a snapped fibula, but it still has plenty of practical everyday uses you are going to love.
Elemi makes a great meditation buddy!
First, let’s talk about the emotional benefits of Elemi. Its lovely tangy-sweet scent with peppery and citrusy notes gives this essential oil a unique and complex aroma profile. Elemi’s calming and soothing properties are wonderful to help quiet an overactive mind and help you to feel centered and focused.
To enjoy the grounding and balancing effects of Elemi, diffuse during meditation practices or use in an aromatherapy inhaler to help with mood as needed. It can help clear a cluttered mind, making it easier to focus on whatever you need to get done.
Refresh and rejuvenate your skin.
In general, resin-based oils are great for reducing the appearance of scars and supporting healthy tissue regrowth . Elemi’s skincare uses include supporting aged and dry complexions, balancing sebum (the natural oil your body produces), and reducing the appearance of wrinkles . This makes it a great choice to help rejuvenate dull or mature skin. It is also known to promote the skin healing process when superficial wounds occur . Minor cuts, bruises, and scrapes can all benefit from the healing support of Elemi.
To restore healthy, younger-looking skin, dilute Elemi to 1% in your favorite carrier oil and apply to your face. If you’re looking for a powerful anti-aging blend, try 2 drops each of Elemi, Lavender, and Neroli to 4 teaspoons of skin-supporting carriers, like Rosehip, Meadowfoam, or our Younger Glo Carrier Oil Blend.
Elemi not only helps you look good, but it helps you feel good, too.
Elemi is rich in monoterpenes and is especially high in limonene. Limonene, often found in citrus essential oils, is known to boost the immune system by activating white blood cells . It also provides support to the respiratory system by encouraging healthy lung function. So when cold and flu symptoms have you feeling unwell with congestion and no-so-easy breathing, Elemi can provide some relief. It can help to loosen up that unpleasant phlegm and ease spastic coughing.
Diffuse this one at home to help clear up congestion and freshen up the air. This would be a great one to add to your personal aromatherapy inhaler for days when you need to be out and about but aren’t feeling at your best.
Elemi helps reduce pain and inflammation.
This is an ideal choice to help soothe swollen and uncomfortable joints or sore and overworked muscles. Elemi does this by helping to reduce inflammation . Dilute up to 3% in your favorite carrier oil or lotion and massage onto the areas that are bothering you. This works great after a good workout, plus has the added benefit of its peppery-sweet grounding aroma! Additionally, if you’ve been hunched over a desk most of your day, Elemi in a carrier oil would be perfect for an evening shoulder rub.
Check out some more information about Elemi:
Don’t forget to head on over to our Facebook group Safe Essential Oil Recipes. Get inspired with tons of great information, recipes, and friendly oil enthusiasts!
. Gray, A. Canarium luzonicum. Retrieved from https://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Canarium+luzonicum
[2.] Worwood, V. (2016). The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, 25th Anniversary Edition. Novato, CA: New World Library. Pg. 585.
 Elemi Essential Oil Spotlight. Retrieved from http://info.aromahead.com/elemi-essential-oil
. Orchard, A., & van Vuuren, S. (2017). Commercial Essential Oils as Potential Antimicrobials to Treat Skin Diseases. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine : eCAM, 2017, 4517971. http://doi.org/10.1155/2017/4517971