4 Ways to Use Elemi Essential Oil - Everyday Essentials

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Elemi Essential Oil from Plant Therapy

4 Ways to Use Elemi Essential Oil

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 [1].

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 [2]!

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!

Use Elemi Essential Oil to help increase focus during meditation practices

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.

Use Elemi Essential Oil to keep your skin healthy

In general, resin-based oils are great for reducing the appearance of scars and supporting healthy tissue regrowth [3]. Elemi’s skincare uses include supporting aged and dry complexions, balancing sebum (the natural oil your body produces), and reducing the appearance of wrinkles [4]. 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 [2]. 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.

Use Elemi Essential Oil to help boost your immune system

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 [2]. 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.

Use Elemi Essential Oil to help with inflammation and tired muscles

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 [1]. 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.

Pick Me Up Diffuser Recipe

After Shower Face Oil

Delicious Diffuser Recipe

Yummy Diffuser Recipe

Skin Fixer Roller

Meditation Inhaler

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!


[1]. 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.

[3] Elemi Essential Oil Spotlight. Retrieved from http://info.aromahead.com/elemi-essential-oil

[4]. 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


69 thoughts on “4 Ways to Use Elemi Essential Oil”

  • I included this with my very first order from Plant Therapy, thanks to it being a spotlight oil and this blog article. So glad I did! Very informative-Thank you!

  • LOVE these articles! I have so many different oils & it’s time to stop buying & start trying them. I’m looking forward to trying elemi! Thanks PT!

  • I got so sick putting a drop of Elemi on my diffuser necklace. I got severely nauseated. So while I am not going to open that bottle for a while…it’s good to know maybe I can use it for something else that helps to cover it up.

  • I ordered this on a whim unsure what to do with it but finding out it good for aches and pains made this oil a jackpot!! Tried it out on my sore back and im verry happy with the outcome!! Now to convince my husband to try!! Lol

  • I just received my first bottle of Elemi. I, too, had never heard of it before. I am excited to have another essential oil that I can use in anti-aging blends. I love that Plant Therapy suggests other essential oils that blend well with their Spotlight of the Week oils. Looking forward to trying some of the suggestions for diffusing. And I am really looking forward to diffusing it alone for my yoga session!

  • I have a bottle that I wasn’t crazy about the smell so it was just sitting around. But these benefits can’t be beat, so I’m going to whip up something and put this oil to good use. Thanks for the great info!

  • I had never heard of Elemi before, but after reading about it and watching the video where it was discussed…. It truly sounds like an all around “jack of all trades” oil. Seems very versatile and I cant wait to add it to my collection.

  • Elemi was one of oils on my rotation for chronic pain while still healing from traumatic injury a few years ago. It was one of the recommendations from PT when Inasked for help. It works well for my pains that comes with swelling or the sharp pains from sensitivity to cold weather & surfaces. It took me while to get used to the scent (not as strong as Tea Tree or Kunzea) – somewhat similar to the Frank but more herbal. I no longer deal with those pains but I am happy to see this amazing eo on spotlight.

  • Totally new oil to me too and you have talked me into it! But question…isn’t the stem you have in the picture with the bottle eucalyptus? Also, I see another person asked—how DO you say it? Hoping for an answer!

    1. How to pronounce “elemi” is often up for debate! We even have disagreements in the office. I say it L-M-E, but others may say it as L-M-I, or el-EM-me (emphasis on the “em”). Also, yes, that is not an Elemi stem, just nice greenery for the photo 🙂 We hope it hasn’t caused too much confusion!

  • This is on my wish list! The idea of sweet and tangy with musky undertones sounds delightful. Wish there was a way to sample scents before buying. Even though I think it seems like it would smell nice, I’m worried. I love the scent of frankincense but not myhrr

  • So many benefits! I am making some “potions” today and I plan on making a serum with aloe…and a foaming face wash with my new Elemi…can not wait to use it…

  • I really love that PT has a spotlight oil of the week. I know for myself it has helped me learn about some oils I’ve never even heard of and how to incorporate them into my life. Thanks again PT!

  • I have never heard of Elemi before this post! Excited to try it. We have all been sick around here and this can help, yes please!

  • Just made some face serum with this using meadowfoam as the carrier…I really like this oil…I can definitely smell the citrus and turpentine(ish) tones in this oil…I smelled and smelled it trying to figure out a certain thing and I had read in the comments that somene mentioned turpentine and that was right…it doesn’t have a full turpentine smell but just hints of it…I think it smells really good…haven’t diffused it yet…

  • I use Elemi in my facial lotion blend. And, as we currently have “Man Cold” in the house, I’m going to put a few drops in the diffuser!

  • Think I may need to order this and add it into the pain blend that I make for my mother.
    Thank you for all you do to educate us about oils.

  • Elemi is really a great oil in facial serums. Recently I’m using it with sea fennel – great results. And yes, it is so relaxing when diffused.

  • I have learned so much from Plant Therapy! These oil Spotlights are just one of many helpful ways to make informed oil choices. I had been wondering about Elemi (first of all how to pronounce it – is it EL-em-ee?). Now it’s one I’m definitely interested in. I also love the downloadable fact sheets and have started a collection for each oil I’ve ordered. Thank you Plant Therapy for so many great resources!

  • This was my first time to hear about Elemi. Thank you for all the good information concerning its uses and benefits. I will be adding Elemi to my next order.

  • I love Elemi. I almost prefer it to frankincense. I find the scent is similar but more complex than Frankincense Serrata.

  • Thank you for sharing this! I love elemi. But I often overlook it or forget about it. I appreciate being reminded of all its benefits!

  • Elemi looks amazing! I ordered it the night before it became the spotlight oil!! Sounds like this is a good one to have, and its scent is pleasant!!

  • I have Elemi and don’t really like the smell so I was wondering what I can do to somehow enjoy this EO. Thx PT for this great info! I will definitely be giving these tips a try…who knows maybe I’ll change my mind about Elemi!

  • I also was not familiar with this oil before seeing it on the PT webpage. Thank you for providing such wonderful information about it.

  • I have had Elemi for a while now. I knew it was good for skin. I appreciate other ways to use this oil.

  • Awesome! I had this on my wishlist and couldn’t remember why haha. Thanks for the reminder! Can’t wait to try it in a facial serum.

  • Received Elemi yesterday. So excited to start using it. This blog post is going to very helpful. Thank you for such great information!

  • Thanks again plant therapy for the information! I love all the oils that are good for the skin!

  • As a person that is just getting into EO’s, this is very helpful. This post sounds great and it is a must try for me. Keep these informative post coming! Thank you!

  • It would be nice if when you purchased an oil a information sheet woukd be included then we could dtart a journel, i have bought many oiks and wondered what they were for thanks

  • Thank you for this! I was on the fence about ordering it but after reading this, I am going to! I appreciate all the great information!

  • You now have my attention on Elemi essential oil, Plant Therapy. I look forward to giving it a try!

  • Sounds interesting. However the picture you showed of the plant looks like eucalyptus. Elemis Plant looks quite different.

  • Thank you for spot lighting this oil, as I heard great for skin, but did not know about the other facts on this EO!

  • I really appreciate this article. I have Elemi and have been using it in our night time diffuser blend. Although it isn’t listed as helping with sleep; it is working and after reading this blog I believe it might be a result of the meditation properties and calming the mind. I often have the problem with turning off my thoughts at night. I hope I have enough left to add to a facial serum and will keep it stocked for it’s other wonderful properties. I haven’t quite loved the scent; however, added to Otis at night it smells nice.

  • I didn’t know any of this information since I had never heard of this oil. It’s definitely on my list to add to oils for anti-aging.

  • I had never heard of this EO either. It’s on my list now to add to my growing collection of oils for anti-aging!

  • I have enjoyed adding this oil to my face lotion. It has a pleasant scent, and I look forward to seeing if my skin reaps the benefits!

  • I have no experience with this EO but this has been so interesting! Elemi is definitely on my wishlist now!

  • Oooh! Elemi sounds divine! I can’t wait to try it. I love all of the helpful and easily accessible info on this blog!

  • This sounds like such a great oil! I had never heard of it before reading about it at Plant Therapy. Definitely want to give it a try! Thank you!

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