Essential Oils: Frankincense & Myrrh
Updated: Jan 9
Traditionally we all think of one of the gifts of the Wise men when we think of Myrrh. Myrrh oil is a resin from a tree found in Africa and the Middle East. In order to harvest Myrrh the tree trunks must be cut into to release the resin. The resin is allowed to dry and begins to look like tears all along the tree trunk. The sap is then collected and through steam distillation...the oil is created.
Myrrh is a strong anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant historically known mostly for treating cuts and wounds. It also has a strength in reducing inflammation specifically in the lungs, so when inhaled from a diffuser it will reduce congestion and phlegm. When diluted and used as a rinse, it will help gingivitis, mouth ulcers, and reduce gum disease. You will see it listed as an ingredient in many natural toothpastes and mouthwashes. The smell of Myrrh can be very strong. You will find it has an earthy, smoky smell, and will have a bitter taste. The name comes from the Arabic word murr.. meaning bitter.
This oil is generally underused considering the amazing healing benefits it provides, however...The Wise Men knew.
-Mandy Barnings, D.C.
I found the need to write about frankincense after presenting the benefits myrrh. They have some strong similarities, but also distinct differences. Frankincense is also harvested from scraggy hardy trees by slashing the bark and trunk which produces the resin in droplets which is termed tears. 80% of the trees are found in Somalia. The Boswellia tree is known for its unusual ability to grow in the most unforgiving of environments, sometimes they have been known to grow out of solid rock. As Myrrh heals cuts and wounds, Frankincense reduces scarring after the wound has healed. It is also wonderful for oral health.
Frankincense oil has numerous therapeutic benefits and uses, which make it a valuable investment for overall health and well-being. Although it is used quite regularly in perfumes, incense and cosmetics, the health benefits come from using 100% pure essential oil.
SKIN CARE: Frankincense maintains radiant skin and helps lift and tighten skin naturally, preventing wrinkles and other visible signs of aging. It can heal the skin and reduce the appearance of large pores. It is a powerful astringent which helps protect skin cells and reduce acne blemishes. *Mix 6 drops of oil to one ounce of unscented oil or lotion and apply directly to skin.
STRESS & ANXIETY RELIEF: When added to a hot bath or diffused in an oil diffuser, frankincense helps relieve chronic stress and anxiety. “It is believed that the oil transmits messages to the limbic system of the brain, which is known to influence the nervous system” (www.draxe.com/what-is-frankincense). It has a calming, grounding fragrance and helps open breathing passages, and is therefore effective as a natural sleep aid.
PAIN & INFLAMMATION: Frankincense helps reduce pain and inflammation when applied to the affected area or diffused in the home. *Add a drop to steaming water and soak a towel in it, then place the towel on your body or over your face and inhale it to decrease muscle aches. *Combine several drops with a carrier oil to massage into muscles, joints, feet, or neck.
DIGESTION: Relieves symptoms of indigestion; helps digestive system detox and produce bowel movements; speeds up secretion of digestive enzymes; helps improve circulation, and reduces symptoms of leaky gut syndrome, chronic colitis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and IBS. *Add 1 or 2 drops of pure oil to 8 oz. of water or a tablespoon of honey for GI relief.
COLD & FLU: It can eliminate phlegm in the lungs and acts as an anti-inflammatory in the nasal passages. Helps boost immune system function and prevents illness. *Add a few drops to a cloth and inhale or use in a diffuser.
DENTAL HYGIENE: Frankincense promotes oral health by helping prevent tooth decay, bad breath, cavities, and oral infections. *Add a drop to toothpaste or make your own toothpaste with frankincense oil and baking soda.
CANCER: Research indicates that frankincense may help fight cancer or deal with chemotherapy side effects. It has been shown to help fight cells of specific types of cancer, and may be a potential natural cancer treatment (www.draxe.com ).
Frankincense balances hormone levels and regulates estrogen production, thereby helping regulate menstruation and decreasing the effects of PMS. It also reduces the symptoms of menopause and can healthfully delay the advent of menopause. It may even reduce the risk of tumor and cyst development in premenopausal women.
In addition to the many therapeutic and healing benefits of this ancient oil, it is also believed to provide spiritual benefits. You will find this oil used in certain faiths to anoint newborn babies and in ceremonies used for people entering into new phases of their spiritual life.
As with Myrrh, the Wise Men knew.
By Mandy Barnings, D.C., & Elisa Juarez