Frankincense: History's Remedy

Frankincense: History's Remedy

November 01, 2017

“Of all the exotic aromas and experiences from my sojourn in Ethiopia, it’s the frankincense I miss most.” - Cathleen Falsani [1]. Through the ages, humans have traveled, traded, and discovered groundbreaking truths that have catapulted our entire race forward in time. Examples of such would be fire, the wheel, the telegraph...and Frankincense. “Why?” you ask. Let’s find out.

Nearly 5000 years ago, when the empires of Egypt and dynasties of China were the rulers of their prospective corners of the Earth, the luxuries of modern medicine were still stranded thousands of years in the future. Yet, humans still survived and thrived in ways not much different than we do now. Humans then were experiencing illnesses, as well as pain, that they needed a remedy for. So, with the resources they had available, those ancient peoples turned to natural remedies. One of which, was Frankincense, because it was believed to not only fight pain, but to also fight infection.

Frankincense was one of the more difficult remedies to harvest, due to both the methodology and the dangers associated with it. Many of the trees that held the resin to be harvested were also the home of venomous snakes and reptiles, so the challenges in harvesting extended far beyond simply finding the correct tree to tap. In order to properly harvest the resin that will become Frankincense, one must slice the bark of the Boswelia tree and let the resin, or sap, seep from the slash in the bark. [2] Once dry, the gummy sap hardens and becomes sticky, almost chewy, like bubblegum. [3] This chewy and sticky byproduct is what the world knows as Frankincense, and is the same substance that was once brought to a manger and presented to a baby born in Bethlehem. But, why? Why was Frankincense brought to the manger?

Historians have pondered this question for thousands of years. Sure, the value of Frankincense at the time exceeded the value of Gold and many other precious metals. Indeed, the Kings and leaders of the vast dynasties sought Frankincense for their homeland. Even the Romans, specifically the Roman Catholic Church, condemned Frankincense for many years because of its connection to Pagan rituals, only to change their mind and make it into one of the very few selected pieces of incense used in worship ceremonies. [4] Why did they change their mind? What made Frankincense such a valuable commodity? The answer, historians believe, is much simpler than you would think: it works.

During ancient times, natural remedies were abundant, but working natural remedies were few and far between. Curing ailments was far more difficult in that time, so to find something that was believed to be powerful enough to fight disease and cure ailments, all while being renowned as a perfume for royalty was not only a blessing, it truly was a worthy gift for what they believed was a newborn Messiah.

Frankincense was, and is still, believed to be very powerful in combating illness and alleviating pain, but what else is it good for? Like many remedies discovered by ancient clerics and apothecaries, Frankincense was (and, again, is) employed to fight a variety of symptoms. In today’s world, Frankincense is used specifically as an antiseptic, disinfectant, astringent, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, sedative, tonic, uterine, and vulnerary. [5] Let’s run through what that means, shall we?

The antiseptic qualities of Frankincense are showcased in its common use as an application for cleaning wounds, and also its use in improving oral health. The gummy resin, historically, was chewed to clean the mouth, while new-age and natural oral health products simply include Frankincense in the recipe. The astringency of Frankincense, tightening and toning skin, gums, muscles, and blood vessels, is attained through both inhalation and topical application, while its tonic qualities are taken advantage of through ingestion and inhalation. One of the more incredible qualities, it’s capabilities as an expectorant, is also attained through inhalation. Inhaling the smoke of Frankincense, or the vapors of the essential oil, can clear phlegm that’s been deposited in the air passageways in the lungs, as well as relax such passages reducing the likelihood of asthma attacks and inflammation. Finally, on an emotional level, Frankincense has been known to be a powerful sedative and antidepressant in that it induces a feeling of calmness and peace to help reduce symptoms of sadness and anxiety. [5]

Because of its believed medicinal properties, as well as its fresh, woody, and spicy aroma, Frankincense is one of the most popularly used essential oils on the planet. People from all areas of the globe employ Frankincense as their incense of choice, including many of our customers here at Corked. Which is why we’ve chosen to take Frankincense a step further, and include it in our Mix Of The Month blend for November! This month’s blend combines Frankincense, Lemongrass, Bitter Orange, and Lime Peel. Which, when combined, have the potential to not only sharpen reasoning and brighten the psyche, but to also calm the mind and provide some antiseptic qualities on the back-end. We chose to name this month’s blend “Serendipity” because, well, that’s what we hope it brings!

Like the people of old, we choose to look to natural remedies for our struggles, both physically and mentally. Essential oils have the potential to make such a positive impact on your life, and that is no exception with our “Serendipity” blend for this month. You can pick up this month’s Mix Of The Month by following this link and adding it to your cart! A couple easy steps and you’ll be ready to bring a brand-new blend around with you. Who knows, you might experience a serendipitous moment of joy or two while you’re at it.







[5] .

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.