I have seen many posts and comments on Facebook about purchasing Frankincense essential oils, so what is all this hype?
First let me tell you, most aromatherapists have no clue which species is which because we never really learn this in our certification courses. We skim the resin and learn more about the therapeutic properties of the essential oil.
It is so important to learn where the essential oil comes from. There are 43 species in the Boswellia family, about 18 of them are in the Frankincense species. Each Tree contains resin that is used for so many different therapeutic properties.
In the aromatherapy industry the “known” one that we learn something about is mainly Boswellia carteri (btw thee name used in Somaliland is carteri not carterri nor carterii), Boswellia is the Latin name, Frankincense is the common name. To type it Boswellia carteri is spelled “Boswellia” italicized and first letter is capitalized. “carteri” is lower case c and also italicized.
We learn that it balances the mind and can be used for certain inflammations. But in Somalia and Somaliland where it grows it is mostly used for skin conditions and to ward off sand flies and mosquitoes. It is also used to burn to get rid of icky smells from cooking fish. This part we do not learn. The same use is for the essential oil. The essential oil is the part that when the resin is distilled, the oil inside the resin comes out and is separated from the water which is then called the hydrosol.
While we are on Boswellia carteri, there are actually 3 grades of this resin. One with the bark but very small pieces 3rd grade) , One with the bark but bigger pieces (2nd grade) and one totally without the bark (1st grade).
People ask how come some companies sell this essential oil for so much money? A 10 ml bottle of the essential oil can go for $10 (this would probably be 3rd grade) , $25 (2nd grade) as high as $50 (first grade) or even higher if it is double distilled. Double distilled is taking the 1st distillation of the resin and putting it back into the still, adding more resin and doing another distillation. This is a long tedious process and you can wind up with a much stronger essential oil so of course the price tag is higher. I have seen a 10 ml bottle of Boswellia carteri double distilled go as high as $100. Many of the companies that sell this oil in will purchase it from a distiller who distills 2nd grade because unless you know about this resin, the consumer will have no idea which grade it is and the company can keep the price down lower. Let’s face it 1st grade Boswellia carteri resin is more expensive than 2nd grade especially if you are purchasing liters of it to sell.
Now a lot of companies are doing something which I feel is rather dumb. They are combining 4-5 Boswellia essential oil species together and calling it the “Miracle Frankincense” Umm NOT.
Some are mixing essential oils that have nothing to do with each other. We also do not know how many drops of each are going into the bottle.
One company is mixing Boswellia carteri, Boswellia sacra, Boswellia papyrifera and Boswellia frereana.
OK so Boswellia carteri is really for skin conditions as I mentioned earlier, Boswellia papyrifera is for meditation and can be used for anxiety issues. Boswellia frereana is for pain issues. And Boswellia sacra, umm which one? There are 4 grades of B.sacra but it can be used for pain issues. This is like mixing apples and oranges. If you are going to blend together at least blend the ones that complement each other. The other problem is we have no idea how many drops of each are in the 10 ml bottle so we have no idea if we are even getting the real deal of usage.
To really learn about these trees and the resins they produce I suggest you purchase my book, Frankincense Resins The Journey and Beyond. I take you through each resin and what it is used for. This way you have a way better understanding if you want to purchase the resins or the essential oils.
This is a very interesting Resin. It is a water-soluble gum derived from the hardened sap of the acacia tree species. It grows mostly in Sudan and throughout the Sahel, from Senegal to Somalia and Somaliland .
Gum Arabic is a complex mixture of glycoproteins and polysaccharides predominantly consisting of arabinose and galactose. It is soluble in water, edible, and used primarily in the food industry and soft-drink industry as a stabilizer. It is also used as a binder for paint production and cosmetics.
When I wanted to purchase this I wanted to find out traditionally what it’s used for in Somaliland. I spoke to some of the farmers that harvest it. They told me it is excellent for digestion and also lowers blood sugar and cholesterol levels and that’s what they used it for.
Of course, I had to research this further and I found some interesting facts and I put some of the websites here that I researched it in.
There have been several studies it shows that it does lower blood sugar and can also lower cholesterol levels and helps with those with IBS.
Here are some interesting links to studies about this resin:
Metabolic effect of Gum Arabic (Acacia Senegal) in patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM): Randomized, placebo controlled double blind trial
Effect of Gum Arabic (Acacia Senegal) supplementation on visceral adiposity index (VAI) and blood pressure in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus as indicators of cardiovascular disease (CVD): a randomized and placebo-controlled clinical trial
The Health Benefits of Acacia Fiber or Gum Arabic
Effect of composite yogurt enriched with acacia fiber and Bifidobacterium lactis
I asked the farmers how do use it and they melt it in warm water and once it dissolves, put it in the refrigerator or a cool place and take a teaspoon of it in juice or milk daily. And they claim it really works.
It does work because I experimented with it and my AIC has gone down a lot. I am pre-diabetic and have been maintaining it with diet and exercise, but since I am getting older it is creeping up on me. So I decided to test it out. I am finding my AIC numbers are going down. They went from 6.9 to 6.6 in 3 months of using this resin. Right now it is holding at 5.9. This is the lowest it has ever been and I have been since I was diagnosed 20 years ago.
It has not helped my cholesterol levels but I am told those who are using it has helped a bit. It also helps with gas in one's stomach because it is a binder, and those who have IBS. Since using this resin my bowl movements have been much better. I have IBS myself and I am finding it is helping with this too.
How to use it:
How does one use it? You can either use the whole resin I sell and put 1 ounce of the resin in 6 ounces of hot water in a Ball Jar. Mix it up and once it is almost completely melted put it into the refrigerator. It should last in there about 2-3 weeks. Every day put a teaspoon of the liquid into something hot. I put it into the coffee. Start once a day then once you find you can handle it you can do it 2x a day or do One tablespoon once a day. It has no taste nor any smell so it basically can go into anything that is a liquid.
I sell the resin and you can get it here
Frankincense Resin may be ingested as long as you use some common sense. The resins are the natural material from the tree and not concentrated like Essential Oils are.
All of the resins are good for inflammation, calming and balance.
If you are going to try this you are doing it at your own risk because everyone's body is different. Also Frankincense resins do not cure anything. There are not enough long term studies to prove this.
I suggest you use 00 capsules because they are small and easy to swallow.
You may take a half of a teaspoon and wash it down with a full glass of water but I do not suggest this because it can get caught up in your teeth. Resins are quite gummy and can stick to your teeth and actually pull out fillings or caps. Using a capsule and washing it down with a full glass of water it does not break down till it hits your stomach and your stomach acids should break it up and the rest, your liver will take care of.
You need to make the resin into a powder to do this.
You should freeze the resin first then grind it down.
You should purchase 00 capsules made out of vegetables so it dissolves more easily.
Please check with your physician before doing this. Most physicians have no clue about resins but it is better to check anyway. Also a few resins have contradictions with prescription drugs like Boswellia serrata which has a problem with those on Heart medicine and Blood Thinners so if you are taking these drugs please do not use this one.
Boswellia sacra any one of them, would be a good starting point, it also smells good. Hojari "Green" sacra is very strong so I would use this one if there is real severe pain.
Boswellia superior sacra is a good one for any type of inflammation in the body like muscle pain or joint pain.
Boswellia brown sacra is a good one for maintenance once the inflammation is under control because it is not as strong as the other ones.
I would start with one capsule a day to make sure you have no reaction, like stomach acid, cramps or diarrhea.
After a week you can go for 2x a day but not more. I have found with those trying this if you increase it they were getting stomach problems.
Try to take it after you eat breakfast and dinner with a full glass of water.
I do not recommend to try this on an empty stomach.
It may take up to a week or two before you notice any difference.
I am using it for the pain I have in my foot and it seems to be helping. I have less swelling and I do not feel like I want to cry every time I put my foot down.
I have clients that have used it for arthritis in their knees and they found after about 1 month they can actually walk with less pain.
This is what one client told me the other day in the Frankincense Group I run.
"I would love give a huge shout out to Robin!! She has been such a great help to me, for my anxiety and my pain. I have had pain in my hands for about 6 months now. I have tried about every cream and essential oil mix I could make with not much help. I love to snowmobile, but have been unable to for long periods of time. Until Sunday. Robin helped me make my own capsules with her superior sacra resin. It worked!! I was able to go riding and had no pain in my hands like the other times!! I was actually able to enjoy the ride and the views! THANK YOU Robin Schiller-Kessler CA!!!!"
This is not a substitute if you have a life threatening disease so please use with caution and again talk to your Health Practitioner first before trying this.
I sell all the different sacra resins and you can get them here.
Explanation of the Mass that is left over from Distillation of 4 resins that were tested.
Frankincense Species Boswellia papyrifera, Boswellia serrata, Boswellia sacra, Boswellia carterii
dissertation by Michael Paul (A Qualitative and Quantitative
Approach by Chromatographic and Spectroscopic Methodology )
Saarbrücken, Saarland, Germany 2012
Explained to me by Hubert Marceau
(Most of the technical terms and writing in here are Hubert’s words and I had his full permission to use them)
We know that Boswellic Acid in these 4 resins does not go into the distillation because the molecules in the Ba are too heavy to pass through but what else stays back if any?
I went to Hubert Marceau because he is a known scientist and chemist and knows so much about essential oils for my explanation. It is too long an explanation to put in here so i made a pdf of it that you can download and read further down.
Studies have shown that Boswellic acid may reduce certain skin cancers. While there are no long term studies as of yet, when using it for this purpose you do it at your own risk.
here are some studies on this subject
Anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer activities of frankincense: Targets, treatments and toxicities
Acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic Acid Inhibits Precancerous Breast Lesion
I am selling the Boswellic acid extract powder that comes from 1st grade Boswellia cateri resin
A few of my clients are using infusing it in jojoba oil and using it when they have radiation for breast cancer. Radiation tends to really burn the skin on one's breast. Although there are creams and lotions for this that the doctor will prescribe, some of them do not work. I was asked if I could make something that might help take down the burn a bit. I made the infusion for this particular client and she told me after a few days it has been working better than anything she has been using.. So you see it has many uses. I sell the infusion and also in a lotion on my website.
I gave it to a few people to test it for me, these are two for an example:
"My morning routine is waking up and washing my face. I did a quick water rinse first then started with the lotion. I applied it to my cheeks first in a circulating motion and then moved onto my forehead, down my nose and finally my chin and jawline . This circular motion lasted about 1- 2 minutes. I then let the lotion rest on my face for another 1- 2 minutes while brushing my teeth. I took a disposable napkin( kleenex rand makes them and they are a little thicker than a tissue) and wiped my face clean of the lotion while avoiding my eyes.
This took a little bit of patience since the powder is acting as an exfoliant, so the powder particles stay on your face little. A little extra wiping might be necessary but totally worth it! My face felt very clean and refreshed. I was able to rub in any remaining lotion I felt left on my skin. I felt the bosweilla powder mixed with lotion acted as an exfoliant and removed the excess oil and dirt from my pores. It was very pleasant. As I kept using this lotion morning and night my skin became more supple. It had a very slight glow to it and my darker spots under my eyes have been getting lighter. I feel from day 1 to day 7, my face has a more youthful appearance".
"I love the ba! I added it to a lotion. Every day I massage it on my face and wipe it off. My face feels amazing! From wearing my mask so often it used to be so dry. Now it's back to being soft. I use it on the bottom of my feet also. The dryness of my heels is almost gone after 2 weeks of use.
I added some ba to hemp oil. It totally dissolved after a week. I've been adding it to some dark spots on my arms. They seem to be lightening up after 2 weeks. So easy to mix and use. Will be getting more for sure".
You can get the BA extract powder in my store here:
TThere is an interesting Frankincense essential oil some retail stores are selling. They call it the “wonder” oil, They claim mixing a bunch of different species of resin will make you feel better. Well you see this is a problem because each species has a different therapeutic purpose. It is like mixing Apples and oranges. Boswellia cateri is good for the skin, while Boswellia frereana good for pain, then i saw Boswellia serrata mixed in while it is good for pain it has contradictions if on blood thinners or taking heart medicine. Boswellia papyrifera is for meditation and calming, and is some can create hallucinations.
This is a terrible mix And mostly a marketing tool. How many drops of each do you know is it in the bottle? These companies are not going to tell you that part. So you have no idea exactly what you’re getting. And you are mixing pain, Something for the skin and then anxiety and calming oils together. This to me does not work.
As an aromatherapist, I mix blends together but it is done for a purpose. So let’s say you have an anxiety problem. We would take a few plant oils And put them together that is solely for anxiety. I might mix Boswellia neglecta which is excellent for stress, calming and anxiety and mix it it with sweet orange, and maybe one more like petitgrain. for pain, i would do Boswellia frereana or sacra and mix it with balsam copaiba or plai For skin conditions i would mix Boswellia cateri with carrots seed oil or manuka oil. All these oils go together they for a specific reason, Also because I am in aromatherapist I know how much of each oil I would put in a bottle especially if I’m using it for myself or a client. Mostly I would use them totally separately by themselves. Boswellia carteri Is wonderful or any type of skin condition, Boswellia frereana and sacra Is wonderful for pain and Boswellia neglecta for calming, stress and anxiety. You really do not have to mix them with anything else they can be use solely by themselves also.
The other problem is what works for one might not work for another. So it is way better to try one first before you go to another. Having them all mixed together you have no clue what is working for you. So please do not get caught up into marketing tools that say that this product is the all all. There were too many in the mix to do anything for a specific reason other than maybe smell nice. I sell the 3 you see in this picture. At least you know you’re getting the benefit of each oil. And if you are not sure which one to get, I am selling them in one mill bottles for you to try to see which one works.