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Frankincense - Boswellia carteri

A small tree or shrub with white or pale pink flowers and an abundance of pinnate leaves. When the bark is cut, a milky-white liquid is exuded, which solidifies into lumps of pale amber to orange brown. The essential oil is extracted from the resin by steam distillation.

In the past, Frankincense was burnt to 'drive out evil spirits' and has been used as an incense since antiquity - particularly in India, and China, and by the Catholic Church in the West. It is interesting to note that one of physical properties of Frankincense is its "ability to slow down and deepen the breath... which is very conducive to prayer and meditation" [Patricia Davis - Aromatherapy: an A-Z ] .

Frankincense was a most prized and costly substance in the Ancient World, making it a favoured offering item.
In Ancient Egypt Frankincense was widely used in rejuvenating face masks, cosmetics and perfumes. Research has shown that the oil does indeed restore some tone to slack skin, which helps prevent wrinkles - it may also be effective at reducing existing wrinkles - and is particularly good for dry and mature complexions. Other skin conditions which benefit from frankincense include scarring, and wounds, and general blemishes.

Frankincense has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent, carminative, and sedative properties - to name a few - and has been used medicinally in the East and West for a wide range of conditions, including respiratory and urinary tract infections [including cystitis], rheumatism, skin diseases, and digestive and nervous complaints. It is reportedly one of the most valuable oils for respiratory infection remedies, useful for cases of chronic bronchitis, laryngitis, coughs, catarrh, colds and flu, and makes an effective massage oil for the chest in asthma cases : as previously mentioned, frankincense slows and deepens the breathing, and its carminative properties help relax the chest muscles - use massage strokes which open up the chest.
Frankincense oil is also used for treating anxiety, tension, or stress-related conditions.

Heavy periods can be remedied by gently massaging the abdomen with a frankincense and base oil mix - or by adding a few drops to a bath [frankincense is a uterine tonic].

Both the oil and gum of frankincense is widely used as fixatives and fragrance components in soap, cosmetics, and perfumes - and, as previously mentioned, is used extensively in incense...


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