In this series titled “Herbal First-Aid Kit,” we explore natural alternatives to modern first aid kits, which typically contain medications made from synthetic chemicals. These herbs provide safe, effective, and readily available solutions for acute conditions. One such herb is frankincense, often referred to as the “King of Essential Oils.” This oil holds great significance and is one of the world’s most renowned natural remedies. In fact, it was one of the three gifts presented to Jesus at his birth, showcasing its reverence.
Frankincense essential oil is derived from the resin of the Boswellia tree. Highly revered in Ayurvedic and traditional Chinese medicine, it has been used since ancient times in religious ceremonies, perfumes, incense, and medicinal practices. Traditional medicine has employed frankincense to treat various ailments such as constipation, microbial infections, and chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, rheumatic diseases, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis.
Furthermore, frankincense essential oil is known for its fatigue-fighting properties. A 2018 case report documented the relief provided by frankincense in combating fatigue in a cancer patient. According to the report, topical application of frankincense improved the patient’s ability to perform daily activities, highlighting its effectiveness.
Scientific studies have confirmed numerous healing properties within frankincense. These properties make it an excellent natural alternative to synthetic medications commonly found in modern first-aid kits. For instance, when faced with muscle soreness or joint pain, frankincense can be used instead of Bengay, Aspirin, Aleve, or Motrin. Its pain-reducing and anti-inflammatory abilities make it an effective topical treatment. Moreover, unlike Bengay, frankincense is a natural plant remedy without ingredients derived from fossil fuels.
Similarly, when dealing with minor cuts or scrapes, frankincense can replace the popular man-made alternative, Neosporin. Traditional Chinese medicine has long used frankincense to treat infected wounds due to its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies have confirmed frankincense’s value in wound dressings, making it an excellent natural option for cuts and scrapes.
Knowing when to use frankincense is crucial in harnessing its benefits. Scientific studies have shown that frankincense can be useful in reducing pain, inflammation, and fatigue. It can also aid in wound healing and act as a natural antiseptic.
To make the most of frankincense, it is important to choose high-quality essential oils. Look for products labeled as “100 percent essential oil” and organic, without additives or synthetic chemicals. Additionally, ensure they have been tested for heavy metals, microbes, and glyphosate.
For topical use, frankincense essential oil can be directly applied to the skin or diluted with organic fractionated coconut oil for sensitive skin. Applying the oil to the temples and back of the neck can help relieve tension headaches. Massaging it onto joints can reduce joint pain. Minor cuts or scrapes can benefit from the oil’s antiseptic properties.
Frankincense can also be used in aromatherapy. Adding a few drops to a vaporizer or diffuser creates a soothing atmosphere. It can be added to bathwater for relaxation or mixed with distilled water in a spray bottle for freshening up spaces. To clear congestion, adding frankincense oil to hot water and inhaling the steam can be effective.
The antiseptic properties of frankincense make it suitable for use as a mouthwash. Research suggests that it can kill oral cavity pathogens and be used for preventing and treating oral infections. Mixing a few drops of frankincense essential oil with warm water, swishing the solution through the teeth, and gargling can help maintain oral health.
When consumed orally, frankincense should be diluted and unadulterated. Adding a drop to water or honey can provide its benefits. Alternatively, frankincense capsules are available for purchase online.
It is important to exercise caution while using frankincense. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should consult their healthcare provider before consuming it. It may also interact with conventional medications, leading to toxicity or undesired side effects, particularly when used alongside blood-thinning medication. Though rare, minor skin rashes and digestive issues such as nausea and stomach pain may occur.
In emergency situations, ancient cultures used a combination of herbs known as People’s Paste to stop bleeding, disinfect wounds, and aid in healing cuts and punctures. This paste can serve as a substitute for stitches.