Did you know that frankincense is actually a resin that comes from a tree? Since I started reading up about this amazing oil, it has kind of fascinated me. Its other name is olibanum which roughly means that which results from milking. Milking I hear you say, why?
So time for the science bit !
There are four main kinds of Boswellia, the tree that produces real frankincense, and each type of resin comes in different grades. These depend of when it is harvested and each resin is hand sorted for quality. The resin is like a milky sap, the bark of the tree is cut resulting in the sap to ooze out and drip. These drips are known as tears.
I asked Rae Eustace of Aurora Therapy what this amazing oil is actually used for, apart from scenting candles
“This oil is classed as one of the anti-ageing oils, as it helps the formation of new cells and is great when blended with rose oil. It is highly prized oil that is used in spiritual rites from China to Egypt.
Frankincense is a great de-stressing oil with many uses, such as a room fragrancer, perfume, massage or bath oil. It is also used to aid meditation and lift the spirits. All in all great grounding oil!”
One of my great memories as a child was the first time I ever smelt incense in Church, frankincense for a long while was used for this very purpose. It is oil that has a long and sometimes quite dramatic history, some links below definitely worth reading up on.
So the next time you belt out a chorus of We Three Kings just think of “Frankincense to offer have I,
Incense owns a Deity nigh” and reflect back on the history of this wondrous oil and where it comes from.
PS You can contact Rae through Twitter @AuroraTherapy
Rae is a complementary therapist based in Glasgow and the Lanarkshire area