Frankincense to Calm a Harried Soul

News Note

By Lara Evans Bracciante

Frankincense (Boswellia sacra spp.) has a long history of intimating peace and well-being. Believed in many religions to bestow divine blessings, this aromatic resin native to Oman has a rich history. In ancient times it was traded for porcelain by the Chinese, used for embalming by the Egyptians, presented to the baby Jesus as a sacred gift and burned by Roman emperors during the height of their reign.

Today, frankincense is heralded for easing tension and anxiety. Roberta Wilson, author of Aromatherapy for Vibrant Health and Beauty (Avery Books, 1995), writes: “Frankincense oil can help to fortify a mind burdened with mental anxiety, nervous tension or stress. It revitalizes the body and mind … comforts and soothes the emotions and helps you sever ties with the past that are hampering your personal growth.”

Available as resin granules or essential oil, the granules can simply be tossed into a burning fireplace, or add a few drops of the oil to your bath. One note: Frankincense is contraindicated during pregnancy due to possible uterine-stimulant effects.