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Frankincense: Spiritual Meaning, Uses & Benefits
Everything you need to know about the tree Frankincense.

Plant history

The word ‘Frankincense’ originated from the old French translation of ‘franc encens’, which means ‘quality incense’.

First noted in Biblical times, Frankincense was the element that was gifted to Christ when he was born. Dating back to ancient healing remedies and rituals for thousands of years—it was coveted by the Romans, Greeks, Egyptians, and Israelites (famously right up there with myrrh and gold in the eyes of the Three Wise Men) and was (and is) regularly used in Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. 

Frankincense, like many other aromatics and spices, was carried from its isolated origins to market along two international trade and commercial routes: the Incense Trade Route (or Incense Road) that carried the trade of Arabia, East Africa and India; and the Silk Road that passed through Parthia and Asia

Plant Identification

  • Origin: Africa, India, and the Middle East.
  • Growth: The trees reach a height of 25 feet at maturity.
  • Plant family: Burceraceae
  • Scent: Aromatic and earthy.
  • Colour: Pale yellow.
  • Harvesting: Collectors make small cuts in the bark of Boswellia sacra trees using traditional tools. This process is called ‘tapping’. A milky liquid oozes out and is left to harden in the sun forming a resin. After about 14 days, the collectors return and slice off the resin.
  • Endangered: Once abundant, frankincense is now threatened with near-extinction, as the trees that secrete the ancient resin have joined the international Red List of Threatened Species.

Benefits

Spiritual

Provides protection, purification, spiritual awareness, antidepressant. This powerful resin produces a heightened spiritual awareness. Frankincense works as an effective antidepressant and stress reliever. It enhances intuition and clairvoyance, and is ideal to use before meditation. It is often used in ceremonies, healings and offerings. 

Frankincense is about truth, work with frankincense to highlight the unseen and hidden truths within and around us, it is a teacher which allows us the space to understand and connect to our soul. Frankincense is a strong energy cleanser and can be a great alternative. It can help us remove unwanted energies, attachments and evil eye from our dimensional bodies.

  • Cinnamon is connected to the element of Air and Fire.
  • Associated with the zodiac sign Capricorn.

Medicinal

Frankincense has many wonderful attributes for medicinal purposes it is often crushed into ointments/creams to treat arthritis, relieving symptoms and moisturising the body. Frankincense is an anti-inflammatory which can reduce the swelling and pain around joints; Traditional medicine has used frankincense to treat bronchitis and asthma for centuries. If you have been wounded you can use frankincense to to speed the progress and aid the bleeding. It is often used in essential oils and facial steams to cleanse, rejuvenate and aromatherapy healing. 

In combination with other herbal medicines, reduced abdominal pain, bloating, and even associated depression and anxiety in people with IBS. You can also burn frankincense to support relaxation and calming energy to the mind and body.

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