In the ancient world, there were few items considered to be of greater worth and value than frankincense. For this reason, pure frankincense was often referred to as “liquid gold” and was highly prized commodity for trade and commerce.
Frankincense oil is derived from the Boswellia sacra tree and trees of a similar species. The Boswellia sacra is characterized by its thin and peeling bark, tangled branches, and clustered leaves at the end of the branches. The trunks of these trees often have more than one stem; however, some have only one trunk. These trees can grow up to 8 meters and are commonly found growing on rocky slopes and southern coastal mountains. The Boswellia sacra is native to Ethiopia, northern Somalia, south-western Oman, and southern Yemen.
Frankincense oil is produced from the resin of the Boswellia sacra tree. The resin of a tree is a sap-like substance with a high viscosity. For centuries, the resin of the tree has been obtained by slashing or making an incision into the tree, which then emits large amounts of resin. After the resin secretes from the tree, it is then scraped off or collected as it drips onto the ground. When doTERRA obtains the resin from trees, the trees are carefully scored or “bled.” From there, the resin is delicately distilled and essential oils are extracted.
doTERRA® has spent the last several years working with scientists to determine the ideal balance of each Frankincense species to improve the therapeutic chemical profile for this precious oil. Through additional sourcing partnerships with growers of generations-old frankincense trees in Somalia, and ongoing sourcing agreements, doTERRA has developed access for the highest quality resin tears for three Boswellia species—Carterii, Frereana, and Sacra. Each specie contains unique characteristics and components; when combined together they produce the world’s finest therapeutic grade Frankincense essential oil.
Did You Know?
Boswellia carterii trees grow very well in sandy soil and produce much smaller resin. It is also considered one of the most rounded and commonly harvested types of resin tear. Frereana is the largest resin out of the three species. Frereana trees do not like sandy soil; they grow best in rocky, dry regions, often along slopes and ravines. Sacra trees thrive in limestone soil and are often found on cliffs or large boulders.
Co-Impact Sourcing® in Somalia
The harvesting of frankincense resin requires great skill and years of practice to perform correctly. doTERRA works with artisans who have fine-tuned and perfected this delicate process. The harvesting process in most cases takes over five months to complete and is very difficult work.
After farmers harvest the tears, the women go through and hand grade everything by color, size, and cleanliness of the resin. The quality of the oil has very much to do with the grade and the quality of the harvested resin. Recently, doTERRA developed more partnerships in this region, where they bypass the brokers and work directly with the harvesters—paying them a fair and substancial wage. In some rural areas where money has little or no value, doTERRA pays in food and commodities– literally feeding entire villages. Through the Co-Impact Sourcing program, you can be a part of improving the livelihood and economies in ancient lands where frankincense continues to grow today. This responsible approach is the key to ensuring the long-term supply of therapeutic grade essential oils in our modern day.
This video on co-Impact Sourcing and Frankincense is life changing. Take 7 minutes and let it change you...
Frankincense oil contains a complex mixture of monoterpenes such as alpha-pinene, Limonene, alpha-Thujene, and beta-Pinene. This intricate mixture of components works together to make an oil with many uses and benefits. The unique chemical constituents contribute to Frankincense essential oil’s renewing effects when applied topically and ability to support diverse cells in the body when taken internally.* The monoterpenes also contribute to the aromatic benefits of Frankincense oil, including its ability to promote relaxation and a sense of focus.
In a recent study, doTERRA scientists investigated the effect of Frankincense essential oil on human skin cells using the BioMAP® dermal fibroblast system. The results from these experiments suggest that Frankincense essential oil supports a healthy immune response, promotes overall skin health, and supports a healthy inflammatory response in skin cells.*
The BioMAP system is a molecular biology method that the researchers used to examine how healthy cellular activity was supported by Frankincense essential oil in human skin cells.3,4 By adding certain factors to cultured skin cells, the researchers induced a cellular response in vitro that was designed to imitate a cellular inflammation response in vivo.3,4 Some of the pre-inflamed skin cells were exposed to Frankincense essential oil while others were left alone.
Cells from both groups were burst open and the lysate (cellular contents) was analyzed using two methods. One method was an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), a test that measures the levels of a specific protein. The proteins of interest in this study were biomarkers known to be upregulated (produced in excess) in a cell during inflammatory conditions. Han and his associates discovered that the cells exposed to Frankincense had significantly lower levels of three biomarkers compared to cells not exposed to the essential oil.2 Cells exposed to Frankincense had significantly reduced levels of interferon gamma-induced protein 10 (IP-104), collagen III, and intracellular cell adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1), all of which are involved in inflammation and tissue remodeling.2 They also had slightly lower levels of PAI-I, serine proteinase inhibitor, and inhibitor of tissue plasminogen activator (tPA) and urokinase (uPA), which are both involved in tissue remodeling.2 Cell proliferation also decreased significantly in cells exposed to Frankincense essential oil.2
RNA microarray analysis is a powerful tool that allows researchers to measure the levels of different messenger RNA transcripts. RNA levels give a rough estimate of the levels of different proteins. Messenger RNA sequences are created directly from genes in a cell’s DNA. RNA contains instructions for ribosomes, the molecular machines that synthesize the cell’s proteins. Since each different protein is encoded by a different messenger RNA sequence, levels of a specific RNA sequence usually correlate with levels of the protein. For example, high levels of VCAM-1 RNA transcripts would be present in a cell with high levels of the VCAM-1 protein. In this experiment, the levels of 21,224 RNA sequences were measured. The genes identified from the RNA microarray results indicated that signaling pathways related to inflammation, wound healing, and immune response were robustly affected in cells exposed to Frankincense essential oil.2
Taken together, the results from these experiments suggest that Frankincense essential oil supports a healthy immune response, promotes overall skin health, and supports a healthy inflammatory response in skin cells.*
#1 You’ll love the benefits that Frankincense oil holds for the skin. Frankincense can purify and rejuvenate the skin while helping to reduce the appearance of skin imperfections. Once you experience these skinperfecting benefits, Frankincense will soon become a regular part of your skincare routine.
#2 Frankincense has long been used for its extensive health benefits. The complex chemistry of Frankincense oil is designed to support different types of cells within the body, which means you can use it to promote healthy cellular function.*
#3 In addition to promoting good cellular health, you can also use Frankincense to support healthy immune function within the body—particularly when seasonal or environmental threats are high. From the first use, you will love the benefits that the purifying properties of Frankincense provide.*
#4 Whether you’ve just finished a long shift at work, spent the day outdoors, or logged some hours at the gym, you’ll love the relaxing, soothing effect of Frankincense when rubbed on the bottom of the feet after a long day.
#5 Get ready to fall in love with the warm, clean, inviting scent of Frankincense oil. Perfect for diffusion and essential oil blends, Frankincense will be your go-to when you need a warm, welcoming oil during any season.
#6 Frankincense users love the emotional balance that the oil provides as it promotes feelings of relaxation, peace, and overall wellness. You’ll find yourself reaching for Frankincense oil whenever you want to balance your mood or promote a peaceful environment.
#7 You’ll love how the unique scent of Frankincense blends with oils like Lemon, Lime, Lavender, Cypress, Sandalwood, Ylang Ylang, Wild Orange, and more.
#8 Frankincense oil is part of the dōTERRA Co-Impact Sourcing® initiative, which means that when you buy a bottle of Frankincense, you are helping to support families and communities by providing economic opportunity for Frankincense harvesters in Somalia.
#9 Do you enjoy yoga, meditation, or other relaxing activities? If so, you’ll love the relaxing and calming properties of Frankincense that can help to soothe the body and mind during quiet activities.
# 10 Once you start using Frankincense oil in your everyday life, you’ll love how versatile the oil is— not to mention the fact that it is safe and useful for the entire family.
Frankincense has long been a part of sacred rites and rituals for both its health benefits and ability to elevate the mind towards spiritual pursuits. One drop of Frankincense essential oil is said to expand the aura and can uplift the spirit and purify your mediation space.
Whether you use guided meditation, self hypnosis, yoga, or simple spiritual reflection, try a drop of Frankincense over your heart to open your self to inspiration and inner peace.
In Yoga practice, use Frankincense on the Crown Chakra (top of the head) for mental peace and clarity
DIY: Whipped Body Butter
Who doesn't love soft, moisturized, and healthy skin? The butters and oils used in this recipe are the perfect combination that will leave your skin moisturized for days after applying.
- ½ cup shea butter
- ½ cup cocoa butter
- ½ cup coconut oil
- ½ cup Fractionated Coconut Oil
- 15 drops Frankincense
- 15 drops Lavender
- Measure all butters and oils in glass jar.
- Fill a large skillet/saucepan with one to one and a half inches of water. Bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, add the glass jar to the center of the saucepan to melt and combine ingredients.
- Stir every few minutes until the ingredients are melted and combined. (10–15 minutes)
Tip: Use a popsicle stick to stir for easy cleanup.
- Once everything is melted, remove from heat and let sit for 5–10 minutes. Add desired essential oils.
- Once essential oils are added, let it rest in a cool place (such as the refrigerator) until it has set.
- Once chilled, take out of refrigerator. With a stand or hand mixer, start on low and slowly turn the speed higher until the lotion becomes light and fluffy (around 3–5 minutes).
Note: Store mixture in a glass jar and keep in a cool place. If needed, re-fluff the body butter by whipping it back up to the desired consistency with a hand mixture.