A Frank Look at Frankincense

Frankincense TreeAs I say goodbye to the jack-o’-lanterns I look forward to November. It can bring a manic start of the holidays so years ago I began a tradition. Before chaos falls I take some time alone either in introspection at life’s journey, or doing a huge closet purge that results in bags of clothes for charity. Either way I release some of my weighty past so I have energy to carry me into the rest of the year. To help with meditation or to clear the closet air, I use frankincense.

Boswellia carteri, aka frankincense, is an oil that is often associated with the approaching holiday season. This balsamic scent has been used historically in worship as religious incense. In addition it acts as a meditation aid and, when blended with myrrh, it elevates human consciousness.

For the respiratory system, it is invaluable as it opens the sinuses and breathing passages and acts as an expectorant and decongestant. It is also a calming immune-stimulant, so diffusing frankincense in rooms (or while lurking in musty closets) offers a great defense during flu season.

Frankincense is a fragrant aid to winter skin. It is known for healing dry, damaged skin, as well as wrinkles, scars and stretch marks.

Modern research has examined the anti-tumor aspects of Boswellia carteri. A study in the BioMed Central Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine stated that frankincense extract kills bladder cancer cells without harming normal, healthy cells. The conclusion was that it might offer an alternative treatment.

This beautiful oil is a heavy hitter, but may best be appreciated in a more subtle way. Enjoy frankincense in this simple inhalation:
Put a drop of oil on a tissue and place it in your cupped hands. Bring your hands up to your nose and breathe.

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