What Is Frankincense Essential Oil Good For?


We’ve all heard of the sacred incense brought by the Magi at the nativity.. In fact, Frankincense is one of the most widely used resins, important in many of the main religions of the world, but what is frankincense essential oil good for? People have used frankincense since the dawn of time as a way of bringing spiritual peace, and the essential oil has the same capabilities. It slows the breath and brings us into a meditative state of calm. This can be useful for people who suffer panic attacks, have coughs, or asthma.  Many cultures also use it in skin care, as it has preservative properties, and indeed it was one of the ingredients the ancient Egyptians used to embalm their mummies. Aromatherapists also use it for joint stiffness and inflammation, and especially for conditions such as tendonitis, also known as tennis elbow, and rheumatism and arthritis.

The History of Frankincense

It may be that the Spice Roads speak more eloquently about history than any archaeological site. Fragrant ingredients carried across the globe for cooking, perfumery, medicines and to connect with God.

It was said that the Biblical Queen of Sheba ruled the Frankincense trail and she guarded it so preciously, that anyone daring to stray from the designated route would be punished by death.

Then, of course, medicines and spiritual practice were the same. Health was in the hands of the angels, and by keeping them onside, one could hope to be kept well. Indeed, Revelations speaks how the angels brought frankincense as a means of humans to speak to God.

And another angel came and stood at the altar with a golden censer, and he was given much incense to offer with the prayers of all the saints on the golden altar before the throne. Revelation 8:3

We should be clear though. We shall speak of the frankincense of antiquity often throughout this article, but the ancients were not using essential oils. Their oil would have been resin that had been soaked in vegetable or animal fats.

This is important, because not all constituents pass through distillation. The chemistry of frankincense essential oil is not the same as these oils, although we can expect that it will be similar.

What is Frankincense Essential Oil Good for Physically?


Frankincense essential oil slows the breath. Many people find this action on breathing helpful during panic or asthma attacks. Laboratory testing has shown that frankincense resin has antimicrobial properties (Al-Yasiry, 2016), which may explain why the essential oil can be so supportive to respiratory health. Many aromatherapists suggest it if you have a cough and cannot quite catch your breath.


There was a lovely rodent trial done in 2019 to try to explain why frankincense was so good for treating stress. The trial showed that the sleep deprived rats were able to claw back their sleep deficit, thanks to frankincense essential oil.  (Okano, 2019)

Deep breathing is associated with relaxation, just as, in the same way, panic and stress seem to be linked with shallow breathing. Slowing the breath, encouraging the body to take in more oxygen, slows heart rate and palpitations. Frankincense essential oil encourages symptoms of stress to recede.


We spoke of those Egyptian mummies and how well preserved they were, but in fact the success of mummification in Egypt came from the climate. In effect, the bodies were desiccated in their scorching, dry heat. But the preservative properties of oils like frankincense would have repelled insects and protected them against molds and fungi.

Frankincense will have had an effect on the skin, because of how it restores elasticity. It will have slowed how fast the skin became brittle.

In skin care today, aromatherapists use it mostly on more mature skins, or for complexions that are very dry. Restoring elasticity, it helps to tighten the skin, guarding against wrinkles.

Clearly, facial massage with frankincense, or using it in a moisturizer also imbues the gorgeous comforting properties of the oil too. They help to relax the muscles of the face, alleviate tension in the jaw muscles and make you feel generally calmer.

Connective Tissues

The best way to remember all the answers to what is frankincense essential oil good for, is to remember its two themes. It slows the breath, and it restores elasticity.

Muscles are made up of bunches of fibre, that shorten with misuse, and become tight when we are stressed.

Bad posture misaligns the spine, and muscles follow suit, to match the skeleton’s new shape.

Repetitive strain injuries all cause inflammation in the joints making them tender, stiff, and ineffective.

Frankincense restores elasticity, especially to the connective tissues like cartilage and tendons, allowing your joints to move more easily, and hopefully less painfully too.

I have always been inspired by work done by UK Director of National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy, Elizabeth Ashley. I thought you might enjoy a video she made, also called “What is Frankincense essential oil good for?” Here she talks about how it can help the physical body.

What is Frankincense Essential Oil Good for Mentally and Emotionally?

Frankincense calms busy and overly anxious minds. It quietens rushing thoughts. It brings peace and comfort in times of stress, and it helps to centre you emotionally.

Frankincense is a reminder that divinity resides in all of us and helps us to strive towards the unique spirits we are. It gives us courage to stand up for what we believe in and comforts us when we feel pain.

What is Frankincense Essential Oil Good for Spiritually

I like to think of Valerie Ann Worwood’s words that “Frankincense is elevating, spiritual, and meditative, and holds some of the wisdom of the universe, that which is manifested in the spiritual self.” 

If you enjoyed the first video, here is one about Ashley’s thoughts on how it can be used for the mind, emotions, and spiritual healing.

What Does Frankincense Essential Oil Blend Well With?

It’s beautiful with herbaceous fragrances like lavender, chamomile, rosemary, hyssop, and basil. Resins, of course, myrrh, benzoin, and galbanum. It has a woody, kind of pine aroma, so trees of the forests work. Warm spices also go beautifully with its comforting nature, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves, warm and conjure Christmas with it.

Other useful videos: These are a BBC documentary about the frankincense Trail and what it is still like now.

Episode 1  – Oman

Episode 2  Saudi Arabia

Episode 3 Egypt

Episode 4 Israel and Jordan.


Always remember, when you wonder what is frankincense essential oil good for, you only really need to remember two things. That it slows the breath – so is useful for prayer, for stress and for any reason when your breathing comes labored. Then, that it restores elasticity, to any kind of tissues, and actually to fixed emotions and opinions too. Why don’t you try some frankincense for yourself. Click here to find GroundedOwlBotanicals Frankincense essential oil.


More Posts

Herbal teas for winter

What can be any better than sipping on your favorite tea on a cold winter night, or even in the daytime (basically anytime), is like

Essential Oils and Travel

Essential oils for Traveling If you are like me, you love to take your oils with you everywhere! Some people ask me if you can