Essential oils. They're all the rage right now. While some sneer behind skeptic presuppositions, others simply wonder what exactly they are. So, what is the truth---and, if there is any, how can one economically keep up with the price for treating a whole family? Since it's nearing Christmas time, I'll begin by introducing my personal favorite oil, second only to lavender: Frankincense. In talking to fellow essential oil lovers, many claim this one as their all-around prize for its versatility. Personally, I'm partial to its woodsy scent. It only takes eight drops in my diffuser to convert my bedroom into a reverie of natural incense and lightly burnt wood. They're called "essential" oils for the belief that the "essence," or "spirit," of the plant is extracted by the distillation process; while extracts are also used in food and for medicinal purposes, essential oils are generally considered to be more potent.
Frankincense, of course, is the gift brought to the Christ-Child by the magi; it was also brought to His burial, and is featured in the Bible a total of seventeen times. From the Boswellia genus, like its related substance, myrrh, frankincense is dervied from hardened sap, and steamed into an oil. Called the "king oils," for good reason, the oil is highly prized for its treatment of arthritis, blood clotting properties, and even as a hair stimulant in re-growing hair. Like all essential oils, frankincense if antiseptic, so it is ideal for oral health; in fact, it can be used in homemade toothpastes and powders (for a recipe I have found personally satisfying, click here).
Dr. Josh Axe asserts that the powerful oil, when used to promote relaxation such as a hot bath, reaps the following benefits instantaneously:
"Frankincense oil immediately induces the feeling of peace, relaxation and satisfaction."
Moreover, a few drops (be sure that your chosen brand is pure and, ideally, organic) may be placed into an eight-ounce glass of water to ease digestive discomforts of all sorts. Uterine pain related to menstrual cycles can be relieved by mixing a carrier oil (such as coconut, almond, or jojoba oil) with frankincense oil onto your abdomen. Cosmetic considerations claim its effects on erasing wrinkles and scars and finally, others praise it as a respiratory aid.
I encourage you to try this oil out; I can almost promise that you will quickly acquire a taste---possibly even an addiction---for both its aesthetic and practical properties!