Welcome to Sustainable Baby Steps

Give me 7 days and I'll have you so crunchy you'll have to change your name to Moonbeam. (Plus, you'll get inbox love from me. And everybody wants my inbox love.)

Get the Free Guide

Frankincense Essential Oil: Uses, Benefits, and Precautions

Frankincense essential oil (Boswellia frereana, Boswellia carterii, and/or Boswellia sacra) is a tree or shrub that produces a gum or resin that can be steam distilled into an essential oil with HUGE health benefits. Although frankincense trees can be grown anywhere, they are most popular in the Middle East and the region of Oman and Somalia is known for producing the best, highest quality oils today. The aroma of frankincense is uniquely warm, deep, rich, and incense-like. I love it so much I refer to Ol' Frankie as my secret lover. The high level of monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes usually get all the attention with the way they promote the body's natural healing processes.

Primary Benefits

  • Helps build and maintain a healthy immune system
  • Promotes cellular health
  • Reduces the appearance of scars and stretch marks
  • Calming and soothing to the skin

Emotional Benefits

Because of its emotional and spiritual affect, the high vibrational aroma of frankincense essential oil is commonly used in prayer and meditation, helping a person drop out of their mind and Ego and move into presence with their spirit or center of consciousness. It helps a person lean into their own spiritual practice with trust by dropping fear and other barriers to a deeper connection of one's own understanding.

Complimentary Oils

Frankincense essential oil blends well with all essential oils. Depending on your uses for this oil, substitutes may include: Sandalwood, Cedarwood, Lavender, or Vetiver essential oils.

How to Use Oil of Frankincense Essential Oil

Traditionally, frankincense essential oil uses these application guidelines. Click the banner to understand what each symbol means and to learn how each is used safely and effectively:

How to use essential oils!
Adults Children/Sensitive Pregnancy

Precautions of Frankincense Essential Oil

Always test for skin sensitivity prior to widespread use and use on the feet when possible. Excessive use of any oil can lead to skin sensitization. Keep out of eyes, ears, or nose. Not all oils are created equal, so test brands carefully, and never use an oil in a way not recommended by its maker.

Popular Uses of Frankincense Essential Oil

  • Rub Frankincense on your hands after a long day of gardening or working to promote joint health.
  • Can help promote youthful, radiant–looking skin and slow the signs of aging by reducing the appearance of skin imperfections.
  • Can be applied to the bottoms of feet to relax and balance mood swings.
  • Dry weather can take a toll on your nails. Try applying a drop of Frankincense to strengthen weak fingernails.
  • Clear confusion by diffusing throughout the home, adding a dab to the shirt collar, or massaginge behind the ears.
  • Add a drop to steaming water, place a towel over your head, and inhale until the steam stops. Massage into the pads of feet and the toes for mood support.

Inspiration for Using Frankincense Essential Oil

Foaming Hand Soap: Mix 2 Cups water, 1/4 Cup Unscented liquid castile soap, and 5 drops each Lavender and Frankincense essential oils. Fill foaming soap dispenser.

Autumn Diffuser Blend: 3 drops Frankincense, 2 drops White Fir, 1 drop Cedarwood

DIY Roll on Deodorant: Fill a 10 ml roller bottle 1/3 with Clary Sage, 1/3 equal parts Frankincense, Lemon, Lavender, and Patchouli, 1/3 fractionated coconut oil. Roll on underarms, you know...like deodorant. (Play with the ratios, with more dilution, as needed for sensitive skin.)

Menstrual Discomfort Blend: Massage 2 drops Sandalwood and 2 drops Frankincense over the abdomen and lower back to ease discomfort. (Dilute as needed.)


Not all oils are created equal. Because of a lack of industry standards and a lack of regulation on terms such as "natural" or "pure", much of what you find at the drug store is NOT a therapeutic grade of essential oil and may lack real quality or even contain contaminants or adulterants (way more common than you'd think).

A LOT goes into creating a high quality essential oil. A good brand should follow these guidelines:

  • Proper plant varieties
  • Each plant grown indigenously for the healthiest plant
  • Grown without chemical pesticides, herbicides, etc
  • Harvested with precise timing to ensure peak properties
  • Extracted with proper temp and pressure to preserve oil molecules
  • Third-party testing of every batch
  • Stand behind the internal use of their oils

Beginner's Guide to Application and Precautions, from SustainableBabySteps.com

7 Day Treehugger Kickstart