Popularly known as the King of Oils, frankincense essential oil has a wide range of health and wellness benefits. From relieving arthritis pain to helping with mental fatigue, frankincense’s versatility has been praised for thousands of years, dating back to biblical times. 

You may be familiar with the story of the three wise men bringing frankincense to the baby Jesus. Historically, frankincense has been considered the holy oil of the middle east and a symbol for value, protection, and healing. It was used in incense and during sacrificial ceremonies to help facilitate communication with the creator.

Today, it’s more commonly used for its anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, antidepressant, antiseptic, immune stimulant, sedative, and antitumor effects. In this article, we’re discussing the top health and wellness benefits of frankincense essential oil and how to use it! But let’s get to know the potent plant first. 

What is Frankincense Essential Oil

Frankincense oil comes from the resin of the Boswellia tree family commonly found in Pakistan and Somalia. Boswellia trees can grow in dry and desolate conditions with very minimal soil. The oil itself is created through steam distillation of the resin. 

The most popular ways to reap the benefits of the oil are both aromatically and topically. It’s lemon, pine, and woody scent can influence the nervous system and promote focus, memory, and more. Some common topical uses include skin support, anti-aging effects, and more. 

Frankincense primarily affects emotional balance, skin health, the immune system, and the nervous system (1). And this is what we’re going to focus on today. You’re going to learn how you can harness the powerful properties of frankincense oil to support wellness. 

8 Benefits of Frankincense Essential Oil

Improve Memory

One study of rats found that frankincense may be able to help with memory retention. In this particular study, pregnant rats were administered frankincense orally. The findings noted an increase in learning, short-term memory, and long-term memory in the rats’ offsprings. 

Many recommend diffusing or applying frankincense topically to relieve mental fatigue. Its aromatic influence can help reduce distractions and improve concentration. If you are struggling with hyperactivity or sluggish adrenals, frankincense may help enhance patience, grounding, and spiritual awareness. 

To help relax but stay focused, apply a drop or 2 of frankincense to the back of the neck and bottoms of feet (1). For long-lasting focus, try diffusing 5-6 drops of frankincense. 

Boost Immune System Function

Frankincense’s anti-infectious, immune stimulant, and anti-inflammatory properties make it a great oil for strengthening immunity. Studies show that frankincense may be able to destroy bacteria and viruses. Mansoura University researchers found that frankincense showed strong immunostimulant activity (2). 

Harness frankincense’s immune-stimulating properties by diffusing the oil in your home during cold or flu season. You can also use frankincense to minimize germs in your mouth, on your skin, and in your home. 

Eliminate Germs and Bacteria

This powerful antiseptic and microbial oil is an incredible disinfectant. Combine frankincense with myrrh essential oil, and you have yourself a killer cleaning combo. Make your own natural DIY all-purpose spray with frankincense and myrrh to kill dangerous pathogens as well as cold and flu germs. 

Diffuse the oil to eliminate airborne-pathogens and make your home smell insanely good at the same time. 


Frankincense is one of the best essential oils for beauty because of its powerful antioxidant effects. Not only that, but frankincense works at the cellular level to boost skin cell regeneration! It can fade age spots, blemishes, acne scars, and more. This is why it’s one of my favorite oils for anti-aging. It’s anti-aging effects help reduce the appearance of laugh lines, crows feet, and wrinkles. Its antimicrobial properties make it incredible for helping war off acne. It’s a must-have oil for anyone’s beauty cabinet. 

Studies show that frankincense effectively minimizes stretch marks and scarring (3). Add a couple of drops and mix with argan oil for a serious skin elasticity boost.  

The Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine published a review that noted frankincense oil’s ability to reduce skin irritation and redness while fostering a more even skin tone (4).

Anti-Stress & Anxiety Alternative

One of the most common ways you can benefit from frankincense essential oil’s benefits is by using it to help lower stress and anxiety. Its deep earthy notes mixed with a clean, spicy, and sweetness make it an extraordinary anti-stress oil to diffuse during the day. Bonus: it’s also fantastic at helping you stay focused and productive!

Studies have shown that frankincense has similar qualities as anti-anxiety medication….minus all the adverse side effects and possible dependency (5)! That’s why frankincense made our list of 5 must-have oils for stress relief

To use frankincense for anxiety and stress, add 1-2 drops to your palms, rub together, and inhale deeply several times. Diffuse 5 drops of frankincense with 5 drops of lavender to create an excellent stress relief environment. 

Oral Health

Interestingly enough, it is believed that 80% of all disease and illness begins in our mouths. Frankincense essential oil is one of the best oils for preventing gingivitis, cavities, toothaches, mouth sores, and more. To learn more about how other botanicals like frankincense can support holistic oral health, check out this article

Potent botanicals like frankincense essential oil are great tools for your at-home holistic dental care arsenal. One study looked at teenage girls with gingivitis as a result of plaque buildup. They found that frankincense was able to decrease gingivitis symptoms within two weeks (5). So how does this work?! Frankincense has powerful anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that make this a cinch. 

Try oil pulling for 15-20 minutes with coconut oil and 1 drop of frankincense. Or try making DIY toothpaste with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil (not fractionated, just regular), 1 tablespoon of baking soda, and 20 drops of frankincense essential oil. 

Inflammation and Pain

For pain associated with arthritis, joint swelling, muscle pain, digestive problems, and asthma, you can use frankincense topically or aromatically for relief (6). Frankincense can inhibit inflammatory molecules associated with inflammatory conditions like those mentioned above. 

We owe frankincense’s pain-relieving abilities to its potent anti-inflammatory properties as well as its ability to work on the cellular level. Try combining 2 drops of frankincense with 2 teaspoons or more of carrier oil and massaging it on the area of pain. You can also diffuse a couple of drops for some lighter relief. 

May Help Fight Cancer

Frankincense has both anti-inflammatory and antitumor properties. Several lab studies on animals found tt frankincense oil can fight cancer cells and specific types of cancers like bladder, pancreatic, and brain. One study looked at how frankincense could help reduce cerebral edema in those going through brain cancer treatment. This potentially allows patients to avoid effect-laden steroids. 

Researchers in China studied the effects of frankincense and myrrh oils on five tumor cells. They discovered that skin and human breast cancer cells showed increased sensitivity to the oil combo (7)! Many people use frankincense by applying it to the area directly. Topical application allows essential oils to get into the bloodstream. Dilute 1-2 drops of frankincense with coconut oil or another carrier oil and apply regularly.

And there you have it. Eight excellent wellness benefits of frankincense essential oil. Now that you know all the benefits and ways to use frankincense, what are you going to harness the potent powers of it for today? Let me know in the comments below.


1.Modern Essentials Handbook. AromaTools, 2019.

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