Friday, May 25, 2007

The mysterious scent of Frankincense

Frankincense is one of the more exotic oils used in aromatherapy. Just a hint can add an exotic, eastern edge to the blend that you are creating.

Frankincense comes from the sap of the Boswellia Carteri tree or shrub which grows in Somalia. It is amazing that such an aromatic resin can come from such an uninspiring looking plant. It is a milky white liquid that collects on the surface of the tree where the farmers have scraped. Once it hardens the resin is removed and then steam distilled to extract the essential oil.

The oil has been around for centuries and we know that it was used in Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome a part of their medical treatments. Today we use it in many skin preparations especially for mature or dry skin and has some reputation as a skin healer. It is also highly effective in helping to achieve emotional balance.

Frankincense blends beautifully with citrus oils such as orange and lemon, but also blends with a heavier scent such as sandalwood.

One of my favourite bath blends is called "Inspiration"

3 drops Frankincense

1 drop lime

2 drops of grapefruit

10ml vegetable glycerin

Drop the oils into the glycerin and then drop into the bath. The glycerin will allow the oils to combine with water and not just sit on top.

Next time you are feeling stressed don't just reach for the lavender - try some frankincense too.

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