The essential oils, frankincense and myrrh, are nearly as old as time, itself…literally.
Popularized by the Three Wise Men, of biblical fame, these two essential oils, alongside gold, were used in many religious rituals from the Far East to the West. However, they don’t just make a good addition to your annual nativity scene.
Frankincense and myrrh have also been used as fragrances, to treat skin conditions, and other health issues for thousands of years, which is why they are still used in Chinese medicine today.
The aromatherapy benefits of this sweet, woody scent can help you relax and get into the holiday spirit during this potentially stressful time of the year. Read on to find out what Chinese Medicine has to say about these essential oils and how you can add them to your life.
The Nose Knows: Aromatherapy benefits of Frankincense and Myrrh in Chinese Medicine
The olfactory system is 10,000 times more sensitive than any of the other four senses. With that being said, simply inhaling the scent of an essential oil can offer many benefits to your mind, body, and spirit.
Upon entering the nose, they send a message to the limbic system, the region of the brain that influences your emotions, as well as your nervous system. From there, a response is triggered, be it an emotional response when a smell reminds you of a childhood memory or a nervous response when a smell forces your body to relax.
In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) this is the act of putting your Qi (pronounced chee), your life force or energy, back in balance.
It is believed that qi, when flowing smoothly, keeps the internal organs, muscles, nerves, and glands in optimal health and alignment. On the contrary, when the qi is in disharmony or stuck, it is thought to contribute to emotional and physical Dis-Ease.
To help get qi flowing again, a TCM practitioner might use frankincense and myrrh to help change and activate the flow of energy to encourage harmony within the mind, body, and spirit.
The aromatherapy benefits of frankincense and myrrh
Frankincense and myrrh are oleoresins, meaning the oils from the plants are combined with its gum-like resin – essentially tree sap. This combination gives them that sweet, woody smell perfect for the winter season. Thus, it’s not surprising that they made their way to Christmas stories—not to mention their roots in the Middle East and Africa, where Christianity set its roots. But they have also been adopted by the Far East and TCM for year-round treatments.
TCM pairs the essential oils together to harmonize the body and restore its vital life force. Combined, they are thought to balance nature’s five elements (water, earth, air, fire, metal), within the mind, body, and spirit.
Acupuncturists, for instance, may dab the essential oils at specific acupressure points before or after using needles or instead of using needles in a technique called “acupoint therapy.”
You can try a few TCM techniques yourself to restore, refresh, and renew your mind, body, and spirit by:
- Burning a frankincense and myrrh aromatherapy candle or using the oils in an aromatherapy diffuser
- Adding a few drops of frankincense and myrrh to a carrier oil like jojoba seed oil, coconut oil, or almond oil and applying the mixture on your acupressure points (see below)
- Adding them to your favorite unscented massage oil, carrier oil, or cream and massaging it into your body to completely address your meridians or energy channels
If you’d like to spend more time relaxing, and less time making DIY recipes; you can take advantage of a pre-made massage oil with the two popular essential oils.
CBDMEDIC™’s Massage Therapy Pain Relief Oil features frankincense, myrrh, and honeysuckle oil, which will send you into a state of bliss with its wintery scent. Not only does this massage oil balance the spirit, it soothes aching muscles with two powerful natural pain-relieving ingredients, menthol and camphor. Meanwhile, jojoba seed oil, CBD hemp oil, coconut oil, argan oil, and cottonseed oil nourish the skin and offer a smooth glide.
Packed in a convenient bottle, you can take this massage oil to your therapist or use it with your loved ones in your own home.
Choosing top-quality frankincense and myrrh essential oils for aromatherapy benefits
When adding essential oils to your carrier oils or favorite cream, there are several things to bear in mind:
- The label should always read, “100% pure” and no other ingredient, especially vegetable oil, in which some brands dilute their essential oils.
- The label should also give the country of origin, the Latin name, and the common name. This limits your chances of buying a generic oil.
- The oil should come in a dark bottle, usually dark blue- or amber-colored, to prevent light from seeping in and causing the oil to go bad.
- Choose a trusted brand and avoid big box store brands or discount retailers. As a general rule, if the cost seems too good to be true, it probably is.
- Choose essential oils made from organic, wildcrafted or unsprayed plants.
Remember, less is more when it comes to frankincense benefits. You want to use your oils within a year after purchasing, so, buying smaller amounts can avoid the potential for waste or the oils going bad. Since you’ll want to start with small amounts and build up, you will not need very much unless you are running a busy massage therapy practice. Essential oils are highly concentrated, so a little goes a long way.
[Caution] Many natural health practitioners and herbalists advise against using certain essential oils if you are pregnant or lactating. Frankincense and myrrh, especially, should be used with caution if you are pregnant, as they are believed to be emmenagogues, which could stimulate the uterus and cause premature contractions. Speak to your primary care physician, OBGYN, or naturopath doctor before using any essential oils if you are pregnant or planning on becoming so.
Did you enjoy this article? Then check out our article on tea tree oil uses!
Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only. It has not been approved by the FDA to diagnose, treat, prevent, cure, or mitigate any diseases or conditions. We use CBD in our products for cosmetic purposes only.