Essential Oil Spotlight: Frankincense

Boswellia (king of oils)


Plant Part: Resin

Frankincense is unique because the essential oil is stored in a gum-like resin which must be first liberated and then gathered before an essential oil can be distilled.

Extraction Method: Steam Distillation

Key Benefits:

  • Promotes cellular health and regeneration*
  • Balances mood
  • Reduces the appearance of skin blemishes

Application Methods and Uses:

Frankincense offers a wide variety of uses. It's mild nature and health benefits make it perfect for the entire family. Here are some simple ways to incorporate consistent and effective use of this wonderful essential oil.

  1. Diffuse a few drops or apply to the palms of hands and deeply inhale–woody aroma brings feeling of relaxation and peace.
  2. Directly apply Frankincense to any skin irritation.
  3. Take one to two drops in a veggie capsule to support cellular health*

Fun Fact:

In the ancient world, there were few items considered to be of greater worth and value than frankincense. For this reason, pure frankincense was often referred to as “liquid gold” and was highly prized commodity for trade and commerce.
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doTERRA® has spent the last several years working with scientists to determine the ideal balance of each Frankincense species to improve the therapeutic chemical profile for this precious oil. Through additional sourcing partnerships with growers of generations-old frankincense trees in Somalia, and ongoing sourcing agreements, doTERRA has developed access for the highest quality resin tears for three Boswellia species—Carterii, Frereana, and Sacra. Each specie contains unique characteristics and components; when combined together they produce the world’s finest therapeutic grade Frankincense essential oil.

Fact: Boswellia carterii trees grow very well in sandy soil and produce much smaller resin. It is also considered one of the most rounded and commonly harvested types of resin tear. Frereana is the largest resin out of the three species. Frereana trees do not like sandy soil; they grow best in rocky, dry regions, often along slopes and ravines. Sacra trees thrive in limestone soil and are often found on cliffs or large boulders.

Co-Impact Sourcing® in Somalia

The harvesting of frankincense resin requires great skill and years of practice to perform correctly. doTERRA works with artisans who have fine-tuned and perfected this delicate process. The harvesting process in most cases takes over five months to complete and is very difficult work. Harvesters leave their home, travel for days, and live in caves as they harvest and protect their trees only to return and not get paid enough to provide food for their families. Only 40 percent of the frankincense trees in Somalia are currently being harvested for this reason.

After farmers harvest the tears, the women go through and hand grade everything by color, size, and cleanliness of the resin. The quality of the oil has very much to do with the grade and the quality of the harvested resin. Recently, doTERRA developed more partnerships in this region, where they bypass the brokers and work directly with the harvesters—paying them a fair and substancial wage. In some rural areas where money has little or no value, doTERRA pays in food and commodities– literally feeding entire villages. Through the Co-Impact Sourcing program, you can be a part of improving the livelihood and economies in ancient lands where frankincense continues to grow today. This responsible approach is the key to ensuring the long-term supply of therapeutic grade essential oils in our modern day.

"We are excited about these partnerships and our ability to create sustainable livelihoods for the hard-working people who harvest this treasured resin."

“We are working directly with the harvesters now, there is no middle man, and there are no brokers to take advantage of them. We are putting the money in the hands of the people.” —Emily Wright
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