This or That: Frankincense Oils
Frankincense is sometimes referred to as "The King of Oils" and Frankincense oils have been used for thousands of years including in both Ayurvedic and Chinese traditional medicine. Frankincense oils are regarded for having many therapeutic benefits but which type of Frankincense essential oil is best?
At Edens Garden, we really love Frankincense essential oil. So much so that we recently released Frankincense Around The World oil – a perfect union of several unique Frankincense botanicals, sourced across the globe. Not to mention we offer four varieties of Frankincense essential oil and now a Frankincense CO2 oil.
Now you’re probably asking yourself, “What in the world is the difference?” We’re glad you asked! Sit right back as we unravel both the unique and similar aspects of our Frankincense essential oils, CO2s and beyond.
Natural Components in Frankincense Oil
Have you ever looked at a GC/MS report and wondered what all those scientific-looking names were? Those are the natural components found in an oil and they’re responsible for a plant and its oil’s unique aromas and therapeutic benefits.
Essential oil chemists and aromatherapists analyze GC/MS reports and compare them to others to ensure purity and quality. GC/MS reports can also be helpful to essential oil users because having knowledge of common components found in oils can give you a better idea of an oil’s therapeutic properties.
So what components are commonly found in Frankincense oils and what do they do? To begin our analysis, pull up our Frankincense oils’ GC/MS reports.
From alleviating stress to reducing pain and inflammation, α-pinene is a component you want to see on a GC/MS report for Frankincense oil. What’s more, α-pinene is often an indicator of good quality Frankincense essential oil. As the name suggests, α-pinene is also commonly found in Pine essential oil and plants in the Pinaceae family.
One study measuring the effects of plant-derived odors on test subjects found that the aroma of α-pinene enhanced REM sleep.
A separate study analyzed the anti-inflammatory potential of α-pinene and found that it helped to prevent and reduce inflammation associated with osteoarthritis.
A review of the analgesic activity of monoterpenes revealed multiple studies that showed α-pinene reduced pain.
Need we say more about this wonderful component?
If you were to smell limonene on its own, your first thought would likely be “lemons, limes, citrus,” and you’d be right. Limonene is the primary component in most citrus oils and while Frankincense oils aren’t dominated by limonene, certain varieties do contain a significant amount. This is good news considering the hefty amount of studies exhibiting limonene’s immune-supportive, anxiolytic, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Here are some such studies:
A study on the immunomodulatory properties of monoterpenes showed the potentiating effect of limonene on the immune system.
In an elevated maze model, limonene exhibited strong anxiolytic effects when inhaled at a concentration of .5% and 1%.
A study that compared the radical-scavenging activity of essential oils found limonene and Lavender essential oil to have the highest antioxidant potential.
Like limonene, incensole acetate doesn’t typically dominate Frankincense essential oil but it is found in large amounts in Frankincense resin – the plant material from which Frankincense oil is extracted. Studies have shown that incensole acetate is anti-inflammatory, anxiolytic, mood-boosting, and can improve cognitive function. But don’t take our word for it, here’s what studies have shown:
A study on incensole acetate showed that it plays a role in emotional regulation by initiating a response in ion channels, effectively lowering anxiety and boosting mood.
Incensole acetate was found to be anti-inflammatory in a study, proving the efficacy behind Frankincense as an ancient, herbal inflammation remedy.
In a lab study, incensole acetate proved to enhance cognitive function and object recognition as a result of its anti-inflammatory properties.
You might be asking yourself, “Didn’t we just discuss incensole?” In a way, we have since incensole and incensole acetate share many of the same properties. But just like linalyl acetate is acetylated from linalool, incensole acetate is acetylated from incensole. Due to their similarities, we will treat them as having the same properties, which studies have backed up.
Something interesting to note is that just like two oils with similar benefits being blended together for a singular purpose, the combination of isolated components with similar benefits (when found in the same oil) also act in synergy. In other words, the many natural components that make up plants and their corresponding oils are in and of themselves therapeutic blends. Therefore, you can expect double the therapeutic power of incensole and incensole acetate when both components are present in Frankincense.
Looking at the GC/MS reports for our Frankincense oils, you’ll notice α-thujene is in every oil. While few studies have been performed on this component in its isolated form, researchers believe α-thujene to be antioxidant, antibacterial and antimicrobial. We are also able to draw information about this component based on Frankincense Serrata studies. How so? Frankincense Serrata contains the highest amount of α-thujene – around 70% in our current batch at the time of this writing. We will therefore discuss the potential benefits of α-thujene when discussing Frankincense Serrata in detail.
Edens Garden’s Frankincense Oils
Frankincense’s composition can vary with its different origins, botanicals and methods of extraction. As a result, their aromas and uses also differ. Here are the differences and similarities between our Frankincense essential oils.
Frankincense Carterii CO2
Our newest Frankincense addition, Frankincense CO2 oil is unlike our Frankincense essential oils due to the way it’s extracted. In CO2 extraction, Frankincense resin is combined with supercritical CO2 which draws out the oil using little to no heat. The CO2 is then completely removed and the oil is collected. This creates a Frankincense oil with heavier plant molecules not found in Frankincense essential oils, including incensole acetate and incensole. Frankincense CO2 also contains a significant amount of α-pinene, α-thujene and limonene.
Frankincense CO2 contains both common and unique Frankincense components, making it an excellent stress-relieving mood booster, anti-inflammatory, immune-supporter, antioxidant, pain reliever and sleep enhancer. What’s more, Frankincense CO2’s aroma is closer to the resin from which it’s obtained, than our Frankincense essential oils.
The most popular varietal we offer is our Frankincense Carterii essential oil. Besides its intoxicatingly smooth and relaxing aroma, Frankincense Carterii has a knack for charming users with its many therapeutic properties.
In general, Frankincense Carterii is dominated by α-pinene and contains significant amounts of α-thujene and limonene. As such, this variety of Frankincense is anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, antibacterial, antiviral, stress-relieving, and antioxidant. It can be used to reduce the appearance of mature skin, aid breathing, quiet the mind, support focus and encourage tranquility.
Though both Frankincense Frereana and Frankincense Carterii are sourced from the mountainous regions of Somalia, Frankincense Frereana is typically grown at a higher altitude, giving this oil a unique chemical makeup.
This variety of Frankincense is highest in α-thujene with fair amounts of α-pinene and para-cymene, making it a great anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antispasmodic and analgesic. If relieving inflammation caused by arthritis, swelling and allergies is what you’re looking for, this is the Frankincense oil for you.
Native to Oman, Frankincense Sacra is a gem of the Middle East. Not unlike most Frankincenses, Frankincense Sacra tends to thrive in precarious environments, like rocky, eroding slopes and chalky soil.
Out of all four Frankincense varieties offered by Edens Garden, Frankincense Sacra has the highest amount of α-pinene. As such, Frankincense Sacra is supremely efficient at aiding sleep-related problems, alleviating pain, inflammation and muscle spasms, reducing bacteria and boosting antioxidant levels.
Its aroma is pungent and strong, with a deep, earthy Frankincense aroma. You may pick up on some medicinal top notes and woody undertones when enjoying this rich Frankincense oil. If you love the aroma of Frankincense, you will truly appreciate the aroma of Frankincense Sacra.
It is believed that because it is the oldest documented Frankincense, Frankincense Serrata may be the Frankincense referred to in the Bible and Ayurvedic medicine. Frankincense Serrata contains a hefty amount of α-thujene. As previously mentioned, the benefits of α-thujene are not well-documented, but Frankincense Serrata is.
A research article that studied the properties of Frankincense Serrata found it to be powerfully anti-inflammatory, especially against arthritis.
A study that compared the antimicrobial action of several essential oils found Frankincense Serrata to have the highest activity.
What’s more, Frankincense Serrata is said to be antiseptic, decongestant and a good deodorizer. This Frankincense is also commonly used for meditation and as an anointing oil.
Its aroma is sweeter and more delicate, with terpenic-pine top notes.
Frankincense Around The World Oil
Another new addition to our Frankincense family of oils, Frankincense Around The World Oil is a synergy containing seven Boswellia botanicals sourced from six regions. As a synergy, it not only combines the benefits of each Frankincense included but it also magnifies their effects. Its well-balanced aroma is undeniably earthy and grounding making it a treat to the senses.
As Frankincense lovers, we feel this is our ode to Frankincense. If you’re left wanting all of the benefits of our Frankincense oils and more, this is the oil for you.
You may be wondering, how can pure Frankincense oil be so inexpensive? At Edens Garden, we believe everyone deserves more goodness in their lives. Being a direct-to-consumer eCommerce business, we’re able to cut out massive costs like distributor fees, wholesale markups, brick-and-mortar figures, and more. This allows us to offer our 100% pure, third-party GC/MS tested, high-quality essential oils at affordable, practical prices for everyone.
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