What is Frankincense Oil? Which Frankincense Oil Should I Buy?

by Bella Martinez April 12, 2024

What is Frankincense Oil? Which Frankincense Oil Should I Buy?

What Is Frankincense Oil?

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.[1] 

  • A separate study analyzed the anti-inflammatory potential of α-pinene and found that it helped to prevent and reduce inflammation associated with osteoarthritis.[2] 

  • A review of the analgesic activity of monoterpenes revealed multiple studies that showed α-pinene reduced pain.[3] 

What are the Benefits of Alpha-pinene:
  • Alleviates stress
  • Reduces pain & inflammation
  • Enhances sleep

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.[4]

  • In an elevated maze model, limonene exhibited strong anxiolytic effects when inhaled at a concentration of .5% and 1%.[5]

  • A study that compared the radical-scavenging activity of essential oils found limonene and Lavender essential oil to have the highest antioxidant potential.[6]

What are the Benefits of Limonene:
  • Supports the immune system
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Alleviates feelings of anxiousness

Incensole acetate

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.[7]

  • Incensole acetate was found to be anti-inflammatory in a study, proving the efficacy behind Frankincense as an ancient, herbal inflammation remedy.[8] 

  • In a lab study, incensole acetate proved to enhance cognitive function and object recognition as a result of its anti-inflammatory properties.[9]

What are the Benefits of Incensole acetate:
  • Boosts mood
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Improves cognitive function


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.[10] Due to their similarities, we will treat them as having the same properties, which studies have backed up.[11] 

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.

What are the Benefits of Incensole:

  • Boosts mood
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Improves cognitive function


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.[12] 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. 

What are the Benefits of Alpha-thujene:

  • Neutralizes free radicals
  • Protects against environmental threats
  • Reduces inflammation

Learn About 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. 

What Is 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.

What are the Benefits of Frankincense Carterii CO2:

  • Alleviates stress
  • Reduces pain & inflammation
  • Supports the immune system

Frankincense Carterii

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. 

What are the Benefits of Frankincense Carterii:

  • Reduces pain & inflammation
  • Protects against environmental threats
  • Alleviates stress

Frankincense Frereana

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. 

What are the Benefits of Frankincense Frereana:

  • Reduces inflammation
  • Alleviates symptoms of allergies
  • Soothes pain

Frankincense Sacra

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.

What are the Benefits of Frankincense Sacra:

  • Enhances sleep
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Neutralizes free radicals

Frankincense Serrata

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.[13]

  • A study that compared the antimicrobial action of several essential oils found Frankincense Serrata to have the highest activity.[14]

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.

What are the Benefits of Frankincense Serrata:

  • Reduces inflammation
  • Clears airways
  • Promotes a meditative atmosphere

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. 

What are the Benefits of Frankincense Around The World Oil:

  • Reduces pain & inflammation
  • Supports the immune system
  • Balances mood & emotions

Edens Garden

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. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Frankincense Oil

How to use Frankincense oil?
  • There are several ways to use Frankincense oil. For pain and inflammation, dilute Frankincense to 3% by combining 18 drops of Frankincense in 1 oz of carrier oil, then apply to the affected area daily. To balance mood, reduce stress and create a meditative atmosphere, add 10 drops of Frankincense oil per every 100 ml of water in an essential oil diffuser. For immune support, diffuse Frankincense oil or apply it topically when environmental threats arise. To protect against free radicals, crate a facial serum or body oil by combining 6 drops of Frankincense in 1 oz of carrier oil and apply topically as the last step in your skincare routine or before applying sunscreen.
    What is Frankincense oil good for/What is Frankincense oil used for?
    • Frankincense has been used since antiquity for its healing benefits and deeply soothing aroma. Today, Frankincense essential oil is used for pain relief, alleviating inflammation, reducing stress, enhancing sleep, nourishing skin and supporting the immune system. Additionally, its antibacterial, antimicrobial and antioxidant properties make Frankincense one of the most versatile and therapeutic essential oils in aromatherapy. To use Frankincense effectively, it’s recommended that you inhale it using an essential oil diffuser or apply it topically. 
      Is Frankincense oil safe for dogs?
      • Frankincense oil is safe to diffuse around dogs, but we don’t recommend applying essential oils topically to your dog. Make sure there is proper ventilation and that your pet has the ability to leave the room if desired. If in doubt, ask a vet with aromatherapy experience for safety guidelines for your pet, or avoid essential oil use around your pet altogether. For further pet safety guidelines, we recommend picking a copy of Kristen Leigh Bell’s book  Holistic Aromatherapy for Animals or joining an animal aromatherapy Facebook group.


        1. Yamaoka, Sadao et al. “Effects of Plant-Derived Odors on Sleep–Wakefulness and Circadian Rhythmicity in Rats.” Oxford Academic, Chemical Senses, Volume 30, 1 Jan. 2005, academic.oup.com/chemse/article/30/suppl_1/i264/270416.
        2. Rufino, Ana. “Anti-Inflammatory and Chondroprotective Activity of (+)-α-Pinene: Structural and Enantiomeric Selectivity.” PubMed, 28 Feb. 2014, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24455984.
        3. Guimarães, Adriana. “Monoterpenes with Analgesic Activity--a Systematic Review.” PubMed, 27 Jan. 2013, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23296806.
        4. Raphael, T. “Immunomodulatory Activity of Naturally Occurring Monoterpenes Carvone, Limonene, and Perillic Acid.” PubMed, 25 May 2003, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12784919.
        5. Lima, Naiana. “Anxiolytic-like Activity and GC-MS Analysis of (R)-(+)-Limonene Fragrance, a Natural Compound Found in Foods and Plants.” PubMed, Jan. 2013, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22995322.
        6. Yang, Seun-Ah. “Comparative Study of the Chemical Composition and Antioxidant Activity of Six Essential Oils and Their Components.” PubMed, 27 July 2020, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20077307.
        7. “Incensole Acetate, an Incense Component, Elicits Psychoactivity by Activating TRPV3 Channels in the Brain.” PubMed Central (PMC), 1 Aug. 2008, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2493463.
        8. Moussaieff, Arieh. “Incensole Acetate, a Novel Anti-Inflammatory Compound Isolated from Boswellia Resin, Inhibits Nuclear Factor-Kappa B Activation.” PubMed, Dec. 2007, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17895408.
        9. ---. “Incensole Acetate: A Novel Neuroprotective Agent Isolated from Boswellia Carterii.” PubMed, 28 July 2008, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18414499.
        10. Cotton, Simon. “Incensole - Molecule of the Month December 2017 - HTML-Only Version.” University of Bristol School of Chemistry, Dec. 2017, www.chm.bris.ac.uk/motm/incensole/incensoleh.htm.
        11. Al-Harrasi, Ahmed et al. “Distribution of the Anti-Inflammatory and Anti-Depressant Compounds: Incensole and Incensole Acetate in Genus Boswellia.” ScienceDirect, 1 May 2019, www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031942218306319.
        12. “Je Browser Bijwerken | Facebook.” Facebook, 29 Mar. 2017, www.facebook.com/unsupportedbrowser?type=3.
        13. Singh, G. “Pharmacology of an Extract of Salai Guggal Ex-Boswellia Serrata, a New Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Agent.” PubMed, 18 June 1986, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3751752.
        14. Sadhasivam, S. “Synergistic Antimicrobial Activity of Boswellia Serrata Roxb. Ex Colebr. (Burseraceae) Essential Oil with Various Azoles against Pathogens Associated with Skin, Scalp and Nail Infections.” PubMed, Dec. 2016, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27730658.

        Grab The Essentials Here:

        Leave a comment (Comments will be approved before showing up)


        Edens Garden

        July 2, 2024 at 10:53 am

        Hi Todd! All of our Frankincense and Lavender oils are available in a sample size which can be purchased in our Create Your Own Sampler sets: https://www.edensgarden.com/products/create-your-own-6-sampler-set


        July 2, 2024 at 10:52 am

        It would be really nice to be able to order a sampler set with all of the different Frankincense oils in a set so we can test them ourselves.
        (Really, that would be nice for all the oils with multiple choices, but especially the Frankincense and Lavender)


        April 27, 2023 at 4:04 pm

        Hi Robert! We don’t recommend casual ingestion of Frankincense oil unless working with a certified aromatherapist. You can learn more here: https://www.edensgarden.com/blogs/news/is-it-safe-to-ingest-essential-oils-1

        Robert Harold Hendrix

        April 27, 2023 at 4:03 pm

        none have directly said it is ingestible and how much or mixture for ingesting.

        Edens Garden

        February 6, 2023 at 11:38 am

        Hi Ramona! I would suggest some relaxing oils such as Tranquility, Stress Relief and Anxiety Ease. For specific advice, please reach out to our aromatherapists at aaa@edensgarden.com.

        Ramona Montano

        February 6, 2023 at 11:35 am

        I have severe sound sensitivity (Misophonia) Loud sounds especially at night when relaxed and about to fall asleep cause me pain and panic attacks. was reading about the Frankincense Apero. That it can help with brain issues. Ear doctors have told me they can do nothing because the problem is not with my ears but with my brain, brought on by lots of stress that caused PTSD. Can you please let me know which Frankincense is the right one for me and is it true that it can help heal the brain. Your company seems to be real and honest so I do want to order

        Edens Garden

        November 15, 2022 at 8:51 am

        Hi Yvonne! Frankincense CO2 and Frankincense Around The World oil would be preferred. For more usage info, reach out to our aromatherapists: aaa@edensgarden.com

        Yvonne Baldwin

        November 14, 2022 at 12:25 pm

        Which Frankincense would you recommend for arthritic hands, and a bad
        knee which needs replacement?

        Peter Taylor

        November 14, 2022 at 9:20 am

        Great information! Thank you!

        Edens Garden

        October 18, 2022 at 1:53 pm

        Hi Lisa! Please reach out to our aromatherapists for more specific info: aaa@edensgarden.com

        Lisa Bowling

        October 18, 2022 at 1:49 pm

        I am trying to heal an infection in my gums. After doing research, I have found that frankincense oil can be used as a mouthwash to help heal the infection. Could you tell me the best product I could buy to help with this problem?

        Patty Hayes

        October 3, 2022 at 2:43 pm

        Bought for grandson who is only 11. Losing his beautiful hair due to anxiety. I pray this helps. Any ideas are welcome. He is being doctored.

        Edens Garden

        June 27, 2022 at 11:43 am

        Hi Terri! In this case, we recommend opting for Frankincense- Carterii.


        June 27, 2022 at 11:40 am

        This is a question- which of the Frankincense oils is best for osteoarthritis in my hands?

        Lisa Massey

        March 21, 2022 at 10:30 am

        Thank you so much for sharing this helpful information !

        Edens Garden

        February 7, 2022 at 9:36 am

        Hi Colleen! Could you tell us more about the body butter you’re using? Does it already contain fragrance? This info will help us to better help you!


        February 7, 2022 at 9:15 am

        Hi Bella🤗——-I would like to purchase some frank incense to add to my body butter. I am concerned that the fragrance will interfere with the essential oil fragrance I will be putting in the butter. Can you help me? I do have mature skin. I am really excited about the frank incense oil🤗❣️Definitely do not want something with a very strong smell.

        Edens Garden

        September 16, 2021 at 11:59 am

        Hi Lorraine! Please contact us for further assistance: https://www.edensgarden.com/pages/contact-us

        Lorraine Charlotte

        September 16, 2021 at 11:56 am

        Of all the Frankincense, which do you think is best for breast cancer?

        Edens Garden

        May 7, 2021 at 8:04 am

        Hi Joan! Essential oils are not a cure for the flu but they can help with symptoms. For more info, please reach out to our aromatherapist: aaa@edensgarden.com


        May 7, 2021 at 8:02 am

        Hi, I heard that frankincense can be used to cure cough and flu? Is that true? If so, which frankincense should I use for a 2 years old and which carrier oil is more suitable?

        Edens Garden

        January 18, 2021 at 10:38 am

        Hi Tracy! We would suggest diluting the oil and applying it topically to the area you’re experiencing arthritis. Start low, with around a 2% dilution. If you find that the oil is not working well, you can increase the amount of Frankincense up to a 5-7% dilution.


        January 18, 2021 at 9:22 am

        What is the best way to use frankincense for arthritis. it’s in my hip. Topical with a carrier oil or can you ingest these ?

        Edens Garden

        December 11, 2020 at 8:43 am

        Hi Athena! Both Frankincense oils have a thin, oily consistency. Neither are sticky like the resin they’re obtained from.


        December 11, 2020 at 8:31 am

        Hello, is Indian Frankincense I.e Boswellia Serreta oil more sticky and thicker than other Frankincense oil? Thank you so much!