In keeping with the time of year, I have decided to do a couple of blogs to tie in with the festive season and this week I am looking into Frankincense. Not only is this aromatic resin or oil strongly connected to Christmas, being one of the gifts from the three wise men. But it is also used across the globe in many religious rituals, has amazing healing properties and is also used as an aid to deepen any meditation practice.
Frankincense has been around for centuries with historians believing its harvesting and usage to be as far back as the 15th century BCE – think Egyptian Queen Hathseput. One modern day recognisable use from this period is Kohl, which was formed by grinding the burnt residue of Frankincense into a powder, then mixing with liquid and painted onto the eyelids as eyeliner. According to Shehbaz Khan from the Frankincense store, www.purefrankincense.com dots were also painted at the corner of the eyes, a ritual thought to preserve beauty and protect against the intrusion of any evil spirits.
The Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Catholic and Orthodox Churches still or certainly have, at some point in time, burnt Frankincense during their religious ceremonies.
But for the everyday folk of the bygone years Frankincense was an absolute necessity due to its enormous and beneficial uses. This versatile resin leant itself to deodorant, toothpaste, mouthwash, chewing gum, masking odours and as a natural pest repellent warding off mosquitoes and the onset of malaria. Some even immersed their clothing in the smoke before wearing to continue its protective qualities. It was also extensively used as a medicine aiding anything from digestion to leprosy, dysentery, tumours, fevers and more. Nowadays, research is being done to discover Frankincense’s healing properties as aid to fighting cancer, but is still in its early stages.
Fast forward to the 21st century and you will find the sweet smell of Frankincense as a vital ingredient in hundreds of perfumes and popular as an aromatherapy oil or incense stick. Many religions still burn Frankincense as part of
their rituals but why do they use Frankincense above other aromas? Partly because it has a cleansing pungent sweet smell but more importantly, it is a fantastic mood enhancer. Burning and inhaling Frankincense creates a feeling of peace and calm, dispelling sorrows or fears whilst ultimately promoting better self thoughts and confidence. It is a valuable tool in cleansing and clearing the mind of negative chatter, opening up our intuitive side to create a greater relationship to God, our inner soul, source, the universe, or whatever name you care to give to this powerful connection.
Frankincense in its original form comes from tress of the genus Boswellia. The trees are slashed and bleed out to harden into a resin. Frankincense is available in many types and its quality is distinguished by colour, purity, aroma, age and
shape. You will get a better effect from using Frankincense, particularly for meditation, if using in its purest form (ie resin) rather than joss sticks which only carry a tiny amount of the actual ingredient.
Visit www.purefrankincense.com for more info or purchase.