Incense oil is an essential oil used in aromatherapy, which can offer a variety of health benefits, including stress relief and anxiety .
Today, this fragrant resin is transformed into an essential oil that is valued not only in religious practice but also in aromatherapy and natural healing .
What is incense?
The incense comes from the genus Bosvellia and is made from the resin of the trees Bosvellia carterii, Bosvellia ferreana or Bosvellia serrata, which is commonly grown in Somalia and regions of Pakistan.
Different types of boswellia produce and slightly different resins. Climate and harvest time also affect quality and odor.
This tree differs from many others in that it is able to grow with very little soil in dry and desolate conditions.
To create the juice of incense, the bark of the trees is scratched. From these injuries, the tree secretes a sticky milky liquid called tears to protect itself.
Tears are picked and dried in the air so that the hard resin turns into small stones.
Harvesting usually begins in late March and early April and lasts for several months.
Only the monsoons interrupt the harvest. One tree can produce up to ten kilograms of incense, depending on its size, time and location.
The tree is harvested regularly for up to eight years and then rests for five years.
The resin that settles for the first time is considered unusable, but is still used.
The later it is harvested, the more valuable the resin becomes. This is recognizable by its color and size: while the early quality is a few millimeters in size and bad in color, the resin balls later become pure white and can be up to a centimeter.
History of incense
Incense was first used by the Egyptians for mummification. The incense used for this purpose is due to its strong antibacterial effect.
Its anti-inflammatory effect is also known, because it was used in balms and in the treatment of wounds.
In the ancient Egyptian cult of the dead, incense had an effect against death.
According to Christian tradition, the use of fragrant resin can be traced back to Canaanite incense crops and sacrifices in Israeli temples.
Incense is an indispensable part of the Christian and Orthodox liturgy.
How is incense oil made?
The trunks and branches of incense trees are first cut off during the harvest so that the sticky liquid can come out.
It is air-dried and solidified in a typical resin. The machines scrape the resin from the trees using a special tool, and then extract the oil from the resin by steam distillation.
Ten to twenty kilograms of resin are needed to produce one liter of essential oil.
Healing effects of incense oil
The Ayurvedic medicine incense oil is used to treat arthritis, asthma and for better oral health. It can also help fight certain types of cancer.
It helps reduce stress and negative emotions
During inhalation, the effect of incense oil has been proven to reduce the heart rate and high blood pressure .
It has anti-anxiety and antidepressant abilities that can help people with ADHD, but unlike prescription drugs, it has no negative side effects and does not cause unwanted drowsiness.
Improves the functioning of the immune system and prevents diseases
Studies have shown that the benefits of incense essential oil extend to its ability to improve the immune system, which can help destroy dangerous bacteria, viruses and cancer.
Researchers at an Egyptian university conducted a laboratory study and found that incense oil shows strong immunostimulatory activity.
It can be used to prevent the development of bacteria on the skin, mouth or in our homes.
The antiseptic properties of the oil can reduce gingivitis, shortness of breath, toothache, mouth ulcers and other infections.
It can help fight cancer or deal with the side effects of chemotherapy
Several research groups have found that the effects of incense oil have promising anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor effects when tested in laboratory studies and on animals.
Incense essential oil has been shown to help fight certain cancer cells.
In a laboratory study, Chinese researchers studied the anticancer effects of incense oil and myrrh oil on five tumor cell lines.
The results showed that the cell lines breast cancer and human skin showed increased sensitivity to a combination of myrrh and incense essential oils.
2012 study she also found that a chemical compound found in incense oil successfully kills cancer cells that have become resistant to chemotherapy, which could result in a potential natural cure for cancer.
It can kill harmful bacteria
Incense oil has antimicrobial action. It can naturally remove flu bacteria, viruses that cause warts, and it can also be used instead of chemical household cleaners.
A laboratory study found that the combination of incense oil and myrrh oil was particularly effective against pathogens.
Heals the skin and prevents the signs of aging
The benefits of incense oil include the ability to strengthen the skin and improve skin tone, elasticity and defense mechanisms against bacteria or blemishes.
It can help to tone and lift the skin, reduce the appearance of scars and acne and heal wounds.
It can be useful for pale stretch marks, surgical scars or signs of pregnancy and for healing dry or cracked skin.
Research shows that incense essential oil can be used to improve memory and learning functions.
Some animal experiments have also shown that the use of incense essential oil during pregnancy can increase the memory of the newborn.
In one such study, when pregnant rats received incense oil, there was a significant increase in short-term and long-term memory in the offspring.
It can help balance hormones and improve fertility
The benefits of incense oil can include reducing menstrual and menopausal symptoms by equalizing hormone levels. Research on this topic is limited.
It is used to relieve pain, cramps, constipation, headaches (headaches after a hangover), anxiety, nausea, fatigue and mood swings.
Animal experiments have shown that incense oil can be used as a fertility enhancer due to its chemical structure, which acts similarly to steroids.
When incense was used in rats, it increased fertility, the number of implants and the number of viable fetuses, which suggests that the oil can increase sperm motility and density.
Makes digestion easier
The effect of incense oil helps the digestive system to detoxify and improve bowel function.
It can help reduce abdominal pain, cramps, relieve nausea and abdominal pain associated with PMS.
It can speed up the secretion of digestive enzymes, increase the production of urine, relax the muscles of the digestive system, and also improve the blood circulation needed for a proper digestive system.
It has been shown to have a beneficial effect in reducing the symptoms of chronic colitis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and IBS.
It acts as a sleeping aid
The use of incense oil reduces the level of anxiety or chronic stress that can interfere with sleep. It has a soothing scent that can naturally help you fall asleep.
This natural sleeping aid helps to open the airways, allowing the body to reach the ideal sleeping temperature.
Helps reduce inflammation and pain
The effects of incense oil can inhibit the formation of key inflammatory molecules associated with conditions such as arthritis, asthma, painful bowel disorders such as IBS and many other conditions.
It can be useful in preventing the breakdown of cartilage tissue and has been shown to significantly reduce the level of dangerous and painful inflammation, making it a natural treatment option for painful conditions involving muscles and arthritis.
Improves asthma symptoms
Traditional medicine has used incense essential oil for centuries to treat bronchitis and asthma.
Research suggests that its compounds can prevent the formation of leukotrienes, which can lead to contraction of bronchial muscles during asthma.
In a study in people with asthma, 70% of participants reported an improvement in symptoms after receiving 300 mg of incense oil three times.
Maintains oral health
Incense essential oil can help prevent bad breath and toothache.
Boswellic acids appear to have strong antibacterial properties that can promote and treat oral infections.
In one experiment, incense extract was effective against Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, a bacterium that causes aggressive gum disease.
Evaporation of incense essential oil
Drip 2-3 drops of incense oil into an Ultrasonic Aroma Diffuser container filled with water and inhale the smoke of the essential oil through both the nose and mouth.
Essential oil particles can be easily damaged by heat. No heat is generated during use in the Aroma Diffuser, so they do not damage the structure of the oil.
Essential oils enter the body mainly in two ways, when applied to the skin or by inhalation. Some essential oils can be toxic if swallowed.
Incense essential oil can be safely used by inhalation, topically or as a supplement.
Essential oils can be used by inhalation from glass or evaporation using aroma diffusers.
Simply drop a few drops of essential oil on a cloth or inhale regularly from a bottle.
Add 3-4 drops of essential oil to the Aroma diffuser and take a deep breath of therapeutic steam.
Essential oils can be applied to the skin by various techniques. It is important to note that most essential oils cannot be applied directly without dilution.
Apply the diluted essential oil to the compress or directly to the area to be treated.
Due to the risk of skin irritation, essential oils should be diluted in carrier oils such as jojoba, almond or coconut oil. For massage or application to larger parts of the body, a 1% solution (ie a drop of essential oil in a teaspoon of oil carrier) is usually a safe concentration.
Examine the mixture on a small area of skin before applying it to a sensitive area such as the face. If redness or irritation is noticed after 24 hours, do not use the mixture.
As an additive
- Essential oils can be used as an addition to massage oil, added to a leisure bath or even to our favorite cosmetic product.
- Massage Oil – To be used in massage oil, all essential oils must first be diluted in a carrier.
- Bath oil – Mix the essential oil with the carrier oil and add to the warm bath water.
- In creams – One or two drops of essential oil can be added to body lotion or moisturizer and applied to the skin.
Possible side effects
The effects of incense essential oil are considered safe for most people. It has been used as a medicine for thousands of years without any serious side effects.
The most common side effects reported in scientific studies are nausea and heartburn caused by acid reflux.
Some research suggests that incense oil may increase the risk of miscarriage during pregnancy, so pregnant women should avoid using it.
Incense essential oil can interact with certain medications, especially anti-inflammatory drugs, blood thinners and cholesterol-lowering tablets.
If you are taking any of these medications, be sure to talk to your doctor before using incense oil!