If I were only allowed one essential oil in my collection (heaven forbid that should ever come to be!), it would have to be the sacred Sandalwood Oil. Boswellia sacra, sometimes called carterii, has been one of the most ancient and widely used essential oils, and fragrances, for thousands of years in religious and spiritual ceremony throughout the world. While there seems to be quite a debate raging about the sacra and carterii botanical monikers, each being used to identify the same tree, sacra seems to be winning out now as the name of choice. This is a new debate, and before now, frankincense has most widely been known as Boswellia carterii, and while there are a few other varieties, the particular variety that is most widely known is Boswellia sacra.
Frankincense grows well in only 3 places in the world, Oman, Yemen and now Somalia. As has been frenquently referred to in Biblical literature, frankincense was one of the gifts brought to Jesus by the Three Wise Kings. Indeed, how wise they were. Not only does frankincense contain all the anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties of many essential oils, it is also the only known anti-tumoral oil.
There is recent excitement about frankincense in the world of science and medicine, (see BBC News for more info.) about the ability of frankincense to turn off the DNA of cancer cells, and return the DNA to a healthy state. According to immunologist Mahmoud Suhail, “Cancer starts when the DNA code within the cell’s nucleus becomes corrupted,” he says. “It seems frankincense has a re-set function. It can tell the cell what the right DNA code should be.
“Frankincense separates the ‘brain’ of the cancerous cell – the nucleus – from the ‘body’ – the cytoplasm, and closes down the nucleus to stop it reproducing corrupted DNA codes.”
The implications of these findings are quite extraordinary and promise great things in the future for frankincense
The downside of this exciting news, is that it is bound to make an already rare and expensive essential oil, become worth its weight in gold once again.
Aside from its massive healing potential, in my humble opinion, frankincense deserves the highest regard for the spiritual properties it contains, and the ability of frankincense to bring transport one into deep meditative states, and altered states of awareness and consciousness. It is one of the most powerful essential oils to anoint one’s self before meditation, using a few drops on the third eye or sixth energy center of the body, sometimes referred to as a chakra.
Frankincense contains psychotropic properties that induce visionary states of awareness. Those properties are the reason it is such an excellent oil to anoint with before any spiritual or religious ceremony. The Three Wise Kings must have known this and given it to Jesus as a means for direct communication and communion with God. It brings such an awareness of the Divine, and in fact, has been used in the Catholic Church as an fragrance to sanctify the Church before services for eons.
I use frankincense daily, anointing myself with its rich, hypnotic and heady aroma, not only to keep me centered in an awareness of my divinity, but to act as an aura of protection around me while I am out in the world. It acts as a beacon of spiritual armor, surrounding me with its majestic power and grace. Frankincense has been a favorite for over 25 years now, and was the impetus to me to start down the road of all of my spiritual devotional practices. It is an ally and necessity in my daily life.