Last updated: August 10, 2021

Our method

25Products analysed

39Hours spent

44Evaluated articles

156User reviews

Welcome to our large frankincense oil test 2021. Here we present all the frankincense oils we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet.

With this, we would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best frankincense oil for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy frankincense oil.




The most important facts

  • Frankincense has been used by humans for over 5,000 years; it is used for both mental and physical concerns.
  • Frankincense oil has numerous positive effects on our health & is also used in cosmetics.
  • Frankincense oil is calming and anti-inflammatory.

The Best Frankincense Oil: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying frankincense oil

What is frankincense oil?

As the name suggests, frankincense oil is the oil extracted from frankincense. However, it is also known as olibanum.

The German name "Weihrauch", or incense, comes from the Old High German term "Wîhrouch", which means "to consecrate". This shows that frankincense was mainly used for religious purposes in German history. (Image source: pixabay.com / 4174332)

Frankincense oil has been used by people for thousands of years for a variety of purposes and its effects are still recognised today.

How is frankincense oil made?

The oil is extracted from the resin of the frankincense tree. The valuable essential frankincense oil is dissolved through steam distillation.

In the Indian naturopathy Ayurveda, frankincense oil has been used for over 5,000 years to treat inflammatory and rheumatic diseases. (Image source: unsplash.com / Kelly Sikkema)

In this process, the resin is put into a distillation flask with hot water. Hot steam is then introduced. This is how the essential oil is dissolved.

To obtain one litre of the oil, up to 20 kilograms of the resin are needed.

What are the ingredients of frankincense oil?

The Far Eastern tree resin is a complex mixture of over 200 different substances such as resins, mucilages, proteins and essential oils.

  • approx. 5-9 % essential oil (including: α-thujene, β-myrcene, p-cymene, methyl eugenol)
  • approx. 15-16 % resin acids (such as boswellic acids, lupanoic acids and tirucallic acids)
  • up to 20 % mucilage
most important biologically active contents: Effect:
Boswellic acids anti-inflammatory, as leukotrine formation is suppressed (mainly 3-O-acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid (AKBA) and the 11-keto-β-boswellic acid (KBA) are responsible for this)
Incensol presumably psychoactive by stimulating mild emotions and slight warmth - in wild mice it has similar effects to antidepressants and anxiety-reducing psychotropic drugs
Terpenes protect cells, by warding off free radicals
Monoterpenes protect liver and kidney from toxins and eliminate existing ones, antibacterial, antiseptic, expectorant, stimulant and mild analgesic.
Sesquiterpenes cross the blood-brain barrier and stimulate the limbic system of the brain as well as the hypothalamus (the pineal and pituitary glands)

What are the beneficial properties of frankincense oil?

Frankincense oil is said to have the following positive effects:

  • anti-inflammatory (1)
  • soothing
  • disinfecting
  • astringent (astringent)
  • wound-healing
  • expectorant

Frankincense oil is also referred to as a tonic, as it can potentially also help to strengthen all body systems. It also strengthens the immune system and promotes the absorption of nutrients.

What can you use frankincense oil for?

Frankincense oil has different positive abilities and can be used in many different ways. It can not only be used externally, but also helps in the treatment of internal complaints.
External use effect
Skin blemishes such as pimples, warts or acne Anti-inflammatory, disinfecting and wound-healing, slightly degreasing effect
Cellulite Circulation-promoting and astringent (astringent) effect
Gum inflammation Anti-inflammatory, disinfecting and antiseptic effect
Insect bites Anti-inflammatory and soothing effect
Painful joints Analgesic and anti-inflammatory effect
Tense muscles Anti-inflammatory, circulation-promoting and soothing effect
Stopping bleeding Astringent effect

Due to its ingredients, it has, apart from its calming effect on the psyche and the body, also numerous applications for the treatment of medical problems.

What are the uses of frankincense oil?

Physical effect

  • Frankincense oil against inflammation: Frankincense oil, thanks to its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, has already proven its worth in the treatment of arthritis, rheumatism, joint pain and intestinal diseases such as Crohn's disease (2) or ulcerative colitis.
  • Frankincense against digestive disorders: Frankincense oil stimulates peristalsis and accelerates the secretion of gastric juices, acids and bile. As a result, food is transported more quickly through the intestines.
  • Frankincense oil against uterine problems: The oil extracted from frankincense regulates oestrogen production in women as well as the menstrual cycle before menopause.
  • Frankincenseoil against pain: Frankincense oil also serves as a substitute for painkillers. It is a gentle, natural remedy and has neither severe side effects nor does it create dependence.
  • Frankincense oil against skin problems: Thanks to its properties, frankincense oil is a perfect remedy for skin care. By applying it, the lower layers of the skin are supplied with more blood, which stimulates the skin cells to divide more.
  • Frankincense oil for asthma: Asthma patients can partially reduce inhalation therapy when taking frankincense oil and thus have fewer asthma inhalations. (3)
  • Frankincense oil in osteoarthritis: Reduces pain and also the loss of movement in osteoarthritis patients. (4)

Psychological effect

The effects on a psychological level have not yet been conclusively clarified, but a variety of results have been found. In particular, the antidepressant and calming effect of frankincense oil has often been proven. This is why it is often used in psychiatric institutions to induce a relaxed mood in patients.

It also promotes concentration. This is one reason why the oil is often used in India to support meditation.

The oil can also strengthen our memory and is therefore used in some elite universities. It has also been proven that frankincense oil can have a positive effect on sleep problems in cancer patients. (5)

Can you use frankincense oil during pregnancy?

No. Frankincense oil is not recommended during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It promotes labour and can cause menstrual bleeding, which can be dangerous for the unborn child.

Attention: Pregnant and breastfeeding women, as well as small children, should not use frankincense oil! (Image source: pixabay.com / Olsztyn)

Caution is also advised when treating children under 2 years of age with frankincense oil! The oil should not be used on small children. This is because there is not yet enough knowledge about the effects.

How much does frankincense oil cost?

When buying frankincense oil, you should pay attention to the quality of the product. The price is usually an indication of the quality, the more expensive the better. Of course, high-quality essential oils have their price.

However, this is relativised by the fact that only a few drops of the oil are needed. Depending on the quantity and brand, frankincense oils can be found within a price range of about 8 to 60 euros.

What alternatives are there to frankincense oil?

It depends on what you want to use frankincense oil for. Depending on the intended use, there are different essential oils that are suitable as alternatives.

For skin problems

Juniper oil, lemon oil, evening primrose oil, jojoba oil, grape seed oil

For inflammations

Mugwort oil, copaiba oil, blue camomile, eucalyptus oil, immortelle oil, clove oil, lavender oil, oregano oil, sassafras oil, sheep's trench oil, sandalwood oil, tea tree oil, thyme oil, wormwood oil

For relaxation

Bergamot oil, Jasmine oil, Lavender oil, Rose oil

Decision: What types of frankincense oil are there and which is right for you?

If you're looking into buying an oil, you'll notice that there are two different types of oils you'll come across again and again. There are the essential oils and the fragrance oils. In the following, we will show you the different advantages and disadvantages of the oils and what you should definitely consider.

What distinguishes essential oil and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Essential oils are synthetic oils or oils obtained from natural sources. They are highly concentrated.

Advantages
  • 100% natural product
  • High concentration of active ingredients
  • No side effects
  • High quality
Disadvantages
  • Expensive
  • Unusual scent, as natural product
  • Does not last forever

What distinguishes fragrance oil and what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Fragrance oils are essential oils that are produced specifically for their fragrance. They are not natural and contain artificial substances.

Advantages
  • Inexpensive
  • Strong and intense fragrance
  • Long-lasting and fragrance remains stable because chemical
Disadvantages
  • Not applicable for medical or cosmetic purposes
  • Artificial
  • Very low natural content
  • May cause side effects

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate frankincense oils

In the following section, we will show you which aspects you can now use to decide on a particular frankincense oil.

The criteria you should consider when buying are:

  • Origin
  • Intended use
  • Fragrance

Now we will go into all four points in more detail.

Origin

When it comes to origin, you distinguish between 4 countries of origin, which are explained below:

African frankincense oil

Boswellia papyrifera has a lemony smell and is therefore often used in cosmetic products. According to the latest research, Boswellia papyrifera is the only species that contains incensol acetate. Incensol acetate belongs to the neutral components.

Arabian frankincense oil

Boswellia sacra and Boswellia carterii have long been considered two different species, but they are one and the same. Unlike the other oils, this variety does not have a strong, lemony smell.

Indian frankincense oil

The best known species is Boswellia serrata, which is used for Indian frankincense oil. It is the only species of frankincense that is listed in the pharmacopoeia and can therefore be used for medicinal and therapeutic purposes in pharmacies after quality control.

Somali frankincense oil

Boswellia frereana is the frankincense variety native to Somalia. Among the locals, it is known as Dhidin or Maydi, or the king of all frankincense. This frankincense oil has a fine, fresh, lemony, balsamic fragrance. Apart from the different origins and slightly different scents, the various frankincense oils do not differ much from each other.

Intended use

If you intend to use frankincense oil for a specific purpose (e.g. impure skin), you can search for a specific oil in online shops.

The normal 100 percent natural frankincense essential oil can of course also be used for all the areas mentioned.

Fragrance

The scent can also be a decisive purchase criterion. It is not decisive for the effect of the oil, but for your personal feeling. Depending on the type of frankincense from which the frankincense oil is extracted, there are slight differences in the scent.

Some types of frankincense are a little more tart, while others are a little more citrusy in undertone. When it comes to the scent, it all depends on your preferences.

Frankincense variety scent
Boswellia papyrifera typical frankincense scent, sweetish-warm scent with a slight citrus note, similar to carterii but clearly more "bitter"
Boswellia sacra/ carterii mild, fresh, light aroma, fruity, slightly spicy, woody
Boswellia serrata typical olibanum scent, balsamic-spicy, woody, sweetish-warm, slightly fresher than papyrifera
Boswellia frereana strong, fresh, balsamic, slight citrus note

Facts worth knowing about frankincense oil

How is frankincense oil used?

Frankincense oil is used in different ways. You can inhale it by adding a few drops of oil to a steam bath. You can use it for massages, diluted with massage oil and it is also suitable as a bath additive.

Due to its calming effect, frankincense oil is also perfect for massages. At the same time, it cares for the skin and cleanses it, thanks to its disinfecting properties. (Image source: unsplash.com / Toa Heftiba)

Mixed with mouthwash, it makes an optimal mouthwash. Compresses with frankincense oil are especially good for localised pain, joint pain or even minor burns. In cosmetics, the oil can be used in the form of one or two drops added to day cream.

Can frankincense oil be inhaled?

Yes, inhaling frankincense oil is positive and beneficial to health. To use the oil for colds, for example, proceed as follows:

  1. Heat water until it comes to the boil
  2. pour the hot water into a heatproof, tall container
  3. Dissolve 1 to 2 drops of the incense oil in the water
  4. Hold your head directly over the rising steam. To capture the rising vapours, it is advisable to cover your head and the vessel with a large towel.
  5. Inhale for 5 to 10 minutes, 3 times a day.

Is it possible to make frankincense oil yourself?

Yes, it is possible to make frankincense oil yourself. However, you cannot produce pure essential oil at home without a distillation apparatus. However, it is possible to create your own base oil, e.g. for ointments, perfumes or massage.

How can frankincense oil be stored and how long can it be kept?

Essential oils can be stored for several years. A good frankincense oil will last between 5 to 10 years. In fact, there is even a maturation process: the longer the oil is stored, the fuller and more intense the fragrance becomes.

A dark, well-sealed bottle will extend the shelf life of your frankincense oil. Combined with the perfect storage location, it should be away from direct sunlight and cool, your oil will keep for at least a decade. (Image source: unsplash.com / Christin Hume)

To ensure a long shelf life, certain conditions must be met. It is best to store the oil in a tightly closed bottle that is as dark as possible. If the frankincense oil appears cloudy or even milky, it must no longer be used. It is useless for healing purposes and could even cause irritation in the worst case.

Picture source: 123rf.com / Kappatou T.

References (5)

1. Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena. Weihrauch als Heilmittel: Boswelliasäuren wirken entzündungshemmend. Journal Med. 09. Juli 2012.
Source

2. G Latella, R Sferra, A Vetuschi, G Zanninelli et al. Prevention of Colonic Fibrosis by Boswellia and Scutellaria Extracts in Rats With Colitis Induced by 2,4,5-trinitrobenzene Sulphonic Acid. Eur J Clin Invest. 2008 Jun;38(6):410-20.
Source

3. T Ferrara, G De Vincentiis, F Di Pierro. Functional Study on Boswellia Phytosome as Complementary Intervention in Asthmatic Patients. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2015 Oct;19(19):3757-62.
Source

4. Krishanu Sengupta, Krishnaraju V Alluri, Andey Rama Satish et al. A Double Blind, Randomized, Placebo Controlled Study of the Efficacy and Safety of 5-Loxin for Treatment of Osteoarthritis of the Knee. Arthritis Res Ther. 2008;10(4):R85.
Source

5. Jeannie Dyer, Lise Cleary, Sara McNeill, Maxine Ragsdale-Lowe, Caroline Osland. The Use of Aromasticks to Help With Sleep Problems: A Patient Experience Survey. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2016 Feb;22:51-8.
Source

Why you can trust me?

Wissenschaftliche Studie
Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena. Weihrauch als Heilmittel: Boswelliasäuren wirken entzündungshemmend. Journal Med. 09. Juli 2012.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
G Latella, R Sferra, A Vetuschi, G Zanninelli et al. Prevention of Colonic Fibrosis by Boswellia and Scutellaria Extracts in Rats With Colitis Induced by 2,4,5-trinitrobenzene Sulphonic Acid. Eur J Clin Invest. 2008 Jun;38(6):410-20.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
T Ferrara, G De Vincentiis, F Di Pierro. Functional Study on Boswellia Phytosome as Complementary Intervention in Asthmatic Patients. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2015 Oct;19(19):3757-62.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Krishanu Sengupta, Krishnaraju V Alluri, Andey Rama Satish et al. A Double Blind, Randomized, Placebo Controlled Study of the Efficacy and Safety of 5-Loxin for Treatment of Osteoarthritis of the Knee. Arthritis Res Ther. 2008;10(4):R85.
Go to source
Wissenschaftliche Studie
Jeannie Dyer, Lise Cleary, Sara McNeill, Maxine Ragsdale-Lowe, Caroline Osland. The Use of Aromasticks to Help With Sleep Problems: A Patient Experience Survey. Complement Ther Clin Pract. 2016 Feb;22:51-8.
Go to source
Reviews