Frankincense is a resin that comes from the Boswellia tree. The tree looks more like a giant shrub with knurled branches that occasionally produce small white flowers. When the tree bark is cut with a knife, a milky white sap flows from it. This resin hardens into an orange-brown gum known as frankincense.
Frankincense is used in several forms such as incense and essential oils. It is also sold as an extract and can be taken directly for its medicinal properties. When burned as incense, frankincense produces a highly antiseptic smoke. As an essential oil, it can be used in a diffuser to treat respiratory conditions or applied topically to treat wounds and rejuvenate the skin.
Throughout history, frankincense has been used to treat emotional disorders such as nervousness and hysteria. It relaxes both the mind and the body. Frankincense has been used as an ingredient in home remedies to treat stress, insomnia and promote relaxation. Applied directly to the temples and the third-eye area of the forehead, frankincense quiets the mind and promotes meditative stillness.