Frankincense (Carteri & Serrata) CO2

Distillation Method:
Country of Origin:
India + Somalia
Plant Part:
Latin Name:
Boswellia carteri + Boswellia serrata
Wild Grown

About the Oil: This blend of our Carteri and Seratta Frankincenses has compounds that have been found to enhance overall comfort and ease in our bodies and joints, as well as for the health and beauty of our skin.

Note: CO2 extracts generally include some larger molecules compared to their steam-distilled counterparts. Some may not be suitable for use in a nebulizing diffuser (unless blended with a thinner oil) – though most will be just fine in an ‘ultrasonic’ unit. Learn more about CO2 extracts on our Making Essential Oils page.

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The Frankincense tree, or Olibanum, upon first glance, may seem rather unremarkable. It appears as a giant shrub, with many knurled branches topped with abundant slender leaves and occasionally, small white flowers. A native to northern Africa, it looks like it belongs in the desert, growing in some of the world's harshest conditions. But it is not the tree itself, but rather its sap that has such profound lore surrounding it. When the tree's bark is pierced with a knife (known traditionally as a 'Mingaf'), a milky-white oleoresin is exuded, though the tree is not harmed (Myrrh is also harvested in this way). The resin forms droplets known as 'tears' or 'pearls', which harden into the orange-brown gum known itself as Frankincense. The English name of this natural incense is derived from the medieval French 'franc', meaning 'pure' or 'free', and from the Latin 'incensium', meaning 'to smoke'.


All Frankincense essential oils are derived from the resin lovingly referred to as "Liquid pearls from the tree of life.” These oleo gum resins function as the protective and defensive support for the tree, and in its essential oil form, passes onto us these same precious properties. This essential oil is sourced from the resin of Frankincense trees wild-grown in India. This Indian serrata has a deep, wonderful, meditative, 'smokey' aroma, which is really a treat.

The 'CO2' supercritical distillation means the resin was never boiled at high temperatures to extract the oil – it was immersed in liquid carbon dioxide which then simply evaporates when the process is complete. Most importantly, the CO2 process results in a more chemically-complex oil. Many of the larger molecular constituents present in the resin, regarded for their potential therapeutic properties, are found in the CO2-distilled oils, yet not in the steam distilled.

The resin of Boswellia serrata, along with its relative Boswellia carteri, contains high levels of the soothing compound beta elemene. These compounds have been found to enhance overall comfort and ease in our bodies and joints, as well as for the health and beauty of our skin.

The carteri variety is typically used for medicinal purposes while the seratta, possessing the same beneficial qualities, is not as strong and has a softer, more floral-driven aroma. Research supports the therapeutic use of every one of the Frankincense varieties. It's really a matter of personal preference to find the aroma you most enjoy!


Resins and their oils have always been associated with fumigation and purification. This explains why Frankincense essential oil was first used as incense in India, China and the Catholic churches of Europe and North America. The spirit of the sacred and of meditation have surrounded Frankincense for ages, allowing the spirit, as it's smoke does, to rise to the heavens. Frankincense can properly be said to belong to the family of sacred scents.

In ancient Egypt, the famous kyphi, derived from frankincense, was used in perfume, incense, and beverages. Ancient Egyptian women would char frankincense resin (called kohl) and use it to blacken their eyelids and outline their eyes.

The ancient cultures of Egypt, Persia, Israel, Rome and Greece often prescribed Frankincense oil as medicine.

Therapeutic Properties


  • eases discomfort
  • decreases unpleasant sensory experiences
  • neutralizes microbes
  • helps heal burns and wounds
  • encourages cell regeneration
  • reduces scarring
  • minimizes stretch marks
  • firms and contracts exposed tissue
  • reduces moisture loss
  • tones and restores venous circulation
  • promotes the healing of tissues
  • reduces redness
  • diminishes swelling
  • assists in wound healing
  • nourishes dry and prematurely aging skin


  • stimulates the immune system
  • neutralizes microbes


  • encourages deeper breathing patterns
  • revitalizes the energy associated full inhalation and exhalation cycles
  • reduces the production of mucous
  • aids in the expulsion of mucous
  • stimulates the bronchi


  • relaxes muscles
  • eases discomfort
  • decreases unpleasant sensory experiences
  • soothes sore muscles


  • settles digestion
  • increases absorption in the intestines
  • promotes normal peristalsis
  • assists the body's natural eliminatory response
  • promotes urination
  • helps maintain kidney action
  • assists in cleansing and detoxifying the body


  • promotes and regulates menstruation
  • strengthens the uterus


  • uplifting
  • improves mood
  • calms the nervous system
  • lessens anxiety
  • reduces stress
  • promotes sleep
  • calms the nervous system
  • relieves stress
  • creates feelings of euphoria


  • Frankincense helps to smooth the free flow of Qi energy. Use whenever there is an accumulation of stress that has led to irritability, restlessness and insomnia.


  • The spirit of the sacred and of meditation has surrounded Frankincense essential oil for ages; its special mindset is "vertical", like smoke rise to the heavens. Resins and their oils have always been associated with fumigation and purification. Frankincense oil has the power to uplift human awareness to that "other" level by freeing the nerves from excessive tension, allowing us to focus on the underlying transcendental unity of our inner self.
  • Frankincense helps to cease mental chatter and still the mind. As such, it is a great meditation aid. It is also useful for cutting ties to the past, especially where these may block personal growth.

Frankincense oil is linked to the psyche, which in Greek also means "breathing". It deepens and revitalizes the breath and adds to these effects its excellent immuno stimulant properties. In skin care, frankincense oil reveals its balsamic nature through its miraculous wound healing properties.


  • direct inhalation, diffuser, oil vaporizer, steam inhalation
  • The oil has a resinous, rich aroma and can aid in calming the lungs and the emotions, and is great for restless leg syndrome.
  • Adding 2 drops to a bowl full of steaming hot water (6-10 cups), and inhaling with a towel draped over the head for 5-15 minutes will be benefit the respiratory system.
  • Frankincense oil has been revered for centuries as a meditation aid. Add 4-6 drops of Frankincense essential oil to your burner during meditation.


  • massage, compress, bath, linament, skincare
  • Add Frankincense to skin care products for dry, aging skin and to help reduce scar tissue. It blends well with Rose and Lavender for skin care blends.
  • Test for sensitivity when applying to sensitive areas such as the face; a small patch will ensure the dilution is correct and no reaction occurs. Apply to the test area 12 hours before applying to the whole region.
  • Frankincense can applied directly to areas of skin needling protection against bacteria (open wounds).
  • Frankincense is excellent for headaches and tension in the neck muscles. Apply externally to the affected area for joint conditions. A few drops massaged directly onto the affected region will suffice. Or use in a carrier oil.
  • For immune support, massage into the tops of the feet and lymphnode areas. Dilute in a carrier oil of your choice.


  • A drop of essential oil in a 12 ounce glass of water once a day for a few days is all that is necessary.
Aromatherapy Details

This Frankincense oil has a round orange blossom, floral top note followed by a gentle camphoracous, herbaceous middle note and deep, warm, rich molasses, woody and balsamic undertones.

Well-made Frankincense has a lovely aroma, blending well with many other essential oils. It goes particularly well with many other 'wood' oils such as Cedar, Fir, Spruce and Sandalwoods, adds a lovely note to florals such as Lavender, Neroli, Rose and Ylang Ylang, blends deliciously with citrus oils such as Orange and Lemon, and, of course, goes well with Myrrh.

For accurately measuring oils, see our Drops per mL page.


Generally non-toxic, non-irritant and non-sensitizing. Always test a small amount first for sensitivity or allergic reaction.

If pregnant or under a doctor's care, consult your physician.