A Tale of 2 Frankincenses

1 October 31, 2011 - Archive

The holidays are fast approaching, and before we know, it will all be over.  Before we get to that point, now is a good time to highlight one of the most popular essential oils of the season: frankincense.  Did you know that there are over 50 biblical references to this precious healing resin? We know that frankincense was one of the gifts given by the three wise men at the birth of Jesus Christ, but what else can we learn from this ancient member of the Boswellia family?

Young Living currently offers two different types of frankincense essential oil—Frankincense (Boswellia carteri) and Sacred Frankincense (Boswellia sacra).  Historically, many believed the two to be the same, but Young Living’s recent research has proven that they are in fact two distinct species.  Our researchers have been the first to successfully separate the Chiral (pronounced Ki-Rol) molecules found in each variety of oil with Gas Chromatography (GC), offering definitive support of the difference between carteri and sacra. The GC tests have shown a difference in the optical rotation—the way light deflects off of molecules—in each species. To learn more about the science behind these tests, visit D. Gary Young’s Blog.

So what is the difference when it comes to usage? Frankincense is known for its ability to promote and support healthy skin, as well as for its everyday calming properties. Sacred Frankincense should be used primarily to create a heightened sense of spiritual awareness, and for moments of deep, personal meditation. Studies have shown that the incensole acetate found in Sacred Frankincense works on an ion channel within the brain, which may explain its ability to create a deep connection. Put a drop in journals, books, or sacred texts to bring an increased sense of spirituality.

Which frankincense essential oil is your favorite, and why? Leave us a comment below!

Marco Colindres III—YL Associate Product Marketing Manager

  • Julie

    Hi, Which one is better for pain relief?

    • Hi Julie, Young Living’s products are intended only for the use listed on individual labels—either for topical/aromatic use or as a dietary supplement. Please always refer to the label for usage directions. Because Young Living’s products are not labeled to be used as drugs, they are not intended for use in the treatment or cure of disease or any abnormal function of the body, including ailments or injuries. Therefore, Young Living cannot provide advice or recommendation for products to address any type of disease, ailment, or injury. Thanks for stopping by!

    • eric

      I’ve read that Frereana is best and Serrata is next best. Honestly, I grab whichever Frankincense (I think I have four different ones, lol) is closest to me 😉 and apply it. I really should pay more attention and try to figure out which works quickest and best!
      ~ Margaret

  • Thank you Paul. I’ve been using the carteri in place of Cymbalta internally and it is my lifesaver. I ordered Sacra this time and am so happy to see your post! I have Fibromialgia. Cymbalta was killing me. 4 months Cymbalta free and I feel a live again :).

    • Terri Stair

      How was Cymbalta killing you? I’ve been on it for years and don’t notice any side effects. I’ve had to reduce dosage recently due to low number of bp being high, and my pain level has increased. How much Frank do you take?

  • Kriss

    Frank is my fav EO! A drop of boswellia sacra in my scriptures & a drop of boswellia carteri in my facial moisturizer every day.

  • David Lewis

    I like both now that I know there are two…..the mix of frankincense and myrrh is great as well..

  • J G Verma

    Aroma therapy prevents oils to go in eyes if we cup over open eyes will there be no damage

  • I love Sacred Frankincense to breath in every morning . When I get to my spa, I put few drops on top of my head, because we have lots of client coming during the day with different moods, problems, etc. In the evening I love to use my resin burner just for few minutes when I read.

  • The first time I ingested just 2-3 drops of the Sacra under my tongue left me with a profound feeling-since like I was at home within. It was that type of feeling that would make you feel like hugging yourself. Many old memories surfaced and furthered my inward journey and left me with a feeling of comfort and contentment the rest of the evening. I found it very restoring….

* Please note that all comments are moderated and won't appear immediately. Additionally, some posts may be slightly modified or deleted to maintain compliance with Young Living's Policies and Procedures and federal regulations. To ensure your comments are compliant, please refer to the Suggested Product Claims document.