The Magickal & Mundane Uses Of Frankincense

The Magickal & Mundane Uses Of Frankincense

Plant/herb –  Frankincense

Frankincense, often referred to as Olibanim in older texts

Climate and Soil:

  • Climate: Frankincense trees (Boswellia sacra) thrive in hot, dry climates. They are typically found in regions with temperatures ranging from 60°F to
    Frankincense Tree
    100°F (15°C to 38°C). These trees are native to arid regions of the Arabian Peninsula, Northeast Africa, and parts of India.
  • Soil: They prefer well-draining, sandy or gravelly soil. However, they can also tolerate rocky or limestone-rich soils. The soil pH should ideally be neutral to slightly alkaline.


  • From Seeds: Frankincense trees can be grown from seeds. Seeds are typically sown in pots or directly in the ground.
  • From Cuttings: Propagation from stem cuttings is also possible, although it may be more challenging compared to seed propagation.


  • Site Selection: Choose a sunny location with good drainage for planting Frankincense trees.
  • Planting Time: Planting is usually done in the spring, after the danger of frost has passed.
  • Plant Spacing: Space the trees at least 10 to 15 feet apart to allow for their eventual spread.


  • Establishment: Young Frankincense trees require regular watering to establish their root systems. Water deeply but infrequently, allowing the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.
  • Mature Trees: Once established, Frankincense trees are drought-tolerant and require minimal irrigation. They are adapted to arid conditions and can survive with little water.


  • Mulching Benefits: Mulching around the base of the tree helps retain soil moisture, suppresses weed growth, and protects the roots from temperature extremes.
  • Mulch Material: Organic mulches such as bark chips, straw, or compost can be used.


  • Minimal Requirements: Frankincense trees generally do not require heavy fertilization. In their native habitats, they grow in nutrient-poor soils.
  • Organic Matter: Incorporating organic matter into the soil during planting can provide some nutrients for initial growth.
  • Balanced Fertilizer: If necessary, a balanced fertilizer with equal parts nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium can be applied sparingly during the growing season.


  • Training: Pruning is mainly done for training young trees to develop a desirable shape and structure.
  • Deadwood Removal: Remove dead or damaged branches as needed to maintain tree health.
  • Minimal Pruning: Frankincense trees generally require minimal pruning once established, as they have a naturally attractive form.

Harvesting and Drying:

  • Resin Collection: Frankincense resin is harvested by making incisions in the bark of the tree. The resin oozes out and hardens upon exposure to air.
    Branch of Frankincense Tree With White Frankincense
  • Timing: The resin is typically harvested during the dry season when it flows more freely.
  • Drying: Once collected, the resin is allowed to dry naturally in the sun. It may take a few weeks to harden completely.
  • Storage: Dried Frankincense resin can be stored in a cool, dry place for future use.


Mundane Uses of Frankincense

While Frankincense is often associated with ceremonial or religious practices, it also has several mundane uses in everyday life. Here are some examples:

  1. Aromatherapy: Frankincense essential oil is commonly used in aromatherapy for its calming and grounding effects. It can be diffused in the
    Frankincense Resin and essential oil
    air, added to bathwater, or used in massage oils.
  2. Natural Air Freshener: Burning Frankincense resin as incense or using Frankincense essential oil in a diffuser can help freshen the air and eliminate odors in homes and other indoor spaces.
  3. Skincare: Frankincense oil is believed to have anti-inflammatory and skin-rejuvenating properties. It is often added to skincare products such as creams, serums, and facial oils to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles, scars, and blemishes.
  4. Household Cleaning: Frankincense essential oil can be added to homemade cleaning products to impart a pleasant scent and provide antimicrobial properties. It can be used in surface sprays, floor cleaners, and laundry detergents.
  5. Medicinal Purposes: In traditional medicine systems, Frankincense has been used for various health purposes, such as relieving coughs and congestion, reducing inflammation, and promoting digestion. However, it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional before using it for medicinal purposes.
  6. Insect Repellent: Some people use Frankincense essential oil as a natural insect repellent. It can be diluted with water and sprayed around the home or applied to the skin to deter mosquitoes and other insects.
  7. Stress Relief: Burning Frankincense resin or diffusing Frankincense essential oil is believed to have stress-relieving effects and promote relaxation. It can be used during meditation or as a way to unwind after a long day.
  8. Cosmetics: Frankincense extract or oil is sometimes incorporated into cosmetic products such as lip balms, perfumes, and hair care products for its fragrance and potential skincare benefits.


Aromatic Uses Of Frankincense

Frankincense is widely used for its aromatic properties, and it has a rich, dry, slightly spicy resinous scent that is both calming and uplifting. It has an especially long history of use in Africa & the Middle East. Some of the aromatic uses of Frankincense are as follows:

  1. Incense: One of the most traditional and popular uses of Frankincense is as incense. Burning Frankincense resin on charcoal discs or using resin
    Frankincense Resin Burning On Charcoal Disc
    incense burners releases its aromatic compounds into the air, filling the space with a warm, woody fragrance. Frankincense incense is often used in religious ceremonies, meditation practices, and as a general air freshener.
  2. Aromatherapy: Frankincense essential oil is commonly used in aromatherapy for its therapeutic effects on the mind and body. Diffusing Frankincense oil in an essential oil diffuser disperses its aroma into the air, creating a calming and grounding atmosphere. Inhalation of Frankincense vapor is believed to reduce stress, anxiety, and promote a sense of relaxation.
  3. Massage Oil: Frankincense essential oil can be diluted in a carrier oil, such as jojoba oil or coconut oil, to create a fragrant massage oil. Massaging the oil into the skin not only moisturizes and nourishes the skin but also allows the aromatic molecules of Frankincense to be absorbed, providing a therapeutic experience.
  4. Perfumery: Frankincense's complex and resinous aroma makes it a popular ingredient in perfumery. It adds depth, warmth, and sophistication to fragrance compositions, often used in both men's and women's perfumes. It can be used as a top, middle, or base note depending on the desired effect.
  5. Candles: Frankincense essential oil or fragrance oils derived from Frankincense are often used to scent candles. Burning Frankincense-scented candles creates a cozy and inviting ambiance, while also providing the therapeutic benefits of aromatherapy.
  6. Room Sprays: Frankincense essential oil can be added to homemade room sprays to freshen the air and impart its aromatic scent to the space.
    Frankincense room spray
    Simply mix a few drops of Frankincense oil with water in a spray bottle and use it to mist the air in rooms, linens, or furniture.
  7. Potpourri: Dried Frankincense resin or Frankincense essential oil can be added to potpourri blends to enhance their fragrance. Mixing Frankincense with other aromatic botanicals such as dried flowers, herbs, and spices creates a delightful potpourri that can be displayed in bowls or sachets to scent rooms naturally.
  8. Mosquito Repellent: The Middle East and Africa have long used Frankincense as a mosquito repellent.

These are just a few of the aromatic uses of Frankincense, but the possibilities are endless when it comes to incorporating its beautiful scent into daily life and rituals.


Medicinal  Uses of Frankincense:

Frankincense has a long history of use in traditional medicine systems, and modern research has also begun to explore its potential health benefits. Here are some of the medicinal uses of Frankincense:

Anti-inflammatory Properties: Frankincense contains compounds known as boswellic acids, which have been studied for their anti-inflammatory effects. They may help reduce inflammation in conditions such as arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases (such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis), and asthma.

Pain Relief: Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, Frankincense may also help

Pain relief

alleviate pain associated with inflammatory conditions like arthritis and muscle soreness. It is often used topically in the form of creams, ointments, or diluted essential oil for pain relief.

Respiratory Health: Frankincense has been traditionally used to relieve respiratory problems such as coughs, bronchitis, laryngitis, and congestion. Inhaling the aroma of Frankincense essential oil or using it in steam inhalation may help clear the airways and ease breathing.

Digestive Aid: In traditional medicine, Frankincense has been used to support digestive health and relieve symptoms such as indigestion, bloating, and stomach cramps. It may help promote the production of digestive enzymes and reduce inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract.

Memory: Traditional Chinese Medicine uses Frankincense to help improve memory and learning, especially in the elderly population.

Cognition: Frankincense is used traditionally by pregnant women to increase memory and promote intelligence in their offspring.

Immune Support: Some research suggests that Frankincense may have immunomodulatory effects, meaning it could help regulate the immune system. This could potentially make it useful in supporting overall immune function and fighting off infections.

Wound Healing: Frankincense has been used topically to promote wound healing

wound healing

and reduce the risk of infection. Its antimicrobial properties may help prevent bacterial growth, while its anti-inflammatory effects may aid in reducing swelling and promoting tissue repair.

Skin Health: Frankincense is believed to have skin-rejuvenating properties and may help improve the appearance of scars, wrinkles, and stretch marks. It is often used in skincare products for its ability to promote cell regeneration and collagen production.

Stress Reduction: Aromatherapy with Frankincense essential oil is commonly used for its calming and grounding effects, which can help reduce stress, anxiety, and promote relaxation.

Aphrodisiac: In Jordan, Frankincense is considered to be an aphrodisiac. It is said to promote virility and fertility.


While these potential health benefits of Frankincense are promising, more research is needed to fully understand its mechanisms of action and effectiveness for various health conditions.

It's essential to consult with a healthcare professional before using Frankincense for medicinal purposes, especially if you have any underlying health conditions or are taking medications.


Magickal Uses Of Frankincense

Frankincense has a long history of use in various spiritual and magical practices. Here are some of the magickal uses of Frankincense:

Folk Names: Incense, Olibans, Olibanum, Olibanus

Eye Of Ra- The sun god

Gender: Masculine/Hot

Planet: Sun

Element: Fire

Deities: Ra, Baal

Powers: Protection, Exorcism, Spirituality, Consecration, Love, Blessing, Courage, Divination, Joy, Luck, Strength, Success, Visions.

Parts Used: Resin/ Gum


  1. Purification: Frankincense is often used for purification rituals to cleanse spaces, objects, and individuals of negative energy or influences. Burning Frankincense resin as incense or using Frankincense essential oil in a purification bath can help create a sacred and energetically clean environment. . It is suggested by Scott Cunningham in his book “Magical Herbalism” that when you first purchase a censer, you should burn pure Frankincense or Rosemary in it to purify it.
  2. Spiritual Protection: Frankincense is believed to have protective properties that can shield against negative energies, psychic attacks, and malevolent spirits. Burning Frankincense resin is said to release powerful vibrations that uplift an area and expel negativity and evil. This is why Frankincense is used in incenses for exorcism, protection, purification and consecration. Wearing Frankincense-infused oils or amulets can also help create a protective barrier around oneself or one's space.
  3. Enhanced Meditation: The aroma of Frankincense is known for its calming and grounding effects, making it an excellent aid for meditation and spiritual practices. Burning Frankincense resin or diffusing Frankincense essential oil during meditation can help deepen focus, promote relaxation, and facilitate spiritual connection.
  4. Divination: Frankincense is sometimes used in divination rituals to enhance intuition, psychic abilities, and spiritual insight. It is thought to open the physical and spiritual senses. Burning Frankincense resin or inhaling its aroma may help clear the mind, open channels of communication with the divine, and enhance one's ability to receive messages or guidance.
  5. Anointing: In certain magical traditions, Frankincense oil is used for anointing ritual tools, candles, altars, and the body. Anointing with Frankincense is believed to imbue objects or individuals with sacred energy, blessing them and consecrating them for spiritual work or ceremonies
  6. Manifestation: Frankincense is associated with the element of fire and the Sun, making it a potent tool for manifestation rituals and spells. Burning Frankincense resin or using Frankincense essential oil in manifestation rituals can help amplify intentions, attract abundance, and empower manifestation work.
  7. Offerings: In many cultures and spiritual traditions, Frankincense is offered
    Frankincense Offering
    as a sacred gift to deities, spirits, or ancestors as a sign of reverence, gratitude, and devotion. Burning Frankincense as incense during rituals or ceremonies is a common way to honour divine beings and invite their presence. For example, The ancient Egyptians burnt Frankincense at sunrise in honour of the god Ra & It was one of the gifts presented to baby Jesus.
  8. Healing: Frankincense is believed to have healing properties for the mind, body, and spirit. Using Frankincense in healing rituals or spell work can promote physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being, aid in energetic healing, and support the body's natural healing processes.
  9. Ritual: Frankincense is included in some of the incenses used in the Catholic church.

How To Use Frankincense in Magick

  1. Add Frankincense to sachets for luck, protection, and spiritual growth.
  2. Frankincense oil can be added to black candles when performing protection candle magick.
  3. To cleanse your space of Evil/negative energies, light a censer and add Frankincense resin onto your charcoal disc. Ensure that the doors/windows are closed (and that your censer is away from any flammable material) and fumigate the room with the scent of Frankincense (ensure that for this exercise, the smoke detector is turned off, but do not leave the premises unattended in case of fire. It is said that no evil spirits can withstand the smell of Frankincense burning. This can also be performed on the regular to keep negative energies at bay- fill a censer with Frankincense and go from room to room, making sure that you reach into the corners. After you banish negative/ unwanted energies, it is important that you invite in positive energies.censer and frankincense resin
  4. Burn pure Frankincense in new censers to purify them for ritual work.
  5. Burn Frankincense at a new altar prior to performing any type of ritual or magic.
  6. A mix of Frankincense & Cumin can be used as a general protection incense.
  7. Because of its association with the Sun God Ra, Frankincense is the ideal incense to burn during sunrise rituals of all types.


Let us know what you think about this fantastic plant. Do you use it for mundane purposes, magickal purposes, or both? We'd love to hear your experiences.

Please note: This information is for entertainment purposes only and should not replace medical advice.  I am not a qualified herbalist/ doctor and am only reporting self researched information. 


Cunningham, S. (1985). Cunningham's Encyclopedia of magical herbs (pp. 119-120). Llewellyn Publications.
Cunningham, S. (1993). The Complete Book Of Incense, Oils and Brews (p. 57). Llewellyn Publications.
Grieve, M., Mrs. (1978). A Modern Herbal (pp. 326-328). Penguin Books.
Chamberlain, L. (2016). Wicca For Beginners (p. 132). Sterling Ethos.
Hamidpour R, Hamidpour S, Hamidpour M, Shahlari M. Frankincense ( rǔ xiāng; boswellia species): from the selection of traditional applications to the novel phytotherapy for the prevention and treatment of serious diseases. J Tradit Complement Med. 2013 Oct;3(4):221-6. doi: 10.4103/2225-4110.119723. PMID: 24716181; PMCID: PMC3924999.
Cunningham, S. (2021). Magical Herbalism (3rd ed., pp. 10, 24-25, 50, 56, 66-67, 103, 110, 122-124, 127-128, 144, 160, 205). Llewellyn Publications.
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