I have a lot of experience with essential oils, aromatic oils, botanical essences or however you may refer or think of them. If I could describe them all in two words, I would say they are “God’s gift.” They are so dear to me! It’s not just the beautiful aromas they possess that I value highly; it is truly the tremendous benefit to my body, mind and spirit that I have never found disappointment in when I have helped myself by using essential oils. I think of them as friends.
Prior to working with essential oils, I knew them as plants in my youth and later as herbs, spices and oils. Getting to know them intimately as essential oils derived from plant leaves, seeds, flowers, resins, wood and more is such an awesome journey! So, I had this recent experience with one of my already favorite essential oils, Boswellia carterii, known more widely as Frankincense, that astounded me! The oil of Frankincense is distilled from a resin. I’ll tell you what happened…
I was in the process of hurriedly gathering items for a presentation to introduce my colleagues (on another path in which I am involved) to Aromatherapy as a means of stress reduction. I was to talk about essential oils and we would make inhalers to counter stress, afterwards as an exercise and a takeaway from the presentation. As I was pouring some Frankincense from a four ounce bottle into a fifteen ml bottle, it spilled out the larger bottle all over the hand in which I was holding the smaller bottle. I panicked for a moment, reminded that using essential oils “neat” i.e., without a carrier is not recommended. Okay, there are two exceptions: Lavender and Tea Tree oils that have no consequences to be cautious about when used directly on the skin. I am a trained holistic Aromatherapist so I am fully conscious of safety measures that are to be applied when handling and using essential oils. They are profound substances that must be treated with respect. I put both bottles down immediately, thinking about what carrier oil I would use to dilute the Frankincense without that base oil being a known skin penetrator as one of its noted properties. I chose Sesame Seed Oil; it was right there and Frankincense was, quite frankly, all over my outer hand, dripping on the rug and was also in my palm. A sizable blob had left the large mouth of the larger bottle and I was wearing it. I made a fast grab for the Sesame oil, opened and poured it all over my frankincensed hand and used a clean cloth to remove both as fast as I could. It all happened really fast! I had become drenched in Frankincense, in neat form, for less than 2 minutes. I didn’t exactly know what would happen since I had never had the experience before. It was a little after 3 PM. I wasn’t worried about the skin on my hand, and I smelled of Frankincense which was a good thing. I love its deep, resinous aroma. I had to get to my presentation that was set for 4 PM.
Within less than an hour, just before my presentation, I started feeling very relaxed. And, it increased. I was more relaxed than I have ever been during the delivery of a presentation! I realized I had to be careful about my choice of words with my supervisor in the room. I might say something that would give away my level of comfort. As the aromas of the essential oils filled the space; these included stress reducers Roman Chamomile, Vetiver, Lavender, Bergamot Mint, Peppermint, Ylang Ylang and Basil, others became more relaxed as well. We laughed, passed around the essential oils on popsicle sticks (I could not find my aromasticks) and made interesting inhalers. The more stressed among us stood out with curiosity about the oils and asked which was better than another? We had fun! I was relieved when it was over! I was even more relaxed. All that focusing on the material in my presentation and helping guests count drops while blending for inhalers had been work!
As I left work around 7 PM, I did not have much of a care in the world! I felt light, but very grounded. I walked to my car in pouring rain appreciative of the fact that I was going home. The rain was nice. When I arrived home, I ate something light and was really thirsty! By 8:30 PM I was in my pajamas and nodding uncontrollably on the couch while I attempted to listen to the news of the day. It had been a long day, but I am convinced that Frankincense had something to do with my entire being– being so grounded! I went to bed shortly afterwards. I was awakened by the sound of the doorbell ringing a little after 11PM. I got up to answer the door thinking my son must be without his key and I needed to let him in. Ordinarily, since my son is a repeat offender about leaving his key home and waking me up to let him in, I honestly sometimes don’t respond well to having my sleep broken due to his irresponsibility, but I didn’t have any reaction. I just got up to answer the door. Walking to the front of the house, I saw flashing lights through the bay windows. A little peek revealed that some NYPD police cars were outside. In any other instance, my heart and mind would have immediately started racing nervously; I would have begun worrying about something having happened to my son who was not at home. It didn’t happen. I was so calm. I opened the door and a police officer asked me about a car parked next door, about which I knew nothing and told him so. He thanked me and I closed the door. I went back to my bedroom and thought that maybe I should go and take another look at what exactly was going on outside not too far from my front door. It really hadn’t phased me that the police were in front of my residence and I hadn’t asked any questions. Maybe someone had been whacked in the car or something; that kind of stuff can happen in the best of neighborhoods. I hadn’t paid attention enough to satisfy my normal curiosity. I didn’t gather much watching them for a minute shine flashlights into what appeared to be a vacant car. They soon departed. Things were cool. I went back to bed and had a very good nights sleep.
The next morning I presented a once monthly held community workshop where I am the lead all day long from 10am to 6pm helping people understand and learn how to take a very important exam. I typically display plenty of energy and am upbeat in these sessions because I am talking about test-taking, something that makes most people nervous. I also despise boring presenters, and I don’t want to be one. I thought I had enough essential oil in my body from the prior day so I decided not to use my energizing inhaler. I was still plenty grounded and decided to stay with it. I did drink a couple of cups of coffee throughout the day and plenty of water. I was still sooo relaxed. The crowd at the session was great! There was nothing anyone could do to disturb my balance. Some tried, but I was cool as a cucumber. It wasn’t until very late the same night that I felt like I was back to my own rhythm, quite a few notches above the calm, relaxed individual I had been for more than 24 hours.
To say that I have a respect for Frankincense that I did not have before would be an understatement. It has always been a favorite essential oil for me. I use it on my skin in many blends and simply love the hydrosol! However, I now know why it was as good as gold, without a doubt, during the Middle Ages and before that i.e., B.C. Frankincense will settle and tame you! This was totally accidental, but I will not hesitate to use Frankincense as a single essential oil in the future to bring my energy down to a much needed quiet calm or just to be more relaxed, in general. We all need to do that sometimes, you know? I am always on the go and age-wise, I am no spring chicken as the saying goes! I went to my aromatherapy office on Monday, two days later, and I could still smell the marvelous aroma of Frankincense. I think it enbraced me! Metaphysically, I think Frankincense has been designated as yang. Well, if that is true– he is really something else, quite frankly!
Note: I obtained this Boswellia carterii from Aromatherachi.com and highly recommend it!