Frankincense Essential Oils, Tea Tree & Eucalyptus:
Anecdotal and some research exists suggesting essential oils provide benefits that can help enhance your health. Furthermore helping create a sense of relaxation in times of need. These organic and natural extracts (like Frankincense essential oils) are derived from plants and other natural sources. In addition, they can have a slew of other uses.
Essential oils, when they are inhaled or adsorbed (through the skin), are thought to stimulate a part of the brain that influences our emotions. Additionally, may simulate reactions. For example, a better sense of relaxation. Thus, potentially resulting in a reduction in natural bodily responses such as heart rate and blood pressure changes. Oftentimes, in responses to stress, our respiratory rate increase, blood pressure and heart rate.
Many essential oils have been used for centuries for a multitude of purposes.
Specifically, we’ll discuss the uses and potential benefits of three popular essential oils. Tea tree, eucalyptus, and frankincense essential oils. Generally speaking, these three oils are well known. Oftentimes, used in aromatherapy applications, massage (oils), during meditation, yoga sessions, even applications such as car diffusers.
Importantly to note, benefits of essentials can and will fluctuate from person to person. Within this text we discuss both anecdotal evidence and research suggestive potential benefits of these essential oils.
Uses Of These Essential Oils?
Typically, these oils (as well as many other oils) are used in applications that may help encourage mental relaxation. Like beforementioned, this can include applications like aromatherapy diffusion or aromatherapy massages.
Studies have even been suggestive of there uses for certain medicinal purposes, as well. However, in our opinion many studies conducted on essential oils should require larger studies. Oftentimes, studies contain small sample sizes. Additionally, we’ve come across many studies that were animal tested only, lacking human trials.
We do our best to present information to our audience on the current literature we find. Many oils are used sheerly for their beautiful aromas. Oftentimes, in applications such as soaps, baths bombs and other bath and beauty products.
We use essential oils in our soaps, by themselves and coupled with fragrance oils to help bring out different fragrance notes.
Tea Tree Essential Oil Uses:
Tea tree oil (TTO) comes from specific leaves native to Australia. Furthermore, has been used as a form of traditional medicine for hundreds of years, within certain cultures.
The oil comes from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifoilia.
The aboriginals of Australia extracted this oil and used it to treat coughs and skin healing purposes. Oils from these leaves can also be extracted via steam distillation.
Today, tea tree oil is still used for some of these medicinal purposes. Surely, you’ve likely come across cleaning products that include this versatile essential oil. It can be found in detergents, shampoos, skin and nail creams, just to name a few.
Applying tea tree oil to the skin, along with carrier oils, can be an alternative type of skincare treatment.
Main Components of Tea Tree Oil:
Terpinen-4-ol, y-Terpinene, alpha-Terpinene, 1,8-Cineiole, Terpinolene
What Some of the Research Says:
a. Potential Anti-inflammatory/Wound Healing/Acne?
Tea tree essential oil (TTO) can help reduce skin inflammation, speeding-up the wound healing process, according to research studies. In fact, some research supports much of the anecdotal evidence of it having anti-inflammatory properties. TTO has demonstrated having affects on immune responses as well. For instance, inhibiting certain inflammatory mediators.
One particular study of 124 patients, 5% tea tree oil gel was compared to a 5% benzoyl peroxide lotion in the treatment of mild to moderate acne. Tea tree oil had a significant effect on both reducing number of inflamed and non-inflamed legions. However, slower then the peroxide lotion. Additionally, fewer side effects were noted with the tea tree oil compared to that of the peroxide lotion.
Another study in 2016 included a smaller sample size of 18 participants. The results were conclusive that tea tree oil products, “significantly improved mild to moderate acne with low side-effects”.
Animal studies have also shown similar anti-inflammatory actions. Like this study on mouth infections in mice. A main component of tea tree oil (T-4-ol) helped suppress inflammatory activity.
Patients in another study used a 3.3% water-miscible tea tree oil solution as part of a wound healing regimen. At the end of the treatment study, the tea tree oil solution did not appear to inhibit any wound healing. In fact, the majority of wounds reduced in size. * However, it’s inconclusive if the reduction in size of healing was solely benefited by the tea tree oil solution or other parts of the wound-healing regimen. Tea tree oil for wound healing usage seems unclear.
Tea tree oil can be found in many types of holistic stores. However, doing proper research is important (specifically, if want to use essential oils for therapeutic application). Furthermore, purity of these oils can differ from supplier to supplier. Usually cheaper oils of tea tree are not 100% pure extracts!
b. Potential Anti-Septic/Anti-Bacterial?
Compounds, like teripnen-4-ol, within tea tree oil has been known to kill certain strains of bacteria, viruses and fungi.
One particular study discussed the antiseptic nature of TTO, especially with increasing concentrations. Like mentioned above, Tea tree oil (specifically certain compounds within it) have been linked to being active against a variety of bacteria on the skin, viruses, fungi & even mites.
With all that being said, you’ll often see TTO added to hand sanitizers, and deodorant(s).
c. Potential Hair & Scalp Support?
There has been evidence and research to support tea tree oils ability to help with dry scalp, and dandruff. Tea tree oil is known to have antifungal properties with activity against the yeast Pityrosporum ovale (a part of normal human cutaneous flora) which can be an opportunistic pathogen and associated with dandruff.
One study in 2002 of 126 male and female participants, showed a 41% improvement in severity scores as compared to a placebo used. Tea tree oil appeared effective in the treatment of dandruff.
d. Can It Help with Athletes Foot or Eczema?
Tinea pedis, also known as athletes foot. Symptoms, of athletes foot have also been studied in relation to tea tree oil action against. Like much of the evidence, when it come to differing essential oils, research has expanded from anecdotal to more evidence-based.
One such study that tested tea tree oil cream on 104 patients in treatment of tinea pedis, showed athletes foot reduction through this application.
Due to tea tree oils ability to help with skin inflammation, it’s no wonder it is used as a natural treatment for the two. Contact dermatitis, specifically, is a form of eczema, that was included in a study looking at traditional topical therapeutic agents like zinc oxide, clobetason butyrate, and of course tea tree oil. Tea tree oil in the end, proved to be a more effective anti-eczematic agent then both other treatments.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil Uses:
One of the most well-known essential oils is eucalyptus. Anecdotal evidence for this oil traces back many years. Commonly discussed potential benefits include have properties supportive of wound healing, immune boosting, antiseptic properties, supportive for the respiratory system, and one of the “best” oils for aromatherapy applications.
There are over 500 Eucalyptus types which share similar properties. The leaves are first dried out. Then crushed, steam distilled, releasing the oils.
Eucalyptus oil is found in Australia, but can be found in many other places around the world. For example, Europe, and China. Eucalyptus seems to have gained some steam as more evidence-based research has been conducted.
For example, have you ever heard of Vicks Vapor-rub? This is a well known over-the-counter medication. It’s usage often for respiratory illnesses. For example a cold, or even the flu (acting as a cough suppressant).
Eucalyptus, is used in formulas like Vicks. Thus, with a role in suppressing cough. Using a diffuser with eucalyptus essential oils is common. Generally, believed as a safe way to bring the usage of essential oil vapors into your respiratory tract, in a “cooling” type fashion.
Main Components of Eucalyptus Essential Oils:
alpha-Terpineol, 1,8 cineole, alpha-pinene, ß-pinene, Sabinene, Camphene, Limonene & Camphor
a. Potential Usage for Respiratory Support?
As beforementioned, eucalyptus is a popularly used essential oil to aide in relief from respiratory problems. For example, bronchitis, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Whether through vapor inhalation or oral route, it is said to be beneficial for both purulent and non-purulent respiratory problems.
An animal study showed anti-inflammatory effects on chronic bronchitis, with the use of eucalyptus oil.
b. Potential Usage for Insect Repellent?
In addition, eucalyptus is believed to help as a bug repellent. In fact, the CDC (Center For Disease Control) has approved eucalyptus oil for use as a mosquito repellent.
There was even a study that showed potential for eucalyptus and it’s ability to repel the common house rat. Daily applications of different concentrations of eucalyptus oil were applied to areas to assess food consumption in those areas where the spray was applied. The applied area vs. the un-applied area of oil showed a significant decrease in food consumption in said area.
c. Potential Usage in Wound Healing/Anti-inflammatory/Anti-Microbial?
Eucalyptus oil in one particular study showed to have the ability to eliminate microbial biofilms from hard surfaces. Thus, indicating a potential use in adjunct with current infection control strategies.
Major components within eucalyptus oil, like 1,8-cineole, have antimicrobial effects against bacteria. Specifically, Myocbacterium tuberculosis and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), viruses and fungi.
The anti-inflammatory properties in eucalyptus oils may be beneficial to those that suffer from cold sores, as well in reducing the healing time.
Another study in 2012, provided support that eucalyptus oil has “encouraging results”, and has properties that show inhibitory effects against Escherichia coli (E-coli), and Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus)
Like with other essential oils, it’s imperative that you discuss treatment of any wound or infection with a holistic or medical professional. This may include whether going a more holistic route is appropriate. Furthermore, if using it in conjunction with other treatments are appropriate and safe.
d. Potentially Helps with Symptoms of Pain?
Eucalyptus oil not only has properties that help contribute to inflammatory relief, but may also have analgesic and spasmolytic effects.
Thinking about it’s suggestive anti-inflammatory properties, using it as a remedy for joint pain, may be beneficial. Using it with a carrier oil to rub on areas of chronic pain, may help to relieve certain pain symptoms.
Inhaled eucalyptus oil was a focus of one study on patients who received total knee replacements. The study found patients who inhaled the oil for 30 minutes, on 3 consecutive days, were in less pain (based on an analog scale) then the control group. Furthermore, also had lower blood pressures, then patients who did not receive eucalyptus oil inhalation(s).
Use these oils with devices like ultrasonic diffusers for better aromatic disbursement!
Frankincense Essential Oils:
Next up, is frankincense essential oil (Boswellia carterii). Frankincense is obtained from dry resin (which originally starts as sap droplets) from the Boswellia tree, native to certain regions, like Africa.
The hardened resin is then crushed. Steam distillation and CO2 extraction is the process that eventually produces this historically used, Frankincense essential oil and all of its beautiful aromatics.
Individuals often describe the scent of Frankincense as woody, earthy, spicy with a slight fruity undertone.
It can be diffused, as well as applied topically to the skin with carrier oils. Many love this oil for it’s calming aromas, to ease stress and anxiety symptoms. It’s also been suggestive for use in stimulating the immune system, and cosmetically, to reduce or eliminate surface bacteria from the skin.
Main Components of Frankincense
Limonene, Pinene, Borneol, Farnesol, Phellandrene, Myrcene
a. Potentially Help with Skin Irritation/Wounds?
Some studies have suggested extracts are able to reduce redness and irritation to the skin. Furthermore, as well helping to produce an even skin tone. It has been used for things such as bruises and infected sores.
Their is also potential for these oils to have a soothing property on irritated skin. The main reason for this is the “steroid-like” structure in Boswellic acid compounds.
However, it seems clear more large scale studies are needed to further support these findings.
b. Potential for Bowel and Gut Health Support?
One study in 2012 of 30 patients, each with chronic colitis, showed that B. serrata could be effective in it’s treatment with minimal side-effects.
Another small study showed Frankincense resin as potentially being as effective as certain drugs at reducing symptoms of Crohn’s, like mesalazine.
c. Potential Anti-inflammatory/Anti-Septic/Respiratory Support?
Frankincense is suggestive of having “anti-inflammatory, expectorant, antiseptic, anxiolytic and antineurotic effects”, according to one research study that discussed it’s therapeutic properties.
This oil may be beneficial for people whom suffer from arthritis. It’s suggestive anti-inflammatory properties, may be a great alternative or conjunct with other therapies for pain relief of joints and fingers.
This oil may be helpful when used to reduce symptoms of asthma. A study of 40 patients who suffered from bronchial asthma, were given resin from Boswellia serrata. In conclusion 70% showed improvement of disease.
A double-blind randomized clinical trial suggested that Frankincense is a safe and low-cost herbal medicine that can be helpful when used as an adjunct to conventional therapies for improvement in inflammation based disease of gingival (gingivitis).
d. Potential to Help Fighting Cancers?
Finally, frankincense may also have cancer fighting factors. Some studies suggest that regular exposure to this oil can reduce the risk of certain cancers.
A study in the International Journal of Nutrition, Pharmacology, Neurological Diseases states that, Boswellic acid (a compound in Frankincense oil) has been found to have “anti-preoperative effects on various tumor cell lines”. Furthermore, frankincense oil has been “found to distinguish cancerous cells from normal bladder cells, and suppress cancer cell viability.”
Another study investigated the anti-cancer activity of methanolic extract from Boswelia serrata on specific colon cancer cells. These extracts are suggestive to inhibit rapid growth, and may be able to help prevent cancer cells from spreading.
There have also been multiple test tube studies in which Frankincense (components or compounds within) was the subject matter. Test-tube studies have suggested it may aide in fighting specific cancers like pancreatic, prostate, and breast cancers (in which these oils are able to “induce breast cancer-specific cytotoxicity.”
Essential Oils in a Nutshell?
Many anecdotal and research studies suggest essential oils, in general, aide in several of the following.
I. Helping Reduce Anxiety.
Diffusing essential oils are said to help reduce anxiety and help keep you more centered. Along with things like meditation and yoga, the effects of essential oils may even be enhanced.
Proponents of using essential oils believe this type of aromatherapy helps keep you present, calm and grounded. When coupled with a diffuser, aromatics are believed to effect a part of the brain called the limbic system that controls emotions.
II. May Help You Sleep Better at Night
Not all essential oils are known or practiced regularly with sleep. However, certain oils like frankincense, Lavender, and Patchouli are oftentimes used to induce deeper levels of sleep at night. These oils can be great when used in aromatherapy diffusers that have automatic shut offs, that way you don’t have to worry about it running all night.
III. Improves Your Mood
When less stressed and anxious, your mood may naturally feels some amount of boost. If essential oils are in fact beneficial to a reduction of stress, your mood may naturally improve acutely, or in time.
Anecdotal evidence suggests specific essential oils can cause a spike in energy levels. For example, Bergamot, grapefruit, and sandalwood.
IV. May Reduce Blemishes and Skin Inflammation
Indeed, some studies support the use of tea tree, eucalyptus, and frankincense for having antibacterial properties. Applying these oils to your body (with carrier oils) may help healing time.
Tea tree and eucalyptus, in particular, are known to help improve the look of your skin. Potentially having a positive impact on acne, dry skin, even psoriasis. Using these oils along with other treatments may be “just what the doctor ordered” to help unclog pours.
V. Can Help Reduce Stress Levels
Stress seems more common in today’s hectic and chaotic world. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t take steps to reduce your stress levels.
With the use of essential oils, there is potential to aid your body to rest, recovery and promote relaxation. Essential oils should not be used alone to try and treat any medical conditions. However, they may be beneficial in acute times of high stress, to calm your nerves.
VI. May Aide Hair & Scalp Health
Essential oils can be great for your scalp and hair health. In particular, the use of tea tree can help reduce a dry and flaky scalp. Many deal with dandruff and other scalp issues, tea tree essential oil may help naturally improve this condition.
In fact, many hair and scalp products use percentages of tea tree essential oils, because of there hair and scalp benefits.
Side Effects of Essential Oils
Like with any essential oil we discuss here at RN to Zen, we do not ever suggest the ingestion of any of the oils. We believe in topical application of diluted essential oils for symptom relief, and aromatherapy. Before using essential oils for application and inhalation you should have a basic understanding of the oils and how to use them properly.
Please consult a medical or holistic expert when using essential oils as a therapeutic treatment. Never stop any current regimen useless consulting with a medical professional first.
The information we provide is based mostly on research that has been conducted on said essential oils. However, keep in mind some of the studies are small sample sizes and some are animal studies, lacking human trials. We only try and produce the research that has been done. We do not conduct any research ourselves on the oils.
You may also run across information on these oils (on the web) that is anecdotal evidence at best. We do try and provide more research driven material and knowledge, and give individuals a basic understanding of specific oils potentials.
Do not use essential oils when pregnant unless consulting a medical expert.
Do not use essential oils on children.
Thank you so much for coming by RN to Zen. We hope you’ve learned some new knowledge on these 3 beautiful essential oils. If you’ve used any of these oils in application, please be sure to share your experiences in the comments section.
- https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook/2020/noninfectious-health-risks/mosquitoes-ticks-and-other- arthropods