If you suffer from arthritis, or pain in the joints, you probably already know that finding a treatment that truly works can require some trial and error. From relief creams to anti-inflammatory supplements, the options can seem unending. Yet there's one simple fix in particular that you may not have tried, though you're likely to come across it each holiday season: frankincense essential oil (from $12.90, Amazon).
Derived from the gum resin found in the bark of Boswellia trees in India, frankincense oil is an oil many of us first became familiar with in our youth, thanks in large part to the Christmas story of the Three Kings who came bearing it as a gift for a special baby in a manager.
Sweet, woodsy, and warm, frankincense also has a delightful scent that has the power to evoke precious memories of yore. Many Christian and Catholic churches incorporate frankincense into anointing ceremonies, such as baptisms, and certain masses. Non-religious people will also recognize its smell from holiday candles and incense, which have made it a staple seasonal note right alongside pine, clove, and myrrh.
While its holiday associations are strong, this rich solution has actually been used in aromatherapy for centuries (dating all the way back to ancient Egypt) for its natural anti-inflammatory properties, which make it a dream for those dealing with arthritis. In fact, a 2015 animal study published in the journal Scientific Reports found that not only did frankincense oil exhibit a remarkable reduction in arthritis-riddled mice, it also helped suppress their arthritic progression.
While there are many different kinds of frankincense oil available, it's important to find a high quality, highly concentrated blend to really get the most out of it, which is why we love this therapeutic-grade version from Eden's Garden — it boasts 100 percent pure Frankincense.
To reap the most out of this arthritis solution, you can mix a couple drops of it with a carrier oil (a skin-safe oil that's used to dilute essential oils that might otherwise irritate sensitive skin) like jojoba ($7.99, Amazon) vitamin E ($19.97, Amazon), or almond oil ($8.29, Amazon), and apply it directly for a nice, soothing treatment. Adding it into your favorite arthritis relief creams will also work for a packing a hyper-powered, one-two punch.
Arthritis sufferers are loving this oil in particular, with one writing, "This is a great price point for frankincense essential oil. ... I use a couple drops of this mixed with my facial lotion as an anti aging treatment and perhaps more importantly, I mix a few drops with Penetrex (Amazon, $34.95) and apply it to my husband's achy joints, and he swears it relieves his arthritis pain better than the Penetrex alone."
Another went on to write, "[This oil] stops arthritis pain and swelling. Apply it to painful areas and it lasts for several hours. Better than the medications doctors are dishing out!"
Treating our arthritis with the sweet smell of Christmas? Don't mind if we do!
Where to buy: $16.45, Amazon
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