Recently a team of researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem did a study to see what the effects were of this age-old practice.
The health benefits of Frankincense Essential Oil can be attributed to its properties as an antiseptic, disinfectant, astringent, carminative, cicatrisant, cytophylactic, digestive, diuretic, emenagogue, expectorant, sedative, tonic, uterine and vulnerary substance.
Health Benefits of Frankincense Essential Oil
Apart from being used as a cosmetic and as a fragrance, frankincense oil has numerous medicinal uses, which are summarized below.
Immune System: Frankincense Oil is effective as an antiseptic, and even the fumes or smoke obtained from burning it have antiseptic and disinfectant qualities that eliminate the germs in the space where the smoke filters out. It can be applied on wounds without any known side effects to protect them from tetanus and becoming septic. It is equally good on internal wounds and protects them from developing infections.
Astringent: The astringent property of Frankincense Oil has many benefits, because it strengthens gums, hair roots, tones and lifts skin, contracts muscles, intestines and blood vessels, and thereby gives protection from premature losses of teeth and hair. This astringent quality also reduces the appearance of wrinkles, and combats the loss of firmness of intestines, abdominal muscles, and limbs associated with age. Above all, frankincense acts as a coagulant, helping to stop bleeding from wounds and cuts. This astringent property also helps to relieve diarrhea of various types.
Emenagogue: Frankincense essential oil reduces obstructed and delayed menstruation and delays the advent of menopause. It also helps curing other symptoms associated with menses and Post Menstrual Syndrome, such as pain in the abdominal region, nausea, headache, fatigue, and mood swings.
Carminative:Frankincense oil eliminates gas and prevents it from building up in the body. This removal of excess gas from the intestines also gives relief from associated problems like stomach aches, pain in the abdominal region and chest, abnormal amounts of sweating, uneasiness, indigestion and many other related conditions.
Cicatrisant: This is an interesting property of Frankincense Oil, and since skin health and anti-aging are such hot topics these days, this essential oil has become even more important! When applied topically or inhaled, it can makes the scars and after marks of boils, acne and pox on the skin fade at a much faster rate. This also includes the fading of stretch marks, surgery marks, and fat cracks associated with pregnancy and delivery of children.
Digestive: Suffering from indigestion due to that turkey last night? A patient of chronic indigestion and acidity? Fed up with those antacids? Then you should try Frankincense Oil instead. This oil has digestive properties without any side effects, and it facilitates digestion the way most medicines should, unlike common antacids which only suppress the symptoms. This oil speeds up the secretion of digestive juices (gastric juices, bile and acids) in the stomach and facilitates movement of food through the intestines by stimulating peristaltic motion. This means an all-around improvement in the digestion of food.
Anti-Aging: As a Cytophylactic, Frankincense Oil promotes regeneration of healthy cells and also keeps the existing cells and tissues healthy. When you combine this aspect of frankincense oil with its powerful astringent capabilities, you have a potent anti-aging quality that frankincense oil is often used for. It can help you to eliminate sun spots, remove micro-wrinkles around the eyes and cheeks, and generally tone and tighten skin all over your body, while simultaneously replacing old or dying cells with new, healthy ones!
Tonic: Overall, frankincense essential oil tones and boosts health and is therefore considered a tonic. It benefits all the systems operating in the body, including the respiratory, digestive, nervous, and excretory systems, while also increasing strength by aiding the absorption of nutrients into the body. Furthermore, frankincense oil strengthens the immune system and keeps you strong and protected for the future.
Diuretic: If you thought that Lasix and its variants were the only drugs that could help you release water from the body through urination, you were incorrect. Those pharmaceutical options may be instantaneous, but not very safe. Frankincense essential oil is a natural and safe alternative. It promotes urination and helps you lose that extra water weight, as well as fats, sodium, uric acid and various other toxins from the body, with the added advantage of lowering blood pressure. The best part about this is that frankincense essential oil is completely safe and has no adverse side effects.
Respiratory Issues: It soothes coughs and eliminates phlegm deposited in the respiratory tracts and the lungs. Frankincense essential oil also provides relief from bronchitis and congestion of nasal tract, larynx, pharynx, bronchi, and lungs. Its antidepressant and anti-inflammatory properties also help relax the breathing passages, which can reduce the dangers of asthma attacks, and its antiseptic qualities are what give it the reputation of being an immune system booster! It also eases body pain, headaches, toothaches and balances the rise in body temperature commonly associated with colds.
Stress and Anxiety: Frankincense Oil is very effective as a sedative, because it induces a feeling of mental peace, relaxation, satisfaction and spirituality. It also awakens insight, makes you more introspective and lowers anxiety, anger and stress. When feeling anxious or if you anticipate some sort of stressful episode, add some frankincense oil to a diffuser or a vaporizer. Frankincense essential oil promotes deep breathing and relaxation, which can open your breathing passages and reduce blood pressure, moving your mental state back to calmness.
Uterine: This oil is very good for uterine health. Since it regulates the production of the estrogen hormone, it reduces the chances of post-menopause tumor or cyst formation in the uterus, also known as uterine cancer. In terms of the pre-menopause period, it keeps a woman’s uterus healthy by regulating proper menstrual cycles. It also treats or regulates gynecologic conditions or stressors that can lead to complicated dysfunctions in certain women.
Vulnerary: Simply apply a diluted solution of this oil on wounds, or use it blended with a skin cream, and yourwounds will heal faster and be protected from infections. This oil is equally beneficial in healing internal wounds, cuts and ulcers.
Other Benefits: It relieves pain associated with rheumatism and arthritis. It helps heal boils, infected wounds, acne, circulatory problems, insomnia and various types of inflammation.
A Few Words of Caution: There are no known adverse side effects. That being said, frankincense essential oil should not be used during pregnancy, since it does act as an emenagogue and astringent.
Blending: Frankincense Oil blends well with Lime, Lemon, Orange and other Citrus oils as well as Benzoin, Bergamot, Lavender, Myrrh, Pine and Sandalwood oil. This makes it a popular element of many herbalists for various aromatherapy combinations.
Hawaii goes nuts after nuts
When the first humans arrived in Hawaii, edible nutritional kernels or nuts were hard to find. About the only native nut was the mahoe, or Alectron macrococculus. They brought with them the coconut and the kukui nut. Technically, the coconut is not a true nut and although kukui nut is edible, it can create serious stomach issues when eaten. So in the arena of foods and nutrition, true nuts were lacking.
In the mid 20th century, University of Hawaii College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources researchers literally scoured the tropical world for nut crops that might adapt to some of Hawaii’s diverse climates. Many nut-bearing species like almonds and cashews were introduced but none really found popularity like the Australian macadamia nut. Researchers developed many superior varieties and it wasn’t long before farmers began growing them commercially. Today, when folks think macadamia, they think Hawaii since the best varieties were promoted as Hawaiian macadamias even though they are now grown in parts of Africa, tropical America and Australia as well.
According to Randyl Rupar with Sanctuary of Mauna Kea Gardens, Hawaii Island is celebrating the success of macadamias Nov. 1 at the Sheraton Kona Resort &Spa at Keauhou Bay convention center. The event is open and free to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. with live music and entertainment. From 5 to 8 p.m., there will be a benefit concert for the Voice of Kona Community Radio, Kona 100.5.
The Going Nuts For The Holidays Festival is an opportunity for the community to network with local artists, wood craftsmen, farmers and artisan nutty food folks while enjoying live Hawaiian cultural entertainment. For other details, contact the organizers at 936-5233 or kona1005.org.
In the meantime, let’s visit some of the other nuts with potential here.
When was the last time you had pili nut pie, brittle or cookies? Unless you have lived in the Philippine Islands it is probably never. How about tropical almond cookies? Again, we don’t see them here but tropical almond confections are popular in Haiti and other parts of the Caribbean. The tropical almond, false kamani orTerminalia catappa, is originally from the East Indies but now found all over coastal regions of the tropical Pacific.
The Philippine Islands are a fascinating and beautiful part of the world. They are rich in plant and animal life and are populated by many interesting indigenous people with diverse cultures.
We are fortunate in Hawaii to have a large Filipino population that has brought a lot of flavor to our multicultural mix. It is surprising that more of the fruits and nuts that are popular there are not main stream here. For example, one of the tastiest nuts found in Manila is the pili. The pili nut, Canarium ovatum, is native to the Philippines and is the most important of about 10 nut-bearing species. The tree reaches an ultimate height of about 60 feet. Leaves are compound like the African tulip. Flowers are yellow, fragrant and form in terminal clusters. Male and female flowers are born on separate trees, so two trees of opposite sexes are required to produce nuts on the female tree. The oblong greenish fruits are black when ripe and are almost 2.5 to 3 inches long. The nut can be eaten raw or roasted and some consider it superior to the almond. My favorite recipe is the same as making peanut brittle, substituting pili nuts for peanuts.
In the Philippines, the kernel is made into several products, including plain roasted nuts, sugar-coated nuts, pudding and pili nut butter. They are great in nut chocolates and are a source of good cooking oil. The shell is an excellent source of fuel and is also used as a planting medium. In Indonesia, the shells are also made into ornaments. Resin may be tapped from the tree as with the rubber tree. It is used in perfumes, adhesives, plastics, printing inks, paint, varnish and many other products.
The University of Hawaii Waiakea Experiment Station has been studying pili production for years and found it to grow well in the Hilo region. It is a tropical tree. At this time, it appears the best growing areas would be below 1,300 feet, protected from strong winds and given irrigation where rainfall is below 50 well-distributed inches of rain per year.
The limiting factor in growing pili trees is availability of plants. Most trees in Hawaii and the Philippines are grown from seed. Grafting and budding are difficult. Air layering has limited success. Since the university does have a number of trees, it would be possible to obtain seed by contacting the UH CTAHR Agricultural Extension office. Seeds are not always available, but may be obtained when ready. The university also has information on orchard establishment. Although pili nut could be grown in a standard orchard layout, it also lends itself to growing under natural forest conditions as is done in the Philippines. Since significant yields do not occur until the 10th year, intercropping is desirable. This can fit in well with multicrop, sustainable agriculture systems.
Some nurseries are beginning to carry pili nut plants, especially on the Hilo side of the island, so you might check with your favorite nurseries and garden supply stores.
FREE TO THE PUBLIC COMMUNITY EVENT
Recent studies have proven that Turmeric helps dissolve Brain Plaques and prevent memory loss:
By Tracey Leigh Yager Special to West Hawaii Today
When you ask Randyl Rupar what he loves about mangoes, he answers with an enthusiastic, “Everything.”
“When God or Goddess created mangoes, it was to put smiles on people’s faces,” said Rupar, a member of the Sanctuary of Mana Kea Gardens and the original founder of the Big Island Mango Festival, now in its seventh year.
As a champion of Big Island tropical fruit, Rupar seeks to spread that smile across thousands of faces again at this year’s festival on Saturday at the Sheraton Kona Resort &Spa at Keauhou Bay.
“The roots of this really began 10 years ago on a small farm in Honaunau,” Rupar explained. “Out of nowhere, 300 people showed up. It was really crazy. Then I knew we were on to something.”
From there, the festival moved to Amy B.H. Greenwell’s Ethnobotanical Garden in Captain Cook, but the 2,000 visitors overwhelmed the parking. This was followed by a stint at the Keauhou Beach Resort. And then finally, the celebration moved to the Sheraton, which is now its official home.
With 40 booths, 10 which are given away to community service organizations, the festival features the most unique and varied mango dishes the island has to offer.
“This festival is so much fun,” said Rupar. “Kamaaina and tourists alike can get samples of delicious local foods they‘ve never tasted. That is coupled with a strong Hawaiian cultural element, along with local arts and crafts. And it’s a free event. There is a real sense of freedom at the festival.”
Rupar feels the true purpose of the event is to strengthen the community, which is why keeping the event free is an important component. A fundraiser dinner was held on July 18 at Under The Bodhi Tree to help with the cost of this year’s festival.
“We have had to come up with some pretty creative ideas on how to raise the funds to indeed keep it at no charge,” he said.
Ken Love, executive director of the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers Association, has been instrumental in assisting Rupar in his efforts. For Love, the festival is a chance to raise the consciousness of our community of what local produce really means and why it is important.
“Why we are bringing in lychees and mangoes from different tropical markets from around the world when we are at the height of our season is beyond me,” Love said. “The variety of our own mangoes and their level of food quality and nutrition just can’t be beat.”
For example, Love compared the flavor and nutrient-rich mangoes grown in West Hawaii soils to containers of unripe mangoes shipped here from Asian growing areas that are artificially ripened.
In flavor and food value, he said, these imports can’t compare.
In addition to showcasing this year’s bumper crop of the island’s 200 varieties of mangoes, the festival is a zero-waste event. Last year’s festival generated ten 33-gallon bags of recycling, and only one small kitchen bag that went to a landfill.
“Things can be devastating today, making you not want to leave your house or read the news,” Rupar said. “But we are adamant about showing people that you can have an event with literally thousands of people and it can be done. We can compost. We can recycle. We do not have to trash our island.”
This year’s festival master of ceremonies will be Big Island’s Kahikini Tommy Ching. The Mayoral Proclamation will be delivered by Guinevere Davenport, who was Miss Kona Coffee 2013 and Miss Mokihana 2015. At 10 a.m., Lily Dudoit will conduct the opening pule. This will be followed by Bolo Slack Key guitar and Ukulele Hula Joy Ka Lea Galagate Rothe.
From there, the sky is the limit for mango tasting and entertainment — from artisan foods and beverages, demonstrations and lectures about local agriculture and keiki activities until 5 p.m.
For more information visit mangofest.org.