Tag Archives: Frankincense


Another new Oil.

Brazilian Frankincense, (Protium heptaphyllum) is an oil that is relatively new to me and I have just purchased some from Oshadi.

It has a fragrance similar to Frankincense but fresher with hints of citrus.

Oshadi describe it’s traditional uses.

Traditional Use

In the Amazon, the resin of Breu Branco is often burned during sacred religious and learning rituals for its calming and concentrating properties, for its aromatic scent that gives off a woodsy and somewhat musty aroma with hints of spice, to illuminate houses in the forest and repel mosquitoes and other undesirable insects. The resin has also been widely used by native tribes in their diverse traditional medicine to treat many different ailments such as:

  • Respiratory and lung diseases
  • Headaches
  • Stomach aches
  • Liver disorders
  • Wounds
  • To avoid the worsening of broken limbs and teeth
  • To help with memory loss
  • Concentration
  • Motor-coordination
  • For soothing states of agitation and stress
  • As well as its use as an antiseptic
  • Analgesic
  • Stimulating agent
  • The resin is also used in the sealing of boats, as a natural polish.
  • Its root bark; as astringent that’s claimed to have renal clearance and anti-syphilitic properties.
It is probably too early for therapists here to comment on some of these properties but, given it has a similar chemical make up to the better known Somalian and Middle Eastern Frankincense. Of particular interest to me given my client group are its ability to soothe states of agitation and stress and aid concentration.  I will be paying attention to see if there are any differences in  how clients react compared with the Frankincense oil derived from the same shrub as that used in churches for incense.

Most Depressing day of the Year

Next Monday has been given the Moniker, based on people’s lack of enthusiasm for returning to work, low light levels, winter weather and the come down after the winter and new year celebrations.

Of course for some who really enjoy their work, especially if they don’t enjoy time with family etc. for whatever reason this is total bunkum. For me personally, being self employed it will be great if I have clients next Monday!

However, it is the peak time for people to see GPs with problems related to depression, more people die at this time of year and according to at least one website it is also the peak time for people to file for divorce!

If you feel the need for some more brightness in your life and want to get your energy moving, try using this blend of oils.

Bergamot 5 drops,

Frankincense 4 drops,

Pine 3 drops.

You can use this in a burner or vaporiser or use it for massage if mixed in 30ml of a vegetable based carrier oil. In a bath you can add just a few mls of the mix to the bath.

Alternatively, if you live near Trumpington or Central Cambridge, why not book an aromatherapy massage to lift your spirits.

Phone 07939273569 or email dave@cambridgearomatherapy.com to book an appointment.


Why is Aromatherapy so powerful?

Start pealing an orange, how long does it take for your mouth to start producing saliva? If you are anything like me, not very long. Many of the essential oils used in Aromatherapy belong to plants which also have culinary uses but that is only part of the story. Our sense of smell is very powerfully connected to our emotions. Frankincense helps to instil a sense of calmness and was used in temples for that reason for over a thousand years before Christian churches started using it for the same reason.

How many of us associate particular smells with individuals? These associations can be both positive and negative. Every so often I have a client with a real aversion for a particular oil and sometimes, though by no means always this is because of an association with a particular individual.

The sense of smell is fast. It takes a fraction of a second for the brain to react and not much longer for molecules that are inhaled to reach the brain. This compares with a much longer time-scale for the essential oils to do their work through being absorbed by the skin, though this is also important in a treatment as the amount of oil absorbed is much greater.

Even today our sense of smell which is far from being the best in the animal kingdom is more sensitive than all but the best of scientific instruments. That is why often when an emergency call is made because of a smell of gas in a house, the person who comes out with instruments to check this is unable to detect it!

So why not treat your nose as well as your skin by booking an Aromatherapy Massage Treatment. £40 for an hour and £50 for 90 minutes if booked between now and 7th January. Appointments available both in Trumpington and Central Cambridge.

07939273569 or dave@cambridgearomatherapy.com


A Winter Warmer

There are a lot of oils that might be associated with Christmas, the Solstice and indeed Winter in general. Oils that encourage us to look inside ourselves and aid meditation, just as plants draw their energies down into their roots before the exciting rush of growth in the spring. Frankincense and Myrrh are two of these.

Other oils of the season are the warming oils from spices that are used in many festive recipes. Ginger, Cinnamon, nutmeg along with the citrus oils that are light and help to keep our energy moving, Lemon  for clarity of thought, Bergamot which helps counter depression and Seasoned Affective Disorder.

I expect to be using all these oils a lot in the coming weeks but if you don’t have them in your home why not make either a mulled wine or mulled apple juice with the spices instead? You can add some slices of citrus to the mix and you can burn a good quality incense as well to complete the mix.

Another alternative is to book an aromatherapy massage in Trumpington or Central Cambridge. Phone  07939273569 or email dave@cambridgearomatherapy.com


Winter warmer.

I welcome the colder weather. It gives me the chance to enjoy the wood stove, my bees will consume less of what they have stored for the winter as they are less active and because the queen will lay fewer eggs, the break in brood production will reduce any problems due to varroa mites. Fruit trees will do better too. – They need a period of cold weather in order to produce fruit the following year so I am really pleased that we have already had more frosts than the whole of last winter! abdominal-massage-14172846

And with Christmas approaching, I am using a lot of Frankincense essential oil in my skin balms but also a lot in my massage practice too. As shopping becomes more hectic I find more clients need an oil that takes them down into themselves and their roots, just as the fruit trees do, They stop growing till late winter/the start of spring.

So if you are in need of some time to reflect, to build up your reserves even if just to face the fray of the shops or the internet why not give me a call on 07939273569 or email dave@cambridgearomatherapy.com to book an aromatherapy massage either here in Trumpington or at the Salus wellness centre in Norfolk street, just a stone’s throw from the Grafton Centre.


Festive Offer

From now until the end of the first week in January, I am offering first treatments for £40 an hour and £50 for 90 minutes. What better way to fight off those winter blues than an aromatherapy massage with oils chosen with you to help meet your goals for the treatment.woodstoveIf the treatment is at my home in Trumpington, the wood-stove heating the room and towels helps to make the treatment especially appropriate for the time of year. In Central Cambridge the room will still be comfortably warm but with central heating. Oils such as Frankincense can help bring us to a calm sense of mind in contrast to the chaos that is Christmas shopping!

If massage isn’t your thing, another alternative is the skin balm I make.

2013-04-23_10-04-30Beeswax is melted into olive oil and then essential oils of Frankincense and Geranium are added along with sea buckthorn oils making a wonderful moisturising tonic for the skin which can also be used on the lips. I can also do consultations allowing me to make a skin balm to help with specific problems such as anxiety, depression, sleep difficulties etc.  One client uses this on her feet and finds it more effective against athletes foot than preparations prescribed by her GP. Another buys it for their son and finds  it very effective against his eczema. With the athletes foot, most oils have some degree of anti-fungal action but the main active ingredient is probably the beeswax in this case.

To enquire about a treatment for yourself/as a gift or skin balm, email dave@cambridgearomatherapy.com or phone 07939273569


Mental illness soars in young women

I was shocked by this headline in The Guardian this week. It was not so much the figures that shocked me but that they have been allowed to rise so much while at the same time funding for mental health services for children and adolescent services has been steadily cut. This was happening before I stopped working in the field but has continued since. One in eight women between the ages of sixteen and twenty four screens positive for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder! (In older age groups men are more affected.)


From The Guardian, one in 8 will have PTSD

For me, two things need to happen. Firstly the causes need to be addressed. Constant re-stimulation by reminders of the trauma through social media is thought to be a major cause of the increase. Education for all young people on how to avoid this through changing habits and privacy settings. Secondly, anyone of any age with PTSD needs to be able to access high quality therapy without having a long wait in order to do so. When I worked with a lot of young people who had this problem in in-patient services, many could have been treated as out-patients had they been able to access treatment in a more timely fashion. Most young women who go on to get a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder started of with PTSD. Sometimes the link was due to a dysfunctional family but often it was due to the family not being able (sometimes through lack of knowledge about services but more likely the lack of anything appropriate) to access high quality services.

Working as an Aromatherapist I see a significant number of people with PTSD, both men and women. Essential oils that can help with this include Frankincense, Rose and many others. Massage will not be the best option for all but for many it can bring significant relief.I used Massage and Aromatherapy with many young people when I worked at a therapeutic community for 16-21 year-olds in North West London.

I bring this experience to my practice in Central Cambridge and Trumpington. With under 16’s I would need an appropriate adult to accompany clients for at least the first appointment and would wish someone to be available for 16-17 year old clients too. In some cases if the client prefers, they could be just outside the room during treatment.

If you or someone you know  might benefit from massage and aromatherapy from a therapist who has over 25 years of experience working in mental health do get in touch.

dave@cambridgearomatherapy.com or