Hey guys, just thought I would throw one last Christmas-themed post in before taking a few man-days off to cook some turkey, eat some pudding and drink some beer. My inspiration for this one, as usual, comes from my beautiful wife – but not in the usual manner. You see I was doing some research into Christmas gifts and, as usual was madly trying to find things that I could get her that would be delivered within the very tight time frames I had left myself.
During my research – insert nervous clicking and a little crying – I was floating around the health and beauty pages and noticed a lot of promotions centreing around Frankincense and Myrrh. Now, my knowledge of these two substances was limited to the fact that the Bible talks about the three wise men that bring gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh to the baby Jesus. I have since found out that in many ancient civilisations, both Myrrh and Frankincense were considered as valuable as gold!
So, in true Man Versus Oils fashion, I have thrown myself a challenge to come up with 5 Manly uses for Frankincense and Myrrh essential oils. Why? God knows but I am doing it anyway…
What are they?
Frankincense (also known as olibanum) is an aromatic resin obtained from trees of the genus Boswellia in the family Burseraceae. Its history in regards to medicines and therapeutic benefits dates back thousands of years when it was used for all manner of medical conditions and it is depicted in use in ancient rituals.
In modern times it is perhaps better known for its use in incense, perfume and religious ceremonies.
Myrrh is a natural gum or resin extracted from a number of small, thorny tree species of the genus Commiphora. As with Frankincense, Myrrh resin has been used throughout history for its medical benefits. The Egyptians used it for embalming and many religions used it to make the holy anointing oil. It is also still used heavily in Chinese medicines today as well as in perfumes and incense.
It is for their medical and aromatic qualities that is was believed that these two ‘spices’ were gifted at the birth of baby Jesus.
Essential Oil Uses
Due to their aromatic qualities and historical medical benefits, Frankincense and Myrrh are also commonly distilled into essential oils. Both are heavily used in skin care and as a calming scent for meditation and yoga practices.
Frankincense essential oil gets its distinctive rich, balsamic scent from naturally occurring alpha-pinene. Common
- A stimulating aroma for the diffuser to promotes feelings of relaxation and tranquility
- Use in skin care products to promote the appearance of healthy-looking skin and reduce the appearance of uneven skin tones
It also Maintains a special role in many religious ceremonies and for use in prayer, meditation or Yoga.
Myrrh essential oil has an earthy, sweet aroma – although some consider it harsh – and was particularly popular in ancient times when it was used predominantly in medicine. Its modern uses include skin care and aromatic applications such as:
- Use in skin care products and moisturisers.
- Diffusing for a unique, calming scent.
- Addition to shampoo or scalp treatment for its moisturising benefits.
Christmas Diffuser Recipe
Also, before we start, if you are looking for a little Christmas man-spirit around the house, try adding 3 drops of both Frankincense and Myrrh Essential Oils to your diffuser. The woody smell of the frankincense will soften the harsher scent of the myrrh for a nice mellow Christmas aroma.
5 Manly Uses for Frankincense
Ok, so I seem to have really set myself up for a bit of a job here as as I look through the benefits above as not a lot
look real manly. Added to that are the fact that many of the articles I have read about this oil promote health benefits and cures that I am not comfortable in promoting even though that there is much written about their uses for these in ancient times. But, in true man versus oils spirit, here is what I have found:
1 – Stress relief
The terms stress relief and relaxing are not normally words that I would use to describe a recommended man-use of any essential oils but let’s face it, with all of the Christmas parties, excited kids, drinking, excited kids, present buying, excited kids, food and excited kids that we deal with this time of year, the term is fairly apt. Don’t get me wrong, I love this time of year, but even the most masculine of us need a break from time to time!
For that manly getaway, frankincense is the bomb! Throw it in your newly purchased car-diffuser as you make your way home from work, add a few drops to your wrists and neck morning and afternoon or add a few drops to your diffuser when in the bath… I would also recommend a little yoga! Trust me I know… we men just get on with it, but you will not be sorry!
Oh, and I won’t tell anyone if you don’t – It is our little secret!
2 – Aftershave Lotion
This one is out of the chemical free handbook. Frankincense is used extensively in skin care due to its ability to revitalise and rejuvenate the skin as well as in the treatment if minor wounds. This all might sound a bit like I mean it as some sort of beauty cream but add the term “shaving rash” to this sentence and then we are talking good old man-face healing. To whip up your own chemical free aftershave:
- Grab hold of some scent free, natural moisturiserAdd 5 drops of Frankincense essential oil
- Shave, then apply liberally to your face to keep shaving rash at bay as well as sooth any of those nasty little shaving nicks!
3 – Acne treatment
Now for most of us our pimply pubescent days are far behind us but we do from time to time suffer from those big – sometimes blind and sometimes painful – pimples and acne. My wife swears by this treatment so it would be remiss of me to leave it out. It also helps I guess that Frankincense is also known for its anti-bacterial properties.
For blind pimples – add 1 drop of Frankincense oil to your fingertip and press it directly onto the mountain that has appeared where your face or back used to be. Sleep it off and in the morning it will be good as gone – or at least a lot less painful!
For acne – Add 5 ml of a liquid carrier oil (such as coconut or grape) and 5 drops of Frankincense Essential oil in a brown glass dropper bottle. Rub the solution onto the effected area each night before bed.
Note: Some pages I have found also call for the addition of lavender (soothing) and tea tree (also anti-bacterial) essential oils to this mix. This may be helpful if your infection is particularly sensitive or prevalent.
4 – Joint inflammation
Along with it’s anti-bacterial and skin repair properties, frankincense is also highlighted as a good reliever to inflamed muscles and joints. Again, I must highlight here that we are talking about short term relief to aching muscles and joints and NOT as a treatment to torn, damaged muscles or soft tissue injuries such as corks. So, if you are feeling a little jaded in the old man-muscles after a hard day on the job or that crucial social sporting event, you can try the following:
- Mix 5 drops of Frankincense essential oil to 10 ml of Jojoba carrier oil.
- Massage into affected area
- Turn on some sport and relax with your favourite man-drink – after telling everyone within earshot how awesome you were tonight at whatever sport it was you just excelled at.
5 – Manly ‘camping’ scent
This is one from my diffuser recipes for men post and I have included it just so I have a use that cannot be confused with just another beauty product. Use this recipe in the diffuser for a soft and fresh manly scent.
3 drops Frankincense
2 drops Idaho Balsam Fir
1 drop Cedarwood
I tried this one when I was writing the original post… it smells like that first whiff of fresh air in the morning as you crawl out of the tent (or cabin). Break the smell with that of fresh coffee and boom, just like you are there!
5 Manly Uses for Myrrh
Now we turn our attention to all things Myrrh. Like Frankincense, it is used heavily in beauty products but is also
considered to be a very spiritual oil used extensively in meditation and yoga rituals. I also found heavy use in many of the more left field rituals of witches and warlocks – so if that is your thing, then I guess you can include this in your manly list. However, in similar vein to Frankincense, the man-uses I have found are aimed mainly at the skin, hair and muscles.
1 – Relief of muscle swelling
This one is an interesting one and took my interest as I have not seen many examples in my travels of essential oils being used with the cold. There are a number of recipes and remedies that call for the oil to be heated – some proclaim to heal some pretty serious conditions hence I have never discussed that here – but none for cooler temperatures (And I have just found something else to write about so watch this space).
Anyway, Myrrh is often discussed as being good for joints and muscles due to its anti-inflamitory qualities. To assist with muscle swelling, add 10 drops of Myrrh essential oil to a cloth wrapped around a cold press and apply directly to the inflamed area.
2 – Insect Bite
Along with its anti-inflamitory properties, Myrrh is also known for being a good antiseptic. Before you head out on that epic man-barbeque or camping trip, mix 5ml of Jojoba oil and 5 drops of myrrh essential oil into a roller bottle. Once there apply directly onto any nasty insect bite that comes your way.
Note: This one is also good with Frankincense just in case that is what you have instead!
3 – Man-massage
A bit tired from all of that manliness? Time for a good old relaxing massage. Take advantage of Myrrh’s anti-inflamitory and skin health benefits (again, the substitution of frankincense and the addition of lavender would work here too) and do the following:
- Mix 2 tablespoons of good carrier oil (grape, jojoba or coconut will work) and 10 drops of Myrrh essential oil.
- Lie down on a towel, bed or massage table if handy.
- Convince your significant other to massage your manly massage recipe into all the sore bits (you might need to forgoe a sleep in or night out here but well worth it I think).
Tip: If you are unsuccessful in step 3 above, I have a little tool for you (please ignore the blatant sales pitch). I
recently purchased an Essential Oil Dispensing Massager for my wife and it is fantastic. All you need to do is add some Myrrh (and Frankincense, Panaway or Lavender if you see fit) to the little bottles (included) and give yourself an oily massage – I use it and it is pretty darn good trust me!
4 – Cracked man hands
Sorry, but the theme remains. The same anti-inflamitory, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that we have discussed ad nauseam already also make myrrh an extremely soothing and pain relieving remedy for those cracked and cut man-hands. Whether it is from work or a hard day tangling with fishhooks and handling spiky cranky fish, you can try the following:
- Mix 1 tablespoon of coconut oil with 5 drops of Myrrh essential oil (or you can use your left over man-massage concoction if it is around).
- Rinse hands with warm water and a natural chemical free soap.
- Rub coconut/Myrrh oil mixture into hands after wash and before bed.
- Repeat daily as necessary.
5 – Dandruff control
Myrrh essential oil was utilised in ancient times to assist with hair health and is included in many high end shampoos today. To assist with dandruff control simply mix 15 drops of Myrrh essential oil into a natural odourless shampoo and wash regularly for a chemical free dandruff treatment.
Phew, wasn’t sure I was going to get those for a while there. I know I have drawn a long bow with the manliness and there is a distinct health and beauty feel to this one, but hey, it is Christmas and we know we deserve a little pampering between manly beach and fishing sessions! At the very least you will sound all things knowledgeable the next time your other half ventures into the realm of cuts and muscle soreness. And if all else fails it will give you something to talk about during your next man-massage too.
That’s it, Christmas drinkies at the headland await (it is summer here down under) so I am off!
Merry Christmas to all and have fun!
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