Frankincense is a shrub that grows in the deserts from India to Saudi Arabia. The resin from this plant has, for over 5,000 years, offered relief from stress, arthritis, pain and inflammation, and it boosts immunity. For a long time, because it was such a powerful medicinal, the resin pieces were worth more than gold.

But, despite its popularity, it is most known for the part it plays in the Nativity story. King Gaspar, one of the three kings who visited Jesus after his birth, brought frankincense as a gift. Since the resin was also used as an anointing oil and perfume (for the living and the dead), and was burned in temples and holy places, Gaspar offered it as symbol of Jesus’ priesthood.

But frankincense is still around today. It’s an ingredient in skin care products and medicinals as an anti-inflammatory and as an antiseptic that can eliminate viruses and bacteria. Its astringent properties make it a powerful anti-congestive agent. It dries up mucous and makes breathing easier. And when the oil is rubbed on joints, it can help eliminate the pain of arthritis. Many religions around the world use frankincense in their ceremonies, often burning the resin as incense in order to cleanse sacred spaces. Some believe that the smoke from the burning resin carries prayers to Heaven.

Frankincense water is a particular use of this resin that was popular during the 17th and 18th centuries. Resin pieces were dropped into water and once they dissolved, people drank it for its anti-inflammatory and other healing properties. Sarah Munro, the heroine of ONE DARK WISH (book 2 in the Deadly Force series) even found a note about it during her study of colonial-era herbal remedies. Luckily for us, frankincense resin is easily available in health food stores and online, including Amazon. One note though–due to its emmenagogue and astringent qualities, it should not be used during pregnancy.

Sarah Munro’s Frankincense Water


  • 1 quart-sized glass jar with a tight-fitting lid
  • 4-5 small pieces of frankincense resin**
  • Filtered water


Place the resin pieces into the glass jar. Boil the water and fill the jar to within a 1/4 inch of the top rim. Cover with the lid and let steep for at least 8 hours or overnight. Once it is steeped and cooled, and the resin has dissolved, the water will be a light caramel color and slightly cloudy. Drink up to a cup a day whenever you are feeling congested or are dealing with arthritic or joint pain. It has a strong flavor, and sometimes I add honey to make it a bit sweeter. You can drink it cold or warmed up. It will last up to two weeks if kept in the refrigerator.

**Frankincense should not be used during pregnancy due to its emmenagogue and astringent qualities.


I am not a medical professional and nothing written on this blog is medical advice. None of my statements have been evaluated by the FDA (I am legally required to give you this disclaimer).

It is important to do your due diligence before foraging, harvesting, and/or consuming any type of medicinal plant.

  • If you are taking any medications, talk to your doctor about any potential drug interactions.
  • If you are allergic to anything, make sure whatever you are foraging is not in the same family. Example: While dandelions are typically considered safe, those who are allergic to ragweed, latex, daisies, or any other plants in the same or similar families, may not be able to consume dandelion.

Always research potential side effectsdosage recommendations, and how to properly prepare and consume each medicinal plant.

Always make sure you are foraging what you believe to be. Fully prepare and study the anatomy before harvesting wild plants.

Always make sure your kitchen/work area is clean and that all materials are sterilized.

Do not forage plants from areas that have been sprayed within the past 2 years at the very least.

I am not legally or morally responsible for the health of any of my readers. Please do your own research!

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