How to Make a Frankincense Oil Infusion

Pictured: all kinds of magical skincare goodness that we are going to get up close and personal with today.

(insert excited squeal)

My formulating colleague is an old hand at working with resins and has over the last couple of years allowed me to peek over her shoulder while she has worked and experimented with different materials and methods.

Today, I am absolutely thrilled that she said yes to sharing her method for making an oil based frankincense extract with one of my all time favorite oils.

Apart from explaining the method in detail, she has also taken all of the photographs you see on this post. Please welcome Rebecca Wright of Botanical Formulations to the blog.

Frankincense and Blackseed Oil Infusion

Oil infusions or macerations are a wonderful thing as they allow for a whole plant extraction, or that which is compatible with the solvent; when oil is used, as in this case, then all if not most of the oil soluble compounds found in the resin will be extracted.

As the menstruum, (or oil medium) I have used blackseed oil or nigella sativa for its healing benefits.  This is unusual as normally macerations use less fragrant oils and contrary to this blackseed oil has a strong peppery and almost medicinal scent.  I didnĂ­t want to add any additional scent as I wanted the extracts qualities to stand on their own.
Why these ingredients?

Let’s have a closer look.


Frankincense is a resin that comes from trees of the genus Boswellia.  When the bark is cut or tapped, it exudes a syrupy substance that hardens into what is known as the tears.  This resin is rich in a complex variety of chemical compounds.  Studies are ongoing, but it is suggested that it may have great value for human health and may hold, at least in part, a cure for cancer.

A frankincense extract is far superior to using essential oils, mainly because with an oil extract you get to have the benefit of the boswellic acids. These acids are heavy terpenes which do not come over into the essential oil. It is thought that boswellic acids are effective at treating inflammation and reversing effects associated with photo ageing.

Blackseed oil

Nigella sativa or blackseed oil is valued throughout Asia and the Near East for its curative properties. It is even mentioned in the Quran as a panacea or a cure-all.

The crushed seeds and oil have been used for a millennia both internally and externally.  For ingestion, it is often paired with honey to treat gastric problems, parasites and chest infections. It has also been used as an emmenagogue, as well as to increase milk flow in nursing mothers. In addition to being of internal value, it has also been used to treat a variety of skin conditions. 

This cold pressed oil is rich in over 100 different compounds, many of which are still unknown but include essential oils, fatty acids, and various nutrients. The high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids make it invaluable for treating inflamed skin and is often used in products for people with inflammatory skin problems such as psoriasis and eczema.  Since skin inflammation is the number one cause of skin ageing, it may just be useful for that too.

Here’s how I make this powerful extract.

Frankincense Oil-Infused Extract

Ingredient INCI Percent Grams
Frankincense Resin Boswellia carterii 20 10
Blackseed Oil Nigella sativa 80 40


1. Grind the frankincense in a pestle and mortar. You may want to freeze beforehand as this makes it less sticky.

2. Weigh your oil in a glass beaker or jar and add the ground resin. Place in a pot of hot water and bring to a simmer. I placed mine directly on a hot plate.  The temperature should be no more than 100 C. Mine was heated to approximately 85-90 C. You can leave it for between 45 minutes to 3 hours.

3. Remove from the heat. Now, you can choose to leave it to steep in the resin for a few days before filtering or filter immediately. Leaving for a while will allow the sediment to settle, making for an easy pour.

4. Filter the infusion through a cheese cloth tied to a beaker with a rubber band, or you can use a coffee filter.

5. Bottle and enjoy.

Top tip: The leftovers contain lots of skin-loving nutrients, use them in facial and body scrubs!


This extract is potent and would be useful as an anti-inflammatory spot treatment. Equally, due to the high levels of Boswellic acid, it will help keep skin looking fresh and youthful when combined with your favourite skin care formula. You can use it in face and body oils, balms, and creams for its anti-ageing and skin soothing properties.

Thank you Rebecca for sharing your fabulous how to with us!

More Info

I wrote a post about Nigella Seed oil earlier on this blog
Find more (free!) extract making how-to's on the How to page


Ieva said…
This is a genius idea! Thank you to Rebecca and yourself for sharing :)
LisaLise said…
Thank you Leva - I am also excited about giving this one a go! :)
Unknown said…
Hi both of you. Sharon here in Ireland. This has given me a idea to make a alcoholic infusion of frankincense for medicinal purposes (tincture). I seem to have developed a wheeze & I know through aromatherapy, frankincense is indicated for asthma? It's a powerful resin, along with myrhh. X
Unknown said…
Will the filtered oil be clear or is it cloudy due to the powdered resin?
Rebecca said…
Hi Sharon,
From what I understand it is anecdotally indicated for asthma, but I am not sure if there has been any medical research into it.
Rebecca said…
Hi Anonymous,

Yes, it is slightly milky, really it the last picture in the post is a good representation of how it turns out. After straining, some sediment will still fall to the bottom, but I quite like it there as it's still infusing in the oil.
Ellie said…
Thank you so much for posting and sharing! I love extractions and have learn to extract so many raw materials... except for frankincense. It is my favorite go to of all time. Now I know how to put my resin to use after extraction. Thank you so much LisaLise and Rebecca.
LisaLise said…
Hi Ellie - Thanks for your kind comment. :)
Donna said…
Hi Lisalise!If you're still answering questions from this blog post, I'd just like to know if this will help with scalp issues. Thank you in advance!
LisaLise said…
Hi Donna - your comment is not too old (no comment posted on this blog goes unnoticed - regardless of age).

I read your question as a general type of query about whether a frankincense infusion of this type might be beneficial for scalp because scalp issues can be many things.

Overall frankincense does help promote a healthy scalp ( some swear by it for hair growth). However - no 2 scalps are the same. It might be great for some and less successful for others, so my best recommendation would be to give it a try and see if it works for you. :)
Vera said…
Hi LisaLise)))) thank you very much for sharing great recipes))))
I was wondering, the black cumin seed oil can be heated???
Thank you in advance!
LisaLise said…
HI Vera,

Nigella seed oil has an inherently healthy amount of essential oil so I would personally refrain from heating the oil. That doesn't mean you can't give it a try though. It depends on what you were planning to do :)
Denise said…
Can Nigella Seed Oil be used (in small amount) to make soap - cold process?
LisaLise said…
Hi Denise - Great question! I've never tried this so I couldn't say, but I imagine doing a small trial batch would give you an idea of whether it works and what you think of it.
Unknown said…
How much of this do you use in combination with the other oils?
LisaLise said…
Hi Unknown — It depends on what you are making and the effect/result you are after. I imagine it would be equally great in a balm, face serum or even in the oil phase of an emulsion.
Am said…
HI Lisalise,

Does heating black seed oil at the recommended temperature harm its beneficial properties? Would the infusion be as potent if you just left it to infuse for a weeks?


LisaLise said…
Hi Am - great question! My answer is unfortunately a whole lot of 'it depends'. The temp and time is going to have an influence with heating, but some properties are more easily 'captured' using heat. How about trying a side by side test using both methods and seeing what you like the best? If you are so inclined, it is possible to order lab tests on ingredients for chemical breakdown but you have to be willing to use a bit of money to find out. :)
niecie2k said…
I wonder if its possible to do this with water creating a hydrosol of sorts? I wonder if water would have to be any special type or because it will be boiled it wouldn't matter. I'm going to try it.
LisaLise said…
Hi Niecie2k - I knw frankincense hydrosol exists but am not sure if it is made using the resin. I guess you'd have to try it and see how it works. :)
niecie2k said…
I tried it and its amaaaaaaazing! I ground the tears and then boiled 3 oz in 40 oz of water. I let it sit for about an hour & then drained it. Most of it had dissolved anyway. All I can say is WOW. I am in love with my new Frankincense water!
Digby said…
Peace, just to ask your opinion on this recipe, 10g frankincense(powdered), 10g Rose Neroli Resin (powdered), 10ml Lavender Oil, 10ml Blackseed Oil, 5ml Tea Tree Oil, 5g Shea Butter, 50ml Coconut Oil, allow the resins and butter to blend over three days stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon and keeping the mix warm. If you are in a cold environment a bain marie is needed. As an englishman living in Morocco i find here the a,bient temperature in summer is sufficient! The result can be filtered or if the sediment is left it will continue to infuse. The oil is to be applied on the skin as a restorative. In countries where it is available 5ml of THC oil gives it an enormois boost.
Thank you for your good work
Most of my time is spent in Extranet facing Life (not book!) But i will continue to look here from time to time.
LisaLise said…
Thank you so much for sharing Digby! :D
Digby said…
Peace, hi dear,thank you for your response.
Another old remedy for bronchial ailments,and persistent coughs
25ml Olive Oil(cold pressed virgin)
25g beeswax
2g Frankincense (powdered)
2dropsD.M.S.O. if available
1drop T.H.C. also if available
Gently warm the olive oil&beeswax in a bowl stirring with a wooden spoon until the beeswax melts and blends into the oil.As the balm appears add the powdered Frankincense (and if you have the D.M.S.O.&T.H.C.) continuing to stir and allow to cool.
The resulting balm should be put on a leather patch and bandaged on to the chest. Or adhesive surgical tape can be used to fix the poulstice in place. Leave in place for 3days if symptoms persist repeat.
This is an old Victorian cure with the added ingredients of the D.M.S.O. to pass the epidermal wall and allow the essence of the Frankinsence to penetrate deeper,and the T.H.C. as an immunity booster.
Love+Liteness Eternal
P.S. if its ever possible for you or any friends to visit Morocco (true and locally used name AlMaghreb, literally Sunsetland) you will find me near Cromlech Msoura (google it) the North African Megalithic Stone Temple!
LisaLise said…
Thank you Digby - Thanks again for your generous sharing. I did look up your location on Google maps-- it just made my must visit list! :D
Sharon said…
Hey lisa, I've made the Frankensine oil and really like it. Does the extracted oil loses is fragrance over time? Thanks
LisaLise said…
HI Sharon - Any extract will loose it's power over time - and I expect the fragrance will fade as time passes. The big question is how long. That I cannot answer with any certainty.
Unknown said…
I was wondering can o use Grape seeds oil as a carrier oil? because I would like to use it when I make cream, it's easy absorbed in the skin .Also if I store it in a dark bottle, for how long can I store it?

Haya, Toronto
LisaLise said…
Hi Haya - Yes, you can use grapeseed oil. Stored cool and dark your infusion will last quite long but I can't give you a solid time frame. Add a bit of antioxidant (vitamin e or rosemary antioxidant) to help extend the shelf life.
Unknown said…
Can I use Sunflower oil as a carrier oil? I becuase I would like to use it in my skincare products and because it does not clog your pores.

LisaLise said…
HI Alishaun - I don't see why not. Sunflower is an excellent choice for an infusion.
Colette said…
Hi I have purchased myrrh resin and black seed oil. I would like to make a formula to run on my gums to take away gum inflammation. Can this work? Any suggestions for added ingredients and ratio of resin to oil? First time trying this.
LisaLise said…
Hi Colette - Not having made the myself I am hard pressed to tell you if it would work for what you want to use it for.
Unknown said…
HI great read! Thank you so much. Please can this infusion be igested?
LisaLise said…
HI Unknown - I'm afraid I can't tell you if this can be taken internally. I work predominately with ingredients for topical application.
Anonymous said…
Would you happen to know of a nerve pain( Numbing of the finger's and hands) that work's with frankincense? If so could you name a few herbs please.
LisaLise said…
Hi Anon --I wish I could help, but this sounds like something you might want to discuss with a medical herbalist.
Unknown said…
Frankincense does not come from the Commiphora tree, Myrrh does. Frankincense belongs to the Boswellia genus of trees. But Commiphora (Myrrh) and Boswellia (Frankincense) both belong to the same family of trees called Burseraceae.
LisaLise said…
Hey there Unknown -- thanks so much for your input--- I'll check up on this and inform my guest author about it as well.
Unknown said…
many months ago I was diagnosed with Basil Cell Carcinoma (a biopsy was
performed) the dermatologist wanted to do surgery but I was not at peace with it after much prayer and chatting with my pastor I decided to research options and read about using frankincense oil, I was informed that it would kill off the particular type of cancer I had, so twice a day I applied it to my arm, sadly to say I didnt keep track of how many days I did this for, my best guess was about 3 weeks, I do know that when I saw my MD for a B12 shot I showed him my arm and he was astonished to see that the scab was healed up and even more suprised and happy when I told him about the method I used. I'm excited to start make this on my own and use it for other purposes. Thankyou for sharing your recipe, Sarah Jane
LisaLise said…
Hello Sarah Jane

Thank you so much for sharing this. What a wonderful and uplifting thing to experience!
Marelyn said…
Hello, I heard of of woman who ingested some form of Frankensence. Is this recipe edible? How would one make edible Frankensence?
LisaLise said…
Hey there Marelyn - I wish I could help you out but I have only worked with frankincence for topical applications.
Unknown said…

This article was so helpful. I love my infused frankincense oil. I'm going to try it your way and experience the difference. You mentioned using the oil with cream. How about shea butter?
LisaLise said…
Hi unknown— I don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to use this in a butter based product. I’d try a small batch and see what I thought before committing to a larger batch ☺️
Anastasia said…
Hey Lisa

Great post, thanks for sharing. What is the best source to use to purchase good quality blackseed oil?
LisaLise said…
HI Anastasia - if you are in Europe, you might try Aroma Zone in France, although I have also seen some health food shops stock this oil. Best of luck!