Aromatherapy and Resins
The term that is more commonly associated with aromatherapy resins is incense. Resins, or incense, have long been an important part of history. Widely used for ceremonial purposes in many ancient eastern and western civilizations, use of incense today, while still popular, is not nearly as common as is the use of perfumes and products containing fragrances.
Most resins come from tree bark. Resins are the gum-like substance that extrudes from a tree when its outer layer has been damaged. They’re actually unsaturated hydrocarbons that harden when they come into contact with air. In their natural state, resins can be semisolid or solid. Resins help trees and some other flowers, roots and seeds during the process of healing.
Obtaining resins is very simple. All you have to do is cut into the bark of a tree and soon thereafter, the thick, sticky substance will emerge. Removing tree bark resins is easy as well – just scrape them away using a shape object.
Because they are so thick, they’re difficult to work with. That’s the primary reason why they are not commonly used in aromatherapy sessions. Their thick and sticky characteristics prevent them from being mixed with carrier oils. In their hardened states, resins can be burned. This is accomplished by breaking off a chunk of resin, placing the chunk into a diffuser and lighting the corner. When ignited, its fragrance will emerge. Chunks of resins can also be ground into a powder.
More often than not however, resins are processed into oils. Resins cannot be dissolved using water, but they can be dissolved using chemical solvents and a steam distillation process. Resinoids are a viscous byproduct of this type of extraction process. When dissolved into odorless high-quality alcohols, resinoids are then used in the manufacturing of perfumes.
Frankincense and myrrh resins have a long and well-known history. They were two of the three gifts given to the baby Jesus by the Three Wise Men. That these resins were given to this miracle child gives you a sense of how valuable these scents were thousands of years ago. In fact, these resins were more valuable even than the gold presented by the third Wise Man. These resins are still popular and readily available today.
Frankincense, which comes from the leafy Boswellia Thurifera forest tree, is used as a way of helping to soothe and purify the spirit and alleviate fears. This aromatherapy resin can help a person to relax as its fragrance is inhaled. Its fragrance can best be described as a mixture of sweet and spicy and amazingly fresh.
The resin myrrh has been used throughout history as a way of fortifying and strengthening a person’s spirit. People use myrrh today to help promote feelings of happiness and confidence. Some people believe that myrrh can help with physical healing as well. It is also said to be effective at encouraging the growth of new cells. That’s why many people use this aromatherapy resin as a way of prolonging the aging process.