Resins and their Essential Oils

by Andrea on July 30, 2009

Resin essential oils

Resin essential oils are extraordinary.

Have you ever held a chunk of resin in your hands? It is hard to imagine that an oil can come from a hard, rock-like chunk that weighs almost nothing!

Resins are drawn out by cutting into the outer bark of the tree. The resin seeps out and then hardens over the period of a few weeks. The resin is then gathered and distilled to produce resin essential oils or to burn as incense.

There are so many wonderful resins. Myrrh, Frankincense, Opopanax and Copal are some of my favorites. I burn them daily, use the oils often, and put the resin chunks in small dishes to display them. They just fascinate me.

resin essential oils Myrrh resin

We import resins from the distillers we work with in Ethiopia and Somalia. They arrive in huge bags. As we take the resins from the big bag, weigh them and place them into smaller bags, the aroma is just incredible. The resins are sticky, aromatic and so light! Just an ounce of resin goes a long way! We burn the resin in a ceramic resin burner.

Sometimes I burn just one resin at a time, and other times I mix them. The aromas are all different and all incredible. The essential oils of Frankincense, Opopanax and Myrrh are all used for healing the skin and for respiratory concerns. I add all three of these oils into my lotion for nourishing my skin, I use Frankincense for headaches and to feel more grounded, Opopanax for asthma and allergies, and I use Myrrh if my throat hurts.

These resins and their essential oils are so beautiful–my life feels richer just having them around!

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Owner/Instructor at Aromahead Institute
Aromahead Institute, owned by Andrea Butje, is a premier resource for online aromatherapy classes. Andrea offers her inspired approach to online aromatherapy certification through essential oil videos and original education materials. Check out her book, Essential Living: Aromatherapy Recipes for Health and Home, on Amazon!

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

sharon July 20, 2016 at 10:45 pm

I love to burn resins. I have a friend who would also like to burn them, but she has a cat. I know that essential oils should not be diffused around cats. Are resins ok to burn if cats are in the room? thanks so much


Andrea Butje July 21, 2016 at 12:11 pm

Hi Sharon!
Great question! You’ll want to burn the resins in a safe place that’s well ventilated and where pets can leave freely. With pets you’ll want to be even more safety conscious – keep it out of reach and don’t leave it unattended – brushing up against it can cause burns.


Kelly August 14, 2013 at 8:45 am

this article is really informative, i recently came across PureSacra Frankincense Essential Oil, its really therapeutic, i bought it from this site they also have the Royal Green Hogary


lauren August 4, 2009 at 9:18 am

One of my favorite resins is from the pinon tree of northern New Mexico. What a fabulous aroma..buttery and delicious. Easy to harvest too and abundant. Have you tried making an oil from pinon? I’d buy it. I can send you some if you want to play with it.


Admin August 4, 2009 at 4:38 pm

I do love pinon resin and there is an oil made from it, I will see if I can find a distiller!


Margery August 6, 2009 at 12:14 am

Floracopeia/ David Crow has Pinon Pine oil and resin.


Maria August 3, 2009 at 11:59 am

I don’t burn my resins very often. I’ve actually used them for spiritual moments, and outside. I have them tucked away in a drawer for special/meaningful occasions.

I ADORE the aroma though. Reminds me of the mysticism of church growing up.


nancy morris August 2, 2009 at 8:17 am

I burn these resins in my house almost every day. That moment of lighting the charcoal and picking a chunk of resin from the beautiful dish I keep on my shelf is wonderfully peaceful. And when the house fills with clean pure scent it clears and opens the space for a good day. Thank you andrea I haven’t found these resins anywhere else.


Margaret July 30, 2009 at 10:13 pm

I love the photo of the resins in the shell-very pretty! The myrrh looks like chunks of gold! I can’t remember what opoponax smells like from our certification class, and I’ve never bought this oil, but after reading about its use in perfume, I’m looking forward to purchasing some soon.
You conveyed so well your love for these resins!


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