Frankincense: A Natural Aid for Narcolepsy

Last updated: August 2023

The frankincense tree has been on the planet for a really long time. One of its most notable acknowledgments is that the Wise Men brought it as a gift to baby Jesus about 2000 years ago.

It never occurred to me to ponder why, of all the things available, would the Wise Men chose frankincense as a gift. Until one day in 2014, when I had an interesting run-in with it.

Struggling with narcolepsy symptoms

Long story short, I started experiencing symptoms of narcolepsy for the first time ever in 2012. By 2014, I was a wreck. I now know I was having seemingly endless cataplexy attacks and nonstop excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS). I was miserable. I struggled to take care of my kids and was desperate for solutions.

Familiar with essential oils

I had been a novice essential oil user for years. Finding them useful for soothing coughs and colds, calming rashes, and more. I had learned that essential oils could affect body systems. For example, frankincense can be good for the brain.

I didn’t have a diagnosis, but I knew my brain was the problem. I did some research based on my symptoms and ended up trying high-quality frankincense under my tongue. My brain cleared almost instantly. I started taking several drops of frankincense under my tongue daily when I had a cataplexy attack.

Feeling better with frankincense

To my amazement and utter joy, my cataplexy attacks started to occur less often. I realized that those tiny drops in that small bottle were worth their weight in gold.

For 2 years after this, I was never far from my bottle of frankincense. I used it almost daily for a few years but slowly tapered off as my cataplexy decreased. Now, I only need it a few times a month.

Essential oils and the power of smell

So how does frankincense essential oil work in the brain? First of all, it can work aromatically. Our nose is like a highway into our brain. It’s about an inch from our nostrils to our hypothalamus. I used to think that aromatherapy was only to scent my house until a friend who is an anesthesiologist pointed out a simple concept.

In her job, she administers medicine through the nose. It is so powerful that doctors can cut a person open, and they won’t feel it or remember. That’s the power of the nose. Aromatherapy can tap into that power. Using frankincense in a diffuser or simply smelling it out of the bottle can help support the brain.

Calming effects of frankincense

Secondly, I believe frankincense helps slow brain waves. What does that mean? And where did I learn that? Everything I learned about brain waves, I learned when I went through a month of neurotherapy, which I wrote about in a previous article. But in a nutshell, super slow brain waves can cause us to be sleepy.

Cataplexy can occur when brain waves speed up too much. I believe frankincense can slow brain waves back down. Which can mean it helped calm my cataplexy. However, it never helped energize me when I had excessive daytime sleepiness.

Frankincense also helped calm my sleep paralysis, hallucinations, and stress, when taken under my tongue. As my brain experienced less cataplexy, I had more energy.

Why did the Wise Men bring frankincense?

This brings me back to Baby Jesus. I believe the Wise Men brought Frankincense to Mary and Joseph because it would help keep Him healthy. They could use it as a salve for wounds and to boost immunity.

It may have helped Mary with stress and anxiety, as well as any postpartum depression. As for me, I figure if it’s good enough for Baby Jesus, it’s good enough for me.

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