Opopanax essential oil (Commiphora guidottii or Commiphora erythraea) is closely related to myrrh essential oil and sometimes called sweet myrrh or bisabol myrrh. The two essential oils have similar aromas, but opopanax has a lighter and sweeter scent that some people prefer over myrrh's more intense aroma.
Opopanax (also spelled opoponax) oil isn't common in aromatherapy and is mostly used as a fixative in perfumes. In 2018, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species listed Commiphora guidottii as vulnerable to becoming an endangered species. Look for oils from a sustainable source.
Plant family: Burseraceae
Production: Steam distilled from the gum resin of the tree. You can also buy the resin to use as incense.
Aroma: Resinous with deep, warm, sweet, and spicy notes.
Perfume/Aromatic note: Base to middle.
Is opopanax safe to use during pregnancy? Consult a professional.
Is opopanax essential oil safe for children? Do not use on the skin of children under age 2.
Cautions: Moderate risk of skin sensitization. Opopanax was once thought to cause photosensitivity, but this has been disproved.
The Heart of Aromatherapy: Use opopanax for daily skin care, rejuvenating damaged skin, soothing skin irritation, reducing inflammation, natural perfumes, and meditation and contemplation. The aroma is comforting, encourages your mind to release worries, and helps you feel grounded and present.
Drop the following essential oils onto a blank wick of an aromatherapy inhaler:
Aromatics International: Use opopanax for oily, acne-prone skin. Suggested blends:
150 Ways to Use Essential Oils: For a mature skin spritz, add the following essential oils to a one-ounce spray bottle:
Fill the bottle to its shoulder with hemp seed oil. Shake well. Spritz over freshly cleansed skin.
The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, Third Edition, Vol. 1:
According to the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine, opopanax
oil is warming and drying. The oil is recommended for conditions associated with
excess damp, such as chronic wounds and respiratory problems involving phlegm and mucus. Suggested essential oils to blend with opopanax:
Aromatherapy and Subtle Energy Techniques:
Opopanax helps heal physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual wounds
and provides psychological and physical protection. Use the oil for the
sixth chakra to promote wisdom and understanding and for the seventh
chakra to help prepare for receiving mystical wisdom.
Stillpoint Aromatics: Use opopanax to support the first chakra (survival and support), second chakra (relationships, creation energy), fourth chakra (unconditional love), and seventh chakra (introspection, meditation, connection to source energy).
Mixing Essential Oils for Magic: Use opopanax oil to clear negativity when preparing sacred space and to ground energy after ritual. The oil releases emotional and spiritual blockages, facilitating healing, renewal, and transformation. This essential oil is also associated with abundance, growth, longevity, and vitality.