Elemi is a distant cousin of frankincense and is sometimes called Manila Elemi because it comes from the Philippines. Like frankincense, the oil is made from the gum resin of the tree from which pili nuts are collected. The resin is yellowish in color and flows like honey but hardens with contact with the air. The resin is wildcrafted and steam distilled. It has a refreshing citrus-like aroma and is used primarily as an antiseptic.
The tree is highly resilient. It survives wind, tropical storms, and drought and passes along its adaptability to those who use its gifts. It can be used to manage stress, inhaled to clear the lungs, and applied to scars to reduce adhesions and stretch marks. Elemi is regarded as a skin rejuvenator but, as with most oils, sensitivity can vary and dilution is recommended. It can also be used in a vaporizer or inhaler . . . or a drop can be placed on the palms of the hands and then cupped over the nose and inhaled to relax coughing and breathing issues.