Botanical Name: Boswellia carteri
Part Used: Resin
Process: Steam Distillation
Plant Description: Native to southern Arabia (Oman, Yemen); wild in northeastern Africa (Somalia, Ethiopia), western India and arid mountainous regions of China. Frankincense essential oil is steam distilled from the gum resin exuded from the trunks of trees that are at least 8-10 years old. These small trees have peeling, papery bark, many small narrow leaves, and grow to a height of 22 feet; their preferred habitat is in limestone-rich, stony soil in high, arid regions. Incisions are made in the trunks of the trees from which a milky sap oozes and hardens in the form of tears which are distilled for the essential oil. Numerous species and varieties of these trees, as well as the differences in soil and climate, affect the quality of the resin, even within the same species.
Oil Description: Pale yellow or greenish-gold mobile liquid with a strongly diffusive, rich, sweet-woody, dry balsamic aroma and a fresh, terpenaceous and somewhat citrus-like top note.
Historical/Traditional Uses: The hugely profitable trade in Frankincense from southern Arabia (Oman) to Mesopotamia and Egypt, and later to the Mediterranean countries, India and Asia, flourished from the 3rd century BCE until the 4th century CE as one of the most important trading activities of the ancient and medieval world. For centuries, it was considered one of the most costly of commodities and was used as incense for the ultimate offering during religious ceremonies. It was used for embalming by the Egyptians, and its medicinal properties were renowned by them as well as the Greeks, Romans, and Chinese. Later used as a fumigant in churches, it has been shown that inhalation of Frankincense slows the breath and heart rate, thus facilitating a meditative state of mind.
Applications (Uses and Indications): In aromatherapy, Frankincense essential oil is indicated for bronchitis, sinusitis, colds, and coughs. Its anti-inflammatory properties are useful for arthritis as well as urinary and genital issues. In skin preparations, it helps reduce wrinkles and tone the skin. Because of its powerful antiseptic and astringent properties, it is useful for fungal infections, skin blemishes and wounds. In perfumery, Frankincense essential oil is a middle to base note with very good fixative properties that blends well with basil, bergamot, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, cognac, coriander, davana, galbanum, geranium, ginger, grapefruit, labdanum, lavender, lemon, orange, melissa, mimosa, myrrh, neroli, patchouli, pine, rose, sandalwood, and vetiver.
Contraindications (Safety and Precautions): Frankincense essential oil is non-toxic, non-sensitizing and non-irritating.
Standard Safety Precautions: Always dilute essential oils before using. Keep essential oils out of the eyes and mucous membranes; in case of contact, DO NOT use water, instead place a drop or two of vegetable oil on a tissue to gently wipe out of eye or off area of contact. In severe cases, seek professional help immediately. Keep out of the reach of children. In case of ingestion, call 911 immediately.
The FDA has not evaluated the statements on this website. No claims are made as to any medicinal value of this or any products from Ancient Ways Botanicals. The information presented here is for educational purposes of traditional uses and is not intended to prevent, diagnose, treat, or cure, any disease. For external use only. You are responsible for understanding the safe application of these products.