Sweeten the air in your home with fragrant Frankincense Gum Resin Pieces (Boswellia spp.) from Ethiopia. Traditionally used as incense, in religious ceremonies, and during meditation.
Frankincense (also known as olibanum) is an aromatic resin used in incense and perfumes, obtained from trees of the genus Boswellia. The word is from Old French franc encens (‘high-quality incense’).
Along with Myrrh, Frankincense is probably one of the most well known natural oleoresins in the world. Famous for its use since biblical times as medicine, fragrance and incense, Frankincense (like Myrrh) has been at times, worth its weight in gold. One of the most precious commodities in the ancient world, this aromatic oleoresin still keeps its value as a component in perfumes and incense.
Frankincense, a resinous dried sap, is harvested from trees of the Boswellia species. Boswellia sacra (commonly known as frankincense or olibanum-tree) is the primary tree in the genus Boswellia. Another Boswellia Frankincense tree, Boswellia papyrifera, is grown around Ethiopia, Eritrea, and Sudan.
There are several species of Boswellia that produce true frankincense: Boswellia sacra (syn. B. bhaw-dajiana, syn. B. carteri), B. frereana, B. serrata (B. thurifera, Indian frankincense), and B. papyrifera. Resin from each is available in various grades, which depend on the time of harvesting. The resin is hand-sorted for quality.
The trees start producing resin at about eight to 10 years old. Tapping is done two to three times a year with the final taps producing the best tears due to their higher aromatic terpene, sesquiterpene and diterpene content. Generally speaking, the more opaque resins are the best quality.
Frankincense has been traded on the Arabian Peninsula for more than 5,000 years. Frankincense was also traded from the Horn of Africa during the Silk Road era.
The Greek historian Herodotus wrote in The History that frankincense was harvested from trees in Southern Arabia. He reported that the gum was dangerous to harvest because of winged snakes that guard the trees, and that the smoke from burning storax would drive the snakes away.
Thousands of tons of frankincense are traded every year to be used in religious ceremonies as incense in thuribles and by makers of perfumes, natural medicines, and essential oils. It can be inhaled or applied to the skin for its supposed health benefits.
The incense offering occupied a prominent position in the sacrificial legislation of the ancient Hebrews. The Book of Exodus prescribes frankincense, blended with equal amounts of three aromatic spices, to be ground and burnt in the sacred altar before the Ark of the Covenant in the wilderness Tabernacle, where it was meant to be a holy offering. [Source: Wikipedia]
Storage: Store in a sealed container in a cool, dry, dark place.