Frankincense

Frankincense Essential Oil and gum are both widely used for the manufacturing of incense, and in the cosmetic and perfumery industries, as a fragrance component or fixative. Both the gum and the oil appear in all types of cosmetics (soaps, creams, lotions, etc.) and more commonly in spicy, oriental-type perfumes and male fragrances. To a minor extent they are also used in pharmaceuticals such as liniments or throat pastilles. In the food industry they are also used to add flavour to meat products and some alcoholic or soft drinks. Other than using the resin for rituals (see history below) and cosmetic purposes, people used to distill the essential oil over the centuries for medicinal purposes in traditional medicines, both in the east and the west. They used it to treat or alleviate conditions such as syphilis, respiratory and urinary-tract infections, rheumatism, skin diseases, digestive problems as well as nervous complaints. Frankincense is the name for the aromatic gum-resin substance that is obtained from the trees of the Boswellia genus. It is obtained by slashing its bark, and allowing the resin to bleed out and then harden. The Boswellia genus, also known as olibanum, or gum, is a group of handsome small-sized flowering trees and shrubs with white abundant pinnate leaves and pale white to light pink flowers. Frankincense Essential Oil is a mobile liquid of a pale yellow to a green-brownish color, having an aroma that consists of a fresh, rich, warm and spicy woody odour, with a sweet-balsamic undertone, and a slight hint of citrus. The Frankincense Essential oil is obtained from the steam distillation of the Boswellia tree’s aromatic oleo gum resin, which holds about 3-10% oil. This tree will only start to produce resin after it’s reached 8-10 years of age. The oil’s main chemical components are monoterpene, hydrocarbons, pinene, dipentene, limonene, thujene, phellandrene, cymene, myrcene, terpinene, octyl acetate, octanol, incensole along with other components found in smaller quantities. Frankincense Essential Oil has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, astringent, carminative, cicatrisant, cytophylactic, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, sedative, tonic, uterine and vulnerary properties.