Green Frankincense from Oman

Our perfumes are based on the most highly regarded Green Frankincense (Boswellia Sacra) from Oman

Reports of Green Frankincense or the Saint Incense tree resin of Dhofar desert (Oman) date back to very ancient times, when it was transported by caravan to neighbouring countries: Babylon, Egypt, Cyprus island, Greece, and later to Rome. Green Frankincense was and still is extremely highly valued as having the best scent and purported healing qualities of the whole Boswellia species, of which there are about 24. The species differ only slightly from each other in appearance (anatomy/morphology), but the qualities of their resins vary greatly in terms of scent, biochemistry and therapeutical effects.

Resin is harvested by making shallow cuts into the Frankincense tree trunk, causing resin to ooze out, forming round and elongated tear-shaped drops when drying. The higher the purity of the Frankincense resin, the higher the quality. Higher grades of resin are brighter in colour, more bitter in taste, more fragrant in smell and burn with greater ease. When soaking resin in water a slightly whitish colour is released. When burned or diffused as an incense, Frankincense resin has a pleasant fresh, resinous, dry odour, with a fruity scent as its high note.

In the Middle East resin used as incense is known as ‘Al Luban’. In Europe it became know under the English translation of ‘Oliban’, derived from the Old English of Frank + Incense, meaning ‘real incense’.

Omanis have traditionally used Frankincense resin for the following

– Inhaling is believed to have a cleansing and healing effect.
Burning at altars and in temples, because it slows and deepens breathing, enhancing relaxation thereby creating ideal conditions for praying and meditating. Frankincense is mentioned in the Bible as one of the 3 valued gifts from the ‘Three Kings’ to baby Jesus.
Not only in Oman, but in various cultures the burning of resin has been used to handle psychological and emotional disorders due to its purported ability to help achieve deeper breathing, help clear the mind, escape from depressive thoughts/anxiety/spiritual negativity, thereby promoting inner peace.

– Burning at royal ceremonies and religious rituals. Middle Eastern cultures scent their clothes and home with Frankincense and it is obligatory at marriage and other traditional ceremonies. It is also widely used as a home air freshener.

– Internal Use: only the green Frankincense (Boswellia Sacra) species has a biochemical composition which is safe to consume internally. Chewing or drinking a glass or bottle of water in which a piece of resin has been soaked overnight or drinking its extract. Omanis consider Frankincense to be the best chewing gum. It is used by students preparing for exams or those with upcoming important meetings.

– Aroma enhancer in food and drinks, particularly as spice for use in sweets.

– Perfumes and cosmetics: placing the face above a resin burner is used as a cosmetic treatment instead of facial cream, to smooth wrinkled skin, the smoke being believed to help maintain a youthful and beautiful complexion, hence its use in the embalmment of pharaohs’ bodies.

– Traditionally women would not even leave the home without first standing above burning incense to perfume their body, hair and clothes as well as cleanse. Men also use incense before going out to work, to maintain a feeling of well-being throughout the day, as well as preventing them from picking up negative energy from those with whom the meet and bringing it back into the home.

– Improving concentration and memory: chewing or drinking Frankincense water helps concentration and the ability to focus the mind, at the same time alleviating stress and reducing unproductive thought patterns.

– Improvement of digestion.

– Strengthening immunity against various diseases.

– Treatment of wounds and internal organs. Chewing Frankincense resin or holding it in the mouth strengthens teeth and gums, improves digestion, removes accumulated mucus, leaves a fresh and pleasant smell in mouth. Small pieces can be applied to painful teeth and it protects healthy teeth or from cavities.

Most frequently cited qualities of Frankincense resin and Essential Oil

Ancient literature on Frankincense cites it as having a vast range of healing qualities ranging from treatment of colds to cancer and therefore it is often described as a ‘panacea’ for all diseases. The following qualities as cited most frequently:

  • supports immune system
  • prevents bacterial invasion
  • prevents fungal dissemination and growth
  • prevents viral invasion
  • antiseptic-like activity
  • balances immune system
  • acts as an anti-inflammatory
  • helps heal wounds and scars

Scientific research on the therapeutic qualities of Frankincense resin and essential oil

– Memory improvement: It is scientifically proven that Frankincense resin and essential oil improves memory and concentration through an improvement in brain blood circulation allowing the mind and memory to clear. A few drops of essential oil can be applied on the solar plexus and spleen/pancreas area.

– Cosmetology: Frankincense resin and essential oil have a wide use in modern and traditional cosmetology. The extract and oil of Frankincense resin are used in skin regenerating masks and creams to achieve a lifting and anti-wrinkle effect; improve the condition of dry skin and reduce the aging effect. According to scientists, Boswellia resin activates skin cell proliferation, supporting the fibrin net of the skin and recovery of superficial cells.

– Oral health: Frankincense resin is chewed to strengthen teeth tissue, gums and freshen the breath. It has antibacterial and antifungal-like qualities, important for protecting the oral cavity from infection, unpleasant odours and cavities.

– Digestion: Chewing resin helps to cleanse the digestion system, activate bile production and ferment secretion. A tea traditionally used to reduce stomach pain consists of Frankincense resin, cinnamon and cardamom.

– Respiratory system: An inhalation of Frankincense essential oil is great cure for a runny nose and sinusitis. Traditionally, the smoke of Frankincense incense is inhaled to relieve the symptoms of a cold. Inhalation recipes thought to be the most effective are Frankincense, eucalyptus and pine essential oil.

– Rheumatism: Frankincense essential oil is perfectly suited to massage oil blends used to treat rheumatism and muscle pains.

– Headaches: The smoke of burning resin is a traditional remedy for headaches. Diffusing an essential oil does the same effect.

– Childbirth: It is not only safe to use Frankincense during pregnancy but also for children. Resin is burnt around women during childbirth and the new-born baby is immediately immersed in incense smoke, repeated daily for 40 days following birth. Meanwhile, the mother also regularly stands above burning Frankincense to heal and strengthens herself. According to scientists, this procedure helps the mother to protect herself from infections after childbirth, speeds up the recovery and healing. Frankincense essential oil helps to alleviate discomfort during pregnancy, childbirth and after labour, (it can be used also in combination with other essential oils

– Eyes: Gentle exposition to Frankincense smoke helps to soothe tired and irritated eyes.

– Insect repellent. Frankincense repels mosquitoes and other dangerous insects.

References:

1. Flavours and fragrances of plant origin, Non-Wood Forest Products, 1, FAO, Rome. Coppen, J.J.W., 1995.
2. Essential oils of frankincense, myrrh and opopanax. Flavour Fragr. J. 18, 153-156. Baser, KHC., Demirci, B,Dekebo, A, Dagne, E. (2003).
3. Aromatherapy: An A-Z, Patricia Davis, 2005
4. Frankincense and Myrrh. Economic Botany 40, Tucker A.O., 1986.