Boswellia sps (Frankincense) is one of the most well-regarded ancient incense. Frankincense has a fresh pine-lemon scent with resinous and woody overtones that emanates from the milky white latex of the stem and branches. Frankincense comes from the French word francencens, which means “pure incense” or “free lighting.”
Boswellia sps (Frankincense) resin is produced from multiple species from this genus with varying aromas. Frankincense has been used for centuries for various purposes, including:
- Religious and spiritual ceremonies: Boswellia sps (Frankincense) has been used in various religious and spiritual ceremonies due to its pleasing aroma and association with sacredness.
- Aromatherapy: The essential oil extracted from frankincense is used in aromatherapy to promote relaxation and reduce stress.
- Medicinal uses: Frankincense has been used in traditional medicine to treat various ailments, including inflammation, pain, and digestive problems.
- Skincare: Frankincense oil is often used in skincare products due to its ability to promote cell regeneration, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and soothe dry or irritated skin.
- Incense: Frankincense resin is burned as incense for its pleasing aroma and ability to purify the air.
- Flavoring: Frankincense is sometimes used as a flavoring agent in food and beverages, particularly in Middle Eastern and African cuisines.
Multiple references to frankincense in the Bible indicate its importance. The King James Bible contains 113 references to incense and 17 references to frankincense.
People in the Mesopotamian, Arabian, and Mediterranean regions widely used frankincense. Itsinebriating, euphoric, and mood-enhancing effects have been recognized for a long time. Some studies have confirmed the psychoactive and antidepressant effects of frankincense incense—the oil aids in treating skin ailments like acne and warts.
Frankincense was a natural insecticide used by ancient Egyptians to fumigate wheat and grain stores and deter moths. In Arabia, they burned resin to keep mosquitoes and sand flies away.
The antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anticarcinogenic properties of oleoresin from the Boswellia tree have also been tested and validated in animal trials. Treatment with the essential oil of frankincense enhanced cell death and decreased the growth of human breast cancer and skin cancer cells, indicating possible pharmaceutical use.
Holy Herbs; Modern Connections to Ancient Plants