Sudhir Ahluwalia

Resins and Cosmetics

Plants are a source of resins, oils and color. This segment is on plant based resins and cosmetics

Galbanum – Overview

Photo: Ferula galbaniflua syn F gummosa is found in Iran, southern Russia, Afghanistan, and Turkey. It is a perennial that grows to a height of one meter. The plant bears umbelliferus yellow flowers arranged in a panicle. The gum resin is...

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Sumatra Benzoin Incense

Styrax benzoin inhabits the Sumatran region of Indonesia, India, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, and Malaysia. It is grown as an ornamental shade tree in West Africa. It grows to a height of 12 meters. The tree is a source of benzoin resin. Sumatra benzoin is produced from...

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African Frankincense

Boswellia papyrifera grows fairly extensively in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Kenya, and Sudan. It is a deciduous species that is taller than B. frereana and B. sacra, reaching 12 meters, with a clear bole. The species grows on steep escarpments in locations where other species...

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Omani Premier Frankincense

Photo: Boswellia sacra by Scott Zona The B. sacra (Omani luban) tree is native to Yemen, Oman, and Somalia. It yields the best and most prized frankincense gum. The tree rarely grows taller than 20 feet. It bears whitish yellow flowers. Phytochemical analysis of the...

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Frankincense In History And Religion

One of the most well regarded of the ancient incenses, frankincense has a fresh pine-lemon scent with resinous and woody overtones that emanates from the milky white latex of the stem and branches. The name frankincense comes from the French words franc encens, which...

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Benzoin – An Ancient Fragrance

Papyrus records from ancient Egypt indicate that benzoin resin was mixed with other aromatic resins like pine, juniper, cypress, galbanum, and labdanum to create an aromatic powder that Egyptian dancers applied to their heads. Benzoin is used as a fragrance by...

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Styrax officinalis – stacte in the Bible

Styrax officinalis picture - by Eitan F Styrax inhabits eastern Mediterranean countries across Italy, Turkey, and Israel. A styrax variety also grows in California in the United States. In Israel, styrax grows in the Judean and Samarian mountains on Mount Carmel and...

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Stacte – Holy Incense

Photo: Wibowo Djatmiko Stacte, known in Hebrew as nataf, is one of the four ingredients in Holy Incense referred to in Exodus 35:34. As with most Biblical and other religious references to herbs and plants, the botany of the plant from which the spice, incense, or...

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Calamus – History And Botany

Biblical scholars are divided on the true identity of calamus. Acorus calamus and Cymbopogon are popular candidates. Both the species are monocots, both prefer moist habitats and both are a source of aromatic essential oils. Others, such as Benet (1967) have posited a...

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