Frankincense

- By: Aimee Regur

(Egyptian Geranium with Adzuki Bean and Cranberry Facial Scrub)

Boswellia carterii is native to East Africa, Arabia and tropical regions of Asia. There are four species of Boswellia that make the prized resin Frankincense. It is currently being cultivated in Somalia, Southern Arabia and Ethiopia.

Medicinally Boswellia resin is best known for its anti-inflammatory properties and its ability to relive pain. It is also a common topical and internal medicine used for breaking up stagnant blood, such as hematomas (huge hard bruises) as well as benefit female reproductive disorders such as fibroids and ovarian cysts and lack of a menstrual period. Frankincense is also an analgesic and antispasmodic, meaning it can help with the pain and spasm associated with rheumatoid arthritis and other kinds of nerve pain. It combats periodontal disease when used with Myrrh and Bee Propolis as it is strongly anti-bacterial! Modern research has been showing that isolated constituents of Boswellia in large doses stimulate apoptosis (natural death cycle of a healthy cell) in leaukemic and ovarian cancer cells as well as inhibiting cytotoxic effects on living cells. When burned as incense Frankincense purifies the air, it was and is popular incense in Catholic and Greek Orthodox churches. When inhaled it has mildly psychoactive effects on humans leading to states of euphoria. Burned is great at deterring biting insects, specifically malaria mosquitoes.

In beauty care Boswellia is tonifying and anti-bacterial, helping to heal acne, boils and other cystic conditions. It also is used to heal deep wounds and fade scars. Frankincense helps to regenerative healthy skin cells making it an age defying agent especially when used around the eyes and mouth, where we tend to wrinkle first. You can also use it on stretch marks or in preventative treatments during pregnancy.

Historically Frankincense has always been a sacred resin. It was used to honor Ra, the Egyptian Sun God, it was said to have been brought to Jesus at his birth, has been mentioned numerous times in the Jewish Talmud as well as the Orphic Hymns. Frankincense being a resin is burned on a brazier and the left over ashes were mixed with wax to make the first black eye liner. Frankincense was the reason camels were domesticated to aid in the transport of the valuable and sacred resin, which fueled the movement and interaction between Arabia into India and Europe starting around 1500 BCE. It is often used to remember and honor the dead and serve as a guide into the afterlife in funerary services.

“The words which express our faith and piety are not definite;
yet they are significant and fragrant like frankincense to superior natures.”

– Henry David Thoreau