Frankincense Resin, or Boswellia Sacra/Carteri, is also known as Sacred Incense, Omani Incense, Olibanum, Indian Frankincense, Arabic Frankincense, and Salai guggal. Ourf Frankincense comes from Ethiopia.
Grown predominantly on the Somali coast and parts of the Arabian Peninsula, the resin is obtained by making deep cuts in the trunk of the tree lengthwise. Below this incision a narrow strip of bark is peeled off allowing the sap to run out, and as it touches air it begins to harden. It takes approximately three months to harden into the yellow "tears" of resin. The sap is gathered from May until the rain showers start in September.
There is NOTHING that smells like it--soapy, citrus, earthy, woodsy, sensual--and the smoke is thick and white.
--Frankincense and the oil produced from it has been known for its beneficial powers and its ability to improve communication with The Creator in the Middle East for thousands of years before it was made a gift of to Christ by the Magi.
--There are over 52 references to it in the Bible.
--Used as a powdered resin added to water, tincture, and very rarely as a tea. For internal use, sometimes mixed with myrrh or cress.
--In aromatherapy, frankincense is compatible with bergamot, cinnamon, clary sage, geranium, grapefruit, jasmine, lavender, lemon, myrrh, neroli, orange, patchouli, pine, rose, sandalwood, tangerine, and ylang ylang.
-- Its principal use now is in the manufacture of incense and pastilles. The word 'incense,' which originally meant the aroma given off with the smoke of any odoriferous substance when burnt, has been gradually restricted almost exclusively to Frankincense, which has always been obtainable in Europe in greater quantity than any other of the aromatics imported from the East.
--At one time, both Frankincense and Myrrh were considered to be more valuable than gold. Used to embalm the bodies of the Egyptian Pharaohs, this tree resin is considered to cleanse and protect the soul. Frankincense became important to most every major religion in the world and is still used in Muslim, Jewish and Catholic rituals.
-- The kohl, or black powder with which the Egyptian women painted their eyelids, is made of charred Frankincense, or other odoriferous resin mixed with Frankincense. In cold weather, the Egyptians warmed their rooms with a brazier whereon incense is burnt, Frankincense, Benzoin and Aloe wood being chiefly used for the purpose.
--The ceremonial incense of the Jews was compounded of four 'sweet scents,' of which pure Frankincense was one, pounded together in equal proportion. With other spices, it was stored in a great chamber of the House of God at Jerusalem.
--Frankincense is also melted to make a depilatory, and it is made into a paste with other ingredients to perfume the hands. A similar practice is described by Herodotus as having been practiced by the women of Scythia and is alluded to in Judith x. 3 and 4.
--According to Herodotus, Frankincense to the amount of 1,000 talents weight was offered every year, during the feast of Bel, on the great altar of his temple in Babylon. The religious use of incense was as common in ancient Persia as in Babylon and Assyria. Herodotus states that the Arabs brought every year to Darius as tribute 1,000 talents of Frankincense, and the modern Parsis of Western India still preserve the ritual of incense.
--Frankincense, though the most common, never became the only kind of incense offered to the gods among the Greeks. According to Pliny, it was not sacrificially employed in Trojan times. Among the Romans, the use of Frankincense (alluded to as mascula thura by Virgil in the Eclogues) was not confined to religious ceremonials. It was also used on state occasions, and in domestic life.
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