The joys of frankincense

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The joy of frankincense, frankincense oil and resin

Whether you’re praying, need an anti-bacterial ointment, or are just interested in the ancient Egyptian mummification process, frankincense might be the resin for you. For over 6000 years, frankincense has been used for many purposes. In the modern world, science has begun to study this highly beneficial sap while it is still around.

Where does frankincense come from?

Frankincense is harvested from the Boswellia tree found in the north and west Africa, India, Oman, and Yemen. There are five different species of Boswellia trees, which are, unfortunately, declining in numbers. Between burning forests for agricultural purposes and higher demand in resin, these trees, and their precious sap may soon be extinct. Farmers collect frankincense sap by making small incisions all over the tree to release sap. The sap then hardens into resin before being harvested and sold. Due to the high demand for this precious resin, trees are being pushed beyond their limits to produce sap. Some trees that have been overly tapped (too many cuts) may become weak and vulnerable to insects and disease.

An article from National Geographic wrote this “… the resin that leaks out of the cuts acts like a scab, protecting the wound so it can heal. It’s the same with our bodies, she says. If you get cut once, “you’re OK, right? You put a band-aid on it….But if you get cut, you get cut, you get cut, and you’re cut…well, you’re going to be very, very open to infection now. Your immune system is going to take a big hit trying to save you, and your immunity’s going to crash.” She adds, “It is the exact same thing with a frankincense tree.”

Benefits of Frankincense resin

It’s no wonder that frankincense is in such high demand, though. The benefits of frankincense seem endless. Science is now backing the use of this wonderful resin after performing more studies. In one study, they discovered the gum resin of Boswellia trees had a significantly positive impact on those who suffered from chronic asthma. About 70% of participants saw a decrease in asthma attacks or complete disappearance of their symptoms altogether. Other ailments that may benefit from frankincense include but are not limited to arthritisgut functiondepression, and oral health. Frankincense may also help reduce wrinkles and scarring.

Incense through the Bible

Exodus 30:34-38Revelation 5:8Revelation 8:3-4Psalm 141:1-2, and Luke 1:10 are just a few Bible verses that refer to incense. The most commonly known verse might be Matthew 2:1-12; the visit of the Magi. Many people are familiar with the Three Magi and their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh for Baby Jesus. If you’re not familiar with the history of Christ’s birth, I recommend reading this passage from the book of Matthew 2:1-12. The Bible refers to incense many times throughout scripture. It is often considered the blend in which God instructed Moses to make in Exodus 30:34-38. Interestingly, this study found that burning frankincense and myrrh reduced airborne bacteria by 68%!


*I am not a doctor nor a dietitian. The information provided in this article is not intended to substitute for medical advice from your provider. Any recommendations within this post are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Contact your physician or a licensed dietitian before you make any dietary changes.

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