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The Demand for Frankincense Built Global Trade

Analysis by Dr. Joseph Mercola Fact Checked

frankincense benefits

Story at-a-glance -

  • Frankincense was once as common in households as toothpaste and deodorant are now; it has been traded for nearly 5,000 years and is responsible for the development of trade routes from Asia to Arabia that first used camels to transport goods
  • Frankincense is harvested from the sap of the Boswellia tree twice a year for five years before the tree is then allowed to rest. There are 30 species of Boswellia; frankincense is harvested from the B. sacra tree but other, similar resins are harvested from two others
  • Frankincense supports neurological function, reduces the effects of Alzheimer's disease, reduces brain atrophy in multiple sclerosis and has a positive effect on peripheral nerve regeneration. It also reduces inflammation, fights photoaging, boosts immune function and improves oral health
  • The essential oil may be added to a carrier oil or used undiluted after testing your skin for an allergic reaction. A few drops may be added to your bathwater after being mixed with full fat milk to keep it from floating on the surface of the water, or it may be added to an essential oil diffuser

Frankincense, which is also known as olibanum, was once as common in households as toothpaste and deodorant are today. High quality oil or resin is a product of the Boswellia sacra tree, commonly found along the Arabian Peninsula that is home to several countries, including Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

There are 30 species of the Boswellia plant and frankincense is harvested from the B. sacra tree. The gum resin of the plant contains a volatile oil used in perfumes and incense.

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