About Boswellic Acids
Lately, we have had many inquiries about Frankincense essential oil, due to new health claims being made.
Boswellic acids are a series of pentacyclic triterpene molecules that are produced by plants in the genus Boswellia. Like many other terpenes, boswellic acids appear in the resin of the plant that exudes them; it is estimated that they make up 30% of the resin of Boswellia serrata. While boswellic acids are a major component of the resin, the steam or hydro distilled Frankincense essential oil does not contain any boswellic acid, as these components are non-volatile and too large to transfer through in the steam distillation process. (The essential oil is composed mainly of the much lighter monoterpene and sesquiterpene molecules, with small amounts of diterpenoid components being the upper limit in terms of molecular weight.)
The presence of boswellic acids, despite their potential therapeutic value, are not appropriate markers of quality for pure steam distillate of Frankincense resin; in fact, quite the contrary. Genuine essential oil does not contain these.
Therefore, if a company claims their Frankincense essential oil contains boswellic acids, it is incorrect, and reveals either ignorance, or a snake oil sales pitch.
Benefits – A Summary
However, Frankincense essential oil certainly does contain many beneficial compounds and therapeutic healing abilities, especially if one purchases a brand that is Chemotype-tested, meaning laboratory tested for 100% authenticity, purity and therefore, genuine therapeutic effectiveness.
These benefits include, as information shows, effects including antibacterial, anticatarrhal, antidepressive, cicatrizant (scars, ulcers, wounds), immunostimulant, analgesic and anti-inflammatory uses. As with our Eucalyptus oils, Frankincense is especially helpful in creating your own joint pain and swelling relief oil blend.
Other suggested oils to include in this blend include Peppermint (because menthol helps penetrate below the skin layers to reach nerves and shuttle the analgesic compounds in), plus Basil (either Holy or Tropical versions), Bay (St. Thomas), Birch (Sweet), Cajeput, Chamomile (German), Juniper Berry, Manuka (20%), and Wintergreen.
Harvesting of frankincense requires a deep longitudinal incision to be made in the trunk of the tree and below that a narrow strip of bark 5 inches in length is peeled off. In response to the incision, the tree releases a milk-like substance; oleo resin, which hardens due to exposure to the air.
The incision is then deepened to encourage further release of the resin. Through further processes, the resin can be steam-distilled into an essential oil.
A very distinctive aromatic, Frankincense was once prized above gold. One of the gifts of the three Magi, it has been traded as a precious commodity for more than 5,000 years. It has been used through the ages in perfuming, aromatic medicine, skincare and cosmetics, embalming, as a mosquito repellent and most extensively for anointing and as an incense offering in religious ceremonies spanning cultures and centuries. The use of Frankincense is so interconnected through the millennia as a religious offering that is has taken on sacred connotations.
The twirling smoke of burning incense was believed to carry prayers or divinations upwards; a magnificent present to the divine Gods. In fact, fragrance was a characteristic sign of the presence of a deity in antiquity. Frankincense was burnt in censers at front doors in times past, believed to purify the air of contaminating miasmic influences of bad luck, evil spirits or illness. The use of Frankincense to enhance spirituality, prayer or meditation, and to awaken higher consciousness, still continues to this day.
Please read material at these links for more information, about Olibanum/Frankincense:
RE: Divine Essence Frankincense oils:
The Indian type of Frankincense oil (Boswellia Serrata), while of good quality, and being mentioned in media because it is more common, is of average resin grade and quite different in smell, and cannot be compared to the HE086S ”True” Frankincense oil from Somalia (Boswellia Carterii, syn. Boswellia sacra). The Indian type will be back in stock at some point, but we recommend clients try the bestseller from Somalia; it is lovely and the most sought-after one. It is well worth the slightly higher price.
We carry only the first grade and price reflects its premium quality, named “Top Grade Resin”. While we understand some consumers were buying the cheaper Indian type, we have a much better stock of the Somalia type available right now, while supplies last. Authentic Myrrh essential oil is also available. All Divine Essence essential oils are lab-tested for absolute 100% genuine identity, purity and therefore, therapeutic effectiveness. Not to mention, they smell exquisite!
Enjoy, and Happy Holidays!