FRANKINCENSE has been used since time of antiquity, spanning over 5000 years as a profound ritual tool specific for purifying and clearing space of negative energy before ceremony. It’s said the smoke of its incense carries prayers to creator similar to the way tobacco does in Native Americans cultures.
Although the Boswellia (the tree which releases sap for frankincense), is native to Somalia and India it has been highly valued in Egypt, Greece, Persia and Israel. In Jewish ritual frankincense was one of the four ‘sweet scents’ used in incense among the people of Babylon and Assyria.
Egyptians would embalm their royalty in the sweet smell for protection in the after life. When Pharaoh Tutankhamun’s tomb was opened in 1922 a sealed flask of frankincense was found buried with him.
Frankincense was also a powerful antidote during the time of the black Plague. Many priests and physicians would completely submerge themselves in its perfumed smoke, as they found immunity to the disease when one was embalmed in its essence.
To harvest the resin, little incisions in the bark of the Boswellia tree are made, which would allow the sap to leak out and harden into tears, which is one of the final stages of it’s harvest.
Frankincense is a powerful aid for digestion. Ayurveda still uses the resin in healing practices as an antispasmodic for menstrual and rheumatic pains. It helps promote women’s menstrual cycle and is brilliant topically for bruises and injuries. It’s a mainstay in beauty products for healing blemishes, an aid to diminish fine line and is a powerful anti-inflammatory. A bottle of its essential oil was once worth more than its weight in gold. It’s considered one of the top two oils to bring if ever on a deserted island with no other medicine available. If you had nothing else but frankincense and lavender, you’d be in good shape. It’s because of its powerful adaptogenetic qualities, covering so much ground in our health, which gives it its value.
I carry a small medicine pouch in my purse of a nice and tidy arsenal of plant medicines to help in most situations and of course frankincense is definitely among them!