Frankincense is the dried resin of a small tree of the genus Boswellia carteri found in the Arabian Peninsula. During burning, this resin emits a pleasant strong odor, which was the reason for its use in the administration of Christian church rituals. Frankincense has been used as an incense since ancient times, and the Bible names one of the gifts that the wise men brought to the newborn Jesus.
The Boswellia carteri tree itself is listed in the Red Book - its disappearance, of course, is due to the fact that its sap, drying out, becomes a precious resin. In February and March, when the release of sap increases, cuts are made on the tree trunk, from which liquid begins to stand out. It can flow for a long time and cover the entire barrel with hardened pieces. Then the resin is scraped off the bark and collected from the ground, where the juice dripped. It is sorted into selected and ordinary incense.
Selected incense - large, solid pieces of resin the size of a plum, light yellow or pinkish in color. Their surface has a waxy luster and is covered with fine incense dust that forms when they rub against each other. The frankincense collected in different places differs in color and smell. Pieces of it are easily ground into powder; for this, ordinary marble mortars are used.
Frankincense powder was used in ancient Egypt as a base for rejuvenating face masks. It has long been used in medicine to treat a wide variety of diseases: rheumatism and colds, skin inflammation and urinary tract infections, nervous and gastric disorders. It is believed to have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory effects, and can be used as an astringent, healing, carminative, expectorant and sedative.
From incense, by distilling the resin with steam, an aromatic oil is made, which is used in aromatherapy. The oil turns out to be pale yellow or greenish in color, it mixes well with other incense: sandalwood, geranium, mimosa, pine, bergamot and orange oils. Such mixtures are used in cosmetics for the preparation of soaps, deodorants, and various creams. You can smell incense in many perfume compositions, especially spicy oriental ones. It can sometimes be added to foods and beverages as a flavoring agent.