Believe it or not, most people have no idea what Frankincense is. When I ask, I receive responses like, “It’s something in the Bible; has to something with Christmas, wise men, maybe incense…” By the way, they’re all true. It is in fact a tree that grows mainly in Africa and the near East called Boswellia. Frankincense is the resin (dried sap) from the tree. If Maple trees had thicker sap and you cut a gouge in it, the sap would ooze out maple sugar. Boswellia trees on the other hand have an extremely thick sap because they grow in dry climates and since water is scarce, the sap is thick. The tree can grow in the most extreme of locations, and in the harshest of environments. When the sap has dried enough it becomes a crystal called tears.
While growing up, here in the northeast we used to collect spruce gum that form on the sides of spruce trees after they had been trimmed. This is by no means a horticultural or botanical lecture on Frankincense, but a “getting to know” one of the most usual and incredible trees in the world.
The practice of lancing the bark of Boswellia has been done for millennia. At one time the price for Frankincense was more than that of gold. In the Middle Ages, it was used for preserving food. It was a thriving trade long before money was used.
The English word frankincense is derived from old french and means high- quality incense. In fact, it was the Frankish people (the forefathers of modern France and Germany) who (re-)introduced the spice to Western Europe during the Middle Ages.
It is used for incense, fumigation, preservation and countless other purposes. It has no side effects when taken internally or used topically. (At SallyeAnder’s all-natural soaps we always use pure, edible) So much research has gone into its uses, I can’t imagine why it is not better know. Clinical trials are on-going for a treatment for killing cancer cells, curing chronic pain, and all reproductive problems.
My own experiences with it, and the ecstasy of growing it are what I’d like to highlight here. The trimmings of my trees go directly to my rabbit Howie (who will now, as a consequence, probably outlive me). Those trimmings are one of his favorite treats. Leaves, stems – it make no difference to him. You can even let the tears soften under your tongue and chew it like gum for fresher breath and healthy gums. My son Sam takes the tears for warts when they start to develop and they disappear. I take it when I have nail issues and they clear up. When it is softened, it makes a great scar and injury dressing that protects and promotes rapid healing. Several friends take it for arthritis and it helps alleviate pain and improve mobility. These are just a few of my anecdotal experiences. We use it in great number of soaps and other products hoping you’ll enjoy the same benefits.
Growing the trees where we live takes time and patience and constant research and care. The results are very satisfying when you see the first little shoots start to grow. Since they can live hundreds of years, they are in no hurry to explode on to the scene. It’s the idea of growing something of the hottest part of the world and seeing is flourish up here where summer come one week a year, that nourishes the soul.
So now go out and do some exploration on the web and learn for yourselves about the tree that financed dynasties, and if you are brave enough and patient enough-grow some for yourself. Your fascination for it will only grow. Sallye Ander all natural soaps utilizes Frankincense for its ability to smooth dry and mature skins, scars, wounds and wrinkles in several of our best selling all-natural soaps and ointments.
Here’s how to put the potency of Frankincense to work for you today:
Frankincense Soap– A blend of Frankincense sap and oil help manage skin tone and oil balance.
Winter’s Eve Soap– A mix of creamy and exfoliating all in one bar
Harmony Swirl Soap– For dry, sensitive skin
Rescue Me– An insane amount of essential oils that instantly soothe itch and protect against further dry skin.
No Bite Me– In either the cream or the soap, 18 essential oils keep all those pesky bugs away for 3-4 hours after use. Plus it reduces the itching and swelling of any bite.
Heavy Duty Hand and Foot Therapy Moisturizing Balm– A mix of 18 essential oils, it helps to reduce inﬂammation and irritation, softens skin, and reduce calluses.