In the Bible, Frankincense is one of three gifts given to the baby Jesus by the three wise men. But what is Frankincense and what is it used for?
- Frankincense is the resin of Boswellia trees. The resin is aromatic and is used in the manufacture of perfumes and in incense.
- The resin is harvested by making a slash in the tree bark, allowing the resin to bleed out and then harden. The hardened lumps of resin are called tears.
- Frankincense has been bought and sold for over 5000 years in North Africa.
- It is also called olibanum.
- Today, most frankincense comes from Somalia, but it is also produced in Oman, Yemen and Ethiopia.
- Frankincense is still used in many Christian churches.
- The quality of frankincense can vary. The most sought after product is silvery and clear, with a slightly green tint. Most frankincense has a brown and yellow colour.
- Frankincense smells like lemons and wood.
- Frankincense has traditional been used as a natural remedy in North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula to treat arthritis.