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**Frankincense Production and Trade:**
– Trees start producing resin at 8-10 years old.
– Tapping is done 2-3 times per year, with the final taps producing the best tears.
– Main species in trade include Boswellia sacra, Boswellia bhaw-dajiana, Boswellia carteri, Boswellia serrata, Boswellia papyrifera, and Boswellia frereana.
– Thousands of tons of frankincense are traded annually for religious ceremonies, perfumes, and natural medicines.
– Harvested in regions like Bari, Sanaag, and Dhofar, Oman.
– Used in thuribles and applied for health benefits.
– Traded in the ancient city of Sumhuram.

**Historical and Cultural Significance:**
Frankincense has been traded on the Arabian Peninsula for over 5,000 years.
– Traded from the Horn of Africa during the Silk Road era.
– Mentioned by Greek historian Herodotus and Pliny the Elder.
– Reintroduced to Western Europe by Frankish Crusaders.
– In Christian tradition, it was a gift to Jesus by the Magi at his nativity.
– Used in censers for religious rituals.
– Egyptians used it in mummification.
– Used in Abrahamic religions for cleansing and blessings.

**Ecological Status and Threats:**
– Recent studies show declining populations due to overexploitation and threats like burning and grazing.
– Boswellia sacra is near threatened, and experts argue for protection of Boswellia species.
– Boswellia papyrifera trees are becoming hard to find in Eritrea.
– Predictions of a 50% reduction in Boswellia papyrifera in the next two decades.
– Threatened by habitat loss, overexploitation, and poverty.
– Overtapping due to limited income sources.

**Health Benefits and Uses:**
– Boswellia resin has been used for spiritual and medicinal purposes for centuries.
– Clinical studies show effectiveness in conditions like asthma, arthritis, and multiple sclerosis.
– Essential oil exhibits antimicrobial activities.
Frankincense oil shows neuroprotective activity in animal studies.
– Used in medical treatments.
– Potential benefits in cancer treatment have been studied.

**Production of Frankincense Essential Oil and Research Studies:**
– Obtained from tree resin through steam distillation.
– Chemical components include monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, and ketones.
– Can be diluted and applied to the skin.
– Fragrance can be inhaled for therapeutic effects.
– Research studies on the therapeutic properties of frankincense.
– Genetic diversity studies on Boswellia sacra for conservation.

Frankincense (Wikipedia)

Frankincense, also known as olibanum (/oʊˈlɪbənəm/), is an aromatic resin used in incense and perfumes, obtained from trees of the genus Boswellia in the family Burseraceae. The word is from Old French franc encens ('high-quality incense'). There are several species of Boswellia that produce true frankincense: Boswellia sacra (syn. B. bhaw-dajiana, syn. B. carteri), B. frereana, B. serrata (B. thurifera, Indian frankincense), and B. papyrifera. Resin from each is available in various grades, which depends on the time of harvesting. The resin is hand-sorted for quality.

Frankincense from Yemen
Boswellia carteri tree that produces frankincense, growing inside Biosphere 2
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