Renowned for its perfume and its place in the story of the birth of Jesus, frankincense – or gum olibanum – is widely used in the scent industry, in skincare, in Chinese medicine and is revered by many faiths. This precious ingredient is harvested from the Boswellia tree, where its bark is slashed to let the resin flow out and then that is allowed to harden. The toughened strips of resin are highly aromatic and referred to as tears.
The name Frankincense is derived from the old French word for high-quality incense – Franc encens – and its use as a perfume stretches back thousands of years. The scent is spicy with undertones of lemon and will be familiar to anyone who wears the fragrances Christian Dior Bois d’Argent or Comme des Garcons Avignon.
Frankincense oil is the result of steam distillation of the resin and it is this that is used for perfumery. The scent is renowned globally for its calming and relaxing effect – in aromatherapy, it is used to induce a deep sense of calm and peace.
According to the gospel of Matthew 2:11, frankincense was one of three gifts given to the new-born Jesus, along with gold and myrrh, and its religious connotations still hold strong.
Many a Christian church is scented with frankincense to this day, and both Christian and Islamic Abrahamic faiths have used it to anoint infants.
This fragrant resin also boasts numerous therapeutic qualities. In traditional African and Asian medicines, it is still used to boost digestion and encourage healthy skin – the resin is edible, or it can be processed into other components.
In the ancient system of Ayurveda, it is known as dhoop and is used by practitioners to treat arthritis, purify the air and strengthen the female hormone system. Frankincense oil is used as a natural deodorizer and has antiseptic qualities. For this reason, it’s also used in oral care products to fight tooth decay and bad breath.
Chinese medicine prizes olibanum for its anti-bacterial ability and for the way it can get the blood moving.
Joseph Flach & Sons specialise in handling bulk orders for specialist botanical supplies. We carry a huge range of dried botanicals, herbs, spices, tinctures, oils and other compounds which can be used for the manufacture of a wide variety of finished products for the pharmaceutical, herbal, animal nutrition, distilling and skin care industries.
With an extensive, global network of both suppliers and customers, exceptional levels of customer service and a knowledgeable team we’re now looking at the next stage in our own growth and have transferred our operations to a bigger warehouse facility.
We offer gum olibanum in the following forms:
Please note that many botanicals come in different forms and grades which may determine or improve their suitability for certain applications. At Joseph Flach & Sons we carry a large range of products in various forms and grades. Please do check with our experts if you require a specific grade or form and they will be delighted to help you.
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