August 3, 2018
For thousands of years, people have used Frankincense as a trading commodity, a natural healer, an honorary gift for royalty, and as part of religious ceremonies. In fact, many people consider Frankincense to be more precious than gold, even in today’s world.
At Rocky Mountain Oils, we acknowledge and respect Frankincense for its diversity. As a result, we are pleased to offer three different types of Frankincense essential oil: Sacred Frankincense; Frankincense, Carterii; and Frankincense, Serrata. While all three types of Frankincense are similar in many ways, there are also several significant differences that are important to understand. Today, we’re going to take a look at Sacred Frankincense and what makes it so unique.
All Frankincense oils come from the Boswellia tree; however, there are many different varieties of the Boswellia tree, which gives us the different Frankincense essential oils. Sacred Frankincense comes from the Boswellia sacra tree, which only grows in Oman. The location of the Boswellia sacra tree is significant for two reasons. First, Oman consists of harsh and challenging climates with rocky slopes and chalky soil; for many other types of the Boswellia tree, these conditions would be uninhabitable. Secondly, Oman is the only country where the Boswellia tree and Frankincense itself are protected. These conditions make Sacred Frankincense a very rare and highly sought-after element and oil.
For the Boswellia sacra tree, the best harvesting time is when the temperature is at its hottest: between April and mid-June. To begin the harvesting process, collectors use axes or knives to make incisions in the tree’s bark, cutting down to the red, living bark underneath the surface. Almost instantly, a milky, white resin starts to dribble out of the incisions. The collectors then leave this resin to harden and crystallize for about two weeks.
Once the two weeks have passed, the collectors return to the Boswellia trees and scrape off the initial resin. This process causes the tree to ooze a significantly greater amount of resin in an effort to close up the incisions. Not only is there more resin, but it is purer than the initial resin that the tree produced.
After two more weeks, the collectors return to the trees and scrape off the second round of hardened and crystallized resin. This is called the first collection. The second collection occurs after another two weeks, and a third collection after an additional two weeks. The collectors take the resin from each collection period to a nearby limestone cave, where the resin can continue to harden and crystallize.
As the resin reaches its ideal hardness, the collectors package and ship it to a distillery. At the distillery, workers crush the resin into a powder form and add it to an oil bath, where it undergoes steam distillation. This process pulls the oil out of the powdered crystal and separates it from the water. The oil can then be collected and bottled.
While you’re shopping through our oils, you may notice that Sacred Frankincense is significantly more expensive than the other Frankincense options. This price difference is a result of several significant factors.
As we discussed earlier, because the Sacred Frankincense tree only grows in Oman and is protected, it is significantly more difficult to acquire. Not only that, but because Boswellia sacra is only found in Oman, it produces less than 20% of the world’s Frankincense oil. This makes the oil rare.
The harvesting process also makes Sacred Frankincense a more unique and rare essential oil. Unlike most Frankincense harvesting, collectors discard the first resin that the tree produces and wait for the second round of resin to harden before collecting. This ensures that the resin is in its purest form. Plus, waiting only 14 days between collection periods ensures that the resin is not overexposed to extreme heat and debris, both of which can ultimately decrease the resin’s purity.
In ancient times, the Frankincense collected from the second round of resin was often selected solely for kings and queens, as it is the purest form of Frankincense. That process of selecting only the purest form of Frankincense is still used today to create Sacred Frankincense essential oil.
Sacred Frankincense also contains 20% more alpha-pinene than other types of Frankincense. Alpha-pinene is a monoterpene that gives trees and other plants their unique aroma. Alpha-pinene can also benefit the skin, oral health, immune system, and respiratory system. In short, because Sacred Frankincense has more alpha-pinene, it is the most therapeutic type of Frankincense in the world.
For more information and tips on how to use Sacred Frankincense essential oil, visit our website.