Frankincense Uses

Frankincense is obtained through a deep longitudinal incision in the trunk of the leafy forest tree Boswellia Thurifera, and below it a narrow strip of bark 5 inches in length is peeled off. The milk juice exudes after three months and it will be hardened into yellowish called tears. The good quality can be collected separately, and this is the good frankincense.

The resin coming from the tears is composed of 65 percent resin, 6 percent volatile oil, 20 percent water soluble gum, 6-8 percent bassorin, and composed of boswellic acid and alibanoresin resins.

Frankincense principal use is for incense and pastilles. Thus, it is known as the best incense if frankincense is present because of the aroma it produces when it is lighted.

In four sweet scents of the ceremonial incense of the Jews, frankincense is one of the four in equal proportion with the other three. Frankincense was also represented as the showbread every Sabbath day of the Jews.

While in Babylon, frankincense was offered in about 1000 talents weight as offering during the feast of the great altar of the temple in Babylon called the feast of Bel. It is not only in Babylon and Assyria, but also in ancient Persia that frankincense incense was used in a religious ceremony. The ritual of frankincense incense is preserved even at this modern Parsis of Western India.

Among the Greek, frankincense became the only kind of incense offered to their gods. While for the Romans, frankincense was not confined only to religious ceremonies, but on state occasions and domestic life.

burning frankincense
 
Burning frankincense. Photo: monastiriaka.gr

The Egyptian women painted their eyelids with black powder called kohl made of charred Frankincense. It is also made with other ingredients as perfume which is melted to make a depilatory. Frankincense uses by the Egyptian women in the cold season as to warm their rooms.

Frankincense as incense has been gradually restricted almost exclusively because any other aromatics imported by the European from the east have always been obtainable in a  greater amount.

Christian churches in Europe recommending Frankincense as largely the component of their incense.

The above Frankincense uses are exclusively for religious purpose. But other used can be medicinal because the stimulant recommend for healing tumors, ulcers, vomiting with dysentery and fevers. In treating leprosy in China, Frankincense has been used.

Frankincense can be a substitute for Balsam of Peru or of tolu which is used in plasters. The inhalation of the steam laden can relieve bronchitis and laryngitis.

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