Learning At The Potter's Wheel is a collection of articles on home, family, marriage, parenting, natural medicine and herbs. . . along with a few other items of interest. Have fun sorting through my junk drawer of assorted thoughts and ramblings.


The Potter has persisted in giving me treasures I don't always understand or appreciate. Patiently, He is teaching me to trust that all I really need to know is that I am in HIS hands. . .



Boswellia Thurifera

The gum resin
Sold as resin, powder or essential oil

Resins 65 per cent, volatile oil 6 per cent, water-soluble gum 20 per cent, bassorin 6 to 8 per cent, plant residue 2 to 4 per cent; the resins are composed of boswellic acid and alibanoresin

A small shrub tree, Frankincense has a leafy presentation with white or pale pink blossoms.

Frankincense is a member of the Burseraceae, or incense tree, family and native to the Middle East, the Red Sea, China, Iran, Lebanon and Oman. This shrub can be found growing wild in the Northeastern part of Africa. Europe and India are primary locations for distillation of Frankincense.

To harvest the resin, the bark of the shrub is gashed and peeled. A milky white juice becomes a solidified sap when it hits the air. This gummed resin turns amber to burnt orange in color. By steam distillation, the resin becomes a clear pale yellow or yellow green oil.

The aroma is a spicy sweet and woody scent with a citrus tone. Because some extraction processes use a chemical solvent rather than alcohol, Frankincense used for steam inhalation or aromatherapy should be used only if steam distilled or alcohol extracted. Frankincense is used in perfumes, giving a long lasting scent.

Frankincense is a stimulant, but seldom used internally. Historic uses have been recorded for tumors, ulcers, vomiting, dysentery and fevers.

When steamed, inhalation of the vapors are reported to aid bronchitis, colds, nervous tension, respiratory conditions and laryngitis.

Topically, Frankincense has been utilized as a dressing for wounds (i.e. plasters and poultices). As anointing oil, Frankincense is known for restoring, regenerating, and rejuvenating the skin. As a balancing agent, it helps alleviate oily skin, helps smooth wrinkles and lines, and soothes raw chapped skin. Frankincense promotes the healing of blemishes, inflammations, sores, scars, skin ulcers and wounds. In China it is used in the treatment of leprosy.

Because its properties appear to be astringent as well as soothing, Frankincense has been utilized as a uterine tonic to ease for heavy periods. The oil has been used for massage following childbirth.

Frankincense is often a principal ingredient in the incense and pastilles. A pastille is a glycol-gelatin base with added herbs and/or other ingredients added. Basically it is a pill shaped lump of compressed herbs. As the base melts from gentle warming, the ingredients are delivered slowly. This process is used for pastilles which are taken orally (like a lozenge) and for those which are burned for their vapors.

None known.

“And he shall bring it to Aaron's sons the priests:
and he shall take thereout his handful of the flour thereof,
and of the oil thereof,
with all the frankincense thereof;
and the priest shall burn the memorial of it upon the altar,
to be an offering made by fire,
of a sweet savour unto the LORD:”

Leviticus 2:2

Disclaimer: None of this is to be considered a substitute for medical examination and/or treatment. Use what you will, but do so knowing that you must consider your own circumstance and the application of these things with sound judgment.


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