The True, Legendary Omani Frankincense: Boswellia Sacra

May 1st, 2012 | Category: Young Living Product Blog

Throughout the ages, frankincense has been treasured for its medicinal and spiritual qualities. It was valued more than gold in ancient times, and only those with great wealth and abundance possessed it. There are more than a dozen species of Boswellia trees, commonly called frankincense trees, yet one species reigns supreme: Boswellia sacra of Omani origin.

For nearly 5,000 years, the resin from the Boswellia tree was considered Arabia’s most precious commodity. The allure of frankincense enticed adventurers from afar who sought the irresistible resin, and the Frankincense Trail in Oman’s Dhofar region was purportedly visited by the notable explorers Marco Polo and Lawrence of Arabia.

The finest and most highly prized frankincense resin is produced by the Boswellia sacra species, which grows in Oman. Oman has a reputation for producing superior-quality frankincense trees that deliver the highest-grade resin, the resin reserved for royalty. Historical and archaeological evidence strongly suggest that the frankincense given to the Christ child was either the prized Boswellia carteri species, of African origin, or the more highly prized Boswellia sacra, of Arabian origin.

The historical evidence combined with the superior phytochemical profile and therapeutic values of these two species were key factors behind Young Living’s selection of them for our prized frankincense products: frankincense and sacred frankincense. Moreover, Young Living is proud of the singular opportunity we have to be the first commercial frankincense distiller in Oman in hundreds of years.

Today, frankincense trees in the Dhofar region of Oman are regarded as a gift from God, and those whose land they grow on are considered exceedingly blessed. Oman is the greenest and most fertile land on the Arabian Peninsula. Its peculiar climatic and geological and geographical conditions (warm winters, steady sun, limestone soil with deposits of calcium carbonate, and cooling monsoon winds) provide the ideal conditions for the Boswellia sacra trees to produce the finest resin in the world. In her book Frankincense: Oman’s Gift to the World, Juliet Highet compares frankincense trees from other regions, concluding that “no other trees produce the same pure, exalted fragrance” as those found in Dhofar.

In preparation for the groundbreaking presentation “Frankincense: Separating Fact from Fallacy,” Young Living researchers conducted a thorough review of all available scientific literature on the topic of three frankincense species: Boswellia sacra, Boswellia carteri, and Boswellia frereana, including all 11 USDA references to Boswellia frereana. None of the 11 references reported that Boswellia frereana grows in or was ever cultivated in Oman. We invite you to review the references for yourself.

Our research, combined with existing scientific and historical literature, suggests that Boswellia sacra truly is a precious gift, worthy of legend status. Moreover, Young Living is proud of the singular opportunity we have to be the first commercial frankincense distiller in Oman in hundreds of years.

We at Young Living Essential Oils invite you to experience the unique, spiritual properties of our highly-prized sacred frankincense of true Omani origin.

—Scott Johnson, Product Training Program Manager

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