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Encyclopedia > Frankincense
100g of frankincense resin.
100g of frankincense resin.
Frankincense from Yemen
Frankincense from Yemen

Frankincense or olibanum (Arabic language: لبٌان, lubbān) is an aromatic resin obtained from trees of the genus Boswellia, particularly Boswellia sacra (syn. B. carteri, B. thurifera) (Burseraceae). It is used in incense as well as in perfumes. Download high resolution version (1632x1232, 857 KB)Frankincense and myrrh for sale in a Jerusalem market. ... Download high resolution version (1632x1232, 857 KB)Frankincense and myrrh for sale in a Jerusalem market. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1200x900, 438 KB) Summary Description: Frankincense I bought in Yemen on 15/Jul/2005. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high resolution version (1200x900, 438 KB) Summary Description: Frankincense I bought in Yemen on 15/Jul/2005. ... Arabic redirects here. ... An aroma compound, also known as odorant, aroma, fragrance, flavor, is a chemical compound that has a smell or odor. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Species Boswellia sacra (aka or )Boswellia frereana Boswellia papyrifera Boswellia serrata Boswellia is a genus of trees known for their fragrant resin which has many pharmacological uses particularly as anti-inflamatories. ... In scientific classification, synonymy is the existence of multiple systematic names to label the same organism. ... Genera See text. ... Incense is composed of aromatic organic materials. ... For other uses, see Perfume (disambiguation). ...

Frankincense is tapped from the very scraggly but hardy Boswellia tree through slashing the bark and allowing the exuded resins to bleed out and harden. These hardened resins are called tears. There are numerous species and varieties of frankincense trees, each producing a slightly different type of resin. Differences in soil and climate create even more diversity in the resin, even within the same species. These trees are also considered unusual for their ability to grow in environments so unforgiving that the trees sometimes grow directly out of solid stone, which the tree attaches to by means of a sucker-like appendage. The deep roots and its sucker like appendage prevent the tree from being torn away from the stone during the violent storms that frequent this region; the tears from these hardy survivors are considered superior due to their more fragrant aroma. The aroma from these tears are more valuable for their presumed healing abilities and are also said to have superior qualities for religious ritual.[1] Tapping is done 2 to 3 times a year with the final taps producing the best tears due to their higher aromatic terpene, sesquiterpene and diterpene content. High quality resin can be visually discerned through its level of opacity. Omani frankincense is said to be the best in the world, although quality resin is also produced in Yemen, and along the north coast of Somalia. Recent studies have indicated that frankincense tree populations are declining due to over-exploitation. Heavily tapped trees have been found to produce seeds that germinate at only 16% while seeds of trees that had not been tapped germinate at more than 80%. Many terpenes are derived from conifer resins, here a pine. ... Isoprene Terpenes are a class of hydrocarbons, produced by many plants, particularly conifers. ... The diterpenes are a class of molecules with 20 carbon atoms arranged as 4 isoprene units. ...


Frankincense on coal
Frankincense on coal

Frankincense was reintroduced to Europe by Frankish Crusaders. Although it is better known as "frankincense" to westerners, the resin is also known as olibanum, which is derived from the Arabic al-lubān (roughly translated: "that which results from milking"), a reference to the milky sap tapped from the Boswellia tree. Some have also postulated that the name comes from the Arabic term for "Oil of Lebanon" since Lebanon was the place where the resin was sold and traded with Europeans. Compare with Exodus 30:34, where it is clearly named levonah, meaning either "white" or "Lebanese" in Hebrew. For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ... This article is about the Frankish people and society. ... This article is about historical Crusades . ... Arabic redirects here. ... Arabic can mean: From or related to Arabia From or related to the Arabs The Arabic language; see also Arabic grammar The Arabic alphabet, used for expressing the languages of Arabic, Persian, Malay ( Jawi), Kurdish, Panjabi, Pashto, Sindhi and Urdu, among others. ... Synthetic motor oil For other uses, see Oil (disambiguation). ... This article is about the second book in the Torah. ... The word Hebrew most likely means to cross over, referring to the Semitic people crossing over the Euphrates River. ...

The lost city of Ubar, sometimes identified with Irem in what is now the town of Shisr in Oman, is believed to have been a centre of the frankincense trade along the recently rediscovered "Incense Road". Ubar was rediscovered in the early 1990s and is now under archaeological excavation. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Iram of the Pillars. ... Iram of the Pillars (إرَم ذات العماد, Iram dhāt al-`imād), also called Ubar or Wabar or the City of a Thousand Pillars, is a lost city apparently on the Arabian Peninsula. ... The Incense Road or Incense Route connected Egypt with Arabia and the Indies. ...

The Greek historian Herodotus was familiar with Frankincense and knew it was harvested from trees in southern Arabia. He reports, however, that the gum was dangerous to harvest because of poisonous snakes that lived in the trees. He goes on to describe the method used by the Arabians to get around this problem, that being the burning of the gum of the styrax tree whose smoke would drive the snakes away.[2] Herodotus of Halicarnassus (Greek: Hēródotos Halikarnāsseús) was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC (ca. ... Species See text. ...


Frankincense trees in Dhufar, Oman
Frankincense trees in Dhufar, Oman

Frankincense is used in perfumery and aromatherapy. Olibanum essential oil is obtained by steam distillation of the dry resin. The smell of the olibanum smoke is due to the products of pyrolysis. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 533 pixelsFull resolution (1536 × 1024 pixel, file size: 527 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Frankincense trees (?) in Dhofar region, Oman. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 533 pixelsFull resolution (1536 × 1024 pixel, file size: 527 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Frankincense trees (?) in Dhofar region, Oman. ... The Dhofar (Arabic ظفار Ẓufār) region lies in Southern Oman, on the eastern border of Yemen. ... For the book Perfume by Patrick Süskind, see Perfume (book). ... It has been suggested that Aromatherapy Candles be merged into this article or section. ... An essential oil is a concentrated, hydrophobic liquid containing volatile aromatic compounds from plants. ... Laboratory set-up for steam distillation Steam distillation is a special type of distillation (a separation process) for temperature sensitive materials like natural aromatic compounds. ... Aroma redirects here. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Simple sketch of pyrolysis chemistry Pyrolysis usually means the chemical decomposition of organic materials by heating in the absence of oxygen or any other reagents, except possibly steam. ...

Frankincense was lavishly used in religious rites. In the Book of Exodus in the Old Testament, it was an ingredient for incense (Ex 30:34) ; according to the Gospel of Matthew 2:11, gold, frankincense and myrrh were among the gifts to Jesus by the Biblical Magi "from out of the east." The Egyptians ground the charred resin into a powder called kohl. Kohl was used to make the distinctive black eyeliner seen on so many figures in Egyptian art. The aroma of frankincense is said to represent life and the Judaic, Christian and Islamic faiths have often used frankincense mixed with oils to anoint newborn infants and individuals considered to be moving into a new phase in their spiritual lives. Various Religious symbols, including (first row) Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Bahai, (second row) Islamic, tribal, Taoist, Shinto (third row) Buddhist, Sikh, Hindu, Jain, (fourth row) Ayyavazhi, Triple Goddess, Maltese cross, pre-Christian Slavonic Religion is the adherence to codified beliefs and rituals that generally involve a faith in a spiritual... This article is about the second book in the Torah. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations · Other religions Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Luther Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Archbishop of Canterbury · Catholic Pope Coptic Pope · Ecumenical Patriarch Christianity Portal This box:      Note: Judaism... Incense is composed of aromatic organic materials. ... The Gospel of Matthew (literally, according to Matthew; Greek, Κατά Μαθθαίον or Κατά Ματθαίον, Kata Maththaion or Kata Matthaion) is a synoptic gospel in the New Testament, one of four canonical gospels. ... GOLD refers to one of the following: GOLD (IEEE) is an IEEE program designed to garner more student members at the university level (Graduates of the Last Decade). ... 100g of Myrrh. ... This article is about Jesus of Nazareth. ... Three Kings, or Three Wise Men redirects here. ... Kohl is a mixture of soot and other ingredients used predominantly by Middle Eastern , North African, Sub-Saharan African and Asian women, and to a lesser extent men, to darken the eyelids and as mascara for the eyelashes. ...

The growth of Christianity, with an initial deritualisation of religion later to be reverted,[citation needed] depressed the market for frankincense during the 4th century AD. Desertification made the caravan routes across the Rub al Khali or "Empty Quarter" of Arabia more difficult. Additionally, increased raiding by the nomadic Parthians in the Near East caused the frankincense trade to dry up after about AD 300. For other uses, see Christian (disambiguation). ... As a means of recording the passage of time, the 4th century was that century which lasted from 301 to 400. ... Ship stranded by the retreat of the Aral Sea Desertification is the degradation of land in arid, semi arid and dry sub-humid areas resulting from various climatic variations, but primarily from human activities. ... A camel train is a series of camels carrying goods or passengers in a group as part of a regular or semi-regular service between two points. ... The Rub al Khali (الربع الخالي), or Empty Quarter, is the largest sand desert in the world, encompassing the southern third of the Arabian Peninsula, including southern Saudi Arabia, and areas of Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. ... Arabia redirects here. ... Parthia at its greatest extent under Mithridates II (123–88 BC) Capital Ctesiphon, Ecbatana Government Monarchy [[Category:Former monarchies}}|Parthia, 247 BC]] History  - Established 247 BC  - Disestablished 220 AD Parthian votive relief. ... Look up AD, ad-, and ad in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...

Frankincense is edible and often used in various traditional medicines in Asia for digestion and healthy skin. Edible frankincense must be pure for internal consumption, meaning it should be translucent, with no black or brown impurities. It is often light yellow with a (very) slight greenish tint. it is often chewed like gum, but it is stickier because it is a resin.

Frankincense comes in many grades, and its quality is based on color, purity, aroma, and age.

Frankincense is also used to generate smoke effects in the film industry.

See also

Al Khazneh, Petra (the Nabataean capital) Shivta The Nabataeans, Arabic (الأنباط) Al-Anbaat, were an ancient trading people of southern Jordan, Canaan and the northern part of Arabia- whose oasis settlements in the time of Josephus gave the name of Nabatene to the borderland between Syria and Arabia, from the Euphrates...


  1. ^ Mark Ambrose. Frankincense Information.
  2. ^ Herodotus 3,107


  • The Road to Ubar: Finding the Atlantis of the Sands — Clapp Nicholas, 1999. ISBN 0-395-95786-9.
  • Frankincense & Myrrh: A Study of the Arabian Incense Trade — Groom, Nigel, 1981. ISBN 0-86685-593-9.
  • Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh: An Introduction to Eastern Christian Spirituality — Maloney George A, 1997. ISBN 0-8245-1616-8.
  • Tapped-out trees threaten frankincense, Foxnews.com science (citing a study co-authored by botanists and ecologists from the Netherlands and Eritrea and published in The Journal of Applied Ecology, Dec. 2006.)

External links

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  • Atlantis of the Sands — Archaeology Magazine May–June 1997
  • Spices Exotic Flavors and Medicines — UCLA Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library Spice Exhibit Frankincense and Myrrh 2002

Related sites

  • Frankincense, The Catholic Guide. [404, not working]
  • UNESCO Frankincense Trail Dhofar Province, Oman.
  • Trade Between Arabia and the Empires of Rome and Asia, Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  • Lost City of Arabia Interview with Dr. Juris Zarins, Nova, September 1996.
  • Pictures of Ubar, NASA, August 3, 1995.
  • Aroma of Frankincense, Scent Directory.
  • Frankincense and Oman, Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center.
  • Short review of recent studies about incense as medicine now and in ancient times, Short review of recent studies about incense as medicine now and in ancient times.
is the 215th day of the year (216th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 1995 (MCMXCV) was a common year starting on Sunday. ...

  Results from FactBites:
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Frankincense & Myrrh resins and oils from Aden, Somalia, Ethiopia and India, 1st Choice grade.
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Frankincense oil (Boswellia carteri) - information on the origin, source, extraction method, chemical composition, ... (895 words)
Frankincense oil is said to help rejuvenate an ageing skin, is a skin tonic and is effective with sores, carbuncles, wounds, scars and skin inflammation.
Frankincense oil can be used in a blended massage oil or diluted in the bath for colds, coughs, bronchitis, rheumatism, chilliness, poor circulation, exhaustion, nightmares, heavy periods, respiratory problems and mucus congestion.
Frankincense oil can be added to a base cream or lotion to help with general skin tone and condition while reducing oily skin, rejuvenating more mature skin, while at the same time helping wounds, ulcers and sores heal better.
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