Common name:  Boswellia
Botanical name: Boswellia sacra
Scientific name:
English name:frankincense
Farsi name:
Arabic name: اللبان‎, البخور‎ al-bakhūr
Hindi name: लोहबान
Urdu name: لوبان lohabaan

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Scientific classificationedit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Rosids
Order: Sapindales
Family: Burseraceae
Genus: Boswellia
Species:
B. sacra

Overview Information

Frankincense is the hardened gum-like material (resin) that comes from cuts made in the trunk of the Boswellia sacra tree. People use it to make medicine.

Frankincense is used for pain and swelling in people with various diseases. Also used for gas (flatulence), wound healing, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support any use.

Frankincense is also used as a flavoring agent in foods and as a fragrance in soaps, lotions, and perfumes.

What Is Frankincense?

Frankincense is the dried sap of trees in the Boswellia genus, particularly Boswellia sacra. These trees grow in Oman, Yemen and the Horn of Africa, including Somalia and Ethiopia. When dried, the sap is burned as incense and thought to have several medicinal properties. Frankincense producers wound the tree using a traditional chisel-like tool, after which a milky white sap leeches out of the hole, forming “tears.” The first sap is not collected, and is thought to cleanse the wood of impurities, according to an Omani tour guide interviewed by the BBC. Once this dries, the hole is enlarged and deepened, after which sap comes out, dries, and is collected about two weeks later.

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