ETHIOPIA. Frankincense Tears (Boswellia papyrifera) resin, Wild Harvested
Common names: Sudanese Frankincense, Elephant Tree, Tigray-type Frankincense, Dakkar
The resin known as Frankincense Tears is exuded by a tree native to Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, Kenya, and Uganda, growing 13 to 40 feet high in dry, rocky areas. This is said to be the Frankincense of antiquity, prized by Egyptians for 3,500 or more years. It is still burned as an incense in Ethiopian Orthodox and other churches, and for coffee ceremonies in Ethiopian homes.
The fragrance profile of Frankincense Tears, used as incense or extracted as an essential oil, is described as more citrusy than that of other types of Frankincense. B. papyrifera
is also prescribed as a medicine in Iranian and other cultures, and burned as an insect repellent.
Frankincense Tears differ from the several other Boswellia (Frankincense) species in containing large amounts of octyl acetate and octanol, along with two other unique chemicals, incensole and incensole acetate. Research indicates that incensole acetate can produce heightened feelings of well-being and spirituality, reduce anxiety and depression, and improve memory, in addition to possessing neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory
properties, demonstrated in animal studies, that may be helpful in cases of stroke and head trauma.
Like other Frankincense species, B. papyrifera
contains water-soluble gum, resin, and volatile oils. The boswellic acids found in the resin have been studied for their ability to reduce inflammation and pain, and to fight cancer. A 2019 investigation of various Frankincense species found differences in their chemical composition, but confirms in vitro anti-cancer
activity across the entire group. An Iranian study, giving B. papyrifera to human patients with multiple sclerosis, showed significant improvement of visuospatial memory
. *These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.