In the Bible, frankincense is one of three gifts that the wise men offered to the infant Jesus, possibly because of its healing powers.
What IS frankincense?
Frankincense – also called olibanum – is made by extracting the milky white sap of the tree's bark and then hardening it into a resin. The resin is made into an oil via steam distillation. Then, the oil is either used on the skin or by inhalation.
Frankincense oil is sourced from Boswellia carterii, Boswellia ferreana or Boswellia serrata trees that grow in African and Arabian regions, including Yemen, Oman, Somalia, and Ethiopia.
There are many types of frankincense, and its quality is based on color, purity, aroma, age, and shape. The trees can produce different colored resins. Silver and Hojari are generally considered the highest grades of frankincense. Brown-yellow and muddy frankincense are typically the cheapest and easiest to find.