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ARABIC GUM / LUBAN GUM / FRANKINCENSE / BOSWELLIA / CARTERI

ARABIC GUM / LUBAN / FRANKINCENSE / BOSWELLIA / CARTERI

Arabic Gum / Frankincense is tapped from the scraggy but hardy trees by slashing the bark, which is called striping, and allowing the exuded resin to bleed out and harden. These hardened resins are called tears. There are several species and varieties of frankincense trees, each producing a slightly different type of resin. Differences in soil and climate create even more diversity of the resin, even within the same species.  trees are considered unusual for their ability to grow in environments so unforgiving that they sometimes grow out of solid rock. The initial means of attachment to the rock is unknown, but is accomplished by a bulbous disk-like swelling of the trunk. This growth prevents it from being ripped from the rock during violent storms. This feature is slight or absent in trees grown in rocky soil or gravel. The trees start producing resin when they are about eight to 10 years old. The dried, gummy exudation obtained from various species of Burseraceae trees. The main species are Boswellia carteri, Boswellia frererana, Boswellia papyrifera and many others. Main producing countries are Nigeria,   Somalia, Ethiopia, Southeast Arabia, and India. The Olibanum trade knows three principal origins: Aden/Somalia, Eritrea, and India.

Properties

Gum Olibanum is available in small tears or lumps of white-yellowish or yellow-reddish colour. Gum Olibanum has a slight smell. It is available in different qualities from dust, siftings, peasize, to tears.

A typical composition of Gum Olibanum can be as follows:

Oil content: approx. 5 to 9 % (Composition and chemical characteristics depend on origin)
Resin acids: approx. 13-17 %
Etherunsoluble residue: approx. 20 to 30 % (Polysaccharides)
Ethersoluble residue: approx. 40 to 60 % (Boswellic acid)

Applications

  • Incense
  • Fumigation agent for religious purposes
  • Fixatives
  • Chewing gum and others.
  • Flavours and fragrances
  • Perfumery
  • Pharmaceutic: tooth paste, plasters.
  • Recent studies have found positive influence of Olibanum on Rheumatism.
    In the classical Indian medicine, Gum Olibanum is used as an anti-inflammatory remedy.

More are used as incense or in perfumes. Also, used as traditional chewing gum. Has numerous beneficial medicinal properties, such as anti-bacterial, anti-cancer. Good for digestion and for headache. Research suggests that it is beneficial in psychological disorders as frankincense smoke is known to enhance mood and reduce depression.

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