What is Boswellia Sacra?
The species of frankincense that grows in Oman is called Boswellia sacra, and the best grade of this frankincense species grows in a very specific region of Oman called Salalah. Within Salalah, we find the Dhofar desert, and within this desert there is a mountain range that is part of the Al Hojari Mountain. It is along this dry side of the mountain where little rainfall is present that the conditions are just right for the growth of the worlds finest frankincense.
This frankincense from the mountain side is called Hojari Frankincense named after the Hajar Mountain. Hajar is the Arabic word for stone. The mountains are refered to as “Al Jebel al Hajar”, which means “the stone mountain”. The environment of this region has an effect on the chemotype of the boswellia sacra making it not only a much more fragrant resin incense, but also is considered to contain higher levels of boswellic acid.
The frankincense resins are collected in two seasons, before and after the period of the Indiana monsoon. During the Indian monsoon, Salalah bursts with botanical life, and the beautiful and lush vegetation attracts many tourists from around the world.
Boswellia sacra that is hojari, has the finest aroma of all Frankincense resins. Modern archaeological traces have shown that many major cities and centers of commerce that grew from the geographical area of Oman, and Yemen, and spread out into a network of trade routes’ called The Incense Road. The incense road found its way to Roman occupied Israel, and gave life to the lost city of Petra in Jordan.
Frankincense was considered a gift from above, and was therefore given back as an offering to God, and also to the gods of the pagan world. The finest grades of frankincense could command such a high price, that at one time it was considered more valuable than gold.
Boswellia sacra is graded by size and color, the highest grade being Royal Hojary. Royal hojari is the greenest of the seasons frankincense resins, and is collected from the younger trees, and younger shoots of older frankincense trees.
Frankincense was not only given as a gift to God, and pagan deities, but also to kings, as it was such an affluent gift. Even today a large portion of the Royal hojari harvested in Oman is reserved for the palace of the Sultan of Oman.
According to tradition in Oman, and based off history and archaeological finds,it is believed that Royal Hojari was the “kingly frankincense” presented to the Christ Child by the wise men from the East.
Boswellia sacra has been in the spotlight recently for its analgesic properties, its aid with arthritis, and more specifically as having great potential aiding with tumors and growths.
Boswellia sacra frankincense can be steam distilled for the production of essential oil. Boswellia sacra essential oil has recently become very popular due to a growing body of research, showing that boswellia sacra may be an helpful with pain and inflammation.
For more information about frankincense and frankincense uses and history, please visit our blog at frankincense.info
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