What the Frank?
Heard about frankincense? Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve probably heard about this essential oil in some form or another.
Some fun facts about frankincense:
- Family name: Burseraceae
- Palo Santo (Bursera graveolens) and Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) are both from the Burseraceae family
- There are 28 accepted species of frankincense via www.theplantlist.org
- Of those 28 there are only five that are generally used in aromatherapy: Boswellia sacra, Boswellia papyrifera, Boswellia carterii, Boswellia frereana and Boswellia serrata
- True frankincense are the species that contain the boswellic acids once distilled those are: Boswellia sacra, Boswellia papyrifera, Boswellia carterii, and Boswellia serrata
- Young Living carries three species of frankincense: Boswellia sacra, Boswellia carterii, and Boswellia frereana
- Frankincense is mentioned over 52 times in the Bible depending on the translation it is sometimes referred to as incense check out Healing Oils of the Bible by David Stewart for more info
- Boswellia carterii for the “Somalian tree and … Boswellia sacra for the South-Arabian (Oman, Yemen) plant, although both species can be regarded as the same, at least on a chemotaxonomic and a botanical point of view” they have differing chemical constituents as essential oils
Which Frank is the Best Frank?
You’re not going to like this answer but it depends. Honestly! It depends on what you are looking for as your outcome when using frankincense. If you are looking for a replacement to the Boswellia carterii that comes in the Premium Starter Kit (B. carterii is
OOS right now with Young Living I think it is back in stock now) then Sacred Frankincense B. sacra is a pretty good substitute but remember they have slightly different compositions. Sacred Frankincense is considered to be the oil referenced in the Bible and given to the baby Jesus. It has a higher vibrational frequency than Boswellia carterii and may be useful in meditation/prayer. Boswellia carterii is a great oil and many report it works better in assisting with skin issues related to aging. I use Sacred Frankincense in my homemade foundation along with Lavender EO.
What about Boswellia frereana? This species is also from Somalia but it’s chemical consituents are quite different from both the B. carterii and B. sacra. According to the Essential Oils Pocket Reference pg. 70, “Since Boswellia carterii also grows in Somalia, it is hard to explain why frereana has a such a unique chemical composition, so different from B. carterii and other frankincense species.” This species of frankincense contains no boswellic acids or the diterpenes of the incensole family. However, in 2010 and 2006 there were two research studies done on frereana which showed anti-inflammatory activity. (EOPR, 70) I own all three versions of frankincense and they all smell different but equally delightful. I just got B. carterii again in a PSK I ordered to teach a class and I definitely missed it as I tend to like to use that first before B. sacra or frereana.
I think more research needs to be done on frankincense it is such an interesting plant and essential oil. I will update here as I do more research! Check out Oil-Testimonials and PubMed for more info on frankincense. You might be interested in some of the research studies that have been done using the essential oil.
Interested in purchasing frankincense? Check out my February offer on the Premium Starter Kit.