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Boswellia tree with frankincense resin

FRANKINCENSE

Boswellia

Biology

Boswellia is primarily grown in Somalia, Southern Arabia, Ethiopia, Sudan, and other African countries. Each species has a unique chemical profile when distilled, as well as distinguishing botanical factors.

Harvesting

Each species of Boswellia has a different harvesting cycle. Resin is harvested by making cuts into the bark of the tree and collecting the resin that seeps out.

Distribution

The harvesters of frankincense have multiple buyers across the world. Sustainability of the species is dependent on buyers demanding sustainable practices from their suppliers.

Sustainability

Boswellia forests in Somaliland face the challenge of decreasing trees and an increase demand in frankincense. In many communities throughout the growing region, frankincense harvesting is the only, or by far the dominant, industry. Taking pressure off the frankincense trees will require alternative opportunities in the long term.

ABOUT

Frankincense, the resin from Boswellia trees, has been a significant export since biblical times. Already a rare commodity, the demand for frankincense from the essential oil industry has pushed frankincense species to a near threatened level.

Pile of frankincense resin

Our Work

Dr. DeCarlo has worked with growers in Somaliland and Ethiopia to determine the issues that face the frankincense trees and the opportunities for growth. Finding several over-harvested trees, Dr. DeCarlo saw that the trees are dying due to the increased demand for the resin. Her proposal for sustainable frankincense requires implementing forest protection and enforcement.

Publications

Somaliland Frankincense Sustainability

Somaliland Frankincense Sustainability

FRANKINCENSE

Second to last: Boswellia Dalzielii, Nigeria, Chemotypes

Second to last: Boswellia Dalzielii, Nigeria, Chemotypes

FRANKINCENSE

Boswellia Dalzielii, Burkina Faso, Chemical Composition

Boswellia Dalzielii, Burkina Faso, Chemical Composition

FRANKINCENSE

Boswellia Occulta, Oleogum Resin Essential Oils

Boswellia Occulta, Oleogum Resin Essential Oils

FRANKINCENSE

Boswellia Occulta, The case of Methoxydecane

Boswellia Occulta, The case of Methoxydecane

FRANKINCENSE

Boswellia Occulta, New Species

Boswellia Occulta, New Species

FRANKINCENSE

Few Down: Boswellia Carteri, Chemical Variation

Few Down: Boswellia Carteri, Chemical Variation

FRANKINCENSE

Best Practices Carteri, Somali Version

Best Practices Carteri, Somali Version

FRANKINCENSE

Boswellia Sustainability

Boswellia Sustainability

FRANKINCENSE

Best Practices Carteri, English Version

Best Practices Carteri, English Version

FRANKINCENSE

Best Practices Frereana, Somali Version

Best Practices Frereana, Somali Version

FRANKINCENSE

Best Practices Frereana, English

Best Practices Frereana, English

FRANKINCENSE

An Interview with Dr. DeCarlo

An Interview with Dr. DeCarlo

And frankincense, really, has needed modernization. Desperately. Especially now with the demand for it more and more because it’s such good

An Interview with Dr. DeCarlo: Part 2

An Interview with Dr. DeCarlo: Part 2

And then, of course, we spend a lot of time with the local communities. We go out to the communities because you can’t just talk to them on

Frankincense Adulteration

Frankincense Adulteration

we’d like to share the GC-MS results for the frankincense oil we adulterated as well as its original oxidized state.

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Aromatic Plant Research Center (APRC) is a state-of-the-art laboratory that utilizes a variety of methods to detect adulteration and confirm the purity of natural products. Our executive advisory board is internationally renowned for quality control testing and expertise within the aromatic plant industry.

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