Frankincense is the gum resin secreted by a small shrub that grows in semi-arid regions of Arabia. An incision is made in the trunk to allow the strongly-scented and rubbery oleoresin to ooze out. We use the resin “tears” when they are harvested pure as they are exuded by the tree, or resin “chestnuts” when it falls to the ground. Pale yellow or reddish yellow in color gives off an aromatic scent with turpentine accords. Frankincense burns quickly, giving off a strong aroma that is spiritual by nature.
In traditional medicine, it is used in fumigation to treat respiratory infections due to its high essential oil content (3 to 9%).
Its essential oil is appreciated in cosmetics for its regenerating and anti-irritation properties.