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Frankincense: from sacred incense to skin care ingredient

At one time, frankincense was worth it's weight in gold, and it's still a rare and precious commodity. This is understandable, considering the remote location, arid environment, and laborious collection method.

Frankincense, Boswellia sacra, essential oil is distilled from the dried resin of a desert tree in Southern Arabia (Oman, Yemen) and East Africa (Somalia). The resin globules, known as "tears" exude from the bark which is incised with a special knife. In a process that hasn't changed over many centuries, indigenous people make treks into the desert to harvest the tears from the wild growing trees and sell them to merchants, who in-turn trade them abroad.

Frankincense essential oil, is generally distilled abroad from the exported bulk resin. It is a top-tier, precious oil in terms of price, possessing a pleasantly fresh, sweet-balsamic, woody, turpentine and incense-like aroma. The oil is pale yellow to greenish in color and enjoys a reputation for the calming, purifying, balancing and soothing benefits it bestows.

Frankincense has a reputation as a powerful ingredient in skin and body care. Applied for its nurturing and protecting benefits, a little frankincense goes a long way. Like any essential oil, frankincense is potent and concentrated and should be properly diluted when applied to the body. For example, jojoba oil makes and excellent skin care carrier for frankincense. Simply mix 2 to 3 drops of frankincense to 1 teaspoon of jojoba and apply to targeted area.

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