Background of Frankincense

Historically frankincense has been traded for more than 5000 years. Ancient Egyptians used frankincense as a key ingredient in rejuvenating facial masks. The resins are traditionally burned on a charcoal disk as incense. Somalia throughout its history was a major exporting country for raw frankincense resin making Somalia a major harvesting region for Boswellia carterii.

The frankincense trees grow on rocky slopes in north eastern Somalia. Incisions are made in small sections of the Boswellia tree, which is scrapped by hand to let it ooze a milky-white sap for several weeks. This milky-white sap is then allowed to harden into resins. It is then collected into baskets, which then local Somali women clean and separate the leaves from the resin. This process is done at the harvesting season.