Frankincense History

Frankincense has been an historic part of trade on the Arabian Peninsula for more than 6,000 years.,  Frankincense is mentioned in many religious documents and scriptures and received numerous mentions in the New Testament.

Frankincense was used by the ancient Egyptians ¬†in their religious rites and It’s been said that Cleopatra liked to put this aromatic resin on her skin, in order to retain a youthful appearance. Essential oils were often used in ancient Egyptian times for cleanliness as well. It wasn’t something reserved just for the elite and wealthy either; it was a practice recognized by all classes. Body oil was applied daily to the skin to moisturize and protect the skin.

It constituted part of the Jewish incense of the sanctuary and is frequently mentioned in the Pentateuch. In Christian tradition  frankincense was one of the three gifts offered by the Magi to the infant Jesus. Pliny the Elder described the characteristics of good-quality frankincense and mentioned it as an antidote to hemlock poisoning. The Iranian physician Avicenna recommended it for a wide range of bodily ailments. In China and elsewhere in the East, it was used as both an internal and external remedy.

Frankincense played an important role in the religious and domestic life of the Ancient Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian, Hebrew, Greek, and Roman civilizations and has been perhaps the most important aromatic incense ingredient since history began. Employed by the Egyptians as a fumigant, ritual incense and cosmetic, frankincense gum was charred to produce a black powder called kohl, used by Egyptian women to paint their eyelids. Additionally, it was one of the main ingredients to make up Jewish ceremonial incense and has been a part of the Sabbath day offering. Dedicated through the ages to a variety of deities; the Babylonian sun god Bael, the Egyptian god Ra, and the Greek Apollo, frankincense has been believed to contain the power to focus our spiritual consciousness, and imbue a potential for transcendental awareness. Plant, mineral, and animal substances were the foundation of ancient medicine all over the world and continue to hold their place as valuable remedies for the human body and mind. They can be incredibly effective alongside or in place of current pharmaceuticals.