A recipe for a Frankincense Tea


A recipe for a Frankincense cough and cold

Tea or infusion

Many thanks to my reader, “Auntie Doodles, for this recipe. She discovered it while visiting her daughter in Qatar. I have heard about the use of Frankincense tears in this manner but have not been able to confirm a traditional recipe till now.  So, for coughs, colds, congestion here is a simple and traditional recipe for Frankincense tears.

  • 1 heaping teaspoon of loose Frankincense Papyrifera or Carterii/Sacra tears. You can break them up if they are in large lumps, or crush them coarsely in your mortar.
  • Place Frankincense in a glass, mug or cup, (250 to 400Ml.)
  • Cover with room temperature water.
  • Close loosely with a saucer.
  • Let stand overnight at room temperature.
  • Take the infused water in tablespoon doses as needed for coughs, colds, the discomforts of fevers and flu.
  • It will keep for a couple of days.
  • To keep it longer, pour off the liquid and store it for up to a week, covered in the fridge.
  • To preserve this medicine for months, transfer the liquid to an ice cube tray. When frozen, move the cubes to a sealed container or plastic bag and store for future use.

I see numerous visitors from Arabian countries, India, Asia and African states coming through this web site. Whether family recipes, or regional traditions, I would be deeply grateful for any information anyone could share about their own traditional uses of Frankincense, Myrrh and other oleoresins.  Too much of our ancient knowledge is getting lost in the wave of progress we are riding.

Ethnobotanical research does not have the economic value or financial incentive of other types of research, and is usually underfunded. It can’t keep up with its role of preserving our rich oral traditions before they are lost.  If you would like to share any cultural wisdom or traditional recipes you possess, and help preserve them for posterity, please leave a comment for me below, or email me directly at dnriegler@gmail.com. I offer my thanks and gratitude in advance. Thank you!!

To read the whole post, from which this recipe was taken, and includes other uses for frankincense and other oleoresins, please see-“Preparing Winter medicine from tree saps“.

Dan

 

23 Comments

  1. Hi.. May I know do we swallow or throw away the remaining of the white resin clumps which came from the Frankincense Water after soaking overnight? Is the clumps digestible in our intestine?

    Thankyou..

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    1. Hi. I think that is a choice you can make. Some people dispose of the spent resin after infusing it in water a few times and others consume it or use it as incense. As far as digesting Frankincense and benefiting from the resin compounds that don’t dissolve in the water, there are studies that indicate the Boswellic acids and other resin compounds are better absorbed by the body when taken with fatty foods. This makes sense since the resin is not water soluble, but oil soluble.

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      1. Hi.. Thankyou for ur prompt reply.. Just want to be sure.. the white clumps left on the water is the important resin which contain the boswellic acid. cos I’ve read that boswellic acid is in the resin so in my logic sense that it should be swallow but I’m not sure if the white clumps r the resin?
        ..so once I’ve soaked the Frankincense in water n after a few times, I can swallow the white clumps to get the full benefit? I’m sorry if I’m bit slow in my thoughts here.. can’t understand if the white clumps r the important resin.

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      2. Hi. No worries.
        The resin and gum are both in the white Lumps. I like to think that the whole oleo gum resin is more beneficial than one isolated constituent. Even if it is the most studied compound.
        If they are soft, then yes I would chew them up or break them up a bit and consume the.. a little honey or yohhurt might help with the Flavour.
        If they are still hard then perhaps infuse them again in boiling water.

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  2. Hello ,
    I’m working on the effect of boswellia gum resin in rats, I wanna ask you about the preparation of the extract, and what is the best way to give it to rats
    I am waiting for your reply. Thank You

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    1. Hi Lydia.
      Here is a link to a study done out of the Jordan University of science and technology that may help answer your questions. They used an aqueous extract, which would only deliver the water soluble gum portion to the rats. If you wanted to feed them the whole oleo gum resin then I would assume you would make an extract using alcohol or a fine powder of the whole material and incorporate it in their food.
      If you wanted to study the effects of the Boswellic acids and other resin based compounds on the rats, then you could use a resin extract as described in this post-https://apothecarysgarden.com/2015/12/03/how-to-extract-the-resin-and-boswellic-acids-from-frankincense-an-improved-method/?wref=tp
      Here is a link to the Jordanian study. I hope this was of some help.
      https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jhs/53/4/53_4_365/_pdf

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  3. I have pure frankincence oil and I would like to know if I could make a tea out of it or how to use. I had cancer and I’ve heard that it is good for healing. Please let me know asap.

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    1. Hi Amy.
      My speciality is using the whole oleoresin of Frankincense. The essential oils contain only a small part of the therapeutic compounds found in Frankincense. Traditionally a tea is made from the whole frankincense resin, and some people take the powdered whole resin internally which utilizes the Boswellic acids that are not found in the essential oil.

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  4. My daughter was recently stung by three hornets on her lip. These were the hornets that make large paper nests that hang in trees, not yellow jackets or ground hornets. The swelling was extensive, as you might imagine. She melted some of the “sweet” chewing frankincense in coconut oil and applied it to her lip and the swelling was unnoticeable within a few hours. My husband sent both “sweet” and “bitter” chewing frankincense, and myrrh resins home while he was working in Abu Dhabi and those are some of my most treasured herbs. The use for hornet stings is likely not a traditional use, but the anti-inflammatory properties certainly helped. Thank you for starting this page. I am very interested in hearing from those who live in areas where these resins are traditionally used about the many ways they can help with everyday issues. I use the frankincense and myrrh combined with the roots of American ginseng that we grow here to make an ointment that works very well for insect stings or any other surface infections or inflammations.

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    1. Hi Madison.
      Thank you for sharing your personal and practical experience with Frankincense. Sounds like the “Sweet” Frankincense you used was Boswellia Frereana or Maydi, the traditional Arabian and African Chewing gum. This is the only Frankincense that would melt into your Coconut oil.
      Thanks as well for sharing your ointment ingredients. Not a combination I would have thought to explore! With more contributions like yours I hope to see a growing collection of traditional and non-traditional uses and recipes for these resins here.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. hi, i was wondering if you can tell me how exactly i can make that ointment and where to get the best ingredients, it sounds like it would be good for something i have been dealing with for the last 8 months, the so call doctors don’t know what or why i got this rash. thank you

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      1. Hi Anthony.
        Here is a link to the post about making an oil extract from oleoresins. Once you dissolve the resin in the oil and filter it you can use it as is, or melt a little Bees wax into it and make it a salve.
        If this doesn’t address your question, please let me know. You might have to copy and paste the link into your browser.
        https://apothecarysgarden.com/2014/07/30/how-to-make-a-whole-extract-of-frankincense-and-other-oleoresins/?wref=tp.
        If you are looking for high quality resins to use for medicine, I have a nice selection in my Etsy shop here-https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/ApothecarysGarden.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I have some Frankincense tears that I ordered from a shop in Minnesota. They didn’t specify what type it is. While I am awaiting the arrival of my delivery of F. serrata from your shop, I thought I would try some tea with these rather pale looking tears. The first time I used hot water and let it sit until it cooled. The result was very bitter and the tears had turned white and were kind of waxy. Following your instructions, I used cool water and let it sit overnight. This I am consuming in small amounts mixed with water. Not much flavor, but that’s okay – maybe a little soapy. I wonder if there is anything useful that can be done with the remaining whitish waxy tears, or is it likely that all of the medicinal properties have been leached out?
    Thank you for the wonderful information on this and your other site.

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    1. Hi Denise.
      Both the hot water and cold water infusions are used to make a tea of Frankincense. I would say the cold water method likely extracts less compounds than the hot water method and thus leaves you with an abundance of untapped phytochemicals in your Frankincense tears.
      Though I list a cold infusion of Frankincense as a traditional remedy in some Arabian cultures, I have no doubt that making a hot infusion will yield more potent medicine.
      The bitter flavour is associated with the water soluble gum portion and has medicinal value.
      We are acclimatized in the West to shun bitter things. However, bitter is a very important element in eastern traditional medicinal systems and usually associated with bile production, digestion and liver function and shouldn’t be avoided. Some people add a bit of sugar or honey to the bitter Frankincense infusion and this helps it go down more easily. Also, with a very bitter product, there is no need to consume large quantities, a teaspoonful at a time stretched out over a one or two day period can be more effective than drinking a cup full at once.
      Also, after extracting the water soluble parts of any Frankincense type, you will always be left with the oleoresin portion which in most cases is where all the Boswellic acids are found. This holds many beneficial compounds that water cannot extract.

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  6. I made frankincense papyrifera water and then refrigerated, I made it a little over a week ago and haven’t touched it in about 3 days, it’s in a glass water jug with a tight seal. My question is this: is it ok to drink if it’s over a week? It smells the same as it did when I first started drinking it. It works for inflammation and I’ve been drinking it at night however I don’t know how long it will remain fresh in the refrigerator. I was going to drink some this morning and add more resin and more water, how do you know if it’s still good? There are still resin clumps in the bottom…

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    1. Hi David. I apologize for the delay.
      My gut reaction is “when in doubt, throw it out” That being said, if there is no change in colour, texture, appearance or scent, it is likely fine but perhaps not much longer. I think the most important message from your Frankincense infusion is to make smaller batches and freeze them if there is a chance of being in the fridge longer than a week.
      So don’t add more resin and water to an already tired or almost expired concoction, you will be simply adding new nutrients to bacteria or fungi that have initiated colonization, even if they haven’t taken over yet. You have to gauge the age if your product from the day you started it and not from when you refreshed it’s water content.
      Much simpler to just make smaller batches. If you are making infusions with water there will always be chunks of resin left over since frankincense is made mostly of resin and essential oil neither which is water soluble.

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  7. Dan,
    I just received some frankincense from “Sweet Essentials”. I bought it because I was told it would be good to chew to help relieve the pain of arthritis. I had never heard of this but am willing to try. Do you know of this? How much should I chew? Do you think a cup of this tea would be helpful? Thank you for your time. Vickie

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    1. Hi Vickie.
      It depends which type of Frankincense it is. The Somali Frankincense frereana is the only one that is really suited for chewing and doesn’t fall apart in your mouth. Most of the frankincense types are anti inflammatory and are used externally and internally for inflammations including arthritis and inflammations of the joints. So, if it doesn’t work as a chewing gum, you can grind it to a fine powder and take 1/2 teaspoons of it a few times a day. Just swoosh it around with water in your mouth so it doesn’t clump too much. I do this regularly with only positive effects. But if you do try it, listen to your body and if you find you do not feel well in any way, then stop using it. To grind the frankincense to a fine powder see my post “How to grind Frankincense and Myrrh”. You could also try steeping a teaspoon overnight in cold water. Hope that was of some help.
      Dan

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  8. Salam Dan ,

    I am from Oman, one of the countries that produce Frankincense. We mostly burn it for the nice smell for our houses. But they also make chewing gum from it , and you can store it on the fridge for long period. Some people here they eat the frankincese stones directly and chew them, but you have to specify to the seller that you want it for chewing and they have specif types which are usually more white, and more expensive. Just thought of sharing this from my own experience. And thanks for the receipt, will try it today.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much Ahmed, for sharing your personal experience of Frankincense use in Oman. It is information with added value since it comes directly from an Omani.
      I believe the whiter and more expensive Frankincense, used for chewing, is likely Maydi, or Frankincense Frereana from Somalia. I hope you find the recipe to your liking. Dan

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