This rather lengthy video demonstrates how one can make a simple and effective distillation apparatus with easily found parts. With an understanding of the underlying principles of distillation, many common household vessels can be used to distill essential oils from aromatic plant material. The Moroccan “Couscousierre” is likely my favourite kitchen pot to work with […]

Whole resin chunks of Boswellia Serrata in the sieve. No need to grind the resin or prep it in any way. Boswellia Serrata, B. carterii, B. Sacra and B. Papyrifera all contain a high percent of Boswellic acids. As many of you know, Boswellic acids have proven to be anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer in laboratory studies and are likely the main compounds that led to Frankincense’s long traditional use as medicine. There are no Boswellic acids in the essential oil of frankincense.

When it comes to fungi, Myrrh can be used to address a variety of conditions. In a saline mouthwash, the tincture of Myrrh is used for thrush, (oral candidiasis), in a tea, via infusion or tincture it helps treat candida and other fungi in the digestive tract, as a 1:5-96% alcohol tincture it is a treatment for Tinea type fungal infections such as “Ringworm”, (not a worm, but a colony of Fungi), Athletes foot and “Jock itch”, caused by various dermatophytes, fungi/molds that feed off dead skin cells on moist areas of the skin. Less known, but equally effective, Myrrh oleoresin is used in the preparation of a nail “Laquer” which is applied to toe and fingernail fungal infections, or onychomycosis, (which means nail fungus growth, infestation or proliferation in Latin).

How to isolate the resin and Boswellic acids from select Frankincense oleoresins with water Lately, we have been hearing a lot about the anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer compounds found in the frankincense family. The most publicized recently are the Boswellic acids and AKBA, or acetyl-keto-beta-boswellic acid,  pentacyclic triterpenes found in some species of Frankincense which make […]

In the production of essential oils, I believe this is the only practical way to keep the integrity of the fresh plant, the nuances and depth, their healing potential, and the metaphorical “heartbeat” of the plant intact through the process. Something not achievable on an “Industrial scale”. Though each batch may differ slightly in complexities of fragrance, I believe these small distillations using planet friendly and non destructive practices, built on intimate personal relationships with nature, from the tapped or exposed saps of the trees, yield perfume and therapeutic ingredients of far higher quality, than commercial distilleries can ever offer.

Spring Spruce 2013

How to make a wonderful winter cough and chest rub from local pine, Spruce and Fir saps. A short while ago, I published a post on making a cough and chest rub from Frankincense Neglecta, a lovely type of Frankincense from Ethiopia. It’s fragrance reminded me of our own Fir sap, from which a great […]

There are many questions about Frankincense that show up regularly through the search engines.  They make excellent material for posts, and since we are getting close to the “Holiday” season, with Frankincense and Myrrh such traditional symbols in holiday lore and practice, it`s a perfect time to address them. One important question often asked is, How […]

Fresh Frankincense oil extracted from Boswellia Neglecta.

I have, over the past few days, slowly succumbed to a head/chest cold. Stuffed up, scratchy rough throat, and a cough. Yuch!! On the bright side, it motivated me to finally make a Frankincense Oil, or rather a Frankincense Neglecta Cough and Chest Rub. Since My first whiff of the rare and unusual Frankincense Neglecta […]

Labdanum-Beard Grooming Babylonian style     Labdanum. Also called Ladanum, Cistus or Rockrose, is a fragrant mediterranean shrub, rich in history, oleo-resin, and tradition, both medicinally and aromatically.   The use of Labdanum, Cistus Ladanifera, Cistus Incanus or Cistus Creticus from Crete, has been traced back thousands of years to ancient Egypt, the civilizations of Akkad, Sumeria, […]

A Thought on the holistic tincturing of oleo-resins. Each type of Oleo-Gum-Resin such as Myrrh, Opoponax, Mastic, the many types of Frankincense etc., contain different proportions of water-soluble gum and alcohol soluble oleo-resins, (resins and volatile oils). I propose that when one of these Oleo-gum-resins is tinctured to extract its medicinal constituents and properties, that the 2 solvents […]

Continuing to work on a Frankincense anti aging/wrinkle crème and a Frankincense rejuvenating mask from the (post distillation) gum and resin residue of different types of Frankincense. Here I am distilling the essential oils from Frankincense, Boswellia species. By “post distillation” I mean that after distilling off the essential oils, what I am left with are the water-soluble gum and alcohol-soluble […]