Natural animal musks for perfume, incense and traditional medicine

1,654 Comments

  1. I absolutely agree! The arbitrary CITES rules and legislation passed by those living in ivory towers does not consider livlihoods of the local people who, when given adequate information and means have the highest motivation to protect those resources.

    We need to preserve these precious natural treasures- civet, musk deer, agar wood, frankincense, elemi, rosewood, spikenard, etc…. I would LOVE to see responsibly, humanely, sustainably sourced scents/oils that would help support local communities. Boycotts usually only damage the poor. The affluent, greedy, and chronically short-sighted will almost always find a way to enrich themselves in the vacuum wake of hastily legislated kneejerk boycots.

  2. Hi Dan,

    Thank you for this post! Very useful information, I have referenced it frequently. I am making my second patch of pine pitch oil and I let the jar sit for a bit on the bottom of the water bath. I am finding that some of my resin, which was initially soft, is not dissolving, After cooling the jar and pouring off a very potent infusion, I am left with a golf ball sized chunk of resin that feels hard. Have I cooked the resin? Or just oversaturated my oil? It is beyond infusing?

    1. Hi Lauren.
      I don’t think the oil is saturated since it acts as a solvent and at the very least would soften the resin as a whole
      Often, there is lignan present in fresh pine sap. It is a compound the tree produces that acts as a living bandaid to wounds. It is not oil-soluble and with an extended duration in the water bath may indeed aggregate into one solid ball.

  3. I totally agree with all you say. It is true boycotting and banning do not make it go away just go undeground and worse. If we have the end result of positive result for the Civet and Environment we ca then take the next step. Focus on what we want not what we don’t want

  4. how can i help? i never used these items, but what the heck if i can help someone by using their items show me how any way how can i help?

  5. the dehydrator works as a drying option. I had to make some for a quick turn around and didnt have the hours to wait so i threw them in thinking it is worth a shot and it totally was. I kept on the lowest heat setting on my ninja foodi

  6. Hello Dan! I think I found a way to get the harder older resin powders to melt into my jojoba. And I have a question further down.

    I infuse my jojoba with cottonwood buds first. Strain and put the strained oil in a jar in a ban marie to warm up.

    Meanwhile, I have powdered my pine/fir/spruce resin I collect (most of it hard) the Frankincense oleoresin powder I had get from you. (to powder I put the chunks in a ziplock bag and with a mallet I gently pound the bag, put the crushed/powder resin and collect the fine powder.

    I have an old 1/2 gallon stainless steel percolating coffee pot with a spout. I add the powder resin (1/2 pine and 1/2 frank) slowly as it melts on a medium heat.

    As stir and watch, the resin slowly melts, as it accumulates I pour into the warm jojoba. Since the unmelted resins sink, it is easy to just slowly pour it off without any unmelted chunks falling in.

    It doesn’t take too long to melt the resin and add it all to the warm oil!

    So my question is – even on a med heat the resin gets pretty hot and bubbles a little. I don’t want to burn it. I am curious what your thoughts are on my process? It seem good just want to make sure I am not over heating the resin. I like that I can add the melted resin slowly into the infused oil so I don’t damage the cottonwood infusion in anyway (I do warm infusion with fresh leaf buds for this infusion). This oil I will make into a salve with beeswax etc.

    Any comments are appreciated! I see others experiments here with melting harder, older resin powders and thought I would chime in now that I have “discovered” my process in case anyone wants to offer their thoughts.

    Many blessings! Valerie

    1. Hi Valerie. Thank you for your comment. The percolating pot is a great idea. Does the resin sit at the bottom or does it dissolve and disappear into the oil? Does all the resin dissolve in the oil, or are you left with a residue after you turn off the heat? The ideal is for all if the resin to get absorbed by the carrier oil
      As long as you have the oil sitting in a water bath or a double boiler, you will never need to worry about overheating the resin. The bath will keep the temperature under 100 degrees centigrade or 212 degrees Fahrenheit.

      1. Hi Dan! Thank you for the reply! I really appreciated it. Here is my process to be more clear:

        1. I place the powdered resin into the percolating pot and heat it up to start melting the resin. An old coffee can would work fine – the spout on the percolator for pouring off the resin as it melts is convenient.
        2. I swirl the pot with the resin around on the heat.
        3. As it melts I stop and pour what has melted into the warmed oil infused with the cottonwood buds.
        3. then place the pot of resin back on the medium heat, melt some more and pour it off as it accumulates in the bottom of the pot.
        4. Very quickly all the resin has melted and poured into the warm oil.

        I’ve gotten the most dissolution of the resin with this newly discovered technique. WAY more than ever before when I would slowly sprinkle the powder into the “HOT as possible in a water bath” jojoba. With that process some melts but much does not, just clumps right away. I feel like I have to hold at the hot temp for quite some time to get more to melt but wonder if it is even melting much, now that I look back on it and have this new process to compare it to.

        I made this oil about 10 days ago and will check it today to see if it has cleared. After 4 days it was still opaque! I will send you a picture! Thanks again for the reply! 👍💕

  7. wow I live on three acres of old growth trees.. all this stuff …. steers me towards gratitude… thank you

  8. So glad that I found your site, it’s brilliant. I’d like to make an oil for application to small actinic keratoses, have I understood correctly that I could dissolve some resin in warm (say) Jojoba oil?
    Would it be better to extract the resin as described, although it does seem that this needs large quantities, which makes it very expensive?

    1. Hi Simon.
      It is best to make an oleo extract aka an warm oil infusion with powdered Frankincense. You will find the correct types of Frankincense to use and a link to instructions for making an oil extract in this post.

  9. Hi, what I was looking for was this. I make skin care products, and of course this was an amazing article. I have grinded my myrrh and frankincense to a powder. what cosmetics is the powder added to? thank you for all you great information.

    1. Hi Anne.
      Please read my post “How to make an oil extract of frankincense” for the information you are seeking.
      Dan

  10. Hi Dan,, following your recipe, im using 10 gr of pine resin, 30 gr of extra virgin olive oil, bain marie, ,,, strangely, it does not blend at all as you describe in your process,, how could that be? 🙁

    thanks a lot,,,

    1. Russ. It is coconut oil that has been heat treated to change its chemical properties. It is used mainly for cosmetics.

    1. Hi Gina. If, when you scrape off the fresh sap you discover a small hole, about 2-3 millimeter wide, you will likely find a white grub inside. Often you can tell there is a grub present by the profuse flow of sap from one specific area.

  11. Thank you so much for your wonderful and informative article.
    I am making large batches of Douglas fir 🌲 chest rubs for the elderly as it is March 2020.

    Thank you for your wonderful product line Dan and keep going with all of this goodness.

    We are ALL very grateful ❤️

    Rani Day Bergh

    1. Thank you Rani and keep up the great work with your chest tube. The elderly are particularly in need of this type of remedy.

  12. Wonderful as always… I collected 1 kg of pine resin, and to clean it up, I used 95% spirit of wine ( coming from wine) being a solar plant, I have used several litres, 2 perhaps.. the resin completely melt in it, I then filtered in a coffee filter, and poured everything in a silicone mould, I placed this in a electric frying pan ( inside there is sand in order to make a sand bath) after about 2/3 weeks the matter inside the mould looks like dry enough to handle it… after 3 years, the matter is still loosing some of the water content of the alcohol, it is totally mouldable, and you can mould it as you like…. thanks a lot for your kindness in sharing your knowledge Brother

    I initially wanted to use this resin in making the Circulatum Minus Urbigeriani, but I cannot rest from trying out your recipe above mentioned

    Bless
    Br:Similia

  13. Hi Dan,
    So great that you are sharing your extensive knowledge of this beautiful species/ ingredient!
    Just to clarify, this method yields a resin that has alcohol soluble and oil soluble boswellic acids as well as essential oils?
    Or are the essential oils released by the dissolving of the water soluable gum?

    I managed to get my hands on some spent material from an essential oil distillery, which i believe has had all the water soluble gum extracted – leaving you with the oleoresin?

    So with this spent biomass, would you need to do the same process or is it about soaking it in ethanol – then evaporating the ethanol, yielding the resin, and then adding this with the remaining biomass and infusing it all in an oil maceration for a few moons?

    😉

    Just trying to fugue out how I can get the most of this small amount of spent fuel that i have.

    salams

    1. Hi Jassim. If you have spent resin from a distiller then you have the pure resin and can dry it, then dissolve it in warm oil. You will likely still have some bark and foreign material present so filtering it once dissolves is recommended.

  14. Hello Dan, after many hours researching methods of extracting the essence of Frankincense’s health benefits, you appear to be at the top of the knowledge list. Kudos to you, and thank you for your expertise.
    My company is working specifically and only with Somaliland Frankincense in tonnage. I’m in charge of product development, and hope you can/will answer a few questions.
    Your resin infusion appears to be the most efficient method to extract all the components that are good for the human body: including the heaviest molecules.
    Are there any different specific health benefits between powder infusion, steam distillation and gas extraction?
    Thank You, Tom Banker

    1. Hi Tom.
      Distillation separates the volatile compounds, creates an essential oil. It is good for perfume and aromatherapy. The rest of the therapeutic compounds are lost. I’m not familiar with gas extraction, but co2 extraction would deliver these compounds and the essential oils. Powder also delivers the whole oleo gum resin.

  15. Thank you Dan for sharing such wonderful and precious knowledge in such a hugely helpful way. I found your website a couple of months ago when I wanted to know about buying a good quality Frankincense on my trip to Jordan and Israel in January. Now I’m back to learn how to use the resin I bought. I’m going to try the warm oil strategy first, though my husband might make a small distiller for us. Especially if we could also distill eucalyptus oil. Being from Australia there’s plenty of that around! Perhaps you can tell me if the same distilling method is good for eucalyptus leaves? A book I have on oils says eucalyptus is best distilled for extraction, and there’s only the one general method of distilling, right? Thought I’d ask while I’m here before ‘googling’ it. Thanks again!

    1. Hi Sharon.
      Yes! You can use the same type of distiller for eucalyptus leaves. Some folks prefer to do a hydrodistillation where the leaves are immersed in the water in a similar manner to frankincense, a hydrodistillation, and others prefer to suspend the leaves in a basket above the boiling water and perform a steam distillation. Both can be conducted in a simple still and most stills come with a basket for steam distillation from the vapours if the boiling water..

  16. I love that article…i learn So much from you Dan. I made the myrrh tincture with the resin i bought from you…love the smell. How do you use the sandy resin that remains after strain off please? I read its “a powerful antibacterial” Next time I’ll be sure to triple grid as you suggest so it all dissolves.

    1. Hi Asa.
      So far the only use I have found for the granular gum portion left over is as an exfoliant in soaps and body scrubs.

    1. Roslyn, mostly personal experience. But if you want a good reference book for resins you can check out “Plant resins” by Jean H. Langenheim.

  17. Hi Dan,

    Thank you for this wonderful blog. I am i nterested in making a myrhh extract, is there any solvent you recommend for those who do not want to use alcohol? Would glycerin work as wel? Would an oil extract retain the antiviral properties? Thank you for all your help

    1. Hi Zareena. As far as I know glycerin will not dissolve resins at all. In my experience the o my safe solvents are vegetable oils and alcohol for extracts.

  18. Thank you, I’ve learnt so much about frankincense from reading your posts! Do you still recommend separating the water solubles before making oil infusions?

    1. Hi
      When making medicated oils, salves or cremes, I prepare an oil infusion/extract and simply filter out the water-soluble portion when done. It is a much simpler and just as effective method.

  19. Do you have any drying tips? Dehydrator was a mess, tried dissolving in alcohol and evaporating and it didn’t really accelerate anything… I’ve seen ppl purify in boiling water but I imagine you will lose potency… But they end with a very hard lump

    1. I just lay the ground resin in a shallow box and turn it regularly till it is dry. At that point I usually grind it again and set it out to dry once more.

      1. I purchased some frankincense powder and it arrived in a large clump. I’ve ground it with my mortar & pestle but it’s clumping together again almost immediately. Does humidity accelerate the clumping or is it purely the gum? I’d like to make a ‘powdered’ mix of the Frankincense with some other gums (Arabica & Mastic) for internal use but now I’m afraid this won’t work. My arabica & mastic powders aren’t clumped, but I’m concerned that once I add the frankincense to them it’ll be one big mess.

        You mention drying it in a shallow box, but won’t this cause it to absorb humidity from the air and get even harder and make matters worse? (My humidity level right now is 52%.)

      2. Hi Valora.
        Your powder will not absorb moisture from the air and is much more likely to lose moisture and volitile solvents when exposed.
        You definitely need to get the frankincense to a consistent powder before you add your other powdered materials.
        I would grind it coarsely and lay it out in a bowl or a pan with as much surface exposed as possible. Mix it around and break up clumps once or twice a day. Place it in a warmish area with good circulation. On top of a refrigerator can work well. In a pinch a fan will also help disperse humidity.
        I sometimes have to grind and dry frankincense 3 times before it ceases to clump. This should solve the problem for you.
        Dan

      3. Thanks for your response Dan! Good to know that it won’t absorb humidity.

        It’s a pretty fine powder (nothing like the acacia gum of course, but finer than some myrrh ‘powder’ I ordered) that broke up well in my mortar & pestle. Of course, now I have to clean that mortar & pestle! Ha! The oil is a great idea … thanks for that, too!

        I solved my problem in another way, though. (The temps in my house topped out at 64 today – quite chilly, so I don’t have the luxury of much heat right now.) Considering this is for internal use, I added a little diatomaceous earth (food grade) to the frankincense. It wanted to clump so fast that I ground it again with the DE and … viola! … it was free-flowing! Now I can only hope it will stay that way!

        2% is the standard rate to add DE for it’s anti-clumping properties, but that wasn’t enough. I ended up using 1/2 oz DE for 4 oz frankincense. And though that comes to just over 12%, not to worry … it will bring it’s own trace minerals to my blend, AND once mixed with the other ingredients it drops to just 4% total.

        Figured I’d share this with you as you’ve got such a wealth of info on this page already!

      4. Thank you Valora.
        Quite a novel approach!!
        I’m sure other readers will benefit from your experience.

  20. Dan! First, I just want to say that your work is amazing, a real inspiration, keep it up!

    I do have experience distilling herbs but not with resins at all. I am using a classic copper alembic still and I would love to try my hand at Frankincense and other resins. I have some little concerns since I haven’t done this before…

    Would you recommend steam-distilling in the basket or hydro-distilling in the water?
    Will this this type of distillation make a mess inside my still that I won’t be able to clean?
    or is this basically similar to distilling herbs?
    Is it worth powdering the resin first or is this unnecessary for distilling?
    Anything else to consider?

    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Jonathan.
      Thank you.
      I find hydro-distillation works best with resins. There is no need to powder the material since the heat and water will completely breakdown the resin in the still by the time your distillation is into its second hour.
      Resins can and will make a mess of your still especially when the pot has cooled. The trick is to dump your pot as soon as the heat is turned off and while the resin in the pot is still liquid. I pour my spent resin and water into a bucket of cool or room temperature water. This allows me to easily collect the spent resin so I can use it for medicated oils, salves balms etc.
      Another point to consider is that some resins will froth, (some of the time). Always leave enough headroom, at least 1/4 of the pot to avoid resin frothing up your condenser.
      As a general rule, a ratio of 1:10 resin to the volume of your pot seems to be a safe guideline to start with. You can fine tune it as you gain more experience distilling resins with your particular still.
      Dan

  21. Hi Dan! Thank you for this thorough article! I do have a couple questions- do you know if emu oil would make a good carrier for infusing the resin?
    Also, if it dissolves into the oil, what are we filtering out withe the pillow case/sieve?

    And you mentioned water a few times so I’m a little confused. Does the resin contain water? Will it introduce water to the oil?

    1. Hi Stephany.
      I have a customer who uses Emu oil exclusively with great success. The only drawback, as far as I know, is that it may have a limited shelf life.
      Frankincense contains oil soluble resin and water-soluble gum. After we grind the material and extract the oil soluble resin, we need to separate the water-soluble gum which remains in the oil undissolved. Hence the pillowcase.
      Regarding your last question, there is a very small % of water present in the gum and it is separated when the gum is removed.
      Dan

  22. Dan, Have you ever used dmso to dissolve the oleoresin in? I know it is classified as a solvent, but it is so much more. Just curious what you thought. It has properties, I am told, like Frankincense, in that it crosses blood/brain barrier…thanks man, for all you do…

    1. Hi Frankie. As if yet, I have no personal experience with resins and DMSO. If you try it please let me know how it went.

  23. Just a thank you for being here. I’ve been searching for a way to make a home-infused frankincense oil, and your site answers all my questions. It’s just wonderful that there’s someone out there who really cares about this magical resin, and is willing to share techniques with all of us. It does look like NIH put Sacra and Carterii into a gas chromatograph and a few other massive, expensive machines – and from those findings determined that, while very similar, they are indeed two distinct species. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22835693

  24. I am considering buying raw ambergris to make my own attar though I am worrying about shipping to USA. Have you encountered any issues so far?

  25. Hi Dan. I have infused frankincense in a 1:3 ratio of cold pressed extra virgin olive oil by crushing the Boswellia Sacra and putting the jars in a water bath in a crockpot for 26 hours on low. No boiling. The color is beautiful. I’m looking to have an oil I can use for topical treatment as an anti-tumor agent to help with lipomas on my arms. I have had someone tell me recently that the only way I can get the Boswellic acids I need for this use is to make a tincture. Is this true? I love your knowledge and I suspect that my oil is good. I went by instinct and love my finished product. I just wanted to run it by you. Thank you for your help and I can’t thank you enough for sharing your knowledge so I can find it.

    1. Hi Heidi.
      You are right to listen to your intuition.
      The resin acids, including the boswellic acids are indeed collected via the warm vegetable oil.
      While it is true that an alcohol tincture will collect them, it is not practical for topical use since it leaves a sticky residue of resin on the skin. An oil extract prepared just as you have done is a much better product for external use and likely delivers a higher concentration of Boswellic acids.
      A tincture collects both the water-soluble gum and the resin/essential oil while an oil extraction absorbs only the resin and essential oils.
      Dan

      1. I believe the boswellic acid is in the gum, not the resin, so an oil extraction actually wouldn’t be successful for this purpose.

  26. Thank you Dan, a quick question. When using 80 proof vodka for a boswellia serrata tincture, the oil floats on the water soluble gums. Does this floating oil contain the boswellic acids or do the acids sink into the gum at the bottom? I just want to know which part has the most boswellic acids.
    Thanks again.
    Frank

    1. Hi Franklyn.
      80 proof alcohol contains only 40% alcohol and 60% water. It is rather a low alcohol content for this type of tincture. This may have something to do with the separation you witnessed. In general, oils will float on top of the water so if there was a separation I would assume it is the essential oils that rose to the surface of your tincture. I suggest using a minimum of 60%, (120 proof), alcohol to extract the resin and Boswellic acids.

    1. Hi Ruth. The sediment makes an excellent exfoliant which can be added to soaps and other skin care products.
      Dan

  27. Hi Dan thanks for all your hard work!
    I wondered if you know more about myrrh because I’m trying to apply what you wrote about frankincense to myrrh. This myrrh is so bitter I can’t imagine anyone wanting to take powder and chase it. But I noticed roasting at low heat (and inhaling the vapor) until it turns a little brown it tastes much better. I put the Roasted remnants in a piece of double mint gum and it’s actually not bad lol delicious until the sugar ran out. Can’t seem to find any info about specific cooking temperatures to prevent burning away the resin or specific temperatures to vaporize the terpenes?

    My interest is the anti-inflammatory effects of course but also anti-memory-loss as recently discovered (2015) in this study if it’s accurate:

    The Ameliorating Effect of Myrrh on Scopolamine-Induced Memory Impairments in Mice:
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4655272/

    Also I was interested in making an oil of myrrh for topical use but can all nutrients be absorbed topically?
    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hi Andrew.
      Yes, myrrh is quite bitter!! Even the name “Myrrh” is rooted in the Semitic name for bitter. I find encapsulating the powdered myrrh is a great way to consume it and bypass the bitterness.
      I make an oil extract of Myrrh in much the same way I do with frankincense. It is also quite bitter. I use it topically and added to Sesame oil for “Oil pulling” and oral care.
      I have yet to find a study that addresses absorption of resin compounds by the skin.
      I have never tried heating myrrh before processing. I assume the volatile compounds will evaporate first but have no idea how the resin and gum portions are affected by the heat.
      Dan

      1. Look what I just found! Evidence of topical absorption of resins correct? Keyword, percutaneous.
        “ —Enhance percutaneous absorption—
        Phyto-phospholipid complexes can easily transition from a hydrophilic environment into the lipophilic environment of the cell membrane and then enter the cell [37]. Therefore, a large number of studies have displayed that the percutaneous absorption of phytoconstituents is improved because of the application of phytoconstituents in form of phytosome [51], [55].

        Due to the above characteristics of skin penetration, phyto-phospholipid complexes are widely employed in transdermal field [56], [57].“

    1. Hi. As far as children consuming frankincense goes, I have seen no studies on contraindications. I suppose it depends on the age of the child and the likelihood of choking on a piece of resin. As far as I know, adults and children chew frankincense traditionally. However, I think you should research the subject thoroughly.
      Dan

    1. Hi.
      All the resins in the myrrh family contain a high percent of water-soluble gum and will not dissolve in oil.
      However, they will all yield their oil-soluble compounds through a warm infusion in vegetable oil.
      The fragrance and resin portion will be absorbed by the oil and for the most part, this is what contains the medicinal properties of the material. The water soluble part constitutes about 70% and this will be left over after your infusion.
      Dan

  28. Thank you for sharing what you know, and are learning. Hoarding comes from fear (of lack, of loss) while sharing comes from love. You are choosing love—good for you!

    1. Hi Alma.
      I have not discovered an ideal ratio of Myrrh to Frankincense.
      I find up to 60% Myrhh works well from an aromatic point of view when co-distilling with Frankincense,, while in cremes and salves 10% to 40% seems to be most pleasant and efficacious. As far as an optimal ratio, your guess is as good as mine.
      Dan

  29. Hi, This is a great blog. Can you explain what happens when you just soak frankincense resin powder in jojoba oil? I’ve infused frankincense (Boswellia sacra) for 6 months and it takes on the classic frankincense scent. Do you think I’m getting the boswellic acids using this method? Also, can you point to any research studies that show what compounds are extracted from the plants using the different methods (your method, my infusion method and steam distillation). It’s very difficult to find any information at all on it and any time you query medicinal benefits they all site the steam distillate.

    1. Hi Liz.
      The method of infusing a carrier oil with powdered Frankincense does capture the essential oils and most of the resin acids. I have measured the results and found 85% to 95% of the resin portion is transferred to the carrier oil after a warm infusion in the water-bath and a maceration of 6 weeks. Most of what is left after the process is water-soluble gum.
      Dan
      Here is the method I use.
      https://apothecarysgarden.com/2014/07/30/how-to-make-a-whole-extract-of-frankincense-and-other-oleoresins/

  30. I have infused hemp seed oil with fresh Frankincense Frereana, sourced from your store and obtained a wondrous fragrant thick oil that I’m going to use in one of my facial cream formulations. Thank you for the fantastic work you are doing of bringing the ethically sourced resins and educating us on their proper use.

  31. Hello, love the article! Just had a few questions tumbling around. So here goes — 1) I have seen online that the Allihn condenser is ideally to be used vertically because it will pool. I have seen here that it is used more in a horizontal way. In one of the pictures of it in action in this article, you can see it pooling in each bulb. That doesn’t seem to be an issue with you or even the nice lady who documented the building of the Magical Couscousier. You also mention the Liebig, which is obviously designed to have no pooling. Any thoughts on the two condensers?
    2) Can you distill many multiple and different things in one distiller? Or are there some that leave a scent imprint that would limit what can be distilled in the same distiller?
    3) It seems, in my limited knowledge, that stainless steel would be the best option to distill in. Is there a reason that copper seems to be the unicorn material that a distilling vessel can be made of?

    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Ben.
      I prefer using the Allihn condenser since it has more cooling surface area than the Liebig condenser. This means it can handle a larger amount of vapours than a leibig. It works as well in a vertical setup as it does in a horizontal one as is the case with hydro/steam distillation.
      You can usually thoroughly clean your still between distillation a. Most often by running water/steam alone through it.
      Cooper is a traditional material. Glass and stainless are no better or worse, simply different. There are small differences in the product of each type of still and it is up to each distillers to choose their preference.

  32. Hi there, your article got me thinking about steam distilling popolis. Do you think that is a good material from which to get an essential oil by this method. I wondered if you might have and any experience with this material since I see it is in your store. Thanks and take care and a big thank you for your amazing blog and store. I have learned so much.

    1. Hi Robin.
      I believe that propolis might be difficult to distil. I think it is composed mainly of resin acids which are not volatile at 100 degrees centigrade, the temperature of boiling water. I may be wrong and would love to hear of your results distilling it. I have found it to be a difficult material to work with in alcohol tinctures and oils infusions, not particularly amenable to yielding all of its compounds.
      Dan

  33. Hi Dan,
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge ! you know so much, its amazing !
    I wanted to ask about using tinctured resin to solid perfume/perfume… I read somewhere tincturing resins and then making perfume can help it last longer and make the scent better/longer. How does that work? does the alcohol extract some of it’s scent ? Thank you

    1. Hi Andrea.
      Thank you for your kind words.
      Yes, many of the resins help “fix” more fleeting notes in perfume blends and I find the tinctures especially useful for this. On top of this benefit to using tinctures in perfume, the resins add their own special aromas to the tincture and deliver a fragrance profile that is much richer than the essential oils on their own.
      Using tinctures in perfumes is an ancient and time-honored method.
      When using resins and Oleo gum resins such as Frankincense and Myrrh which also contain water-soluble gum, it is important to use only high-proof alcohol. The higher, the better. I try to use 95% or 96% alcohol. Also known as 190 and 192 proof.
      One of the drawbacks when using resin tinctures in perfumes is the stickiness that is often left over once the alcohol evaporates. The workaround for this is to freeze the tinctures well then filter them through paper. Sometimes the process needs to be repeated a few times. The colder the freezer, the better.
      For perfume use, a ratio of 1:5 to 1:3 works well I find.
      If you have any other questions about using resin tinctures for perfume, please let me know.
      Dan

  34. Dear Dan, can I use a visa card or send you $ for the products I would like? I guess my pay poal expired and I can’t seem to figure out how toi renew it Mahalo, Allana Noury

  35. Thank you for sharing your art, I really appreciate that you share with those of us who have an interest but no practical experience. I will purchase from you in the future as my life becomes more stable and I am able to utilize your fine products, but I wanted to thank you now, for doing what you do. ~my best regards,
    Robert

  36. Hey Dan,

    I was wondering if you had any advice for using resins in Vodka infusions. I know of Mastika, which is distilled from mastic, but was wondering if infusing something like frankincense, myrrh, or pine/cedar resin in a spirit would achieve a similar effect. Thanks!

    1. Hi Joseph.
      Absolutely!
      Oleo resins can be added directly to alcohol, then filtered in the making of a liquer.
      The other method is to infuse the resins and other aromatic materials in the alcohol, then distil the Maceration and collect the distillate. This distillate can be a finished product, or other, (and more delicate) Aromatics can be infused in this product to lend it further aroma and colour.

  37. Hi Dan,
    As always your posts are so informative, clear and helpful. Thank you for taking time to share your knowledge and experience with the rest of us. Its so appreciated. The plastic crisis is so sad. Glad to hear you are taking steps to reduce its use. Same here in my home.
    Best,
    Mary

  38. Thank you, Dan. I have made a tincture of ambergris, but I will attempt an oil infusion and perhaps an attar.

    1. Hi Susan. Yes. You will see a description of the process under preparing a tincture in the post. I usually place the filtered tincture in a shallow bowl and cover it with a cloth to keep dust particles out.

  39. Maybe you can help me. I have some Labdanum it’s like a dark very sticky stuff and smells very good but I am just getting interested in Essential Oils and wanted to try some health remedies and some perfumes so I got this Labdanum but no idea how to make it into something like a liquid I can use to make perfumes unless maybe wondering if I put a little in a glass jar and added some essential oils to it a few days if that would add fragrance to that oil so I would still get the fragrance of the Labdanum and can then I guess strain it and add a couple more essential oils and come up with something that would work because I don’t see anything else I can do especially because it’s extremely sticky. I would appreciate any advice I can get. Got to get off here a little while and so glad maybe I finally found something that will help with this Labdanum.

    1. Hi Brenda.
      You could indeed infuse your Labdanum resin in an essential oil for a very potent fragrance material.
      Traditionally, Labdanum resin is infused in either alcohol or a carrier oil, filtered, and then added to a blend or a perfume product. These are all options for you.

  40. I ordered some Essential Oils and a couple are the resins that came in a one ounce little jar but was so hot I guess that some had managed to get outside the jars and I had a sticky time trying to clean them up but wanted to try using them to make perfumes but I have no idea how to use them like they are now because they are very sticky kind of like sap on a tree but they smell very good and I only want to know how to make them where I can use them.

    1. Hi Brenda.
      Most resins will dissolve in high-proof alcohol. Most perfumes nowadays are alcohol based so this offers an ideal solution for you. Use pure ethyl alcohol that is between 140 and 190 proof, or 70% to 95%. Fill the resin jars 1/2 to 3/4 with the alcohol, replace the lids and let them sit in a relatively warm place. When the resin starts to soften you can stir it in the jar until it is completely dissolved. Filter the liquid through a coffee filter and you can use it in alcohol-based perfume blends.

    2. Thank you Dan for trying to help me figure out how to make a liquid from that resin and so now I have a bottle of Perfumers Alcohol and I have one of those small bottles of Vodka so which should I use? I am nervous because this will be my first time trying to make anything and don’t want to waste any of the Essential Oils I have collected so far. Can you give me a simple recipe to try for my first one? I have several absolutes as have been ordering Essential Oils along trying to get more for making perfumes and health care recipes and really enjoying seeing how very good they work for your health also and finding out about so many things you do with them but since I first saw I could make perfumes I have really been excited and believe I have some great oils to start with now but nervous and don’t want to make something that will not smell good. Hopefully I will get better as I am trying to learn. Thank You for helping me because when I got two jars that had that very thick and sticky stuff in them I had no idea how I would be able to use them and nowbI know where to go for more help. Thank You very much, Brenda

      1. Hi Brenda.
        You can make a perfume tincture or absolute from your resins if you steep them in alcohol at a ratio of 1:5, (one part resin to five parts alcohol), or 1:3 for a thicker stronger smelling tincture.
        I would use whichever alcohol has the highest % of alcohol. The aromatic compounds in the resins are alcohol soluble and not water soluble.
        I grind hard resins before steeping them and let them sit at least 6 weeks before filtering through a paper coffee filter. If you evaporate the alcohol by putting the tincture in a shallow cloth-coverd dish, you will end up with a very thick absolute, also called a resin absolute.
        Please see my post, how to make a tincture of frankincense and other oleoresins on this blog for more details.
        Dan

  41. Heya, I have some spruce sap powder I made out of dry sap and I was wondering if you have any tips on how to turn it into a sticky goo once again? My thinking is that maybe adding some really strong alcohol could achieve a favorable result. Do you have any experience with that?

    1. Hi.
      Yes alcohol will return the sap to a liquid sticky state as will essential oils.
      When the sap is fresh it has al its essential oils and volatile compounds. As it ages these compounds evaporate until there are none left and (as yours is), the resin is brittle and dry.
      I suggest adding the solvent in small increments. If you use alcohol and the resin becomes too liquid you can allow the alcohol to evaporate until the resin is of a consistency you are happy with. If you use essential oils as a solvent they may take longer to evaporate. A light hand adding your solvent of choice to the powdered resin would be best.

  42. Hi there, I am in Germany and have bought Witch Hazel water but used the distilled version of Dickenson’s in the past. I am not sure if I want to use this pure water generously, directly on my skin as it is a high concentration. I was wondering, what your suggestion or insight would be on using this or making my own astringent/toner (I know there is a difference but exploring options) with this. This is bio and a good marka so I know the quality is reliable. Thank you

    1. Hi Bianca.
      The product you purchased has very little essential oils in it. It is intended for use directly on the skin. You can of course dilute it with distilled water if you like, but you need not worry about applying it to the skin as-is. a small amount of alcohol has been added to the distillate as a preservative so if you do decide to dilute it, best to do so in small quantities and keep them in the fridge if they are not used immediately. There are many astringent herbs that can provide a base for a toner. The list is extensive, so it may be best to do some research online and find an herb or toner formula that inspires you.

  43. Do you think this is possible with Palo Santo Resin? I’ve tried it before and did not have success – there was also some oil that was released and it was all very hard to separate. I’ll be besting out again soon, was wondering if you had any suggestions.

    1. Hi valerie.
      To the best of my knowledge, Palo santo resin is a pure oleoresin. Since it has no water-soluble gum in it, it will likely dissolve completely in alcohol and in carrier oils. Depending on the purpose you have in mind for it, you may need to filter your resin/solvent solution through paper before it is ready for use.
      Dan

  44. HI Dan,
    Thank you for the awesome knowledge you are passing on here! I am from Oman, and have done a few documentaries on the harvesters – its an amazing history that goes back thousands of years. The people of dhofar (where bosweila sacra grows) use it for literally every ailment and swear by it!
    Im trying out your tincture method and wondering if I need to evaporate off the ethanol to get the pure oil at the end of it? Or is a tincture basically an alcohol solution with oils in it? I was hoping to make a balm or similar with a few other infused oils including cbd. come to think of it, have you got any tips of cbd extraction from flowers? 😉
    Salam

    1. Salam Jassim.
      Thank you for your sharing your experiences with the Frankincense culture and harvesters of Dhofar.
      You are correct in assuming the tincture is an alcohol solution with the resins and essential oils in it. It is also the basis of a Frankincense “absolute”, a concentrated form of the oleoresin, which results from evaporating the alcohol after filtering the tincture. The absolute will contain all the resin compounds as well as the essential oils in one homogenous product.
      the only way too isolate and collect the essential oils from Frankincense is via steam or hydro-distillation since they are bound so tightly with the resin acids.
      To prepare a balm from Frankincense you can either make an oil infusion/extract of the material, (you will find a couple of posts on this blog with instructions), then thicken the oil extract with wax in a water-bath. Some Frankincense absolutes will dissolve directly in carrier oils and these can give you a very concentrated balm when blended with the wax.
      If you have any other questions about preparing Frankincense products please let me know.
      Also,if you would like to share any information, insights or work you have done with the harvesters in your region, I would be happy to share it with my readers.
      Dan

      1. Thanks man… Yes I would love to share some of the documetaries on Dhofar i ahem done. One of them is in dutch tho – but you can get the jist 😉 Amazing hearing the songs they sing to the resin as they make the incisions!

        Would it be possible to PM you a link – once they are live?

  45. Hi Dan.
    Do I chop the ladanum into smaller pieces before mixing with the oil?
    After it is cool, can a similar raw oil be added into the mixture?
    What to do with the sendiment after the production?
    Thank you for your valuable advise.

  46. hey there,

    thank you so much for writing this up (along with the visual explanation in your other post about extracting). i have used this method to refine/extract palo santo resin to great effect.

    at first, i had some doubts if palo santo resin would react the same as frankincense, but noted that they are both Burseraceae (so i assumed it would be have to be similar). the resulting resin extracted using this method was incredible!

    i thought i had a bad batch of palo santo, due to it having a muggy/funky/dirty base note after a minute of burning. but, it turns out there was a magnificent resin hiding there all the time. once the sediment/debris was removed, and the palo santo resin was able to show its potential, the end result is a divine aroma.

    palo santo is by far one of my favorite resins to burn, and this method really amplified its cleansing presence.

    thanks again!

  47. Thank you, this was enormously helpful, I’ve been thinking for years to try and include frankincense in skincare products but hasn’t had a clue how to do it. The freeze and grind trick will also be useful for burning incense, I’ve had frankincense melt into coal before, now I can use just a pinch.
    A question, do you know any other oil with a long shelf life that’s more neutral, I find olive oil has its own, different character

    1. Hi.
      I now make all my oil preparations with either Jojoba oil or Fractionated Coconut oil. They are both neutral in odour and have an indefinite shelf life. Olive oil has many benefits but must be used fairly quickly before it goes rancid.
      Dan

  48. Thank you /dan for sharing your information. I agree with you about free sharing and do this on my own blog. Grateful for the information on Frankincense. I will be trying out your methods.

  49. Hello. I like very much your blog and I learned a lot from it. Here is something tha I do with the left overs of copal and frankincense oils. (Sorry my english). Because here in México is so hot I smash the left overs and add 1 spoon to a caléndula tea. After that I put the tea in smalls ice buckets in the fridge and that´s it! I use them after the shower: You´ll feel your skin very good and fresh. Thanks for your atention and your information.

  50. I just chewed on a pea sized piece of high quality Hojari frankincense resin yesterday, and as I completely consumed it, I definitely felt very relaxed. Next I will try taking as a tea throughout the day, and see if it effectively helps my mood. It should be safe to take internally as long as it’s from a good source, and you ask your doctor.

  51. Hi Dan,

    I am deeply enjoying your products and this wonderful site.There is sooo much good stuff here. I tried the method above for making the resin with maybe 2 gallons of water. Here is what happened after dissolving the 100 grams of frankincense tears into the boiling water. After dissolving the tears there was no frothy material or resin like substance that I could detect in the water to gather. It was just very milky water which I assume is just the gum that dissolved. After letting it cool I could find a TINY amount of sticky resin that was on the bottom. I mean like a tiny amount. I am not sure what I did wrong but it seems like there should have been more to collect? I scraped some resin like material from the sides and bottom and then put it on wax paper to let it dry. I was afraid to boil a second time to wash the gun from it cause I figured that I would lose what I had gathered. I was using Papyrifera from your shop. A few weeks ago I used the same tears ground up with the oil in the water bath preparation and that has been an absolutely spectacular if not a little sticky medicine. I was hoping to achieve the same profound effects with an oil made from the resin but first removing the water soluble gum to see if that changed the texture. Was the amount I used just too small to capture the resin or was I using far too much water in the first place? 10 liters seemed like too much so I used less than that but now I am thinking it maybe diluted it? I am going to try adding the gum water to a bath since it seems like it should not be wasted. Thanks in advance for any insights into what I should so to get a better yield?

    Sincerely,
    Mary

    1. Hi Mary.
      My apologies for such a late reply.
      I have come across the occasional batch of Frankincense tears that has very little resin and an abundance of gum. This may have to do with the location and season of harvest, or perhaps the health of the tree that was harvested. As far as I know, when trees are overtapped they may yield less resin and more gum. This is rare, so I hope you have more satisfying extraction experiences with future Frankincense tears.
      Dan

  52. Thank you so much Dan for this excellently written article . It gave me exactly the information I needed and I particularly agree wholeheartedly with your feelings about the world’s need for this kind of open sharing at this time .

  53. Why not just apply myrhh oil to the gums? Also, I have some tincture of myrhh & benzoin and wondering how it is used and more about it. Thank you.

    1. Hi. Though I don’t recommend using essential oils “neat”, some people do apply a drop of essential oil of Myrrh on a Q-Tip to sore spots. It is more concentrated, so be cautious of any symptoms of irritation. In my experience the essential oil is not absorbed by the mucous membranes as readily as the salt water solution. The essential oil of Myrrh can also be diluted in alcohol at up to a ratio of 1:50 and added to warm salted water in the same way as the tincture for a mouthwash. A tincture of Myrrh and Benzoin should work in much the same way as a tincture of Myrrh for oral care.
      Dan

    2. I’ve used that tincture for over 30 years directly on any mouth tissue (on a q-tip) and consider it to be a miracle. However my old dentist no longer carries it, and I can’t find a new source. Any ideas? Thanks for any help.

      1. You can find a high quality Myrrh tincture here-https://www.etsy.com/listing/158901509/myrrh-tincture-an-astrodynamic

  54. I really enjoy your posting. I am however pretty computer illiterate. I like hard copies. Is there an easy way to print this (printer friendly), or do you have this information in a form that can be purchased. Thank you for your time.

    1. Hi.
      I’m no expert either, however, I would try right-clicking with your mouse and selecting “Print” from the subsequent menu. It’s a bit crude, but works.

    2. You could try right-clicking your mouse while on the page. You can then press “Print” on the subsequent mouse menu.
      It might print everything in sight, and I am sure there is a way to select only the areas you wish to print, but that’s the extent of my own computer literacy…

  55. Hello, I am trying to make beeswax’s coated fabric to use instead of cellophane. One recipe calls for pine resin to make it sticky. Do you think other tree resin’s i.e. fir would also work and be food safe? Thanks from Sara in BC, Canada.

    1. Hi Sarah.
      Rosin, or clarified Pine sap is most often used for these wraps. This is the purified resin left over after distilling the essential oils from Pine “sap”.
      It is oil/wax soluble and has no debris or water-soluble gum content. Spruce and Fir sap can be used in a similar way. Dammar or Gum Dammar is also a popular choice for wraps since it is similar to rosin in physical traits and does not need purifying as do the raw conifer resins.
      I hope this was of some help.

  56. Hi Dan,
    Thank you for your website and information!
    My resin does not harden once cooled.
    I had put it in the refrigerator to cool and then strained, however, it just mixed in with all the water…
    ?
    (Thank you)

    1. Hi.
      If my response is not too late and I can still be of help, please send me more information on the process and material you used. perhaps a photo.
      My apologies for the delay!

      1. Hi Dan thank you!

        I’ve done at least 5 attempts now. The first 3 were done where I boiled water with the bowsellia resin beads in the mesh strainer until the boswellia dissolved in the water. (discarded the un-dissolvable residue as best I could as it was very sticky).
        The first attempt I put the pot (boswellia infused water), in the refrigerator expecting the boswellia to solidify a bit and separate from the water. It had separated somewhat, but remained in liquid form. I then put it on the stove and reduced it which took hours and still it was a water base (the goal is to make an ingredient to add to make a wax/oil balm).
        The next attempts I used less water so it did not take as long for it to reduce, but the emulsification process is tedious, sensitive and I can only make small batches at a time with a lot of waste.
        The fourth, I decided to use your other instructions for an oil base. I ground up the boswellia used separate jars containing the oil in one and the boswellia in the other and heated them on the stove and then combined. After a couple of hours heating and stirring on the stove, they still remained separate and the residue seemed to be the same amount as what I had added in the beginning.
        I filtered out all the residue. The only change I noticed was that the oil was a different color and smelled of boswellia.
        The fifth I used a crock pot. The results were the same as above.

        I am still not confident if any of these had any of the healing oleic acids contained within, which is the purpose of why I am doing all of this in the first place.

        Thank you for sharing your knowledge and all your helpful input and advice!

  57. I have a question, if im looking to make myself a firm mustache wax, but leaving the resin out, and using only beeswax, lanolin, sweet almond oil, and shea butter, could u give me like a general idea on some ratios? It’s embarrassing the amounts of all these ingredients ive totally wasted trying to make myself a good mustache wax, its actually driving me crazy. So if you could steer in the right direction, or at least the general vicinity I would greatly appreciate it .

    1. Hi Justin.
      Beeswax, Lanolin, Sweet Almond oil and Shea Butter are all too soft and on their own, will never create a firmer product than you have already experienced with them.
      To create a harder, firmer, more tenacious moustache wax you have to add ingredients that are harder. This is where resins come in.
      You could start by adding 10% rosin or Dammar resin to your formula and see what it gives you. My favourite hard resin is that of Frankincense Frereana. It dissolves in the warm oil/wax mixture, adds hardness and a lovely fragrance.
      Play with the proportions from there. You can also experiment with adding a wax that is firmer than Beeswax such as Carnauba wax or Soy wax. In short, you must add harder ingredients if you hope to create a harder product.

      Dan

    1. Hi.
      Though I operate out of Hamilton Canada, I do not have a physical shop.
      I sell all my products exclusively online and keep only bulk materials here.
      That being said, I do have customers drop by the studio on occasion by appointment.
      If you would like to arrange for a visit please let me know here.

  58. Hi Dan. Just found your blog and absolutely love it. I was researching the home distillation of frankincense and myrrh as a friend of mine has given me various tears from Somalia and Ethiopia. I am in the aromatherapy business and import my oils, but she asked me to distill these for her. There’s one we have those very clear and crystal-like, but we’re not sure what it is.. wondering if i could send you pictures and see if you know? I recall seeing this in my studies in past years but for the life of me I cannot place it with a species.

    Thank you!

    Jessica

    1. Hi jessica.
      it sounds like it could be Gum Arabic. Feel free to send me a photo here and I will see if I can figure out what this resin is.
      Dan

  59. Hi, I just discovered your site and am learning so much. Thank you. I am wondering if there is a reason the water sokuable gum needs to be removed. I ask because I make a face oil blend for self use and I add a ground frankincense bead to my 15 ml oil blend. It appears to dissolve and the minute amount of sediment that falls to the bottom does not bother me. People comment on my skin and want to try my blend. I thought I should ask before I share my blend with others since I found your site and you have such an immense knowledge about using frankincense.

    1. Hi Dani.
      Usually, powdered Frankincense will leave a gritty residue of undissolved gum when it is blended with an oil base. I suppose if you blend only a small amount of Frankincense in your oil you might disregard it but if your preparation contains 1 part Frankincense and 3 parts oil, it often detracts from the texture of the formula. Some people let it sediment and pour off the clear liquid but I prefer filter it out.
      However, some people utilise the gum grit as an exfoliant and bottom line, if it does not bother you then there really is no problem.

      Dan

  60. When you say myrrh do you meet myrrh proper or opopanax? I’ve read a few things that have confused me a bit, specifically that opopanax is the sweet myrrh mentioned in the Bible and the one with better health benefits.

    1. Hi Alana.
      When I say Myrrh I am referring specifically to Commiphora Myrrha. I usually name the other members of the Myrrh family by their Latin names or call them “Sweet” or “Scented” Myrrh. Also, another name for C. Myrrha resin is Herabol Myrrh, while the others are named Bisabol Myrrhs. There are quite a few aromatic resins from the Myrrh family and most of them are called Scented Myrrh. We assume the reference in the Bible to Sweet Myrrh is to Commiphora Guidotti, AKA Opoponax, but it could very well have been one of the other aromatic Commiphora resins.

      Dan

  61. I just made a batch of this using your ratio. I have to say I was impressed with the first batch I made, wasn’t too soft, but I could try to be more precise next time to get it to just the right consistency for me. So it was a great first batch, fool proof recipe. Thanks

  62. In your opinion, what effects might frankincense have on kidney function? Also, might it be beneficial to kidneys; i.e., prevent kidney stones?

    1. Hi Jackie. I haven’t come across any studies on Frankincense’s effects on kidney function. I don’t know enough to comment on its effect on kidney stones. Sorry.

  63. I absolutely love all that you provide to us,no matter where the person may be in their understanding or knowledge of plants. For example if the person is truly wanting to know more of what is offered in our backyard. They already have the love n devotion in them to gain a better understanding of the world and what amazing benefits it has. The information provided will touch base with you in a way that makes sense for the one’s who are interested(truly).
    It takes time for all of us so don’t give up on what God gave us read slow and it will take care of you. Plus you’ll be talked about and complemented for years to come. For now the student has became the teacher.

    Much love to all that put time into putting this together ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

  64. Prior to coming upon this method, I tried the method of freezing and grinding using Boswellia Sacra and then dissolving in hot oil in a water bath. I ended up with sand-like grains at the bottom, which I then dissolved in water to make sure they were the water soluble gums. I found that saving those after straining, they make a fabulous “sugar” scrub for my hands. Have you found the same?

  65. God’s Precious Blessings to you, Mr. Dan Riegler, for your dedicated work to help ALL people in this world to reach enhanced health levels due to your shared knowledge! You are a very kind gentleman who is TRULY being used by God!

    I am NOW an active, energetic and resilient 62 yr. old black woman after 3 yrs. ago being diagnosed and treated for high blood pressure. My diet THEN was HORRIBLE to say the least! I was overweight, was taking no vitamins, not drinking adequate water & because I wasn’t aware of my condition was even adding salt to my cooking.

    Since then I have been on an amazing diet which I’ve lost over 50 pounds, went from 4 meds to only 2, went from A1c of 6.5 down to 6.0 and still working to reach and maintain 5.6, cholesterol levels becoming really good because of the changed diet and for the first time in my life, “Thanks to God,” I have kept the weight off!!!

    Still doing research to improve my health even more, I ran across your site first, and then ran across a YouTube video by a young man by the name of Raqib Zaman “smelling the aroma of” and “chewing the Frankincense” which turns into chewing gum as all of those “wonderful medicinal benefits” are swallowed down your throat! 😊 Oooh, oooh, I said to myself, “I definitely want to try that!!!” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkR2umYRKZg.

    So, if you would be so kind, my questions to you, Mr. Dan Riegler, are: (1) how much of this should I chew each day? And (2) should I only chew a small piece all day to get ALL of the “wonderful medicinal nutrients” out of it before throwing it away?

    1. Hi Dale.
      Thank you for your kind words.
      You have certainly come a long way on your personal journey and transformation!
      To answer your questions, I believe moderation is always key to healthy choices and I suggest chewing at the most 3-4 pea-size pieces of Frankincense a day. Some types of Frankincense will last many hours and other types will break down during mastication. I think an hour or two of chewing one piece of Frankincense is sufficient. If the Frankincense breaks down with mastication you can chew it till it is gone. If there is less water-soluble gum in it, it will keep it’s form indefinitely. I wouldn’t throw these pieces out though, they are still full of goodness and can be saved and used as fragrant incense or accumulated and eventually dissolved in warm oil to make an aromatic and, therapeutic balm or salve.
      Dan

  66. Hi Dan.
    Can you comment or is there any benefit on non-heated extraction method ie powder infused in oil and keep in dark place for weeks before filtering and use? Thank you.

  67. i would like to use frankincense, beeswax and vitamin e for a semi soft beard wax. Is unscented coconut oil ok to use for my resin/oil blend? Will the finished scent of frankincense be noticeable during processing? i am concerned of the age of my frankincense may not have scent anymore.

    1. Hi.
      Yes and yes. You can use coconut oil for your infusion and the scent of Frankincense will come through clearly at even a 1:10 ratio with the oil. Due to the colloidal nature of these resins, the essential oils are really locked into the oleoresin and it usually takes many years before the scent is lost.

  68. Hi Dan, I’m looking to isolate citrus essential oils. Do you have any recommendations for resources or classes in Northern California? Really enjoying reading your blog
    Thanks
    Moyra

    1. Hi Moyra.
      I don’t, however if you post your question in the Facebook group, “Artisan Essential oil distillers” you are bound to find someone with the information you need. If you are not in the group, I highly recommend you join.

  69. Hello Dan
    I have just completed washing the gym out of frankincense. I started with 50 grams of whole frankincense and after only one boiling/washout I was left with 14 grams of resin. Does that sound right to you?
    I tasted the remaining water, ugh that was bitter!
    Thanks for all the work you have done
    Lisa

    1. Hi Lisa.
      Thank you.
      It is possible that was all the resin from your Frankincense since the % does vary from bat h to batch. Sometimes, some of the resin is floating around in the “gummy” water in very time droplets and with a bit more boiling it consolidates itself into larger and more visible clumps. Something to keep in mind for your next resin extraction.

  70. Hi, thanks so much for your information. Are any of the beneficial properties lost when purchasing a ground oleoresin? Is it best for me to grind it myself?
    Thank you,
    B.B.

    1. Hi Barri.
      Though some essential oil escapes when the resin is powdered, it is not significant. My concern with buying powdered resin from supply houses and retailers is that you never know exactly what you are getting. Often material that is old, low quality or the siftings from the bottom of the bag can be powdered to make them sellable. Even retailers can’t really tell what is in the powder they purchase from brokers. For this reason I prefer to grind resins myself knowing I have a high quality and fresh material. There are instructions on this blog for grinding Frankincense and other resins and I sell powdered resins I grind fresh from high quality material in my shop.

  71. Frankincense Gum Resin and Powder is a source of Boswellic acid

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boswellic_acid

    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    Jump to navigationJump to search

    Structure of α-boswellic acid

    3D model of α-boswellic acid

    Structure of β-boswellic acid

    3D model of β-boswellic acid

    Structure of 11-keto-β-boswellic acid

    3D model of 11-keto-β-boswellic acid
    Boswellic acids are a series of pentacyclic triterpene molecules that are produced by plants in the genus Boswellia. Like many other terpenes, boswellic acids appear in the resin of the plant that exudes them; it is estimated that they make up 30% of the resin of Boswellia serrata.[1] While boswellic acids are a major component of the resin, the steam or hydro distilled frankincense essential oil does not contain any boswellic acid as these components are non-volatile and too large to come over in the steam distillation process (the essential oil is composed mainly of the much lighter monoterpene and sesquiterpene molecules with small amounts of diterpenoid components being the upper limit in terms of molecular weight).[2][3][4]

    CANCER

    Beta-boswellic acid, keto-beta-boswellic acid, and acetyl-keto-beta-boswellic acid (AKBA) have been indicated in apoptosis of cancer cells, in particular brain tumors and cells affected by leukemia or colon cancer.[5]

    Acetyl-boswellic acids also exhibit anti-inflammatory behaviour by inhibiting leukotriene synthesis.[6] To be specific, it inhibits the activity of the enzyme 5-lipoxygenase through a non-redox reaction. Clinical trials[7][8] have investigated the effectiveness of boswellic acids in treating ulcerative colitis, but a study on chemically induced colitis in mouse models[9] showed little effectiveness. A latter study showed that low doses of Boswellia serrata extract may have hepatoprotective effects. The higher dose was found to have a milder hepatoprotective effect than the lower dose.

  72. writing to you from istanbul. my spice vendor told me singers buy frankincense tears to suck on- because it helps with their voice. one or two pieces a time.

  73. So I think I’m on a similiar track & it seems to have worked out well in salves… I bought a bunch of previously hydro-distilled Black Omani sacra resin from a eo distiller …it still had a nice smell but had had eo’s already extracted from it.. but I figured that the leftover resin must be loaded w boswelic acid… it melted w a little bit of time & stirring into olive oil that I had in a double boiler kind of set up…. almost no sediment to be strained out at the end but a little… made a great salve… I’m assumimg it’s loaded with b. a…

    1. Hi Susan. Yes, the spent resin from this type of Frankincense is full of Boswellic and other resin acids. The best part of the Frankincense in the opinion of some. Happy to hear your salve turned out well!

  74. What are wild grapes and can o use reg ginger root from the store since I don’t know about th grapes or ginger ,Do they sell this stuff anywhere?can I mix chockcherries or sour pie cherries with elderberry

    1. Hi.
      Yes, you can experiment with many different flavours and ingredients. If you don’t have access to wild ginger you can add some regular ginger. If you don’t have access to wild grapes you can experiment with chokecherries. I think that is a brilliant idea. I especially like the approach of using ingredients that are local or locally available.

    1. Hi Wendy. I see no reason why a drop of the oil infusion of Frankincense neglecta can’t be placed under the tongue. However, I don’t agree with those that counsel taking pure essential oils internally and indiscriminately without the guidance and supervision of a trained healthcare professional.

  75. Hi, found this great and really informative
    Just a question about how to describe the end result of the 1:5 tinctures
    With the 1:5 ratio, is the end tincture considered to be at 20% herb/concentrate (as in 1 of 5, even though I know there will be 6 parts when using 1:5), or will it be 16.66% (as in 100% divided by the 6 parts)
    This would really help when labelling and when formulating using these tinctures

    1. Hi Josh. You are absolutely right. A 1:4 tincture is a 20% solution and 1:5 works out to 16.66%. You can label your product either way. They are both correct. The ratio of parts is a more of a traditional method for herbal formulas.

  76. Thank you for this detailed recipe. Please may I know the shelf life of Frankincense and Myrrh infused oils and slaves? Thank you

    1. Hi Lily.
      Since the resins themselves have a shelf life of decades if stored properly, it is the other ingredients we add to our products that can shorten their shelf life. The carrier oils we use are likely have the biggest impact. While fractionated Coconut oil and Jojoba are stable and will not oxidize or go rancid, other oils such as Grapeseed, Olive, Almond and many others can spoil within a year or two. Adding Vitamin E to these oils will extend their shelf life another year or two.
      Resin products made with Fractionated Coconut oil or Jojoba can last at least10 years, (So far, in my experience), if stored in a cool dark place.

  77. Thank you for this detailed post. I feel bad that we are wasting so many useful parts of the frankincense resin when we extract essential oil. I have a lot to learn and thank you for so freely sharing your knowledge.

    Can the frankincense tears be used for other purposes after making the aqueous solution (tea)? I wonder if then the oil-soluble components could be extracted or if the tears could then be burned / used in an incense heater.

    1. Hi.
      The residue from making the tea can definitely be dried and used as incense. Often, when the same resin is repeatedly used for tea and it is in a granular form it can be consumed. One assumes the resin portion with the boswellic acids can be digested and assimilated to some degree by the body.
      If you separate the gum portion through distillation or washing with hot water, the pure resinous residue can be used to make many oil based products such as medicated oils, cremes, salves and even moustache waxes.

  78. First off, I want to thank you for the recipes!!

    I plan to make a wax similar to this one, but also with Frankincense resin and vitimin E (similar to https://apothecarysgarden.com/2014/06/25/a-moustache-wax-recipe-with-frankincense-resin/) but without the cocoa butter and coconut oil. What proportions do you recommend? I live in a humid environment. I typically like a firm hold wax, that doesn’t flop over, but I don’t usually care for a rock hard gel like hold. Dubs cream has been my go-to. I’ve recently discovered pure lanolin, and it works amazing as a conditioner and base before adding other waxes I’ve purchased. I recently cut an inch off of my handlebars, and I’m enjoying the simpler less producty-look.

    What proportions for the ingredients do you recommend? I plan to add essential oils to make a gin and tonic scent (juniper, coriander, lime, black pepper, and spearmint).

    Thanks in advance!!

    1. Hi Sean.
      I try to not give precise measurements in my recipes and encourage readers to engage deeply and explore the materials and proportions that work for them.
      That being said, each one of the ingredients adds its own properties to the blend. I like to start with a pure oleoresin such as a resin extract, hardened pine or spruce sap, or Frankincense Frereana or the “Light” Frankincense Neglecta thurimel, giving me more control over consistency. I try to add the smallest proportion of carrier oils such as coconut oil. starting with the resin, Beeswax can be added and if it is too firm, I will add a small amount of a carrier oil in increments till I have the consistency I want. Nowadays I only add a minute amount of Cocoa Butter to the formula and only because it eliminates pulling the hairs when applied. In general, in most of my products, I try to keep the per cent of essential oils to around 2%, and Vitamin E is added as a preservative if you make a big batch that will sit around for more than a year. the combination of Juniper, coriander, lime, black pepper, and spearmint sounds promising!

  79. What would you recommend S the best method for creating a fragrance oil for scented candles using frankincense resin? Thank you!

    1. Hi. Though I haven’t made scented candles myself, I know some people dissolve Frankincense resin into the hot melted wax to add fragrance. After the resin is infused/dissolved in the liquid wax, it is filtered before pouring into moulds.
      Dan

  80. Your teachings are amazing! I made a salve, using Boswellia Carterii resin, following your instructions to melt the resin…wow!! it has helped my mother in law with her knee pain, my husband with his nail fungus, and a few others that i randomly gave out for other pains. It has been a fascinating learning journey.

    I live in the USA but am born and raised in Mombasa, Kenya. Next time I go, I will visit the Somali market there and find out more on frankincense

  81. This was very informative! Do you think I could use coconut oil instead of olive oil? Thank you very much for all info!!

    1. Absolutely Amanda!
      Most vegetable oils available for use in cosmetics, (or food), are suitable carriers and will dissolve the resins.
      Dan

  82. Thanks for putting this all together. I’ve been taking Sacra resin from Oman to help with , and reduce inflammation. Haven’t tried powdering it, but instead I’ve been eating the gum slowly throughout the day. I did some research before trying this, but so glad to have found this site which I am really loving because for the detailed and clear information, and the sustainability/fair trade aspect. I do seem to be having some success with the resin, though it is early days. Do you have any info or advice about just eating the gum/resin. I’ve got used to the taste now and quite enjoy it. It would be interesting to hear your thoughts on chewing resin; I’ve read it has been practised for many years. Many thanks

    1. Hi Helen.
      Yes, chewing the resin for oral and overall health has been practised for hundreds if not thousands of years in many cultures.
      I think you are on the right path and if I was to add any advice I would only say keep it up, use it consistently and pay attention to its effects over time. If you find it does help, you could also explore other methods of using the resin such as Frankincense tea or taking powdered Frankincense daily. Keep clear notes, listen to your body and cultivate your own personal daily regime.
      Dan

  83. Been doing research on Boswellia resins – I know that Boswellia Papyrifera and Boswellia Serrata resins contain Boswellic Acids but I am under the impression that the Serrata has a higher percentage of Boswellic Acids in it , in fact that Serrata has the highest percentage Boswellic acids , approx 30% is that true? Secondly so then what is the percentage of Boswellic acids in the Papyrifera ?

    1. Hi.
      Though there are occasional studies done on the Boswellic acid content in Boswellia papyrifera, B. Carterii/Sacra, B. Serrata, I believe it to a great degree depends on the batch of resin tested, where and when it was harvested, whether it was from the first cut or last cut of the season, winter or summer harvest. The jury is still out on which Frankincense wins the Boswellic acid contest.
      That being said, I believe the last study I saw claimed that the Boswellia Papyrifera sample they tested had the highest % of Boswellic acids compared to specimens of other Boswellia species resins. We also have to keep in mind that there are other important, less famous compounds and resin acids with beneficial effects that make up the resin portion of Frankincense.
      Sometimes, natural, therapeutic compounds are more effective in their whole & natural state than after being isolated and processed. There is so much we don’t yet know about how these natural compounds work.
      Dan

  84. Dan hi,
    You have Ammoniacum again thanks for remembering. Please proceed with info to purchase.
    What is the country source that is Available amount and price.
    Appreciation,
    Dail

    1. Hi Dail.
      No, I am still waiting for one of my suppliers to have it again.
      The price fluctuates wildly especially since the supply is so erratic.
      Till now, the material I have acquired is from the southern shores of the Mediterranean, anywhere from Libya to Lebanon.
      I will be sure to let you know as soon as I do have some.

  85. Just discovered your website and products. Quick question, can argan oil be used as the carrier oil with the pure resin extract Frankincense/Bowellic acid? Would like to make a skin care serum OR add to an argan/shea butter/Korean snail mucin cream recipe I’m already using. Thanks for your time!

  86. Hi, was wondering if Myrrh essential oil can be used to make a tincture, or does it have to be powered Myrrh?

    1. Hi Jimmy.
      You can definitely dissolve Myrrh essential oil in alcohol and make a tincture of it for a mouthwash.
      My first choice is a tincture of the whole oleo gum resin in alcohol, but the essential oil is also effective for many oral issues.

    1. Hi.
      Yes they are similar.
      These 3 types of Frankincense have been shown to contain Boswellic acids which display anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties in studies.
      Other types of Frankincense may well contain the Boswellic acids but have not yet been analysed for their presence.

      When dissolving the powdered whole resin in a warm carrier oil, the water soluble gum is left behind and filtered out.
      Since it does not dissolve in the oil, it remains as a rough grit and can be used as an exfoliant in soaps and oil based products.

  87. I extracted the the non water soluble part of the resin as you stated after blending with jojoba oil and sitting for days some settled I collected this and massaged it in to my knees it was thicker then just the jojoba but not gritty it was like a cream and it did rub in easy and absorbed well after a while it did not even feel greasy is this better for joint pain then just essential oils ? I read it is the Boswellic acid that has the medicinal properties ? what else would this be good for ? Also I would like to thank you for the information you have posted for us on your site next I will distill my own frankincense oil from the Frankincense resin Boswellia sacra from Oman it is a bit costly but I should get a much better grade of oil then I can buy from most sites the resin is more costly then most oil brands
    Thank you for the information and your instructions

    1. Hi Wayne.
      From my own experience and customer feedback, the resin dissolved in carrier oils seems to be helpful with joint pain, muscle pain, inflammation, arthritis, mature skin and some types of skin blemishes.

  88. Wonderful explanation! Thank you! I have 2 questions… 1. Why does it need to be so much water? 10 liters seems like a lot, can I cut that down a bit? 2. Can I use this same method for myrrh gum? Or is that water soluble like the pine resins?

    1. Hi Genna.
      You can definitely try using less water.

      You can use the same method for Myrrh. However, while Frankincense usually has about 25% water soluble gum that will dissolve and separate from the resin, Myrrh usually contains about 65% water soluble gum. The resin you will collect will be in much smaller quantities than Frankincense. And you might need to use more water since it will likely thicken with the abundance of gum that separates from the Myrrh.

      1. Thank you! I have 2 uses for both resins. 1. Soaps 2. Creams and salves. Do you think doing an oil infusion as then straining through a cheesecloth would be ok for the soaps? I plan on separating with the water method for the creams and salves.
        Thank you again for all the help!

      2. Hi Genna.
        Yes, you can do an oil infusion of Frankincense for your soap. You could either strain out the grit which is the water soluble gum, or leave it as an exfoliant in your soap.

  89. What a lovely website you have. I came across it while researching how to tincture resins. One question: you mention above that you *can* use a higher-proof alcohol, but I wonder if this would be beneficial. Do you have any opinion of what the optimum alcohol percentage is for making tincture of myrrh? Or factors to consider? I suppose the water is able to extract some properties and the alcohol others?

  90. Hi, there! I was wondering if you knew whether pine resin absorbed unpleasant odors or merely swamped them. A chapter in a children’s novel depends on your answer.

    1. Hi Diane.
      I apologize for the delay responding!!
      In my experience, (in my freezer), it is a bit of both.
      When pine resin is fresh it radiates it’s fragrance to everything around it.
      After a few weeks, 2-3 months, it starts picking up the scent of it’s neighbors and the generally unpleasant “freezer smell” that everything else contributes to and suffers from.
      I hope this was of some help.

  91. Hi Dan, Do you have any tips on making a homemade hydrosol with Frankincense resin? like how much resin to use, or how best to do it in a home made way? Thanks

  92. Dear Dan,

    thank you very much for sharing this article! Yesterday, I did my own oil extract of Boswellia papyrifera into fractionated coconut oil. The colour turned out exactly as yours, however, the smell surprised me. I expected similar smell as to when frankincense is incensed but the smell of my oil reminds me of fresh lemons instead. It has a very subtle acidic smell. Is it correct or should I be suspicious something turned wrong during the process of making? Thanks

    1. Hi Eva
      Usually the scent of the infused oil is similar to but stronger than the fresh resin. Not at all like the burned resin.
      If your oil does not smell like the fresh resin then I would check your oil to see if it has gone bad or if any of your tools and vessels came in contact with a substance that could pass on it’s fragrance to your product.
      A good way to capture the scent of your fresh resin is to hold some if it tightly in your clenced hand, let it sit and warm for a few minutes, then put your nose to the warm resin and gently inhale.

    2. HI dan, question when do you know that you’ve extracted all the frankincense tears into the oil? first i ground up the tears into a fine powder, then i put it in a jar and added oil to it, then placed that into a pot of water and turned up the water so it was just under boil, very hot, i still see lots of white sediment at the bottom of the oil after a few hours, does it stay like this? or am i done? thanks, anna

      1. Hi Heidi.
        I tested the results after infusing powdered Frankincense for 3 hours in a boiling water-bath and letting the infusion stand for 4 weeks. I found I had extracted approximately 90% of the oil-soluble resins. The sediment at the bottom of your infusion is mostly the water-soluble gum that will not dissolve in the warm oil. Once filtered out it makes a great exfoliant in soaps and other skincare products.
        Dan

  93. Hi dear

    I’ve now discovered a lot of benefits of franksin through research on Google and now would like to buy resin but not sure which is for internal use that could help me fight fatigu fibmyaligia and other health condition. To be specific, I’ve had infection, bloating and inflammation in my stomach, had a lot of medication but not helped. Also my digestive system is very weak. Anyway, need your advice.

    Ps- could you send me the link/video to the extracting of the resin’s BOwlic Acid.

    Thank you

  94. after a very fun night of magical science i recovered 57grams of oleoresin from a pound of papyrifera. does that seem light, i have the water portion in the freezer to see if i can precipitate any more out.

    im going to try neglecta or sacra tonight and compare outcomes….

    thanks for the inspiration and knowledge my friend….

    1. Thanks Stephen. 57 grams sounds a bit low for B. Papyrifera resin. It’s about 12%> should be double that. Though the yield does vary depending on climate and harvest timing, it would be worthwhile to give that residue a good long boil and see if any resin consolidates for you.

      1. thanks for the quick reply my friend. i did a reboil and put it in the fridge and got 20 more grams of the magic pellets. i think i did not reach a rolling boil on my 1st run, the resins seem to need that frothing to collect.
        big blessings and have a beautiful summer….

  95. Dan inspiring to read this amazing history. Please notify me if and when some becomes available. Also what
    Variety of Cistus and country of origin is the resin.
    Thanks,
    Dail

    1. Hi Dail.
      I will let you know here when I have Ammoniacum again. As far as the Cistus is concerned, in the shop you will find 2 species. I have the fresh resin of C. Creticus, hand harvested directly from the plant in Crete, and I have both a resinoid and an absolute of C. Ladanifer from Spain.

  96. Hello Dan
    I am interested in your point of view on the following idea: dissolve boswellia tears in turpentine.
    I take turpentine (internally) periodically and recently got interested in boswellia. So I was wondering if steeping frank tears in clean turpentine for a certain number of days or weeks (to be determined) would extract the boswellic acid?
    As an experiment I have a tablespoon soaked in turp in a small bottle sitting for a few days and start seeing a thick cloud forming on top of the tears and was wondering if that’s the therapeutic part or something else.
    Your comment much appreciated.
    Thanks

    1. Hi Sam.

      Yes, Frankincense oleoresin will dissolve in Turpentine and other essential oils in much the same way as it does in warm oil and alcohol.
      The water soluble gum will be left behind as granules that you can sediment or filter out.
      Heating thr mixture in a water bath will help dissolve the resin and speed up the process. I suggest a gentle heat between 40-60 degrees centigrade. It will benefit from macerating for a few weeks in a warmish spot. I would leave it to sit 4-6 weeks before filtering and bottling it. Make sure you powder the material as fine as you can. The thick cloud you saw floating in the turpentine is likely the resin dissolving in the turpentine.
      Good luck with your experiments!!

  97. Hi, when making the mouthwash using the tincture, how quickly should that be used up before someone should worry about it not being preserved to prevent bacteria growth?

    1. Hi Liz.
      The mouthwash can safely stay at room temperature for a day, kept in the fridge for 6 days and be frozen for 6 months. If desired, a large batch can be poured into ice cube trays and warmed for use, one cube at a time.

  98. Hey Dan, thank you so much for your post. I utilized your instructions to dissolve dragon’s blood in jojoba oil. I may have been a little impatient but my mixture didn’t seem to reach saturation until I had close to a 13% resin to oil mixture at 212F. I was hoping to create a mixture I could use to sent candles and was wondering if you had any suggestions that might help. Thanks so much

    1. Hi Bryan.
      There are 3 or 4 different species of trees that provide what we call Dragons Blood resin. Each has a different chemical makeup and reacts differently than the other in solvents.
      In general, the Dragons Blood I have worked with, Dracaena Cinnabari, dissolves easily in alcohol and partially in warm fixed oils.
      It has little to no essential oils or scent until burned and is pretty much a pure resin.
      The only alternative I can think of is to try dissolving the powdered resin in hot candle wax and perhaps leaving the finely powdered resin in your product so the aroma of the resin is released when it comes in contact with the flame of your candle.

      1. Thanks Dan. I’m currently using Daemonorops draco but plan on experimenting with some of the other types in the future. I’ll give your advice a try and let you know how it turns out!

  99. HI! I agree with you that most people get fascinated with exotic plant products, while we have so many awesome plants around us! And some would only trust herbs bought in store. so they would buy clover, dandelion or rapsberry teas when there is plenty outdoor. Our native trees are majestuous, no need to travel far to see a beautiful forest.
    I have been gathering fir sap for a couple of years, always in early spring like for maple sap. I just enjoy gathering by myself, with care and respect, and I like the fact that you mentioned that in your post. We cannot only take, and always think about sustainability and to how we are interelated to all things.
    I will do your rub recipe this year, so convenient!

    1. Hi Eujenia.
      I have searched online, as you have likely done, and cannot find Ferula Tingitana seeds for sale.
      I can however, let you know when I find more of the resin since it is always thick with seeds.
      If and when I acquire more I will let you know here through your comment and WordPress will notify you.
      Dan

      1. Thank you very much – I really appreciate it. I did search high and low, and as you found, there are simply none available.

    1. Hi Monica.
      At the moment I have no Ammoniacum for sale and my suppliers are having difficulty sourcing it.
      I hope this will change later this year after the fall harvest. As soon as I find some I will post it in the shop and add a link here to your comment. I believe WordPress will notify you as soon as I do.
      Dan

      1. I would love to get Ammoniacum as well. Please let me/ us know! Thanks Dan.

    1. Hi Katie.
      There is a dearth of information on the medicinal qualities of Ammoniacum and no studies that I know of on its cancer fighting potential.
      If I was looking for a resin that might help with cancer I would turn to Frankincense which has shown a lot of promise against a wide number of cancer cells in the laboratory.
      If you havent yet, please read this post I wrote on the medicinal qualities of Frankincense. https://apothecarysgarden.com/2018/02/28/frankincense-medicine-truth-myth-and-misinformation/

  100. Thank you for the wonderful info on Frankincense. I truly appreciate it. I have some frankincense resins but they are over five years old. Still smells wonderful but is it still useful? Also I am a birth doula and I’m very curious about the Iranian women chewing on the resin while pregnant. Everywhere online I see caution against the essential oil but nothing about the resin. I would love it if you could direct me to an source to gain more wisdom, knowledge and understanding of the use of frankincense resins during pregnancy because it seems like the frankincense resin adapts to situations that would supports healing wherever and whenever it is needed.

    1. Hi Jerri.
      Your Frankincense resin is likely still in great shape and eminently useable, especially if you still detect an aroma.
      It takes a long time in harsh conditions for it to deteriorate in any meaningful way.
      Using the whole natural resin of Frankincense, one bypasses the danger of taking highly concentrated essential oils internally.
      The only source I know of more information on the topic of Women’s health, Pregnancy and Frankincense consumption is online where you might find some pertinent information.
      Here are links to studies I have collected over the years. There may be new information online, but these should get you started.
      If any of the links don’t work please let me know and I’ll see what I can do from my end.
      Dan

      http://mag.shmu.ac.ir/library/upload/article/af_49933924-1-9.pdf
      http://www.jourlib.org/paper/2094439
      https://en.irct.ir/trial/23161
      http://ijogi.mums.ac.ir/article_10232_b044b5345fb0bc59b8c29cd2c8e54edc.pdf

  101. Hello Dan,
    I use 80 ml of Jojoba oil with 4 gr of Uunsi(1st batch) grind,all put on a radiator (home) for 45 days,shaking the bottle every day,i filtered with a filter coffee and i have now a very very fragant oil of this scent so délicate to make cream or ointment.
    On the other hand,i also realized an alcoholic version to make a parfume with 2,3 gr of Uunsi and 30 ml of alcohol at 80° for 45 days away from the direct light and shaken every day,filtered quickly in a coffee filter, bottled is now my favorite perfume ..for me,theses achievements are a success and it’s thanks to your high quality products.Thank to you

  102. Thank you for this wonderful resource! Do you have any advice regarding dissolving Copal using oil or Everclear, for the purpose of tincture, oil infusion, or perfume? I am intending to make an oil infusion as well as a tincture of a mixture of copal, frankincense, myrrh (and a few other things). Would something like an almond/sunflower oil mixture be effective here? Thank you!

    1. Hi Joseph.
      You will have to do some experimenting for the simple fact there is a wide range of resins that are called Copal and each has its own unique chemical compounds. In general, most Copals will dissolve in alcohol and many of them will dissolve in part or whole in warm oils.
      I personally prefer Jojoba or Fractionated Coconut oil as carriers since both have an indefinite shelf life.
      Almond and Sunflower oils will oxidize and go rancid within a year or two, though adding a little bit of Vitamin E, (0.5%), will extend their shelf life.

  103. Hello! I read in a comment previous to mine that if you had cancer, you would take frankincense in powder form. Why powder form as opposed to utilizing your method for frankincense extract? Thanks!

    1. Hi Colleen.
      Thank you, that is an excellent question!
      First of all, for me, this is an exploration with so much yet to discover about the medicinal benefits of Frankincense that there is little that is definitive and incontrovertible.
      I don’t know that taking the powder is more or less effective than taking the infused oil.
      However, my theory, (currently), is that the water soluble gum that is present in the whole Frankincense may be of benefit and serve a purpose that we are missing in our pursuit of the isolated, proven active compounds in our natural medicine. A type of pharmaceutical purism that may be blinding us to the benefits of using the whole plant material.
      It strikes me that the compounds in the water soluble gum may help create an emulsion in our digestive system when the whole Frankincense is taken as a powder. If so, I wonder if this emulsion might facilitate the breakdown and absorption of the oil-soluble resin acids in the bloodstream.

      When Frankincense resin comes out of the tree it is a thin white liquid. Its colour is what gave it its name Levonah in Hebrew and Luban in Arabic.
      It has a white colour because the fresh Frankincense is an emulsion, a homogeneous, colloidal blend of the oil soluble resin and essential oil with the water soluble gum.
      My theory at the moment is that the water soluble gum still has all the compounds that created the original emulsion and that these compounds can be reactivated in part or whole to create an emulsion in our digestive tract that can be more easily broken down and absorbed by our bodies.
      This emulsion is seen when a traditional overnight Frankincense infusion is made and may indicate why a water-soluble infusion can be of benefit when the medicinal compounds in Frankincense are all oil soluble.
      (I think this can only work with the types of Frankincense that have 20% to 25% water-soluble gum in their composition and wouldn’t work with Boswellia Frereana and the Frankincense types that are pure oleoresins with no gum.)

      In short, I honestly can’t say that ingesting the powder is more efficacious than ingesting the oil extract. They both deliver the Boswellic acids.
      There simply has not been enough research done on the subject, or the comparative absorption rates of the two methods.

      Personally, I like the utility and ease of taking the powder, while my theory about reactivating an oil/water emulsion in the body keeps me powdering more Frankincense.

  104. O for a thousand tongues to sing my Great Redeemer’s praise for blessing you to carry this information to us. Thanks a million and continued guidance.

  105. Merci +++ foMyrrh.roducingme to this myrrh After Commiphora kua, it has become my favorite myrrh for it’s pleasing fragrance. C. confusa has none of that burning tire not found in many myrrhs. Fabulous in blends with Frankincense as a traditional incense.
    It appears to have quite powerful medicinal properties, as well. I have to do more research, but if this is a legitimate study possible healing components that reductive scientists so love to find are impressive.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/12736444/

    1. Hi Victoria. I’m sorry but I don’t, though I bet you will find formulas for other hair products online that you can improvise with.

  106. Hi Dan,

    I only resonantly became aware of the healing properties of both Frankincense and Myrrh, thank you for sharing.

    Both resins also dissolves quite readily into DMSO for various applications that some might find useful.

    As always, care is advised!

    “Simplicity, patience…compassion”

  107. very impressed with your fair trade policy and your outlook on saving the planet for our offspring.
    living in urban philadelpia and would like to distill some chips from trees cut down by city but cannot affortd traditional still. any advice on project

  108. Hi Dan, thank you for such wonderful information.
    I have Boswellia carterii which I am going to do a resin extract from. I was reading and following through your method last week and have since purchased a pan and sieve for the process and now I can’t find the photos, is it me or have they been taken down?

    Kind Regards
    Marilyn

    1. Hi Marilyn.
      There have been some glitches with the Apothecary’s Garden website. I haven’t sorted them all out yet, but I think I got the link for the resin extraction process back up. It is in the top drop-down menu again and titled-Tapping into Frankincense and its Boswellic acids-an easy extraction method. Please let me know if you have any difficulty accessing it or any of my other pages.
      Thank you for your patience.
      Dan

      1. Thanks Dan, I found the process minus the photos but I should be able to tap into the memory and have a go.

        Kind Regards
        Marilyn

      2. Hi Marylin.
        Looks like a few links on the blog are broken. I apologize for the inconvenience!
        I have repaired the two above mentioned posts and you can find a direct link to the visual walkthrough of making a resin extract from Frankincense here-https://fairtradefrankincense.com/2016/11/20/extracting-the-resin-and-boswellic-acids-from-frankincense-a-visual-walkthrough/
        Thank you for your patience.

  109. I was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer. I would like to take ansnuae Frankincense. What’s the best way for me to use it to attack cancer?

    1. Hi Belinda.
      I am in no way a health care professional so I can’t advise you on your health issues. That being said, if I was in your position I would likely take a powder of one of the 4 Frankincense types that has Boswellic acids. (Boswellia papyrifera, B. Carterii, B. Sacra or B. Serrata).
      I would take a half to 1 level teaspoon with food 3-5 times a day. I would start slow and see how my body responded to it, and if all was good I would start upping the dose. The finer the Frankincense is powdered the more easily the Boswellic and other resin acids will be absorbed in the body.
      I hope this was of some help. Best wishes on your journey with this and if you have any further questions please let me know.
      Dan

  110. Dan ive followed you from beginning i got tired fighting with doterra and youngliving and there many sheep where the whole flock was blind .you are in my mind one of the best sources of information on resins not just frankinsence a true keeper of the wildcrafts your page encouraged me to dig deeper because i knew you spoke the truth nearly 2 yrs bashing the stoopid greedy corporate personalitys out them
    Thank you brother from scotland
    Hope you and your family are well
    Vincet veritas

  111. Hey Dan, I’m moving from the US to Malindi, Kenya later this year and I’m extremely excited to be at the heart and home of frankincense. Do you have any recommendations about places to pick up some quality frankincense?

    1. Hi bailey.
      Sounds exciting! I hear Malindi is gorgeous!! Though I more familiar with Northern Kenya, I hear there are some excellent resin vendors in Mombasa among the Somali merchants. Best of luck with your move!!

  112. Hey there, big fan here!
    I have a couple questions for you. I live in Tennessee and we have fir, cedar, pine and sugar maples. We extract maple sap and make syrups. I have collected very very small amounts of pine resin compared to the 4lb bags of pinon resin i buy from out west. I was wondering what your suggestion would be for 1) extracting saps and resins from my cedars and pines that have no visible sap/resin. I have read about the V shaped exterior carving and am not into it/ tried it once to no luck. I tried tapping the Cedar the same way i did the sugar maple and nothing. I have tried boiling pine needles and branches with the lid upside down and a collecting bowl on a brick etc.
    2) any ideas for perserving all of my sugar maple sap before the big boil? I have a few glass collecting containers and it gets a thick mucousy membrane feel after a week or two of sitting there and smells rotten.
    Thanks!

    1. Hi Tori.
      Regarding your maple sap spoiling, I don’t have any experience with it but my first thought is sterilizing your collection system and the containers you store it in. Number two would be storing it outside where it is still cold and will retard bacterial growth in the sap until you boil it.
      Regarding the conifers, the oleoresins we collect from pine species are secondary metabolites. There is a system of resin ducts under the surface of the bark that responds to injury by producing different types of resin products to protect and heal intrusions. Cedar trees do not have this network and won’t yield any sap after injury. Depending on the type of Pine and the area it is growing in, you may or may not get production of sap from a surface injury.
      The most common source of Cedar, pine and Fir essential oils are needles and twigs. You need to set up a proper distillation train to collect the essential oils. A pot, a condenser to cool the steam to liquid and a vessel to collect the distillate in. Once you have set this up you will easily be able to collect essential oils from your Cedar, Pine and Fir trees.
      Dan

    1. Hi Mayumi.
      Many Frankincense types share similar chemical structure and often vary mainly in their aromatic profile. If you let me know what your needs are I can try to give you a more specific answer.

  113. Good information and I have a question. I have been making a cannabis infused coconut oil for use as a base for an external salve or balm. Used for pain as my wife and I both have arthritis, it is legal in my State. I make this in the Magical Butter Machine as I find less clean up and I can play with smaller batches than if I use a crock pot. I have been using Essential oil of frankincense and Myrrh in the salve plus other oils. I believe when we use plant material we need to use the whole plant not just a distilled oil.
    If I put finely crushed frankincense and Myrrh resin (powered) in my mixture when I start the cannabis infusion will I get a good extraction of the Boswellic acids? I cook at 160 deg for four hours let set over night and cook a second time, then filter while still hot. Thank You

    1. Hi James.
      Absolutely! This is a perfect way to add the therapeutic compounds present in Frankincense and Myrrh to your oil. Even an oil made exclusively with Frankincense seems to work wonders on Arthritis.
      And you are correct in assuming the essential oil of these resins will not deliver all their therapeutic properties to your blend. The finer you grind the Frankincense and Myrrh, the more readily they will give up their resin compounds.
      Dan

  114. Thank you thank you for putting your clear love of this sacred tree into words so that we may learn from this information. If you ever feel like taking some passionate herbalists and tree lovers to Africa please do let me know as I’d love to meet these beings in person. Blessings and thanks again!

    1. Thank you Gina.
      I hope to organize a group trip to Kenya in the next year or so. I have started a list of people who have expressed an interest in joining me and have put your name on it.
      Dan

  115. Hello, I just came back from a trip and had a stopover in Qatar which I used to do a little tour around the city and stop in the Souq. I was having a cough (and still have) and so in one little shop selling spices I asked the owner for a remedy for my throat. Actually the guy didn’t speak English so I showed him like I was coughing and he gave me this and showed me like “you put water and you drink it”. So yesterday when I arrived I tried it and put some of the stones and boiling water to it. The result was this kind of “soapy” white water and the stones being like chewy. I tried and it was bitter and a strange taste, definitely not like a normal infusion so I was paranoid that maybe the guy didn’t understand me well so I threw it. But today by twist of fate I had the TV on and they started doing a documentary about Oman and I saw the “stones” I bought just two days ago and how they were really being used as a remedy. So here I am learning how I can use the Frankincense tears (now I can use the proper name) that I still have to get rid of this annoying cough! My question is then how much should I drink? I see that you say I can prepare a little bit and drink it in tablespoons but how many per day aprox? And also what is the normal color that it should have the water? this white soapish? Thank you very much for the website, greetings from Spain!

    1. Hi Toni.
      Thank you so much for your comment! There is a dearth of real-time reporting on the use of Frankincense in folk medicine and I am sure many readers will benefit from your experience.
      Sounds like you prepared the tea perfectly. White, soapy with a bitter strange taste are good indications. When people prepare it like a regular tea infusion and drink it as soon as it cools, they miss out on all the medicinal goodness of the Frankincense resin and Boswellic acids. You created an emulsion of the water-soluble and the oil-soluble compounds which is where the good stuff is.
      As far as how much is too much, there are no known side effects to Frankincense except occasional sensitivity to the essential oil content. I suggest no more than two cups of this infusion a day and consuming the residual resin. If two cups a day sits well with you, then you can explore higher doses. I think taking it consistently for 2 or 3 days is likely more effective than taking a large amount in one day.
      Dan

    1. Hi Saadje.
      Boswellia Serrata is not listed in this particular solubility chart. However, to the best of my knowledge, Boswellia Serrata has a water-soluble gum content similar to Boswellia Carterii and Boswellia Papyrifera, between 15% and 24% depending on the sample.