After 5 years of travelling back and forth to visit the women of the Samburu tribe in Northern Kenya, we have finally established direct trade of Frankincense neglecta from the collectors to us in the West!
This is the first shipment of co-op harvested resins from the Samburu women and hopefully the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship.
All we need now are customers to support this project. We have 2 very special wholesalers who have a passion for fair trade and sustainability and are ready to deliver these resins to distillers and retailers in North America and in Europe.
This resin is fresh and fragrant, full of essential oil that can easily be distilled. It is sustainably harvested and fairly traded.
As some of you know, in 2016 I set out on my African aromatics tour. (https://apothecarysgarden.com/2016/01/26/the-african-fair-trade-frankincense-and-myrrh-tour-2016/).
The motivation behind this trip was to facilitate sustainability and fair trade of medicinal/fragrant resins from the Horn of Africa. Early 2016 I spent a week and a half in remote, (hot), Samburu county sourcing native resin bearing Frankincense and Myrrh trees and initiating a fair trade platform for the semi-nomadic, pastoralist women of the Samburu tribe in North Eastern Kenya.
In the Samburu tradition, the men hold most of the wealth which is in the form of cattle, sheep, goats and camels. The women do much of the work with little to no monetary return. Many of the women collect resins and bring them to market every week or two. This gives them their own income which they use to purchase medicine and food.
Cutting out the middlemen from the supply chain ensures the women a reliable and fair return for the resins they collect.
Though Frankincense and Myrrh trees are abundant in their area, the women do not tap or injure the trees to increase yield as is often the case in other areas and with other types of resin-bearing trees.
Harming nature is frowned upon and contrary to their belief system and their reverence for their Nature Goddess N’gai. The Samburu only collect the resins that form due to incidental injuries from goats and Baboons who find the bark of Boswellia Neglecta delectable, and elephants who casually trample trees like matchsticks as elephants tend to do. In fact it is believed these trees and some other frankincense and Myrrh species cannot be tapped due to their thin bark and different physiology.
The Samburu women collect both a light and a dark B. Neglecta incense. Yes…I had to see this for myself and it is true!! Initial injury generates a clear sap that hardens translucent and light golden.
Subsequent to injury the tree creates “Traumatic Resin Ducts” as does our Northern Spruce. These ducts then generate a special therapeutic sap called “Callus Resin”, that acts as a bandage and promotes the growth of protective tissue that heals the wounds, creates scar tissue and isolates healthy flesh from diseased. In Scandinavia, the Spruce callus resin is used in traditional salves for slow healing wounds, diabetic ulcers and post-surgical wounds.
Very little clear resin is available from the trees compared to the dark resin.
Like all its brothers, Frankincense Neglecta is ruled by the Sun from an astrological point of view. It is calming and strengthening to both mind and heart, aids in meditation and concentration, and helps raise one’s spirits.
When burned as incense, it helps cleanse a space and create a sense of sacredness.
Sometimes called “Dakar”, the aroma of Frankincense Neglecta, though unmistakably that of Frankincense, stands out with clean, crisp, sweet, earthy notes, reminiscent of our northern Balsam Fir trees.
This unusual type of Frankincense has been used locally for generations as a sacred incense and as medicine specific for respiratory complaints. The Samburu burn it when a child is sick, when a woman is in labour and during childbirth from what I could gather.
The infused oil of Frankincense Neglecta oleoresin and its essential oil are valuable ingredients in respiratory rubs, salves and oils. It yields itself readily to oleo-extraction with vegetable oils which makes a most excellent chest rub for congestions, asthma, bronchitis and colds.
This is the resin I use to make my Frankincense neglecta Oleo Extract which I refer to as “Heartsease Oil”, which I find reduces feelings of anxiety, panic and tightness/heaviness of the chest. Apparently, it has the same effect for many others when massaged into the chest.
This calming oil is easy to make with a bit of resin and some warm olive oil. Here are instructions for making your own Heartsease oil-https://apothecarysgarden.com/2014/07/30/how-to-make-a-whole-extract-of-frankincense-and-other-oleoresins/?wref=tp
As all types of Frankincense, this oleoresin makes an exceptional incense for the home and ritual.
For more information on Frankincense Neglecta, a recipe and instructions on how to make your own Frankincense Neglecta cough and chest oil, please see my post-http://apothecarysgarden.com/2013/10/09/frankincense-oil-cough-cold-chest-rub-recipe/
————————————————-WHAT CUSTOMERS SAY ABOUT THIS PRODUCT—————————————————
“An utterly fantastic aromatic profile — both as straight oleoresin incense or tinctured. Hearty spice with a clean, smoked edge. Citric backing, but not lemony like Boswellia carterii. Really wonderful in a deep, enrobing way.”
“The smell of these resinous chips just permeated the whole packaging. Delightful.”
“Top shelf seller in every way. Highly recommend. Freshest Boswellia resins ever. Thank you so much!”
“Nice, and happy that it’s Fair Trade too :)”
“Will definitely order again. Great product.”
“Great product, good seller, fast shipping”