This is the coveted “White” Frankincense Neglecta resin of Northern Kenya. The Boswellia neglecta trees yield much smaller quantities of this pure resin than the regular “Black” Neglecta and it is preferred by the local tribespeople. It is mainly used for chewing gum, medicine and incense.
Though the white resin comes from the same tree, it has a different aromatic profile than the Black neglecta, which is generated through an unusual relationship with Long Horn beetles.
The white Neglecta resin has a sweeter and fruitier fragrance and is a pure oleoresin.
As I have mentioned in the past, many of the East African Myrrh and Frankincense trees produce more than one type of resin. Sometimes even three different coloured exudates!
White Frankincense neglecta is a pure oleoresin and will dissolve easily in warm oils with very little bark or extraneous material to be filtered out.
It pools on the hot coals and makes aromatic chewing gum.
This resin is sustainably harvested and fairly traded and is quite different from the Neglecta Thurimel that hails from Somalia.
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.
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.
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 congestion, asthma, bronchitis and colds.
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/