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Frankincense resin is thought to have a bounty of health properties - it was an ingredient in a rejuvenate face mask in ancient Egypt (it was also charred and used as the classic heavy eyeliner seen in much ancient Egyptian art), and at one time was "used to treat every conceivable ill to man". In ayurvedic medicine it is known as salaiguggul,used for centuries to treat many conditions, including arthritis. Modern science has isolated the active compounds found to have anti-arthritic properties. Called boswellic acids, these components inhibit the inflammatory process, improve blood supply and prevent further cartilage reduction.
Used for many thousands of years, the Frankincense tree has perhaps the greatest association with spiritual practice of any plant on earth. In most of the great ancient cultures,including the Egyptian, Babylonian, Persian, Hebrew, Greek and Roman civilizations, it has played a role in religious and domestic life. Frankincense has been sought after by kings and valued as highly as gold. More recently, the essential oil is gaining popularity with spiritual seekers and natural healers alike. What is so special about this tree that its 'pearls' were given as a gift at the birth of one of history's most revered prophets?
For more than 5000 years, the hardened resin has been burned in temples throughout Egypt, China and India; the Catholic church continues to use it today during Mass. It is one of the four main ingredients in Jewish ceremonial incense, forming an important part of the Sabbath day offerings.
The smoke of Frankincense(as with other ritual incense) is thought to carry prayers to heaven upon it's smoke. It is also said to deepen the breath and still the mind, making it useful for meditation and yogic practice. The incense may have health benefits as well, producing a highly antiseptic smoke, keeping churches and churchgoers free from disease.
Materials: frankincense tears