At the recent Young Living international convention in Salt Lake City, it was announced that Young Living would now be distilling and shipping Frankincense oil (Boswelllia Sacra) from Oman. At present no other distributor or producer of essential oils is sourcing its Frankincense from Oman. In fact, there have been no exports of frankincense from Oman for at least 50 years. [1]  What was once for the sole use of princes and kings is now available to us all.

So what’s the difference between Sacra and the other potent variety of Frankincense – Boswellia Carteri ?

Sacra has fewer compounds than Carteri but a higher content of Alpha-pinenes and Incensol than Carteri. What does this mean in layman’s language? Alpha-pinenes, Incensol and Boswellic acids are the components that appear to give Frankincense its ability to fight cancer. Boswellia Carteri has already featured prominently in cancer research (see the references at the end of this article), so we can expect to see Sacra appear in future studies.

Sacred Frankincense – anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory

Boswellia Sacra is found only in Yemen, Oman and parts of Saudi Arabia. In Oman it is known by several names – Hojari and Luban. The locals in Oman soak the Frankincense resin in water overnight, then drink the water the following day. They also chew on the resin like gum.

There is a very low incidence of cancer, arthritis and periodontal disease in Oman. In fact it was pointed out at the YL Convention by Dr Mahmoud Suhail M.D. that they don’t even have a cancer ward in Oman. The few cases they have are non-local people.

Sacra shows great promise in dealing with degenerative diseases and in replacing steroids. The Boswellic acids found in Sacra work as anti-inflammatory agents. Gary Young gave his own personal experience. After a logging accident in 1973, which nearly left him paralysed, he began developing bone spurs (or osteophytes) on his spine, giving him intense pain and leaving him with the prospect of being wheel-chair bound within 6 months. Five weeks after a procedure whereby Gary injected himself with Frankincense, he was pain free and x-rays showed that the osteophytes had been reduced. Frankincense has also demonstrated excellent results for the treatment of Crohns, Ulcerative Colitis and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Sacred Frankincense for Mind and Spirit too 

Gary Young recommended the use of Sacra for prayer, meditation and yoga. The Essential Oil Desk Reference lists Frankincense as an oil that “increases spiritual awareness, promotes meditation, improves attitude and uplifts spirits”. [2] It is perhaps no accident, that the olibanum (as Frankincense was referred to over 2000 years ago) brought to the baby Jesus by the 3 Wise Men was from the Southern Arabian peninsula. 

Frankincense contains sesquiterpenes which are molecules capable of penetrating the blood-brain barrier. These sesquiterpenes are able to stimulate the pineal, pituitary and hypothalamus glands, in addition to the limbic part of the brain which is the centre for memory and emotions. [3] 

A short term study undertaken by Paul Scheele of Learning Strategies ( was highlighted at the YL Convention. The effects of Sacred Frankincense on 12 people were looked at before, during and after 30 days of use. This is what it found:

  • Learning blockages improved in 67%
  • Reading difficulties improved in 63%
  • Memory problems improved in 33%
  • Motivation issues improved in 33%

When subjects were asked if the use of this essential oil had lead to significant changes in their lives, 80% said “Yes”.

If you would like any more information on the subjects covered in this post, please feel free to contact us.

Till Next time.



Further Reading:

Disclaimer: Please remember that anything discussed here does not
constitute medical advice and cannot substitute for appropriate medical care. Where essential oils are mentioned, it’s recommended you use only pure, unadulterated therapeutic grade essential oils and follow the safety directions of the manufacturer.

[1]  Blog post, April 3rd, Cheap Frankincense? Not Worth it!

[2] Essential Oils Desk Reference, P62

[3] Ibid, P62

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