Even before Christ, Frankincense has always been noted as one of the most powerful and expensive fragrance of all-time.
The sweet aroma of frankincense endeared it to the rich and great Kings to pass through earth.
Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt and their queens had it as a companion in their graves.
It is clearly written in the Bible that when the three wise men were directed by the Holy one to go visit Baby Jesus, they add it to the precious gifts to be presented.
The Quran also mentions that Prophet Mohammed uses it for fumigating homes and treating ailments.
Till today, China uses it for medicinal purposes.
From the above it’s clear that Frankincense is an aromatic resin used in incense, perfumes and natural medicines.
The tree that produces it is known as Boswellia Sacra. It is native to the Arabian Peninsula (Oman, Yemen), and northeastern Africa (Somalia).
For thousands of years in Somalia’s Sanaag and Bari regions, frankincense has been produced.
Frankincense tappers make holes into mature Boswellia’s woody skin, sap seeps out like blood from a wound.
It dries into a scab of resin, which is harvested and sold raw, or turned into oil or incense.
The Roman Catholic Church sources most of its frankincense from Somalia.
Frankincense is exported from Somalia especially to many parts of the world yearly and it fetches the country some foreign exchange but little goes to the farmers or tappers.
The species responsible for most of the world’s frankincense are in Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sudan and Darfur.
So as you celebrate Christmas, know that, just maybe the cologne you are using has frankincense in it.
And also the frankincense used during Baby Jesus’ time is still present today, adding a lot of aroma to our lives.
By Yaw Osei, Accra, Ghana