Introduction to Raw Materials|Boswellia carterii


Boswellia carterii



Origin | Somalia
Plant Family | Oleaceae
Plant Aroma | Sweet resinous fragrance, creating a dynamic balance that evokes the sacred woody aroma of ancient history.
Extraction Site | Resin
Extraction Method | Distillation



Preferred sourcing from the warm and dry region of Galgayo, Somalia.

Located in East Africa, Galgayo, Somalia, falls under a subtropical and tropical desert climate with high temperatures and low rainfall throughout the year. Such climatic conditions foster the resilience of the Frankincense grown in this region.

The Frankincense trees in Somalia adapt to the arid environment, exuding milky-white resin from their bark, which emits a fresh and distant aroma akin to the storytelling of a profound sage narrating the depths of history.

【Main Benefits】

◇ Main Components | Monoterpenes

Somali Frankincense contains a substantial amount of monoterpenes, mainly α-pinene, which instantly enhances breathing and has a protective effect on mucous membranes. Another component, α-phellandrene, exhibits excellent anti-inflammatory effects. The high content of various esters can deepen and relax breathing, leading to a sense of calm and harmonious relaxation for the body, mind, and soul. Moreover, Somali Frankincense can help with promoting blood circulation, resolving blood stasis, and has relatively long-lasting effects when applied to the body.


➢ According to data provided by Bowles (2003), the main components of Frankincense include 34.5% α-pinene, 14.6% α-phellandrene, and 14% caryophyllene. All three are monoterpenes and are generally believed to have properties that promote respiratory health and alleviate pain.



【Component Analysis】

1. α-Pinene)


◇ Pharmacokinetics

Numerous studies have shown that α-pinene has anti-inflammatory effects (Gil et al., 1989) and supports respiratory health (bronchodilator) (Falk et al., 1990). Data also suggests that it has a good effect against a wide range of microorganisms (Nissen et al., 2010). Its convincing utility lies in its ability to enhance memory, prevent dementia, and function as an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor, among other effects.



•  Benefits: Sedative, anxiety-reducing, tension-relieving, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, analgesic (similar to camphor), skin repair, antibacterial.



• Uses: Aromatherapy, massage oil, skincare.


➢ Comparing the differences between Somali Frankincense and Indian Frankincense.


➢ Frankincense exhibits different effects depending on its origin.


➢ Frankincense products can be categorized into medicinal and non-medicinal types (the latter containing minimal amounts of boswellic acids). The main varieties of medicinal Frankincense are:
1) Boswellia carterii Birdw., distributed in Oman, Yemen, and Somalia.
2) Boswellia sacra Fluck., distributed in Somalia.
3) Boswellia papyrifera (Del) Hochst., distributed in Ethiopia, Sudan, Eritrea, Nigeria, Uganda, Cameroon, and the Central African Republic.
4) Boswellia serrata Roxb., distributed in India. Frankincense is graded based on color, purity, age, aroma, shape, and origin.


➢ Due to its relatively high price, Frankincense may be adulterated with similar resins like copal or storax, along with starch, resulting in fake and inferior products. In a 2012 sampling of 50 Frankincense samples, 23 were found to be counterfeit, with 22 containing rosin acid and 13 containing starch. In a 2017 inspection of Frankincense sold in five different regions (Bozhou, Hangzhou, Chengdu, Shanghai, Chongqing), it was found that all samples were from Ethiopia, meeting the standards, but with varying degrees of adulteration with rosin acid. Though the content of rosin acid in rosin is less than 0.1%, it is slightly toxic and can pose long-term risks to the human body, making the examination of rosin acid in Frankincense necessary.


【Market Applications】

◇ Uses / Characteristics

• Relaxation, pain relief, calming the nervous system, emotional balance.
• Anti-inflammatory, helping with qi circulation, restoring complexion, skincare.
• Facilitating respiratory health, assisting memory enhancement.a


1. Skincare Products

Benefits: Cleansing and antimicrobial, purifying the skin, suitable for inflammation relief, regulating free radicals, and skin aging.
Examples: Facial soaps, cleansing mousses, toners, serums, lotions, skin tonics, creams, eye creams, etc.


2. Body Care Products

Benefits: Antimicrobial, reducing inflammation on sensitive skin, regulating free radicals, and skin aging.
Examples: Shampoos, body washes, etc.


3. Personal Care Products

Benefits: Alleviating inflammation, calming the nervous system, emotional balance, pain relief, anti-depression, providing peace and comfort.
Examples: Massage oils, essential oil sprays, diffusers.

4. Environmental Cleaning Products 

Benefits: Inhibiting microbes, cleaning.
Examples: Cleansing sprays, hand soaps, perfume compounds.


【Product Description】

◇ Formula Application / Usage 

• Solubility: Lipophilic
• Method of Mixing:
- Add at room temperature, no need for additional heating to avoid prolonged exposure to high temperatures.
- Add the oil phase to the cosmetics for dissolution before emulsification.


◇ Precautions

• Please adjust the usage ratio according to individual skin conditions.
• This product is a raw material, it is recommended to dilute before use.
• Perform a patch test on a small area of skin before using on the face.
• Please use in normal dosages.



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2. Yang, H.; Woo, J.; Pae, A.-N.; Um, M.-Y.; Cho, N.-C.; , J.; Lee, C.-J.; Cho, S. (2016). "α-Pinene, a major constituent of pine tree oils, enhances non-rapid eye movement sleep in mice through GABAA-benzodiazepine receptors". Molecular Pharmacology. 90 (5): 530–539.
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5. Potentiating Antidepressant Action of Boswellia Serrata in Acute Models of Depression: A Preclinical Study. January 2013
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