Decoding Frankincense and Myrrh Incense

Written by: Igneous Products



Time to read 4 min


Have you ever come across the terms Frankincense and Myrrh? Do you know about the plethora of benefits that it can shower in your life? This article will help you delve deep into the world of Myrrh and Frankincense. In the end, you will capture the vast information about them that the machine-controlled civilization often overlooks!

Insights of Frankincense and Myrrh

One can naturally obtain Frankincense resin from the Burseraceae plant family. It is often termed torchwood or incense family. Frankincense is derived from the dried sap of Boswellia trees. While Myrrh is sourced from the Commiphora plant family- both native to Africa, Oman, and India.


Different types of Frankincense are available in the market. This includes Carterii, Sacra, Serrata, Frereana, and so on. Though their properties and therapeutic actions are similar, the growing conditions and the smell are different for each species. There is also a slight variation in terms of composition. 

On the other hand, Myrrh is derived from the Commiphora's lifeblood. Just like Frankincense, different species of Commiphora produce Myrrh. Though the therapeutic properties and mode of operation are the same for all of them, the place of origin, smell, and chemical composition are slightly different from one another.

An overview of Burseraceae plant family

An overview of Burseraceae plant family


Extraction of Frankincense and Myrrh from the trees is a tedious process. It requires a lot of experience, patience, and hard work. At first, incisions are made in the trunks of the Boswellia trees. This produces exuded gum. The gum looks like milk-like resin. Later on, this resin hardens to form yellowish gum known as frankincense.

Exuded gum of Boswellia

Exuded gum of Boswellia 

On the other hand, repeated wounds are done on the Commiphora trees. This wound gradually penetrates, reaching the bark and finally the sapwood. It is during this time that the tree secretes a resin. This resin is known as the Myrrh gum. It coagulates and hardens quickly, and turns glossy. The taste of this gum in raw form is pungent and bitter. 

Myrrh gum

Myrrh gum  


The sap extraction is a perilous process because one must harm the tree without killing it. However, if done correctly, the wound will trigger a process known as "gummosis," which is precisely what it sounds like: the tree will try to gum up the harm, and one will be able to carve off the ensuing slime for use. This is a unique and exciting process that bewilders the mind.

Product Outlook of Frankincense and Myrrh Incense

Do you know that the finished product of Frankincense looks like a golden raisin? It is similar to a shiny yellow dried globular structure. The color, clarity, and shape are perfectly synced to provide the best visual experience.

Frankincense and Myrrh 

On the other hand, Myrrh is a bit rough and brown. Both Frankincense and Myrrh are almost similar in size. They are attractive and appealing to the eyes with a solid and intense scent. Myrrh is often used in flavoring food and beverages.

The Gift of the Magi - Gold frankincense and Myrrh

You will be mesmerized to note that The Book Of Mathew depicts Myrrh and Frankincense. The Biblical text accounts of the Magi who followed the star of Bethlehem to the birth of Christ and gifted three incredible gifts- Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh.

Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh 


The worthiness of gold as a gift was equivalent to Myrrh and Frankincense at that time. Expert botanists opine that the products have a rich history, and their usage can be traced back to almost a thousand years before the birth of Christ. 

Places to look for Burseraceae

Burseraceae is strongly connected with the old world, although it may still be found in tropical countries ranging from Africa and Asia to Central and South America. Commiphora myrrha, a tree in the Burseraceae family, is found in the rocky soils of Oman, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and adjoining areas. 

Production and Trade route of Frankincense and Myrrh


Due to the immense popularity of the products, the Roman Empire used to import quantities of Frankincense from Africa and Asia already in the first century AD. Such was the power of Myrrh incense and Frankincense incense. Also, Frankincense producing Boswellia Serreta trees has a long history. They were traded in the Arabian Peninsula for over 6,000 years. Oman, Yemen, and Somalia are also home to Boswellia sacra's frankincense-producing tree.

Myrrh and Frankincense as an antiseptic and therapeutic agents

Frankincense benefits and uses have been the topic of the town in the past decades. An aromatic resin, Frankincense, is used to make incense and fragrances, and it has a sweet, earthy, and woody scent. However, a growing emphasis on well-being and alternative treatments like Myrrh oil, Frankincense oil, and aromatherapy have given Frankincense and Myrrh a new lease of life in the West. 

(To know more about the uses and benefits of Frankincense and Myrrh, click here)

Medicinal uses of Frankincense and Myrrh

Medicinal uses of Frankincense and Myrrh


Myrrh is widely utilized in perfume, incense, and religious rites. In addition, this pungent sap was thought to be curative in many regions of the ancient world. Terpenoids and essential oils are the primary chemical ingredients of Frankincense and Myrrh. Their anti-inflammatory and anticancer properties are frequent pharmacological solutions to many ailments.


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