One of the most precious of natural resources in ancient times, frankincense was highly sought after by the rulers of ancient Egypt as well as the Roman Empire. The Dhofar region of Oman was one of the few places in the world where the tree that produces this coveted resin grows and Oman became renowned for the high quality of its frankincense especially the premium Hojari variety.
The harvesting of the resin is done carefully by local tribesmen who are the caretakers of these rare trees having inherited the responsibility from their elders. The resin is collected by making incisions on the tree and allowing the sap to run and harden before it is collected. This process takes place only twice a year and each tree produces about one kilogramme of this precious substance per annum.
Used primarily as an incense (in fact the English word Frankincense is a contraction of the old French words franc encens which mean high quality incense) frankincense has also been used extensively in traditional medicine where it is said to help combat inflammation in osteoarthritis, kill cancer cells, boost immunity, fight infections, reduce anxiety and fight depression.