Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antimicrobial
Approx. weight: 7.5 oz
Boswellia occulta grows only in a very small area of northern Somaliland, in the Hodma river valley in the Sanaag region. Its total distribution is likely limited to a few hundred square kilometers, but it is locally abundant in this area. It grows on limestone hillsides up to 600m in elevation, and is sometimes found growing with B. frereana. It has been harvested for generations and is prized for its comparatively dry resin, which is called “fusoos”, or high quality incense. The resin has traditionally been traded to Yemen to be used for incense in Arabia, but the civil war in Yemen disrupted this trade route and allowed the resin to come to the Western market. It is little-used for essential oil, due to the low oil yield and unique chemistry, but is ideal for smudging.
Boswellia occulta has a very unique chemistry. Like other species, it has a healthy mixture of boswellic acids, and is good for inflammatory conditions. The essential oil profile is totally unique, though, with a high level of methoxyalkanes, components that are extremely rare as natural products and have very little research into their properties. The scent has been described as fresh, ethereal, green-resinous, almost like vanilla-crème. However, it’s the diterpenes that are probably the major reason this species has traditionally been prized as incense. The resin features a high level of incensole and serratol, both of which have significant psychoactive properties. Serratol is as powerful a stimulant of the TRPV(3) cation channels, as the more commonly known incensyl acetate. This gives this resin strong anti-depressant and anti-anxiety effects, producing and uplifting and inspiring effect.