Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antimicrobial. Grown in high altitudes, known as Maydi, or the King of Frankincense. Known for its uplifting, alluring earthen scent. Shown to be uplifting, relaxing and centering
Boswellia carteri is often considered to be the same species as Boswellia sacra, but this is still being investigated. In contrast to B. sacra, it grows only in Somaliland and Puntland (northern Somalia), in the Cal Madow mountain forests. This is a highly biodiverse ecosystem, with high rates of endemism and some of the last intact forests in northern Somalia. It is considered a critically endangered ecosystem by the WWF. Boswellia carteri grows from sea level up to about 1600m in elevation, and prefers rocky slopes and wadis. Some trees grow in rocky soil, while others grow directly out of limestone or volcanic rocks.
The frankincense resin is locally called “beeyo” and is traditionally harvested and burned to keep evil spirits at bay and to fumigate and purify the body and clothing. Additionally, resin is soaked in water and the water is drunk daily for its health properties. There is a complex culture around frankincense harvesting, which is derived from the dominant pastoral culture in northern Somalia. Harvesters refer to the trees as their ‘camels’ and the white resin that comes out as the ‘milk’. The harvesters also differentiate between B. carteri trees growing in different conditions: trees on limestone are called “Moxor dadbeed”, while trees with at high altitudes are “Moxor lab”, and those in the lowlands are “Moxor cad.”
Boswellia carteri has a highly variable chemical profile. The essential oil is often high in a-pinene, but includes many other components such as limonene, myrcene, viridiflorol, etc. It has a fresh, rich, floral scent with sweet-resinous, citrus, and slight coniferous notes. The resin is also high in boswellic acids, which are known for their strong anti-inflammatory properties. Boswellia carteri has various therapeutic properties, including antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, chondroprotective, anxiolytic, vulnerary, anti-acetylcholinesterase, anti-fungal, antinociceptive, cannabimimetic, and immunostimulant effects.
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