Anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antimicrobial. Grown in high altitudes, known as Maydi, or the King of Frankincense. Known for its uplifting, alluring earthen scene. Shown to be uplifting, relaxing and centering
Boswellia frereana grows only in Somaliland and Puntland (northern Somalia), where it grows on rocky slopes and wadis, mostly on limestone or volcanic rock. It prefers lower altitudes, from sea level up to 750m in elevation. It is endemic to the Cal Madow mountain slopes, a unique ecosystem that is considered critically endangered by the WWF, and is an important center of endemism and biodiversity in the Horn of Africa.
The B. frereana resin is locally called “Maydi” and is prized for chewing and for its light, ethereal scent when the resin is burned. Like with B. carteri, 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’. In fact, the name for the resin, “maydi”, is also the name used for a camel that produces large amounts of milk.
Boswellia frereana is unique amongst frankincense in that it doesn’t contain any boswellic acids. However, the resin has a large amount of lupeol and its derivatives. Lupeol is being investigated for its novel anti-inflammatory and potential anti-cancer effects; as a result, B. frereana may act synergistically with other frankincense species to combine the molecular actions of the lupeol and the boswellic acids. The essential oil contains high levels of a-pinene and a-thujene, along with sabinene and p-cymene, which are known for their antimicrobial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anxiolytic, anti-fungal, and anti-acetylcholinesterase activity. The scent is deep, rich, sonorous, almost like an old church, with woody, earthy, and black peppery notes.