FRANKINCENSE ,' or OLIBANUM2 (Gr . A1il3avwros, later 9(los;
See also:Lat., tus or thus; Heb., lebonah; 3 Ar., luban; 3 Turk., ghyunluk;
See also:Hind., ganda-birosa5), a
See also:resin obtained from certain
See also:species of trees of the genus Boswellia, and natural
See also:order Burseraceae . The members of the genus are possessed of the following characters:—Bark often papyraceous; leaves deciduous, com-t pound, alternate and imparipinnate, with leaflets serrate or entire;
See also:flowers in racemes or panicles,
See also:green, yellowish or
See also:pink, having a small persistent, 5-dentate calyx, 5 petals, to stamens, a sessile 3 to 5-chambered. ovary, a long
See also:style, and a 3-lobed stigma; fruit trigonal or pentagonal; and seed compressed .
See also:George Birdwood (Trans . Lin .
See also:xxvii., ,
See also:Stephen Skinner, M.D . (Etymologicon linguae Anglicanae, Lond., 1671), gives the derivation: " Frankincense, Thus, q.d . Incensum (i.e . Thus Libere seu Liberaliter, ut in sacris of lciis
See also:par est, adolendum." 2 " Sic olibanum dixere
See also:pro thure ex Graeco o Waves "(
See also:Salmasius, C . S . Plinianae exercitationes, t. ii. p . 926, b .
F., Traj. ad
See also:Rhea., 1689 fol.) . So also Fuchs (Op. didact. pars. ii. p . 42, 1604 fol.), Officinis non sine risu eruditorum, Graeco articulo adjecto, Olibanus vocatur." The
See also:term olibano was used in ecclesiastical Latin as early as the pontificate of Benedict IX., in the 11th century . (See Ferd . Ughellus, Italia sacra, torn. i . 1o8, D., Yen., 1717 fol.) 3 So designated from its whiteness (J . G . Stuckius, Sacror. et sacrific. gent. descrip., p . 79, Lugd .
See also:Bat., 1695, fol . ;
See also:Kitto, Cycl . Bibl .
Lit. ii. p . 8o6, 187o) ; cf . Laben, the Somali name for cream (R . F .
See also:Burton, First Footsteps in E . Africa, p . 178, 1856) . 6 Written Louan by Garcias da
See also:Horta (Aromat. et simpl. medicament. hist., C . Clash Atrebatis Exoticorum
See also:sept., p . 157, 1605, fol.), and stated to have been derived by the
See also:Arabs from the Greek name, the term less commonly used by them being
See also:Conder: cf .
See also:Sanskrit Kunda . According to
See also:Colebrooke (in Asiatick Res. ix. p .
379, 1807), the
See also:Hindu writers on Materia Medica use for the resin of Boswellia thurifera the designation Cunduru . 6 A term applied also to the resinous exudation of Pinus longifolia (see Dr E . J . Waring, Pharmacopoeia of India, p . 52, Lond., 1868) . 1871) distinguishes five species of Boswellia: (A) B. thurifera, Colebr . (B. glabra and B. serrata, Roxb.), indigenous to the mountainous tracts of central India and the Coromandel
See also:coast, and B. papyrifera (Plosslea floribunda, Endl.) of
See also:Abyssinia, which, though both thuriferous, are not known to yield any of the olibanum of commerce; and (B) B . Frereana (see
See also:ELEMI, vol . X. p . 259), B . Bhua-Dajiana, and B . Carterii, the " Yegaar," "
See also:Mohr Add," and " Mohr Madow " of the Somali
See also:country, in East Africa, the last species including a variety, the " Maghrayt d'Sheehaz " of Hadramaut,
See also:Arabia, all of which are
See also:sources of true frankincense or olibanum .
The trees on the Somali coast are described byCaptain G . B . Kempthorne as growing, without
See also:soil, out of polished marble rocks, to which they are attached by a thick
See also:oval mass of substance resembling a mixture of lime and
See also:mortar: the purer the marble the finer appears to be the growth of the
See also:tree . The
See also:young` trees, he states, furnish the most valuable gum, the older yielding merely a clear glutinous fluid resembling
See also:varnish.' To obtain the frankincense a deep incision is made in the trunk of the tree, and below it a narrow
See also:strip of bark 5 in. in length is peeled off . When the milk-like juice (" spuma pinguis," Pliny) which exudes has hardened by exposure to the atmosphere, the incision is deepened . In about three months the resin has attained the required degree of consistency . The
See also:season for gathering lasts from May until the first rains in
See also:September . The large clear globules are scraped off into baskets, and the inferior quality that has run down the tree is collected separately . The coast of south Arabia is yearly visited by parties of Somalis, who pay the Arabs for the
See also:privilege of
See also:collecting frankincense .2 In the interior of the country about the plain of Dhofar,3 during the south-west monsoon, frankincense and other gums are gathered by the Beni Gurrah
See also:Bedouins, and might be obtained by them in much larger quantities; their lawlessness, however, and the lack of a safe place of
See also:exchange or sale are obstacles to the development of
See also:trade . (See C . Y .
See also:Ward, The Gulf of '
See also:Pilot, p .
117, 1863.) Much as formerly in the region of Sakhalites in Arabia (the
See also:tract between
See also:Ras Makalla and Ras Agab),4 described by
See also:Arrian, so now on the
See also:sea-coast of the Somali country, the frankincense when collected is stored in heaps at various stations . Thence, packed in
See also:sheep- and
See also:goat-skins, in quantities of 20 to 40 lb, it is carried on camels to
See also:Berbera, for shipment either to Aden, Makalla and other Arabian ports, or directly to Bombay.' At Bombay, like gum-
See also:acacia, it is assorted, and is then packed for re-exportation to
See also:China and elsewhere.' Arrian relates that it was an import of Barbarike on the Sinthus (
See also:Indus) . The idea held by several writers, including Niebuhr, that
See also:incense was a product of India, would seem to have originated in a confusion of that
See also:drug with
See also:benzoin and other odoriferous substances, and also in the sale of imported frankincense with the native products of India . The gum resin of Boswellia thurifera was described by Colebrooke (in Asiatick Researches, ix . 381), and after him by Dr J .
See also:Fleming (lb. xi . 158), as true frankincense, or olibanum; from this, however, it differs in its softness, and tendency to melt into a mass 7 (Birdwood, loc. cit., p . 146) . It is sold in the
See also:village bazaars of Khandeish in India under the name of Dup-Salai, i.e. incense of the " Salai tree"; and according to Mr F .
See also:Smith, M.B . (Contrib. towards the
See also:Mat . Med. and Nat .
Hist. of China, p . 162,
See also:Shanghai, 1871), is used as incense in China . The last authority also mentions ' See " Appendix," vol. i. p . 419 of Sir W . C .
See also:Harris's Highland of Aethiopia (2nd ed., Lond., 1844); and Trans . Bombay Geog . Soc. xiii . (1857), p . 136 . 2 Cruttenden, Trans . Bombay Geog .
Soc. vii . (1846), p . 121; S . B .
See also:Miles, J . Geog . Soc . (1872) . 2 Or Dhafar . The incense of " Dofar " is alluded to by Camoens, Os Lusiadas, x . 201 . H .
See also:Carter, "
See also:Comparative Geog. of the South-East Coast of Arabia," in J . Bombay Branch of R .
See also:Asiatic Soc. iii . (
See also:Jan . 1851), p . 296; and
See also:Muller, Geog . Graeci Minores, i. p . 278 (
See also:Paris, 1855) . ' J .
See also:Vaughan, Pharm . Journ. xii .
(1853) pp . 227-229; and Ward, op . Olt. p . 97 . 6 Pereira, Elem. of Mat . Med. ii. pt . 2, p . 380 (4th ed., 1847) . ' " Boswellia thurifera," . says Waring (Pharm. of India, p . 52), " has been thought to yield East
See also:Indian olibanum, but there is no reliable evidence of its so doing."olibanum as a reputed natural product of China . Bernhard von Breydenbach,3 Ausonius, Florus and others, arguing, it would seem, from its
See also:Hebrew and Greek names, concluded that olibanum came from
See also:Lebanon; and Chardin (Voyage en Perse, &c., 1711) makes the statement that the frankincense tree grows in the mountains of
See also:Persia, particularly Caramania . Frankincense, or olibanum, occurs in commerce in semi-opaque,
See also:round, ovate or oblong tears or irregular lumps, which are covered externally with a white dust, the result of their
See also:friction against one another .
It has an amorphous
See also:internal structure, a dull fracture; is of a yellow to yellowish-
See also:hue, the purer varieties being almost colourless, or possessing a greenish tinge, and has a somewhat bitter aromatic taste, and a balsamic odour, which is
See also:developed by
See also:heating . Immersed in
See also:alcohol it becomes opaque, and with
See also:water it yields an emulsion . It contains about 72% of resin soluble in alcohol (Kurbatow); a large proportion of gum soluble in water, and apparently identical with gum arabic; and a small quantity of a colourless inflammable essential oil, one of the constituents of which is the
See also:body oliben, C1°H16 . Frankincense burns with a bright white flame, leaving an ash consisting mainly of calcium carbonate, the
See also:remainder being calcium phosphate, and the sulphate, chloride and carbonate of potassium (Braconnot).9
See also:Good frankincense, Pliny tells us, is recognized by its whiteness,
See also:size, brittleness and ready inflammability . That which occurs in globular drops is, he says, termed " male frankincense " ; the most esteemed, he further remarks, is in
See also:breast-shaped drops, formed each by the union of two tears.10 The best frankincense, as we learn from Arrian," was formerly exported from the neighbourhood of Cape
See also:Elephant in Africa (the
See also:modern Ras Fiel) ; and A. von Kremer, in his description of the commerce of the Red Sea (Aegypten, &c., p . 185, ii . Theil,
See also:Leipzig, 1863), observes that the
See also:African frankincense, called by the Arabs " asli," is of twice the value of the Arabian " lban." Captain S . B . Miles (loc. cit., p . 64) states that the best kind of frankincense, known to the Somali as " bedwi " or " sheheri," comes from the trees " Mohr Add " and " Mohr Madow " (vide supra), and from a taller species of Boswellia, the " Boido," and is sent to Bombay for exportation to Europe; and that an inferior " mayeti," the produce of the " Yegaar," is exported chiefly to Jeddah and
See also:Yemen ports.12 The latter may possibly be what Niebuhr alludes to as " Indian frankincense." 13 Garcias da Horta, in asserting the Arabian origin of the drug, remarks that the term " Indian " is often applied by the Arabs to a dark-coloured variety.'4 According to Pliny (Nat . Hist. xiv . 1; cf .
See also:Fasti i . 337 6 " Libanus igitur est
See also:mons redolentie & summe aromaticitatis. nam ibi herbe odorifere crescunt. ibi etiam arbores thurifere coalescunt quarum gummi electum olibanum a medicis nuncupatur."—Perigrinatio, p . 53 (1502, fol.) . 9 See, on the chemistry of frankincense, Braconnot,
See also:Ann. de chimie, lxviii . (1808) pp . 6o-69;
See also:Johnston, Phil . Trans . (1839), pp . 301-305; J . Stenhouse, Ann. der Chem. and Pharm.
See also:xxxv . (184o) p . 306; and A .
Kurbatow, Zeitsch.fur Chem . (1871), p . 201 . 10 " Praecipua autem gratia est mammoso, cum haerente lacryma priore consecuta alia miscuit se " (Nat . Hist. xii . 32) . One of the
See also:Chinese names for frankincense, Jxi-hiang, " milk-perfume," is explained by the
See also:Pen Ts'au (xxxiv . 45), a Chinese
See also:work, as being derived from the nipple-like
See also:form of its drops . (See E . Bretschneider, On the Knowledge possessed by the
See also:Ancient Chinese of the Arabs, &c., p . 19, Lond., 1871.) " The Voyage of
See also:Nearchus, loc. cit . 12 Vaughan (Pharm .
Journ. xii . 1853) speaks of the Arabian Luban, commonly called Morbat or Shaharree Luban, as realizing higher prices in themarket than any of the qualities exported from Africa . The incense of " Esher," i.e . Shihr or Shehr, is mentioned by Marco Polo, as also by Barbosa . (See Yule, op: cit. ii. p . 377.) J .
See also:Raymond Wellsted (Travels to the City of the Caliphs, p . 173, Lond., 184o) distinguishes two kinds of frankincense—" Meaty," selling at $4 per cwt., and an inferior article fetching 20%less . 13 " Es scheint,
See also:dass selber die Araber ihr eignes Rauchwerk nicht hoch schatzen; denn die Vornehmen in Jemen brauchen gemeiniglich indianisches Rauchwerk, ja eine
See also:grosse Menge Mastix von der Inset Scio " (Beschreibung von Arabien, p . 143, Kopenh., 1772) . 14 " De Arabibus minus mirum, qui nigricantem colorem, quo Thus Indicum praeditum esse vult Dioscorides [lib. i. c . 70], Indum plerumque vocent, ut ex Myrobalano nigro
See also:quern Indum appellant, patet " (op. sup. cit. p .
157) . sq.), frankincense was not sacrificially employed in Trojan times . It was used by the ancient Egyptians in their religious
See also:rites, but, as
See also:Herodotus tells us (ii . 86), not in embalming . It constituted a
See also:part of the Jewish incense of the sanctuary . (Ex.
See also:xxx . 34), and is frequently mentioned in the
See also:Pentateuch . With other spices it was stored in a
See also:great chamber of the
See also:house of
See also:God at Jerusalem (1 Chron. ix . 29, Neh. xiii . 5-9) . On the sacrificial use and import of frankincense and similar substances see INCENSE . In the Red Sea regions frankincense is valued not only for its sweet odour when burnt, but as a masticatory; and blazing lumps of it are not infrequently used for
See also:illumination instead of oil lamps .
Its fumes are an excellent insectifuge . As a
See also:medicine it was in former times in high repute . Pliny (Nat . Hist.
See also:xxv . 82) mentions it as an antidote to
See also:hemlock .
See also:Avicenna (ed . Plempii, lib. ii. p . 161, Lovanii, 1658, fol.) recommends it for tumours, ulcers of the
See also:head and ears, affections of the breast, vomiting, dysentery and fevers . In the East frankincense has been found efficacious as an
See also:external application in carbuncles,
See also:blind boils and gangrenous sores, and as an internal
See also:agent is given in gonorrhoea . In China it was an old internal remedy for leprosy and struma, and is accredited with stimulant, tonic, sedative, astringent and vulnerary properties . It is not used in modern medicine, being destitute of any
See also:special virtues . (See Waring, Pharm. of India, p .
443, &c.; and F . Porter Smith, op. cit., p . 162.)
See also:Common frankincense or thus, Abietis resina, is the term applied to a resin which exudes from fissures in the bark of the Norway spruce
See also:fir, Abies excelsa, D.C.; when melted in hot water and strained it constitutes "
See also:Burgundy pitch," Pix abietina . The concreted
See also:turpentine obtained in the
See also:United States by making incisions in the trunk of a species of
See also:pine, Pinus australis, is also so designated . It is commercially known as " scrape," and is similar to the French " galipot " or " barras." Common frankincense is an ingredient in some ointments and plasters, and on account of its pleasant odour when burned has been used in incense as a substitute for olibanum . (See Fluckiger and Hanbury, Pharmacographia.) The" black frankincense oil " of the
See also:Turks is stated by Hanbury (Science Papers, p . 142, 1876) to be liquid storax . (F . H .
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