This is a brief introduction which will be expanding as more fun information and interviews take place.

Boswellia Carterii a Brief Introduction.

Since the time of Pharaohs The Land of Punt was know as a land of incense.  Today, the area know as Puntland includes Somalia, and also Ethiopia.  There are various types of frankincense trees that grow in Somalia, this article will be focusing on Boswellia carterii also know locally as Mohor or Beyo.  Boswellia carterii grows abundantly in Somalia, and is a source of Boswellic acid, which is of great interest in ongoing medical research as an anti inflammatory.

Egyptian depiction of incense from Punt.

Where does Frankincense grow?

In Somalia there is a unique forest at the northern side of Cal Madow mountains. within this mountain we can find the thick Daalo Frankincense Forest abounding in frankincense trees.  A Fragrant Mohor Forest.

Somalian Mohor Forest of Cal Madow Mountain.

Some Traditional Purposes for burning Mohor Frankincense.

In Somalia, some traditional uses of Boswellia carterii is to burn it as an incense for fragrance especially after cooking something non pleasant smelling such as fish.  In Somalia beyo is also burnt for the warding away of mosquitoes, and insects such as sand flies.  It is believed that burning boswellia carterii frankincense after an illness in the house will cleanse the space of sickness.  It is also believed it can drive away evil spirits.

Dabqaad – Traditional Somali Incense Burner

Other Somali Uses of Mohor Frankincense.

Boswellia carterii is added to water in the evening by Somalis, and the frankincense is allowed to soak overnight.  The water is ingested  for digestion issues, stomach problems, gas, and cramps.  The water is also used as a face cleansing cosmetic by Somalian women, and is believed to be useful as an anti wrinkle cosmetic. Another interesting cosmetic note, is that crushed burnt frankincense was an ingredient in ancient Egyptian kohl eye makeup.  The ancient Egyptian Queen Hatshepsut was known to grind up charred frankincense and have it placed in her Kohl eyeliner.  This practice is also considered the first recorded use of the resin.  Frankincense itself had originally been obtained from Queen Hatshepsut’s expedition to the ancient Land of Punt.

Boswellia carterii resins.

Boswellia carterii uses throughout the World

It is said that up to 90% of Boswellia carterii resins are sold for the perfume industry with France being one of the major purchasers of boswellia carterii.  Boswellia carterii is used in many popular perfumes.  France has an incredible history of distillation and perfumery with boswellia carterii, especially in Grasse region of France.

Boswellia carterii frankincense is also exported from Somalia and finds its way into the christian churches throughout the world.  It is said the Vatican uses this type of resin in worship.  It is also reported that China is a large purchaser of Boswellia carterii, for use in Chinese medicine.

Distillation Equipment in Grasse France.

Current Medical Studies.

Boswellia carterii is a source of Boswellic acid, and has been recently shown to fight inflammatory diseases like asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, atopic dermatitis, Crohn’s disease and a variety of cancers.

More research is currently being done on frankincense and its ability to treat arthritis, with the possibility of frankincense being used as preventative medicine also.

The promising ingredients of the boswellia species of trees are very difficult to reproduce synthetically, making frankincense trees the only source available for medicinal usage.

Frankincense trees are a natural source of boswellic acid

Frankincense Provides Renewable and Sustainable Sources of Income.

Frankincense is considered a renewable and sustainable source of Income for the former war torn region of Somalia.  It provides employment and sustenance, and has a large potential in future economic development.

Somali Woman Sorting Beyo Frankincense

Where to Find Boswellia Carterii?

If you are interested in purchasing boswellia carterii resin from Somaliland, you may find it available at  Your support is appreciated, and  helps expand this ever growing endeavor.

Boswellia Carterii from

Boswellia Carterii Information Continues!

This is a brief introduction to Boswellia Carterii.  If you would like to suggest more information or topics, please contact me.  I was able to interview a few Somalis over the course of writing this entry, and will continue to do so as this article grows.



Boswellia Carterii Links

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