Frankincense Raw Powder

Karen Frazier
Frankincense & Myrrh in Mortar

Frankincense raw powder is not easy to find. If you can find it however, frankincense raw powder has a variety of uses.

All About Frankincense

Frankincense comes from the Bosweillia tree, which is found in Oman, Somalia, Ethiopia, Yemen, the southern Arabian Peninsula, and India. Frankincense raw powder itself comes from the hardened oleo resin of the Bosweillia trees. To obtain the oleo gum, slits are cut in the bark of the trees and a milk-white fluid leaks out. This fluid is collected and hardened. The hardened fluid is sometimes referred to as frankincense tears.

The hardened tears are whitish, whitish-yellow or have a greenish tinge, depending on the variety of Bosweillia tree from which they were extracted. The tears have a pleasant, sweet and woody odor that smells slightly of camphor. When rubbed together, the tears give off a little bit of powder.

Frankincense Raw Powder

Frankincense tears can be ground down into raw powder. The powder is also known as Boswellia extract. The color, scent and character of the powder will depend on the type of Bosweillia tree from which the resin was drawn.


Frankincense powder is frequently used in perfumes and incense; however, there are medicinal uses for the powder, as well.

  • The sap from which the powder is part of the tree's immune system. As such, the powder is believed to have antibiotic and antifungal properties.
  • The powder (and resin) is also believed to have insect repellent properties.
  • Other properties of frankincense include anti-inflammatory properties and immune enhancing functions.
  • Frankincense powder can be mixed in tiny amounts into toothpaste to strengthen teeth and gums, as well as to refresh the mouth. Chewing on frankincense resin has the same effect.
  • A decoction of frankincense powder with cardamom and cinnamon is believed to soothe digestive upset.
  • The powder is used in herbal pastes and plasters used to heal wounds.
  • Mixing the powder with myrrh and aloe is a common herbal antiseptic home treatment for wounds.
  • A little frankincense powder tossed in with other burning herbs can repel insects.
  • Powder ground from the resin has been added to coffee to increase stimulant effects and improve memory.
  • Ayurvedic medicine uses frankincense in a variety of forms for treatment of arthritis. Boswellia extract capsules can be taken for treatment of arthritis. The recommended dosage is 150 mg, three times per day.
  • Boswellia extract is sometimes used to treat colitis. The dosage for treating colitis is 550 mg three times per day.
  • Burning the resin or powder and "fumigating" various body parts is believed to be a treatment for headaches, mental issues and to help heal after childbirth.
  • Burning the powder and breathing it in can help to reduce congestion.

Cautions, Contraindications and Side Effects

  • None of the above statements have been evaluated by the ADA.
  • Never take any herbal preparation - either internally or topically - without first checking with your primary care physician.
  • Frankincense should not be used by those taking blood thinners such as Plavix.
  • Diarrhea, skin rash and nausea have occasionally been reported.
  • Pregnant and nursing mothers should check with their doctor before taking any herbal supplement.

Where to Find Frankincense Powder

This powder can be hard to find. It can be found in capsule form as Boswellia extract. Most health food stores carry Boswellia extract capsules. Sources of pure frankincense powder include:

  • Star West Botanicals offers both frankincense tears and powder. The powder is slightly more expensive than the tears. One pound of powder is a $18.42, while one pound of tears is $14.50..
  • SomaLuna offers frankincense resins and powders from a variety of places at prices starting as low as $1.50 per ounce.
  • Smallflower sells powdered frankincense for use as incense. The price is $3 for 50 mg.
  • Mountain Rose Herbs sells both frankincense powder and the resin. Their products are certified organic, certified kosher and free from irradiation and ozone. They also advertise that all of their products are ethically harvested in the wild. The powder is $5 for four ounces.
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Frankincense Raw Powder