This is the Boswellia sacra - the tree from whence the sacred herb, frankincense  is emitted when the bark is scraped from these scraggly but tough trees.

Frankincense also called olbanum is a sacred resin which has been collected from ancient Egypt to the present day - including the famous story of the three wise men visiting the baby Jesus in the manger bringing frankincense, gold, and myrrh.

Why would three wise men bring to a tiny baby a resin from a tree which grows in environments so unforgiving it is known to sometimes grow straight out of rock?

It seems that recent research into Frankincense's healing abilities may provide us with some insights into what the three wise men and the ancient Egyptians may have already known.

Frankincense is distilled from the resin by steam distillation. There are many websites which explain this process to which you may refer.  In independent studies done by physicians and scientists both the Department of Urology at Oklahoma Science Center as well as by Department of General Surgery, Long Hua Hospital Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai, China, it has been shown that frankincense supresses viability as well as induces apoptosis (death), and exhibits anti-proliferation against both cancerous pancreatic and bladder cells.

The frankincense obtained by the III and IVth distillations exhibited a higher molecular weight according to high-performance Liquid chromatography (HPLC) and in particularly the IVth distillation seemed to present the most effective apoptotic in vivo.  Frankincense essential oil-induced tumor cytostatic and cytotoxic activities in animals.were assessed by immunohistochemistry.

Translation:  Liquid chromatography is a way of reading molecular chemical markers by the method shown below:

It is said that the truly brilliant can make even the most complex simple. If you cannot understand the following - which I agree is perhaps not so easy, then you will have to forgive me my lack of brilliance. Liquid chromatography is achieved by passing a pressurized liquid solvent containing the sample one wishes to inquire about through a column containing a solid adsorbent material.

Now the column separates the known components with tiny particles made of a material like silica. They separate by the different degrees of interaction with the silica. The interactions are generally physical and temperature dependent and are hydrophonic, ionic, and dipole-dipole.

I don't know how to make it simpler without a very lengthy explanation. Feel free to do a google search.

Below is very easy to read.  You simply look for the peaks on the graph and it shows you which molecular compounds are present:  phenols, esters, alcohols, and so on, and it can be read by checking it against previously read known markers.

The example used is a read out of amino acids. It is thought these may be easier to read and more recognizable than frankincense markers:  tyrosine, lycene, leucine, glutamine and so on.

Frankincense HPLC

This file is from the USPO (United States Patent Office) where this has recently been filed under just completed research done at the University of Leicester and discredited in mainstream press but filed last week (as of creating the website 2015) on the powerful effects of frankincense's disease reversing power on cancer cells.

"Successfully linking AKBA as a potential treatment for brain, breast, colon, pancreatic, prostate, and stomach cancers, research trials are filling medical journals like Carcinogenesis and PLoS One about Boswellia serrata’s cancer fighting prowess.

According to researchers out of Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, the frankincense cancer killing effects are due in part to it regulating cellular epigenetic machinery, which highlights its ability to influence genes to promote healing.

Baylor cancer scientists emphasize that this potency makes Boswellia viable candidate for both cancer prevention and treatment!" 

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