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Myrrh and African Frankincense – Sustainable Gums and Resins for High-Quality CO2 Extracts

The aromatic gums and resins from myrrh and frankincense have been used for more than 5000 years for ritual, medical and cosmetic purposes. The healing and anti-inflammatory effects of the gums and resins in numerous diseases have been known since ancient times.

The myrrh and frankincense plants are small tree-like or shrub-like plants from incense tree family (Burseraceae).

The typical distribution area of myrrh (Commiphora myrrha) stretches from the Arabian Peninsula to Somalia, Oman and Yemen. Frankincense, also called olibanum, belongs to the genus Boswellia. One of the commercially important species, Boswellia or Frankincense carteri, originally comes from Somalia and Ethiopia.

The gums and resins are obtained in the traditional way by tapping the wild growing plants. The bark of the tree is cut and the resin that emerges is collected after drying. The increasing destruction of ecosystems due to climate change and overexploitation not only endager the natural stocks of the trees, but also the future of the inhabitants in the production zones.

Boswellia carteri
Boswellia carteri

Together for sustainable cultivation

In order to ensure the sustainable procurement of raw materials FLAVEX cooperates with a local innovative partner in Somaliland (autonomous region in North West Somalia). Our partner company has established its own tree nurseries for Commiphora myrrha and Boswelliacarteri. This will ensure a permanent and even long-term increase in the wild population.

In addition, the company has limited the number of collectors and only permitted individual collector families. These families are trained in the correct tapping techniques and learn how to protect and preserve the tree population. A rotation principle ensures that the plants are used for resin extraction only once every 3 years. Tapping the trees while they are carrying leaves is prohibited, as is commercial logging.

Our partner is certified according to the ecological principles of the FairWild Standard.

These guidelines guarantee:

  • the species-friendly and sustainable management of wild plants,
  • that social and economic livelihood of the people involved in the production process is secured and
  • the future of the next generations is secured.

FLAVEX Naturextrakte purchases several tons of these gums and resins every year, of which an increasing part is certified according to the EU or USDA ecological standard.

High-grade extracts through gentle CO2 extraction

In contrast to burning or distillation, the typical aromatic character of the gums and resins and their active ingredients are completely preserved by CO2 extraction. The CO2 extracts offer unique benefits in their usage in cosmetics (e.g spa products, oral care), perfumery, food and dietary supplements.

Myrrh CO2-se extractcontains high contents of essential oil and sesquiterpenes. Due to its anti-inflammatory effects it is traditionally used for the topical treatment of mild inflammations. Perfumers value the balsamic, warm and smoky odor profile with its earthy nuances.

The Frankincense or Boswellia carteri CO2-se extract has a high content of essential oil with active ingredients such as mono- and sesquiterterpenes as well as the diterpene alcohols incensol and serratol, but hardly any boswellic acid. This extract shows antibacterial and antioxidative effects. It is often used in perfumes due to its resinous frankincense base note and is complemented with lemon, camphor and soap-like as well as woody and herbal nuances.

Extraction of gum from Boswellia Carteri
Extraction of gum from Boswellia Carteri
Quality control in our partner company
Quality control in our partner company