Back in November, we were visited by the distillation team from Böswellness. They shared their amazing journey from their inception to where they are today, all the while enchanting our team with a variety beautiful oils and resins for us to experience.
Jamie Garvey, co-founded Böswellness; our Frankincense provider, with her husband Mahdi in 2004. Mahdi fled his homeland of Somaliland to Canada to escape the civil war for Somali independence back in 1988. The two met just as he was finishing his business degree and was pursuing his passion to create a business that would keep him connected to his home country. The idea was to help with the rebuilding process after the civil war. After a lot of soul searching, they settled on Frankincense and a mission-driven company was born.
They have since forged direct connections and deep relationships with the harvesting communities in the Sanaag region of Somaliland, where they give 20% of their profit back to the region for development projects. The arid landscape desperately thirsts for water — even more so than Southern California at the height of its droughts, and so one of their major projects is to install solar wells in the villages nestled in the harvesting region.
Frankincense has been harvested natively for over 10,000 years. Evolutionary evidence has shown us that our primate ancestors instinctively chewed the resin and received its benefits. Further historical evidence suggests that humans migrating to East Africa used Frankincense resins to make their own bandages, a practice which is still done today in Somaliland. The resin is also chewed for digestive and dental health. It is not uncommon to meet people there, who have never seen a dentist, with beautiful healthy smiles — which they attribute to chewing the Frankincense gum.
Böswellness’s process for harvesting this sacred resin is careful and respectful of the Böswellia sacra tree native to the region. Taking care not to harm the tree, a superficial incision is made into the bark. From this small cut, the resin seeps out and dries over the course of a couple weeks. At this time, the harvesters return to collect the tree’s first offering and then continue this process for roughly six weeks. After harvest, the resin can be burned as an incense, used for medicinal purposes, used for infusions, chewed as a gum or distilled for essential oil and hydrosol.
At evanhealy, we use Frankincense hydrosol, as well as its distilled essential oil in a variety of our products. It is particularly a time-honored choice for skin that is dry, mature or compromised from overexposure to the elements. Its resin has long been associated with the sun–and like many solar plants, has a ‘brightening’ and illuminating effect on the skin. With an inherent ability to deeply beautify, fortify, and rejuvenate the skin, frankincense is helpful in all its forms: essential oil, hydrosol, resin-infused oil. In this curated ritual, you will be able to experience all three therapeutic forms.