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  • Writer's pictureRoss Henry

Paper: “The Chemical Composition of Single-Tree Boswellia frereana Resin Samples”


The Chemical Composition of Single-Tree Boswellia frereana Resin Samples


Stephen Johnson, Anjanette DeCarlo, Prabodh Satyal, Noura S. Dosoky, Aaron Sorensen, William N. Setzer


Frankincense is an aromatic terpenoid oleo-gum resin produced by trees in the genus Boswellia. It has been used for medicinal and religious purposes for millennia, and is today an important component in perfume and aromatherapy. The resin of Boswellia frereana is especially prized, and has been found to contain a high proportion of monoterpenes. However, previous studies have relied on commercial samples; in this study, we characterize the compositions of essential oil and DCM extract samples from 12 individual B frereana trees. The triterpenoid fraction was largely consistent between samples, with lupeol (14.7%-32.5%), α-amyrin (13.0%-25.2%), 3-epi-lupeol (6.4%-14.2%), and β-amyrin (5.3%-8.0%) as the primary constituents. The essential oil showed more intersample diversity, but still represented a single, variable chemotype characterized by a moderate to high level of α-thujene (14.5%-43.9%) and a varying, often significant, level of α-pinene (3.0%-63.0%).

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