Category Archives: General

The Journey to Sacred Frankincense Part 7

I met with Sheikh Hamdan, head of one of the largest corporations in Salalah, with businesses in construction, financing, general trade, etc. The Hamdan Group also owns a private hospital. Sheikh Hamdan and his son, Mr. Abdullah, are very interested in Young Living’s frankincense venture in Oman and want to help us.

Sheikh Hamdan has worked as an overseer and coordinator of the people who harvest the frankincense resin in the Dhofar region. He also confirmed that he has not had any other American or anyone from Utah come to do research, start a new business, nor investigate the Omani frankincense.

When I visited with the Minister of Agriculture, the President of the Chamber of Commerce and Trade, and the Minister of Business Trade and Export, they confirmed that they had never met with any American, nor had an export permit been requested, irrespective of the fact that no codes existed for exportation of frankincense resin or oil.

Gary with Sheikh Hamdan and his son Mr. AbdullahIt is sad that there is so much deception in the world of essential oils. Very few people have had enough experience to know what questions to ask, what to look for, or have paid the price to know the difference between the resin species and to determine which of the five different grades they are and their quality. Why must the talk about this sacred oil be marred with the negative side of the essential oil industry that is about money and power? Only those who are a part of that deception can answer that question.

For me, its name bears that meaning, and I feel blessed and privileged to be in the country of Oman to be a part of bringing God’s sacred frankincense to the world. Since March of 2010, Young Living has built two distilleries that are in operation six days a week in Salalah, Oman, and we are preparing to install a third one by 2011.

oman health reportIt is noteworthy that the cancer rate in Oman is much lower than in other countries of the world. Mahmoud Suhail, M.D., our partner in the Omani frankincense venture, recently shared with me the latest disease statistics for Oman. Out of a population of almost three million, the total number of malignancies in Oman in 2008 was 1,992, with total deaths of 194. The population of the United States is 305 million, and in 2009 there were 1,479,350 cases of cancer with 562,000 deaths.

Dr. Suhail wrote, “This means during 2008 and per every 10,000 population, 7 got cancer in Oman, while 48.5 got cancer in the United States.” That’s 6.9 times more cancer in the U.S. than in Oman! Because the cancer rate is so low in Oman, there are no oncology wards in the Omani hospitals in the Dhofar region.

Dr. Suhail points to Omani cancer ratesInterestingly enough, the Omani people, unfortunately, have many factors that favor or promote cancer such as smoking, hyperlipidemia, hypertension, diabetes, low exercise levels, and bad food habits. But they’re doing something right. Could it be that their use of frankincense has had its impact in the prevention of cancer? Some Omanis believe that their cancer-free life is a result of burning the frankincense resin and chewing it daily.

Sacred Frankincense Image

The Boswellia sacra frankincense that was taken to the Christ Child–the holy anointing oil–the sacred frankincense–has been found to carry very high if not the highest sesquiterpene levels, highest boswellic acids, highest (D.R.C.) DNA-repair capacity, and highest anti-cancer properties in the world. After 15 years of planning and preparation, this highly prized, ancient oil is now available only from Young Living, the World Leader in Essential Oils. I am proud that we have the two finest species of frankincense in Young Living–Boswellia carterii and now, our new addition, Boswellia sacra.

With respect and admiration for those who seek the truth, I offer my best wishes for a day of discovery and learning, a day of truth.

Essential Yours,

D. Gary Young

The Journey to Sacred Frankincense Part 6

After 15 years of traveling to and from Oman, building relationships with the people there, and acquiring their trust, I was able to fulfill a 15-year-old dream–to build a distillery in Oman and be the first in hundreds of years to distill the sacred frankincense.  After months of paperwork and waiting for the country of Oman to write the code, we were finally able to obtain permits to export Boswellia sacra to the U.S. and Ecuador. For that, we have to thank the wonderful people of Oman and our partner and manager, Mahmoud Suhail, M.D.

gary young and dr. suhail at young living's oman distiller

Boswellic acids are some of the main compounds found in the frankincense species of sacra and carterii that science is claiming to be anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory. Boswellia sacra has the highest amount of boswellic acids, at 42 percent; and carterii has almost as high an amount, with 40 percent.

It is most interesting that frereana found outside the U.S. shows an extremely low percentage of boswellic acids, ranging from perhaps 2 to 3 percent, but the frereana marketed in the U.S. has been analyzed by an independent U.S. laboratory and shown to have virtually no boswellic acid in its chemical structure.

In all of my travels while filming the documentary of the Frankincense Trail titled The One Gift and during the 15 years of research that I used in writing my book, a companion to the film, which was published in June 2010, also called The One Gift, never did I see other Americans, and certainly no one from Utah, doing research in Oman.

To be continued . . .

The Journey to Sacred Frankincense Part 5

Gary Young and Dr. Radwan Farag at riverton labI was excited to find Boswellia frereana in the marketplace in Cairo. This species was known as “The King of Frankincense” because ancient royalty desired to possess it because of its sweet perfume fragrance. However, when Dr. Farag and his students analyzed it, they found that the main compounds responsible for healing and regeneration were not present.

It was most interesting that the frankincense taken out of King Tutankhamun’s tomb resembled the frankincense species of sacra or carterii, not frereana. All the legends from ancient prophets indicate that sacra or carterii were the only species used to anoint and heal. Frereana was never used.

The frankincense from the Hadhramaut was the most desired, because the crystal-like resin drops called hojari come from there, which is the highest grade of frankincense known to exist. In the studies of the ancient world, it is accepted knowledge that the frankincense taken to the Christ Child came from present-day Oman–the Boswellia sacra hojari–the Sacred Frankincense. This is history! These are the facts!

It is amazing to me how people can make claims out of thin air with absolutely no knowledge or experience to back them up. People who have never traveled or conducted research pretend to be experts by copying and parroting other people’s research and literature, or they simply make up their own story.

When frereana came on the market about two years ago, distributors asked me over and over again why Young Living didn’t have frereana from Oman. My answer has always been the same. First, frereana does not come from Oman. Second, frereana is double the price of carterii because the perfume companies have a monopoly on it. Third, it is inferior in that it is not meant for healing but for perfume. To be sold for a lower price, it cannot be of a pure and natural origin, as has been verified by a gas chromatogram analysis (GC) perform by the Central Service Analytical Laboratories in Lyons, France, the number one analytical laboratory for essential oils in the world.

Study Shows Powerful Boswellic Acids Lacking in Boswellia frereana

Although the LC/LC/ESI-MS analysis of frankincense from B. frereana revealed peaks corresponding to the retention times of the boswellic acids (1–6; Fig. 3E), this gum-resin obviously does not contain appreciable amounts of the boswellic acids (1–6) which is in accordance with the results obtained by Mathe et al. They did not find any of the boswellic acids (1–6) in a botanically certified gum-resin of B. frereana with HPLC/UV at 210 nm. (Emphasis added.)

Frank A, Unger M, “Analysis of frankincense from various Boswellia species with inhibitory activity on human drug metabolising cytochrome P450 enzymes using liquid chromatography mass spectrometry after automated on-line extraction,” J. Chromatogr. A., 1112 (2006) 255-262.

To be continued . . .

The Journey to Sacred Frankincense Part 4

Gary Young with a hieroglyphicI had no idea how or why this was happening and wondered if this was to be my demise. However, my curiosity completely overshadowed any fear that I had, and at the specified time, I went downstairs. No one seemed to pay any attention to me, and as I cautiously walked towards the door, the black car pulled up, the door opened, and I quickly went outside. The man inside the car reached out and took my suitcase and made room for me as I climbed inside. I definitely had an unnerving feeling as I closed the door and the car sped away.

A man with the same voice that I had heard on the phone introduced himself to me and said that he had come to help me. He took me to a small shop in Giza Square where I met Khadija, an angelic-looking American lady. She was dressed in a white, flowing gown, and with the sun reflecting off the glass behind her, she looked like an angel who had just come from heaven.

She said she had been told about me and my work and wanted to help. She was engaged to the Minister of Antiquities and said that her fiancée would give me written permission to visit all the places that I wanted to go, which opened up Egypt to me in a way I never dreamed possible.

It was one of the most rewarding times of my life in my research and quest to learn about frankincense. Since then I have returned to Egypt many times and made 15 trips into the Middle East, which includes Yemen and Socotra Island. I asked many questions as I studied the history that kept me following different leads, stories, and legends to so many different places. The desert, the mountains, the ruins, the villages, and the old people all gave me clues, besides what I found in the libraries, museums, and universities.

I thoroughly enjoyed studying biblical archaeology at the Hebrew University and being able to travel and see so many historical sites in Israel. I was so grateful for the time that I was able to spend with Dr. Farag at the Cairo University, from whom I learned much about the possibilities of essential oils and their chemical constituents.

To be continued . . .

The Journey to Sacred Frankincense Part 3


As I sat in my hotel room feeling deeply disappointed, I remembered a message that I had received from my friends Eldon and Nancy Knittle a week earlier when I was in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, giving an interview on a television talk show. At the same time, they were in Dallas, Texas, giving a Young Living meeting in a health food store. Although it was late when I returned to my room after the interview, I quickly called them.

When I talked with Nancy on the phone, she told me that after their meeting, a stranger who was in the audience came up to her and handed her a piece of paper with a phone number on it. He said he was an Egyptian and hoped that she could reach me before I left for Egypt. He said it would be important for me to have the number when I arrived and for me to please call if I needed any help. Then without further explanation, he turned and disappeared out the door.

I remember that as I hung up the phone, a strange feeling came over me. Was this a new mystery? After all, I was going to Egypt. But how did the stranger know I was going there? It was rather intriguing. I scribbled the number on a piece of paper, stuffed it into my wallet, and then turned to my unpacked suitcase that was waiting for me. I had to hurry and finish packing as my flight left early in the morning. With all that I had to do, I never gave our “stranger” another thought until now.

I pulled my wallet out of my pocket to quickly look through all the little pieces of paper I had accumulated. If the number was for real, this was the moment to find out. To my relief, I found the paper still there and quickly dialed the number. When the voice on the other end said hello, I introduced myself and started to explain my situation. He carefully interrupted and said, “Yes, I have been waiting for your call.” He gave me a very specific time to go down to the front of the hotel with my things. I was not to speak to anyone, and when a black car pulled up, I was to get in quickly; and then he hung up.

To be continued . . .

Image: br3akthru /