Tag Archives: Frankincense Trail

Traveling the Frankincense Trail

Gary at the camp in the Empty Quarter which stretches over 250,000 miles covering parts of Oman, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.
Gary at the camp in the Empty Quarter which stretches over 250,000 miles covering parts of Oman, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

My travels around the world have been numerous over the last 30 years, looking for plants, looking for growers, and developing farms in order to get what we want for Young Living.

Why did the three magi take frankincense and myrrh to the Christ child?

There was an obvious reason why it was Boswellia sacra frankincense that traveled all the way from what is present-day Oman, then through the Hadhramaut, all the way through the Empty Quarter to Bethlehem—it grows in Southern Arabia. Boswellia carterii grows primarily in Somalia, where I was in November 2013.

Here I’m standing at the Empty Quarter camp when I was studying the Frankincense Trail and just doing general research on the history of frankincense and trees.

Choosing frankincense samples from a Salalah, Oman, shop to take back to the laboratory for testing.
Choosing frankincense samples from a Salalah, Oman, shop to take back to the laboratory for testing.

This photo was in the marketplace in Salalah, Oman. I go there every time I go to see what they’re selling, what they’re trading. I got some of my first samples here that I brought back for testing and analyzing.

The One Gift

The One Gift by Gary YoungI am so pleased at how well my book, The One Gift, was received. I never dreamed we’d be headed to a second printing so quickly!

Writing historical fiction can be difficult, but it seems that the story I wrote has kept a few of you reading until the wee hours of the morning—even though I wove factual history into the storyline.

On one of my trips to Oman in 2009, I interviewed the world-renowned archaeologist Yuri Zarins. I asked him about the ancient canal that linked the River Nile in Egypt with the Red Sea. He seemed surprised that I knew about this canal. There’s not much about the frankincense region that I haven’t studied.

There is a kidnapping in my book and the lead character, Shutran, thinks fast about why the people were kidnapped and where to ambush them. “These pirates are after slaves to sell to the Pharaoh in Egypt . . . the pirates will take the slaves and a few horses and head to Aila to put them on a boat to go up the Red Sea, taking the canal over to the Nile, and sailing up to Luxor.”

I was able to document that waterway existed anciently. A study by Carol A. Redmount, The Wadi Tumilat and the “Canal of the Pharaohs,” was published in the Journal of Near Eastern Studies, and Alan B. Lloyd’s “Necho and the Red Sea: Some Considerations” was published in the Journal of Egyptian Archaeology. The One Gift is a fictional tale of caravans but because it’s based on historical fact, reading it will be like traveling back in time!

Boswellia sacra

I hope my readers can understand the joy that filled my heart at convention as I saw a dream come true. For 15 long years, I have traveled to the Middle East in search of the most precious frankincense essential oil of all: Omani hojari. At the 2010 Young Living Grand Convention it was my great honor to place this treasured oil in distributors’ hands.

Omani hojari is beloved of Omani royalty and the royal family of Saudi Arabia. It grows in the Dhofar region of Oman. In meetings with trade officials in the Ministry of Agriculture in Salalah, Oman, I learned that the only species of frankincense that grows in the kingdom of Oman is Boswellia sacra. This species has a higher content of the constituent alpha pinene than frankincense oil from Boswellia carteri, even though both varieties carry frankincense’s therapeutic power.

Because Young Living has established two distilleries in Oman and fulfilled all Omani government requirements, for the first time in modern history frankincense is being exported from Oman. REAL Omani hojari!

At the Young Living Product Expo at the Young Living convention, distributors swarmed the single oil booths and were thrilled with the new frankincense oil from Oman: Sacred Frankincense. Young Living staff who shared samples of the oil reported that our distributors were surprised by the lighter, sweeter scent of Boswellia sacra and many actually experienced its uplifting, spiritual effect. I am gratified to know that prayer and meditation for thousands of Young Living distributors will now be enhanced thanks to the use of Sacred Frankincense.

My heartfelt thanks to the Young Living distributors who so warmly embraced this new Young Living essential oil!

Dangers of the Frankincense Trail

Gary Young on the Frankincense Trail
Gary Young, president of Young Living Essential Oils, on the Frankincense trail

For thousands of years, frankincense was transported across the most desolate wilderness on earth: the Empty Quarter. This vast desert covers some 250,000 square miles and spans part of Oman, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

I grew up in an Idaho wilderness area, packing horses and mules and traveling across treacherous terrain. So it wasn’t so difficult for me to understand life on a camel caravan, as rugged men left their homes and loved ones to take their precious cargo of frankincense and myrrh north to market.

To travel with a caravan was a dangerous and sometimes deadly occupation. The desert itself could be a vicious opponent with violent sandstorms that could change the landscape, covering precious waterholes, creating huge new dunes and possibly burying a caravan. There were poisonous snakes and scorpions as well. But the most dangerous adversary of all came on two legs: robbers, thieves, and marauders determined to steal the resins worth more than gold.

I have walked and driven over the majority of the frankincense trails that brought the prized resins from southern Arabia to the ports of Gaza, Alexandria, and Damascus. I have such an appreciation for the rugged men who risked their lives to bring such a treasure to the world. That same spirit of adventure has inspired me to bring the very best frankincense and myrrh to today’s seeker of physical and emotional wellness.

I can’t wait to join you all next week at International Grand Convention where audiences will get to see the marvels of the Frankincense Trail on the big screen with the premiere of my frankincense documentary, The One Gift.

—Essentially Yours,

D. Gary Young

The One Gift Documentary Fast Approaching

Gary Young in OmanIn a previous post, I mentioned the documentary I’ve been working on for the past 15 years. And as Young Living’s International Grand Convention approaches, so does the premiere release of the documentary, a culmination of two years of filming and more than a decade of research.

This documentary is the definitive history of the Frankincense Trail where caravans carried resin across the deserts. It also outlines the story of the twisted, deformed frankincense tree that lives 10 months of the year without water, but yields a life-giving resin more valued than gold.

Please join me for the premiere showing of The One Gift, a documentary that answers why frankincense was more precious than gold in the ancient world, what modern scientists are discovering about its vast wellness potential, if it can really calm you and lift your mood, and more.

I look forward to sharing this remarkable resin and its story with you.

Free show times open to the public:

Thursday, June 17, 2010
4:00 p.m.
7:00 p.m.

Friday, June 18, 2010
7:00 p.m.

Saturday, June 19, 2010
11:00 a.m.
3:00 p.m.

All showings will be held at the
Salt Palace Convention Center
100 S. West Temple
SLC, UT 84101

Young Living distributors attending the Young Living convention will also be treated to exclusive distributor-only showing.

Essentially yours,

D. Gary Young