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“Livani” is a greek word which means frankincense. This comes from the Arabic word Luban, olibanum in Latinwhich literally means milk, since the knots offrankincense on the tree look like milk, like the milk that lactates out of a fig.

Those knots or “tears” are collected in the same way we get the mastic in Chios, making incisions in the bark. The incisions are made at certain times of the year. After collecting frankincense, up to three pounds a year, the trees are left to revive for five to seven years .

Frankincense is an aromatic gum resin trees of thegenus Boswellia, which is a small deciduous tree, which reaches a height of 5 meter. It has white flowers andusually grows on steep, rocky areas or in sandy areas in the south of the Arabian peninsula, the Ethiopian Somali and western India, offering "sanctuary" to other species of the plant kingdom. The best quality of frankincense is produced in western Oman and Yemen. Unfortunately, the production of frankincense is expected to be reduced by half in the coming years. Existing forests are constantly decimated, as older trees die without being replaced by new. This means that forests "dry up". Trees in Oman and Yemen, are systematically cut. In Ethiopia, land is converted into arable areas.

Τhe natural frankincense is burned either alone (as it was burned from ancient times to the present day) or in the form of incenses. The Incenses are a relatively recent development, of last 40 years, and comes out of the mixed ground natural incense aromas in specific proportions.

Frankincense was one of the gifts of the Magi according to Matthew's gospel. Tradition says that it was donated by Balthasar, the coloured king of Ethiopia or of Sheba, thus fulfilling the prophecy of Isaiah that gold and incense will be offered by the nobles in honor of the Heavenly King. Frankincense was the purest incense. When it was burned, it gave off a white smoke which symbolized the prayers and gratitude of the faithful ascending to heaven. This gift symbolizes Christ’s sacrifice, divinity, His sweetness and His sacred role. It dates back to the ancients who often burned incense during religious ceremonies. It is also a symbol of the holy name of God.

At the time of Christ's birth frankincense grew in Arabia, India and Ethiopia . During the Roman Empire the trade of frankincense experienced its flourishing period. At that time the incense was as precious as jewels and precious metals.

The scientific study of the therapeutic properties of frankincense, began by the observations of a Dutch traveler who noticed sick gazelles to bite livanodentra in Yemen. Today’s scientific research has proved the healing properties of natural incense. So the burning ofnatural incense, is not only used for the religious needs of the Orthodox, but is also useful for daily hygiene reasons.


In order to see our incense collection, please go to page "Orders" or click HERE