Plant Medicinal

Some herbs are chewable. For example, for the most part B. sacra is found in Oman but other lesser known species thrive there as well. B. frereana is found predominantly in northern Somalia where it is called "maidi" (maydi). It is sorted in eight grades consisting of mushhad, mujarwal, fas kebir (kabeer), fas saghir (saqeer), jabaanjib, shorta, slif and foox in order from best quality to least. The top grades of maidi are widely used for chewing gum in North Africa and Arabia and seldom find their way to the West. Somalia is also home to B. carteri, known there as "Beyo." In 1987 THULIN and WARFA concluded that B. carteri and B. sacra were simply different variable forms of the same species and therefore should not be afforded separate species status. It's commonly agreed that the name B. sacra is given to the trees that grow in Arabia (Oman) and B. carteri to those found in Somalia.  In India, B. serrata is commonly found and known by the name "salai". Frankincense was often used as a diuretic by chewing the resin or adding it to coffee. It was also chewed to relieve the head of mucus and to disperse phlegm. Humans and animals were exposed to the smoldering gum as treatment for many illnesses. In ancient Arabia, the gum was ground and made into pills for those who displayed symptoms of spitting up blood (most likely digestive disorders). Frankincense was used in the treatment of almost every imaginable disease by Greek and Roman physicians and many remedies appear in the Syriac Book of Medicine, ancient Muslim texts, and in Indian and Chinese medical writings.