From London's Ghost Acres

Frankincense is an aromatic resin obtained from trees in the Burseracae family. (

The only entry for frankincense comes from the Pharmacopeia, which includes frankincense in the mixture for a Pitch Plaster. This frankincense is taken from resin cultivated in North America, produced from turpentine of Pinus Taeda.

British Pharmacopoeia 1867

Common Frankincense Thus Americanum

“The concrete turpentine of Pinus Taeda… the Frankincense pine, and Pinus palustris… [and] the Swamp pine… From the Southern States of North America.[1]


“A softish bright-yellow opaque solid, resinous but tough, having the odour of American turpentine.” [2]. Used in the preparation of:

  • Emplastrum Picis

Preparations of Frankincense

Pitch Plaster / Emplastrum Picis [3]

  • Burgundy pitch (26 oz), common frankincense (13 oz), resin (4 ½ oz), yellow wax (4 ½ oz), olive oil (2 fl oz), water (2 fl oz)


  1. General Medical Council of Great Britain, British Pharmacopeia, (London: Spottiswoode & Co.,1867), 318
  2. GMCGB, 318
  3. GMCGB, 108