EDITOR’S NOTE: Since Gary Young’s passing, we have been taking stock of the tremendous contributions he made to the world by revisiting his presentations, such as this fascinating twenty-part blog post series, originally published in 2010, that recounts Gary’s ongoing quest to find pure essential oils. Here’s Part XII, about his journeys in Oman and Yemen searching for pure sacred frankincense..

Gary investigating the socotrana species of frankincense on the island of Socotra

I have been in Oman 15 times over 15 years. I have built two distilleries in Salalah and have walked from the  eastern Dhofar Mountains east of Hasik to the border of Yemen, harvesting frankincense resin. While exploring and conducting research in Oman with my film crew, Don Muirhead and John Whetten, we found the legendary Wadi Andhur Treasury House that was said by the Minister of Antiquities and the Minister of History and Museums to no longer exist. We were excited to make this great discovery and be the first people to film it.

I have walked the mountains in the Hadhramaut in the interior of Yemen, harvested frankincense, brought the resin home, and distilled it so that I would know without question what species it is. 

Yemeni frankincense is similar to the Boswellia sacra but more closely matches Boswellia carteri. I combed the mountains on Socotra Island, from the Homhil Plateau to the western shores of Qalansiya, for a particular species of frankincense.

I do not make statements without facts, without going to the source to see for myself. But there is a price to pay to get the truth and an even higher price to pay to get pure essential oils. Traveling to these areas and backpacking up, down, and around the mountains in difficult terrain challenges even the hearty, which is why there is so much misinformation and untruths written and published in books.

Very few individuals are willing to pay the price, since it is easier to copy other people’s information, claim someone else’s stories as their own, or just make things up when they simply don’t know what they are talking about. I met with Salim Al-Harthi, Director General, Ministry of Agriculture-Dhofar. I have also visited with the Manager of the Salalah, Oman, Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In addition, I have visited and become friends with the sheikh of the entire Dhofar frankincense region, Sheikh Hamden, and continue to search and discover new information.

Young Living has now leased land for farming in Salalah, Oman [now Muscat, Oman], and has a major investment there. It didn’t come easy and it didn’t happen overnight. I spent months with Mahmoud Suhail, M.D., writing papers to apply for an export permit for Boswellia Sacra because there had never been one issued before this time.

I have done this, though, so that you can know that you are getting the purest essential oils possible. Stay tuned for an in-depth list of ways you can identify pure essential oils for yourself, without having to pay such a steep price.


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