A resin is basically a very thick liquid that hardens into a transparent solid. These thick liquids are excreted by plants and trees. However, the reason why plants secrete this substance is still unproven. Here are some examples of resins and their functions in today’s society.
The dammar gum is a resin extracted from the Canarium strictum tree through a process called tree tapping. Canarium strictum can be found in the Eastern part of Asia where the weather is mostly tropical. Dammar can be used as a culinary product, often as a glazing agent for coating foods and dishes. This resin can also be dissolved and added to molten paraffin wax in order to create the famous Indonesian Batik.
Mastic resin is a product of the Mastic plant, an evergreen shrub which can be found mostly on the island of Chios. The thick liquid that the Mastic tree secretes is exposed to the sun and left to dry in order to get the hard resin. Mastic Resin has a very rich history, especially when it comes to its medicinal purposes. This resin was even used in ancient Greece. The Greeks used it as a remedy for snake bites. It was also used to fill dental cavities in Persia (Iran) and India.
Frankincense is probably one of the most famous resins in history. Extracted from the Boswellia trees, the use of this resin can be dated back from the earliest years of history. According to Christian books, Frankincense was one of the gifts of the Three Wise Men to Jesus Christ when he was born. They say the value of Frankincense used to be as much as gold. Obtained through a process called steam distillation, Frankincense oil is used in aromatherapy. The resin can also be used as an incense. It works as a very effective stress reliever and promises to bring a feeling of relaxation.
Myrrh is an aromatic resin just like Frankincense. It can be extracted from the gum myrrh tree, a thorny tree which can be found in the Arabian Peninsula and in Africa. This resin is very famous in the pharmaceutical industry because it is used as an antiseptic. It is also added as an ingredient in mouthwashes, toothpastes, and oral gargling solutions in order to prevent gum diseases. Myrrh was also used by the Ancient Egyptians as one of the ingredients they used in embalming mummies.
Now that you’ve learned more about resins, doesn’t it feel nice to learn something new? My favorite one is Frankincense because it’s an awesome aromatherapy oil! What’s yours?