Maydi is a somewhat brittle light to medium golden resin obtained from the Frankincense genus of Boswellia. The incense produced is by far one of the most unique forms of Frankincense we have experienced. Some Muslims claim Maydi to be superior over all other forms of Frankincense. The incense is also used extensively in the Coptic and Greek Orthodox churches. Maydi is thought to have been used as incense in Egypt for at least 3,500 years. It is estimated that 80% of annual supply of Maydi is sold to Muslim pilgrims in Saudi Arabia. The the raw resin tears are normally consolidated into larger blocks at the port of Aden, from where it is then distributed to other parts of the world.We personally recommend Maydi as an excellent Yuletide incense, especially for blends that call for frankincense. The incense works quite well during the temperate northern winter months.
Unlike other frankincense species, this resin evaporates almost entirely when smoldered upon a hot charcoal. The smoke produced by is much more coniferous than any other Boswellia resins we have experienced. While there are some lemon-like citrus notes, the main aroma is quite coniferous, stronger than colophony, and with some earthy and woodsy notes. The initial feeling that comes to mind is walking into a old wooden barn filled with dried hay. Using indirect heat works quite well, and is the optimal solution if one wishes not to produce smoke inside the house during the winter months.
Outside of incense production, Maydi finds use in various medicines. The resin if thought to be a useful treatment for gonorrhea in Somalia, where is it boiled with the roots of the Aspilia flowers. The resin is also thought to be a stimulant, and has been used in the treatment of infections and nervous system disorders. Maydi has also been used as a flavoring agent in food products and liquors. It is most often used in the production of chewing gum, which helps purify the mouth, and is thought to strengthen the teeth and gums. The resin is useful in the treatment of mouth ulcers and aids digestion. Some sources claim that it may also be beneficial to help one quite smoking.
We are currently not aware of any additional binomial terms for Boswellia frereana.
Originally described by:
Sir George Christopher Molesworth Birdwood (1832-1917)
Boswellia frereana originates from tropical Northeastern Africa, normally at higher elevations. The trees appear to prefer limestone terrains and are commonly found on mountainous terrains and rocky cliffs.
The species is endemic to Somalia and Ethiopia, especially the Bosaso and Maydh regions and the Ogo mountains. Traditionally, the main ports of export were Berbera and Mogadishu.
Some sources also list Yemen, Oman and India as habitats, however this has yet to be proven. This may be due to garden specimens and facilities importing resin for the production of essential oil.
Common English African Elemi, Coptic Frankincense, Elemi Frankincense, Maydi, Yigar Tree
Some sources (aka. Wikipedia) list "Dhidin" as a local term, however our initial research shows that it actually refers to Commiphora myrrha rather than a Boswellia species.
NOTE: The research on Boswellia frereana is ongoing. We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. Please expect the above information to be revised as more information becomes available. If you have further information about this species or if you wish to submit a correction to this page, please feel free to contact us here
As of 2016, we have decided to majorly simplify the taxonomic structures of the species collection. Due to the numerous systems available, and many species being disputed and in a state of flux, we feel that most of our audience will be better served with a easier to understand condensed listing.