Oh yes my dear EOU patrons and followers, it's that time again, the Bosmaniacs are out in full force and on a mission to convince everyone in their path that only the oil they sell, produced by their beloved EO messiah, blessed by virgins during the full moon in the mountains of Oman or Somalia, is the only frankincense worth having because of its rich Boswellic acid content. Of course anyone who disputes their claim must be ignorant or just not up to date on the latest analytical technology, you know, we just haven’t discovered this new-fangled, super advanced, complicated device called the HPLC (an instrument that’s been around for many decades and commonly used by any 2nd or 3rd year under grad chem major in Analytical chemistry labs all over the world). This distraction technique will get the scientifically challenged arguing over instrumentation for hours, debating whose lab is the most advanced with the most equipment, most expertise etc. But anyone with any real chemical knowledge knows that Boswellic acids are just too high of molecular weight and too non-volatile to be steam distilled (heck even Wikipedia knows this https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boswellic_acid ).
So rather than go into all the scientific details about why the claims of Boswellic acid in the essential oil are ridiculous (because science means nothing to the scientifically challenged zealot), I am going give anyone at home a simple way to demonstrate to the Bosmaniacs, with INDISPUTABLE EVIDENCE, that their company is lying to them with these claims of significant levels of Boswellic acid in the essential oil. All you need is a small sample of Boswellic acid and some frankincense oil.
First, let's examine the analytical “evidence” that the Bosmanics cite for proving to their target audience that their oil does contain Boswellic acid. No doubt you will be directed to examine a report by a lab called ChromaDex which lists the HPLC results of three tested samples. In their “best” result they list, for lot# 11-09-09 (CDXA-10-0184), a total Boswellic acid content of 81.5 mg/mL for a frankicense oil of Somalian origin. Now some simple calculations. The density of frankincense oil is approximately 0.87 g/mL (or 870 mg/mL) on average which means that their result corresponds to the sample containing 81.5 mg of Boswellic acid for every 870 milligrams of frankincense oil. By remedial math you can see that (81.5/870 x 100) this corresponds to a claimed boswellic acid concentration of 9.37% in their frankincense oil!
I would like to formally challenge anyone on earth to try and get Boswellic acid to dissolve in Frankincnese oil at any concentration even remotely close to 9.37%. It's a simple experiment to try, simply take 0.937 grams of Boswellic acid, dilute to a total weight of 10 grams with Frankincnese oil, stir for infinity and see what happens. For those who can’t stand suspense let me spoil the ending for you before you try the experiment, IT NEVER EVEN COMES CLOSE TO DISSOLVING! In fact you can blast it with microwaves, or heat it anyway you want to, stir vigorously, hit it with lasers, whatever, that Boswellic acid is not going to dissolve in that oil. You may melt it with heat eventually but as soon as it cools back down to room temperature whatever amount you melted is going to fall back out of solution. You can even cut the level down to 0.93% and see what happens, in the famous words of Dana Carvey as George Bush Sr. “Not gonna do it.” I am sure at some very small percentage we could get some tiny amount Boswellic acid to dissolve, but the level would be so insignificant to be pointless from a therapeutic standpoint.
In summary, please don't use Boswellic acid as a selling point for frankincense oil because eventually you are going to look pretty silly. If there is any Boswellic acid in any water or steam distilled frankincense oil out there it's a very small trace amount and it's not going to be in there as a result of the molecule being actually distilled, but would have to be by some secondary process, perhaps from harsh stirring or spattering that goes on during the distillation process because the resin is typically vigorously stirred during the entire distillation. However it may have got there, let’s be clear on this, the molecule itself is not volatilizing and then recondensing like all essential oil molecules must be able to do during a typical distillation process.
The point of all this is, if you want to use Boswellic acid, frankincense essential oil is an absurd choice for a source and to promote your frankincense oil based upon boswellic acid content is equally absurd. The amount of Boswellic acid that is physically possible to be in the oil, by any process, at room temperature, is so small that it's insignificant from a therapeutic standpoint. If you want Boswellic acid, buy Boswellic acid. It's readily available from a number of sources although the qualities vary, just google it!