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Oman has over 800 species of frankincense

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MUSCAT: The Sultanate of Oman is home for more than 800 species of frankincense and over 58 per cent of the known plants in the country are of the same, according to experts in the field.

According to the organisers of the Second International Forum on Frankincense and Medicinal Plants which will be held on September 3 and 4, most of the cultivated, medicinal and wild plant species are found in the highlands of Dhofar Governorate.

Speaking to the Observer, Professor Louay Rashan, researcher in frankincense and medicinal plants and chief organiser of the upcoming forum said that frankincense has been the most successful source of potential drugs since times immemorial.

"Oman's land of frankincense includes more than 58 per cent of the known plants in the Sultanate of Oman, which are more than 800 species. Historically, natural products, which is called secondary metabolites, have been used since ancient times and in folklore to treat many ailments, and they have been the most successful source of potential drugs," Professor Louay said.

The Second International Forum on Frankincense and Medicinal Plants, is considered to be a quantum leap in the field of research on frankincense and medicinal plants where several new researches will be presented for the first time.

The area is rich in plants and trees such as Commiphora, Boswellia, Acacia, Anogessius dhofarica, Aloe dhofarensis, Aloe vera and many other interesting plants waiting to be explored. It is believed that these plants may play a role in treating some of the world's current and future diseases.

The unique aromatic gum resin is extracted from many species of frankincense tree, which includes about 23 scientific species, which are spread in many countries, including India, Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea of the genus Boswellia, including the Omani frankincense tree type Boswellia sacra (from the south of the Arabian Peninsula).

Scores of researchers and experts from Western, Asian, Arab and local universities, institutes and companies, and more than 45 speakers for innovative scientific papers and research as well as experts in food and cosmetics will be attending the forum which will be conducted in hybrid mode.


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