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December 23, 2013


Frankincense: Could it be a cure for cancer?  BBCより


The gift given by the wise men to the baby Jesus probably came across the deserts from Oman. The BBC's Jeremy Howell visits the country to ask whether a commodity that was once worth its weight in gold could be reborn as a treatment for cancer.


wise men 賢人

Oman's Land of Frankincense is an 11-hour drive southwards from the capital, Muscat.


Most of the journey is through Arabia's Empty Quarter - hundreds of kilometres of flat, dun-coloured desert. Just when you are starting to think this is the only scenery you will ever see again, the Dhofar mountains appear in the distance.


Arabia's Empty Quarte ルブアルハリ砂漠

On the other side are green valleys, with cows grazing in them. The Dhofar region catches the tail-end of India's summer monsoons, and they make this the most verdant place on the Arabian peninsula.


Warm winters and showery summers are the perfect conditions for the Boswellia sacra tree to produce the sap called frankincense. These trees grow wild in Dhofar. A tour guide, Mohammed Al-Shahri took me to Wadi Dawkah, a valley 20 km inland from the main city of Salalah, to see a forest of them.

温かい冬と雨の多い夏はフランキンセンス(乳香)と呼ばれる樹液を産生するフランキンセンスサクラにとって完璧な状態です。これらの樹木はドファールに自生しています。フランキンセンスの森を見るためにツアーガイドのMohammed Al-Shahriは、首都のサラから内陸に20 km入った
谷、Wadi Dawkah,に私を連れてきた。

Boswellia sacra:フランキンセンスサクラ、カンラン科
Sap 樹液

"The records show that frankincense was produced here as far back as 7,000 BC," he says. He produces an army knife. He used to be a member of the Sultan's Special Forces. With a practised flick, he cuts a strip of bark from the trunk of one of the Boswellia sacra trees. Pinpricks of milky-white sap appear on the wood and, very slowly, start to ooze out.

“フランキンセンス(乳香)がはるか昔7000 BCにこの土地で生産されたと記録が示していますと彼は述べています。彼はアーミーナイフを出して見せます。彼は以前スルタン特殊部隊の一員であった。慣れた手つきで、彼はフランキンセンスサクラ樹木の一つの幹から一片の樹皮を切り取った。針のような乳白色の樹液が樹木上に現れると、非常にゆっくりとにじみし始めた。

"This is the first cut. But you don't gather this sap," he says. "It releases whatever impurities are in the wood. The farmers return after two or three weeks and make a second, and a third, cut. Then the sap comes out yellow, or bright green, or brown or even black. They take this."


Shortly afterwards, a frankincense farmer arrives in a pick-up truck. He is white-bearded, wearing a brown thobe and the traditional Omani, paisley-patterned turban.


thobe トーブ、

He is 67-year-old Salem Mohammed from the Gidad family. Most of the Boswellia sacra trees grow on public land, but custom dictates that each forest is given to one of the local families to farm, and Wadi Dawkah is his turf.


Wadi Dawkahワディダウカ

Arabia's Empty Quarte ルブアルハリ砂漠

Wadi Dawkahワディダウカ


尚、Camel trainとCancer hopeの項目は後ほど翻訳するつもりです。



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