Tree Resins

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Trees in East Africa which we use for resins are:

 Gum Arabic from Senegalia senegal and Vachellia seyal.

Commercial gum resins from Commiphora myrrha, Commiphora holtziana and

Frankincense from Boswellia neglecta (not found in Kenya)

Resin is harvested in Marsabit, Wajir, Garissa, Mandera, Turkana, Samburu and Isiolo.

Here are some of the things our Kenyan resins are used for :

Gum Arabic is used as binder and emulsifier for:



Chewing gum

Binding water colour paints

Pharmaceutical drugs


Wine making

Shoe polish

Lickable adhesive for stamps and envelopes

Ceramic glazes

Photography emulsion



Commiphora resin (myrrh and opoponax) is used for:


Medicine (wound dressings)


Insect and snake repellent

Myrrh comes from Commiphora myrrha only.

Frankincense is used for:




You can read more about resins here

Production, Value Addition, Marketing and Economic contribution of non wood forest products from Arid and Semi Arid lands in Kenya.  2016 Muga M et al KEFRI

The Gabra – Paul Tablino

KEFRI Network for Natural gums and Resins in Africa

Useful trees and shrubs for Kenya eds Maundu P and Tengnas B  (World agroforestry centre, Technical handbook no. 35).

Dharani N Field Guide to Common Trees and Shrubs of East Africa

AGAR limited is a company that exports resins for Kenya.  Click here to visit their website 

Nancy and Susie Kinyanjui make essential oils from Kenyan trees. Click here to find out what they do and see their products.

Do you have any interesting information on tree resins to share?  Email us at