BOSWELLIA, Boswellia serrata


Latin name: Boswellia serrata

English names: Boswellia, Indian olibanum tree, Olibanum, Luban

Sanskrit/Indian name: Shallaki

Medicinal parts used: Bark, Gum resin

Boswellia is the gooey resin of the boswellia tree. Boswellia serrata is a gradually large branching tree that grows in the hilly regions of India. It grows to a height of about 12ft (4m). The tacky resin, or sap, from the tree is also called Indian frankincense, Indian olibanum, dhup, and salai guggul.

Dried extracts of the resin of the Boswellia serrata tree have been used since antiquity in India to treat inflammatory conditions. Boswellia has many cholesterol and triglyceride lowering qualities. One of the principal ingredients in the gum resin is boswellic acid that flaunts anti-inflammatory activity.

Boswellia has been used extremely in Ayurveda for joint support and to provide an extensive sense of well-being. Also known as “Salai Guggul,” it is like its cousin Guggul in offering overall health and immunomodulating benefits. Boswellia Serrata Gum Resin is widely used as incense because of its very unique fragrance.

Therapeutic use:

  • The gum is used as an anti-inflammatory agent when applied externally. One of the principal constituents in the gum resin is boswellic acid which exhibits anti-inflammatory activity.
  • Internally, besides being anti-arthritic, it has expectorant effect and improves immunity.
  • The gum resin is used as an ointment for sores and has anti-inflammatory, anti-atherosclerotic and anti-arthritic activities.
  • The non-phenolic fraction of the gum resin had marked sedative and analgesic action.

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