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  Latin Name Boswellia serrata
English Name Indian olibenum
Hindi Name Shallaki
Part Used Exudate

Boswellia serrata is a moderate to large branching tree found in India and Middle East. 1The tree, on injury, exudes an oleoresin known as Indian Olibanum, Indian Frankincence or Salai-Guggul. This is the only non coniferous source of turpentine and rosin in India. This gummy resin of Boswellia has traditionally been used in Ayurvedic for centuries as a remedy for a variety of health problems. Traditional use of Plant resin indicates that it is especially useful as an anti-inflammatory for conditions such as arthritis.
2Boswellia frereana (frankincense) suppresses cytokine-induced matrix metalloproteinase expression and production of pro-inflammatory molecules in articular cartilage. 3Animal experiments showed anti-inflammatory activity of the Boswellia extract. The mechanism of this action is due to some boswellic acids. It is different from that of NSAID and is related to components of the immune system. The most evident action is the inhibition of 5-lipoxygenase. However, other factors such as cytokines (interleukins and TNF-alpha) and the complement system are also candidates. Moreover, leukocyte elastase and oxygen radicals are targets. Clinical studies, so far with pilot character, suggest efficacy in some autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and bronchial asthma.
According to Ayurveda, Boswellia is Vatahar herb (Vata pacifying herb) in Ayurveda and well known for improving joints and muscles health. It digests 'Ama' and removes the toxins by cleansing micro channels and also stimulates circulation and helps relax muscles and joints.


References:

 

1. The Wealth of India, Raw Materials, Vol-2:B, Revised edition, 1988, page-207-209
2. PMID: 19943332, Phytother Res. 2010 Jun;24(6):905-12.
3. PMID: 17024588, Planta Med. 2006 Oct;72(12):1100-16.


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