Boswellia Serrata

Boswellia Serrata ( Shallaki Guggal )


Indian Name : Shallaki

Botanical Name : Boswellia serrata

Other Names : Boswellia, Indian Olibanum, Olibanum


Boswellia Serrata is an Indian herb with a rich tradition in the ancient health system of Ayurveda.People all over the world rely on Boswellia to help them lead healthy, active lives. Boswellia isprimarily used to nourish the joints, promoting healthy function foreasy,worry-free activity.Its oleo-gum-resin is fragrant, transparent and brownish yellow in color and has powerful anti-inflammatory properties that that have been proved though clinical research. It is also found to be anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, analgesic and sedative. Boswellia Serratta is mainly used for prevention of rheumatic disorders, improving appetite and helping in general weakness.Parts used: Bark, gum.

Boswellia is found though out Western and Central India. Boswellia Serratta is a tree found in the dry forests in some parts of India.

Chemical composition/key active constituents
In Boswellia serrata gum resin is boswellic acid which exhibits anti-inflammatory activity. The gum resin is used as an ointment for sores and has anti-inflammatory,antiatherosclero tic and antiarthritic activities. The nonphenolic fraction of the gum resin had marked sedative and nalgesic action. The fraction potentiated secobarbitone induced hypnosis. The gum is a well known household fumigant and is used as an anti-inflammatory agent when applied externally.Internally,besides being antiarthritic, it has expectorant effects. It also reduces body weight.


Animal studies performed in India showed ingestion of a defatted alcoholic extract of Boswellia decreased polymorphonuclear leukocyte infiltration and migration, decreased primary antibody synthesis and caused almost total inhibition of the classical complement pathway. In an in vitro study of the effects of Boswellic acid on the complement system,the extract demonstrated a marked inhibitory effect on both the classical and alternate complement systems.

In vitro testing revealed Boswellia in a dose-dependent manner, blocks the synthesis of pro-inflammatory 5-lipoxygenase products, including 5- hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (5-HETE) and leukotriene B4 (LTB4), which cause bronchoconstriction, chemotaxis, and increased vascular permeability. A recent in vivo study examined Boswellia extract and ketoprofen for their effects on glycosaminoglycan metabolism. Boswellia significantly reduced the degradation of glycosaminoglycans compared to controls, whereas ketoprofen caused a reduction in total tissue glycosaminoglycan content.

Remedies For
It is used in rheumatic disorders. It is also used to improve appetite, osteoarthritis,rheumatoid arthritis, diarrhea, dysentery, pulmonary disease, and ringworm and in general weakness. It has an antidiarrhoeal action. The ability to inhibit 5-Lipoxygenase makes Boswellia a powerful anti-inflammatory. Boswellia is also used to treat Ulcerative Colitis. In Ayurveda, Boswellia has been used as a treatment for rheumatism, nervous system disorders, and as a topical anti-inflammatory.


  1. Menon, A.K. and Kar, A., Analgesic and psychopharmacological effects of the gum resin of Boswellia serrata, Planta Med., 1970-71,19,33.
  2. Singh, G.B., Singh, B. and Atal, C.K., Assessment of total boswellic acids for anti-inflammatory activity, Indian J. Pharmacol., 1981,13,63,67.
  3. Thakur, R.S., Puri, H.S., and Husain, A., Major medicinal plants of India, CIMAP,Lucknow, 1989, 123.

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