Boswellia Serrata (Salai) : Medicinal Uses, Synonyms and Properties

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Medicinal Uses of Boswellia Serrata

Medicinal Uses of Boswellia Serrata

Morphology and Distribution of Boswellia serrata:

Boswellia is known as Indian Frankincense or Salai. Boswellia is used in Ayurvedic medicine since many hundreds of years for treating Arthritis.

The Biological Name of Salai is Boswellia serrata that belongs to the family Burseraceae. 

Boswellia serrata consists of a thick bark and aromatic leaves that are similar to neem leaves. The plant consists of small, aromatic and white flowers.
The cutting of bark causes secretion of exudate which becomes gum on exposure to air. The drug consists of the oleo-gum resin. The drug sometimes occurs in the form of lumps of agglutinated tears.

Salai is grown in the mountainous tracks of Central India and in the states of Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, North Gujarat and Orissa.

Useful Parts of Boswellia serrata:

The useful parts of the plant are gum and bark of the plant.

Synonyms of Boswellia serrata:

  • Hindi – Luban
  • Sanskrit – Shallaki
  • English – Indian olibanum
  • Bengali – Salaidhoopa
  • Gujarati – Dhupro
  • Tamil – Paranji saambraani
  • Telugu – Guggilamu
The trade name of Boswellia serrata is salaigonda and salai guggul.

Properties of Boswellia serrata:

  • Refrigerant
  • Diuretic
  • Demulcent
  • Aperient
  • Alterant
  • Emmenagogue

Phytochemicals of Boswellia serrata:

The phytochemicals which are present in the Boswellia serrata are gums, aromatic oil, resin and phytosterols. Beta-boswellic acid is the major constituent. Boswellic acid and other pentacyclic triterpene acids are present.

Forms of use of Boswellia serrata:

The drug of Boswellia serrata is used in the form of gum resin and bark decoction.

Medicinal uses of Boswellia serrata:

  • Boswellia serrata for Rheumatism and Swellings: A paste is made by mixing the gum resin with coconut oil or lemon juice. This paste is to be applied on the indolent swellings and in the treatment of rheumatism.
  • Boswellia serrata for Skin Diseases: The drug is also used for treating skin diseases.
  • Boswellia serrata is used in the treatment of cystic breast.
  • The Boswellia drug can also be used in the treatment of lung diseases.
  • The Boswellia drug is also used in the treatment of gonorrhoea and piles.
  • Positive effects of Boswellia have been seen in some chronic inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, bronchial asthma, osteoarthritis, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
  • Boswellia is found to be an effective alternative to NSAIDs.
  • Boswelli is used in the manufacture of anti-wrinkle agent named as ‘Boswelox’.
  • Boswellia is thought to possess anti-cancer properties and employed in treating brain tumors.

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