Indian Frankincense Tree
Scientific Name(S): Boswellia serrata Roxb. Family: Burseraceae
Common Name(S): Indian frankincense tree, "salai guggal" (term for the gum resin of the tree)
The Burseraceae family of trees and shrubs has 18 genera and 540 species that grow mostly in tropical regions of America, North Africa and Arabia. Most species contain resin ducts in the bark, which yield the products myrrh and frankincense. The Boswellia serrata tree grows on dry hilly areas throughout most of India. When the bark is cut, the "aromatic balsam" or "gum resin" oozes out and is used for medicinal purposes.
History: The Indian frankincense tree is related to the tree that brought forth the frankincense given as a gift to baby Jesus by the wise men. Ayurvedic medicine has been practiced in India for thousands of years, using different parts of the tree for asthma, rheumatism, dysentery, skin ailments, ulcers, blood purification, bronchial conditions and wound treatment. Frankincense is also used to perfume clothes, hair and rooms. It is enjoyed at traditional festivities such as weddings or religious celebrations.
Uses of Indian Frankincense Tree
The extract of Indian frankincense tree has anti-inflammatory activity. Boswellic acids may playa role in preventing formation of anaphylatoxins during severe acute allergic reactions.
Side Effects of Indian Frankincense Tree
Although data are limited, no side effects have been reported that necessitated stopping treatment.
Toxicology: The limited data available on toxicity of the Indian frankincense tree include: No side effects, no cytotoxic effect, no effects on cardiovascular, respiratory or CNS function, no ulcerogenic effects or "side effects observed...did not necessitate withdrawal of treatment."
Summary: The Indian frankincense tree is well known for its gum resin, which is used for frankincense and myrrh. This species (of which there are many), Boswellia serrata, has been used in ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years, treating such ailments as asthma, dysentery, skin problem, ulcers and wounds. The constituent boswellic acid is known to be a specific inhibitor of 5-lipoxygenase, an enzyme responsible for synthesis of leukotrienes that maintain inflammation. Clinical trials are available studying its anti-inflammatory effects in the treatment of arthritis and colitis. The toxicity profile is low, with most studies reporting no side effects.
(c) Health-care-clinic.org All rights reserved
Disclaimer: Health-care-clinic.org website is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. Always take the advice of professional health care for specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment. We will not be liable for any complications, or other medical accidents arising from the use of any information on this web site. Please note that medical information is constantly changing. Therefore some information may be out of date.