Indian frankincense

Scientific name of Indian frankincense: Boswellia serrata

Name of Indian frankincense in different languages:

Sanskrit: Shallaki, gajabhakshya, suvaha, maharuna, kunduraki, bahustrava, bhalluka, nagavrintika.

Hindi: Salai

Malayalam: Olibanam, Shallaki, Kuthurukkam-ഒളിബാണം, ശല്ലകി, കുന്തിരിക്കം

Plant Description:-

Indian frankincense, Salai is a deciduous, Western ghat, tall tree, that grows up to 16 -18 m. in height. Flowers are white and flowering is from April to May, gum is the useful part of the plant which is called Kunthurukkam is one of the useful ingredients of the Ayurveda treatments.

Leaf Arrangement

Shape-Elongated Margin-Entire Venation-Reticulate
 longitudinal  Margin_Entire  Recticulate


Useful plant parts:

Secretion of plant Bark, Gum

Medicinal uses: 

Anti-fungal, Main ingredient of some Ayurvedic oils or Thailams

Chemical content:

Boswellic acid

Indian frankincense Ayurveda uses

Indian frankincense, scientifically known as Boswellia serrata, is a resin obtained from the Boswellia tree native to India. In Ayurveda, Indian frankincense has been used for various medicinal purposes due to its potential therapeutic properties. It is commonly known as “shallaki” in Sanskrit.

Here are some of the traditional Ayurvedic uses associated with Indian frankincense:

  1. Anti-inflammatory Properties: Indian frankincense is believed to have strong anti-inflammatory properties. It has been used to help manage inflammatory conditions like arthritis and other joint disorders.
  2. Pain Relief: It is used as an analgesic to help alleviate pain, especially in conditions related to inflammation.
  3. Respiratory Disorders: Indian frankincense is sometimes used in Ayurvedic formulations for respiratory conditions like asthma and bronchitis.
  4. Digestive Disorders: It may be used to help address digestive issues, although its use in this regard may vary.
  5. Wound Healing: Some traditional remedies use Indian frankincense for its potential wound-healing properties.
  6. Immunomodulatory Effects: It is believed to have effects on the immune system and may be used to support immune health.
  7. Anti-arthritic Properties: Due to its anti-inflammatory effects, it is used to manage symptoms of arthritis.
  8. Anti-microbial Properties: Indian frankincense is believed to have properties that may help fight against certain types of microbes.
  9. Mental Health: It is sometimes used to support mental well-being and may help in managing stress and anxiety.
  10. Anti-oxidant Properties: Some components of Indian frankincense are believed to possess antioxidant properties, which may help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.
  11. Regulating Menstruation: It is used in some Ayurvedic formulations to help regulate menstrual cycles and address conditions like irregular periods.
  12. Anti-cancer Properties (Research Interest): Some studies suggest that certain compounds found in Indian frankincense may have potential anti-cancer properties, though more research is needed in this area.

As with any herbal remedy, it’s important to consult a qualified healthcare practitioner before using Indian frankincense for medicinal purposes. Additionally, ensure that any preparations or supplements you consider using are obtained from reputable and trusted sources.

Remember that while traditional uses of herbs like Indian frankincense have been passed down through generations, scientific research on their efficacy and safety is still ongoing. Always seek professional advice for any health concerns or conditions you may have.

It is one of the ingredients in Ayurveda medicines like-

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