Synonyms - Boswella is the selectively fractionated principle obtained from the gummy exudate of the genus, Boswella Roxb (family Burseraceae). Boswella serrata is also known as Dhup or "Indian Olibanum" and is widely distributed in India.
Description - There are many medicinal plants of greater therapeutic values mentioned in the old treatment systems of Ayurveda. The two important treatises on Ayurveda, Sushrita Samhita and Charak Samhita describes the anti-rheumatic activity of guggals (gum resins of certain trees), especially of the tree, Boswella serrata. Another guggal obtained from Commiphora mukul was shown to have excellent anti-hyperlipidemic properties. It is a moderate to large branching tree about 12 feet in height and three to four feet in girth, generally found in dry hilly areas of India.
The collection of the gum resin from the Boswella serrata plant is restricted to certain parts of India. The tapping of gum oleo-resin is carried out towards the end of October. It is accomplished by scraping away a portion of stem bark, usually six to eight inches wide. The practice generally used is to make transverse incisions in the upper and lower portions is the tree trunk to be exposed and then the bark is peeled off. The gum exudate is collected for the next 10 to 12 days and the wound.
Medicinal use - Contemporary researchers and physicians are validating the findings of medical texts more than 1,500 years old which praise the anti-inflammatory and antiarthritic uses of the gummy extract. It effectively shrinks inflamed tissue, the underlying cause of pain, by improving the blood supply to the affected area and enhancing the repair of local blood vessels damaged by proliferating inflammation. This ability is attributed to chemical compounds in the gummy extract, scientifically known as boswelic acids.
Veterinary use -
Contra-indications - Experimental and clinical usage of boswella indicates it has none of the side effects on blood pressure, heart rate of the gastric irritation and ulcers associated with many anti-inflammatory and antiarthritic drug
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