Boswellia serrata, or Indian frankincense (Latin: Boswéllia serráta) – a typical species of trees of the genus Boswellia of the Burseraceae family. Low trees, widespread in India and Southeast Asia.

When an incision is made on their trunk, a resinous consistency fluid is released, which thickens and hardens in air.

Trees begin to produce gum resin at the age of 8-10 years. It is mined by making a deep cut-tack on a tree trunk or by cutting off a piece of bark. The tree, trying to heal the damage, begins to secrete a pale opal liquid, which coagulates upon contact with air. The hardened resin – incense, depending on the quality, can be almost white with a slight yellowish tint or pinkish, and bright yellow, and sometimes almost brown. Pieces of frankincense are translucent, matte, as if slightly dusted, with a characteristic but weak balsamic aroma, fully revealed only when heated.

The quality of incense depends not only on the type of resin producing Boswellia, but also on the growing conditions of the plant. Boswellia’s resin is considered to be the best sacred; it is no coincidence that it is called “true incense”. The most valuable raw material is incense tree growing on a narrow strip of land immersed in fog, where the desert meets the mountains, in the Omani Dofar Sultanate. There are extremely few trees there and they grow very slowly, but the resin obtained from them freezes in fragrant, large, almost white lumps. However, Boswellic acid, which has a wide range of medicinal properties, is rich in “Indian frankincense,” secreted by Boswellia serratus.

Incense essential oil is obtained from the hardened resin by steam distillation.

Boswellia serratus resin has a less pleasant and persistent aroma compared to frankincense (Boswellia sacra), however, for more than three thousand years it has been used in traditional Indian medicine (Ayurveda) as an anti-inflammatory agent used to treat inflammatory diseases of muscles, joints and nerve endings, including in the form of ointment Salai Guggul (Sanskrit. Boswellia serratus).

Chemical composition

In the gum resin of Boswellia, resin predominates – up to 56%, about 47% of the gum. The remaining percentages are essential oils, which are a mixture of esters, alcohols, monoterpenes, diterpenes and sesquiterpenes, including alpha and beta-pinene, camphene, limonene, verbenone, myrcene, cimol, sabinene. Boswellia’s resin contains boswellic acid. Most of all, up to 30%, in Boswellia sawtooth resin. Gum consists of polysaccharides containing galactose and arabinose, as well as galacturonic acid.

Healing properties

The therapeutic effect of frankincense essential oil is due to the terpenes contained in it, through leukocyte reactions that stimulate the regeneration and resorption of inflammation. The antiseptic effect of Boswellia essential oil is explained by the fact that penetrating into the cells, it begins to affect the metabolism of microorganisms. For the antidepressant effect of incense smoke, the “incensol acetate found in it” is “responsible”.

Recently, Boswellic acids, one of the most biologically active components of Boswellian resin, have attracted the attention of scientists. They are especially rich in serrated Boswellia. As a result of numerous studies, it turned out that they are a previously unknown inhibitor of the anti-inflammatory enzyme called 5-lipoxygenase, and may also have other anti-inflammatory effects. It has been found that oral administration of Boswellia serratus extract can suppress the pain and stiffness associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Acids prevent the penetration of leukocytes into the cartilage and the fluid contained in the joints. Thus, they weaken the degree of damage to the musculoskeletal system by leukocytes and reduce inflammatory processes.

There is also reason to believe that boswellic acids have an antiproliferative effect. In rodent studies, Boswellia serratus extract has been shown to inhibit tumor growth in the pancreas, colon and rectum. During in vitro experiments, similar results were achieved on other cancer cell lines. During limited clinical studies, Boswellia extract has shown promising efficacy in reducing neural edema associated with radiation therapy.

There are also studies suggesting that the extract may have an effective effect on cluster headaches and a hepatoprotective effect. Boswellia serratus extract has been recognized by scientists as promising and deserving of further pharmacological studies and clinical trials as a pain reliever of plant origin.

As dietary supplements, Boswellia serratus extract is available in the form of tinctures, in tablets, capsules and is part of the osteoporosis gel.

The healing properties of the sacred Boswellia are still used in folk medicine. Incense tincture of alcohol is recommended by traditional healers for diseases of the genitourinary system, rheumatism, inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, respiratory tract, skin diseases of bacterial and fungal origin.

For inhalation, Boswellia resin is used for acute respiratory viral infections, acute respiratory infections, bronchitis, laryngitis, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, tonsillitis, rhinitis and sinusitis. Incense is fumigated with viral and respiratory infections. Incense burning helps with depression, neurosis, overwork.

Incense essential oil is added to skincare products, it fights inflammation, rejuvenates the skin, helps get rid of dandruff and stimulates hair growth. As part of the ointments, Boswellia essential oil has a disinfecting, regenerating and anti-inflammatory effect, fights against various skin diseases. Orally recommend taking frankincense essential oil for asthma, shortness of breath, coughing, heavy periods, problems with the digestive system, diseases of the genitourinary system. Aromatherapists use Boswellia oil for dizziness, headaches, stress and depression, and sexual dysfunction.

Boswellia serratus extract can help cope with osteoarthritis and even enter the complex treatment of cancer.

Included in Reumaker Ultra.

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