Sanskrit name: Shallaki
Botanical name: Boswellia Serrata
Habitat: Boswellia found in the deciduous forest of western and central India and Saudi Arabia. It is moderate to large branching trees found in India, strips of bark peeled away yielding gummy oleoresin, contains Oil, Terpenoids and Gum. Boswellic acid is isolated from Gumresin of Boswellia Serrata and identifies as active principle.
- Rasa (taste): Bitter, Pungent, Astringent, Sweet
- Virya (action): Cooling and Heating
- Vipaka (post-digestive effect): Pungent
- Doshas (constitutions):Balances all the doshas, may aggravate vata and pitta
Boswellic acid constitutes of a group of active enzymes out of which 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX) is potential enzyme which influence the synthesis of Leukotrines which tends to mediate inflammation. Leukotrines is useful in the treatment of asthma as it induce brochoconstriction and increased mucous secretion, and helps in the production of eosinophil-rich inflammatory cellular infiltrate.
Boswellic acid has potent anti-inflammatory properties, which also depend upon the grade of the Boswellia resin from which this acid is extracted. The highest quality boswellia is said to be that which is harvested in October, when a section of tree bark is scraped away and the sap is collected. Boswellia potency and grades also depend on the variety of boswellia used in the preparation of the extract. Boswellia from Ethiopia, boswellia papyrifera, has been considered a high-grade version, but is unobtainable in the western world. This article will focus on the high-grade boswellia serrata variety, which has been refined and used in both the East and the West for hundreds of years
According to Ayurveda, herbs are taken in combination with other herbs to neutralize the toxicity of one herb with the opposing effect of the other or to enhance the particular effect of one herb with the help of other. Toxicity studies of Boswellia in rats and primates showed no pathological changes in Heamotological parameters at doses of up to 1000 mg/Kg. The LD50 was established more than 2 gm/kg.
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