Common name: Salai guggal
Botanical name: Boswellia serrata
Boswellia is a moderate to large branching tree found in the dry hilly areas
of India. When the tree trunk is tapped, a gummy oleoresin is exuded. A purified extract of this resin is used in modern herbal preparations.
Growing evidence suggests that boswellia has anti-inflammatory effects. On this basis, the herb has been tried for a number of conditions in which inflammation is involved, including painful conditions such as bursitis, osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and tendonitis. For the same reason, it has also been tried for asthma and inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s Disease).
In addition, extracts of boswellia have been studied as an aid to standard care for malignant glioma (a type of incurable brain tumor). Use of boswellia appears to decrease symptoms, probably by decreasing inflammation in the brain (as well as through other mechanisms.) However, this has not been proven, and individuals with cancer should not use boswellia (or any other herb or supplement) except on physicians advice.