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Boswellia /Boswellia Serrata

Benefits of Boswellia, Overview, Medicinal uses, Dosage and Side Effects

Boswellia serrata is the most famous herb and has been used in Ayurveda for many ages to treat osteoarthritis and various other muscle-related issues. It is used as a substitute for allopathic pain killer medicines. Its other name is Salai which produces Indian Frankincense.

This herbal resin is obtained from the Boswellia tree that holds a great place of significance in various religious ceremonies around the globe. Various studies have stated that this herb is helpful in preventing breast cancer and leukemia and can be used in different forms such as essential oil, tablets, and powders and also used to treat chronic health problems.

Botanical name: Boswellia serrata

Family: Burseraceae

Boswellia Name in different languages:

  • English name: Boswellia gum, Indian Olibanum, Indian frankincense
  • Hindi name: Salai, Salay
  • Kannada name: Madi
  • Marathi name: Salai
  • Gujarati name: Dhupado, Salode
  • Malayalam name: Samprani, Salayi, Salai, Mukundam, Parangi, Kunturukkam
  • Telugu name: Pamragisamvrani, Sanibrani, Paraginsavani, Anduga, Phirangi, Kunduru Guggilammu
  • Urdu name: Lobana, Kundur
  • Uriya name: Loban
  • Bombay name: Laban, Kundur, Salai

Synonyms in the Sanskrit language:

  • Ashwamutri, Vallaki, Shallaki: It is consumed more because of the good taste of the herb, Kunduruki: It appears like kunduru, Sara, Maherana: Looks very beautiful, Suvaha, Hlada.
  • Surabhi- Its gum resin has a good odor
  • Bahusrava, Susrava- Have gum resin
  • Gajabhaskshya- Leaves are eaten by elephants
  • Other synonyms are: Sugandha, Mukunda, Kunda

What does Ayurveda say about Boswellia?


This shloka means that synonyms of Boswellia are Shallaki, Gajbhakshya, Suvha, Surbhi, Rasa, Maheruna, Kunduruki, Vallaki, and Bahusrava. It has an astringent taste, is cold, provides nutrition, pacifies Kapha and pitta dosha, and treats diarrhea, bleeding disorder, and wounds.

(Reference: Bhavaprakash nighantu: Vatadi varga; Page no. 509 and Shloka no. 22-23)

Botanical description of Boswellia

Boswellia is a tropical plant that has moderate-sized flowers and produces fragrant resin and is used to make frankincense. It is native to the Punjab region of India and Pakistan. It is also found in the Indian subcontinent and various regions of Pakistan. Other species of this plant are found in Africa and also found in tropical regions.

Varieties of Boswellia

There are 5 varieties of Boswellia:

Gola kunduru, Dukaka kunduru (in powder form), Mada kunduru (in bigger pieces, pale color), Nara kunduru (round and red, yellow in color), Kishara kunduru (shape of parpati)

Main chemical constituents:

Its bark contains glucosides, B- sitosterol, and resins containing diterpenes, monoterpenes, tetracyclic triterpenic acids, triterpenes, and other four major pentacyclic triterpenic acids like 11- keto-beta-boswellic acid, Beta-boswellic acid, acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid, acetyl-beta-boswellic acid

Categorization according to classical books:

According to-

  1. Charaka: Pureesha virajaniya (It is a group of herbs that impart natural color to feces)
  2. Sushruta: Eladi gana (gum), Rodhradi gana
  3. Vagbhata: Rodhradi gana, Eladi gana
  4. Bhavaprakasha nighantu: Karpooradi varga, Vatadi varga (Bark)

Medicinal properties of Boswellia

  • Rasa (Taste): Madhura (Sweet), Tikta (Bitter), and Kashaya (Astringent)
  • Guna (Quality): Laghu (Light) and Rooksha (Dryness)
  • Veerya (Potency): Sheeta (Coolant)
  • Vipaka (Undergoes taste conversion after digestion): Katu (Pungent)
  • Effect on Tridosha: Kaphapittahara (Balances Kapha and pitta dosha)

Medicinal uses of Boswellia:

  • Asra:  Useful in blood-related disorders like an abscess, nasal bleeding, menorrhagia, etc
  • Kushta: It is used in treating skin diseases
  • Atisara: Useful in treating dysentery, diarrhea
  • Vrana: Heals wounds and ulcers
  • Raktapitta: Helps in treating bleeding disorders like heavy menstruation, nasal bleeding, etc.
  • Vranadoshahara: It acts as a natural wound cleanser
  • Shoola: It aids painful conditions

Boswellia Benefits for arthritis:

Boswellia possesses anti-inflammatory properties that treat inflammation and prevents swelling in the joints and hence, prevent broken cartilage. It also maintains the free mobility of joints and also acts upon autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and prevents immunity. Boswellia has great benefits in the case of arthritis.

Therapeutic uses of Boswellia: Health Benefits of Boswellia

Natural healer: Shallaki works on the internal as well as external wounds like bruises, hemorrhage, etc, and heals the non-healing wounds in a shorter time period.

Skin health: Boswellia prevents the connective tissues from destruction and heals them quickly. This herb maintains healthy skin and also keeps the skin wrinkle-free in old age.

Inflammatory bowel syndrome: It treats inflammation related to the GI tract because it has an anti-inflammatory action that works on the intestine and reduces redness. Hence it shows great results in IBS.

Female reproductive health: Shallaki shows various effective results in the case of female reproductive health that promotes uterus congestion and enhances the blood circulation in female reproductive organs.

Cancer: Boswellia prevents the growth of cancerous cells in the body and according to some studies, it works in the advanced stages of breast cancer cells. The acid present in Boswellia prevents the enzymes from acting upon genetic material in the body.

Asthma:  It has the ability to reduce the leukotriene which causes bronchial muscles contraction and reduces the severity of asthma. It shows good results in case of inflammation in bronchioles and treats symptoms like cough, chest pain, etc.

Aphrodisiac: Being a natural aphrodisiac, it enhances sexual pleasure and activities. Various researches have stated that it maintains reproductive health both in males and females.


  • Decoction of bark: 50 to 100 ml
  • Gum: 1 to 3 gm
  • Juice: 3 to 5 teaspoons once a day
  • Tablet: 1 to 2 tablets once or twice daily
  • Powder: ¼ to ½ teaspoons once or twice daily
  • Capsule: 1 to 2 capsules once or twice daily

Part used: Gum, Bark

What are the side effects of Boswellia?

Overdose can causes heartburn, nausea, abdominal pain, heartburn, itching, etc.

Can you take Boswellia Daily?

It can be taken daily but with a proper dosage as prescribed by the doctor.

Who should not take Boswellia?

It is contradicted in females who are pregnant or are lactating mothers. Patients who have weak digestive systems should also avoid it.


From this article, it is concluded that it shows very good results in autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and also works as a great wound healer. But it should be avoided in pregnant women and lactating mothers. Hence, it should be used with proper dosage as prescribed by your doctor.

Buy Now: Boswellia Capsules

These capsules also promote proper blood circulation to the bones & joints and improve their flexibility. It aids to reduce morning stiffness and swelling in joints and also helps to maintain healthy cholesterol levels and liver functions.

Boswellia Capsules Benefits:

  • Treat various joint disorders such as Rheumatoid arthritis, Osteoarthritis, etc.
  • Maintain bone and joint health.
  • Improves flexibility of the joints.
  • Reduce body inflammation.

Buy Boswellia Capsules Herbal Supplement

Note: Our purpose is to serve useful information related to Boswellia’s benefits, dosage, and other properties. It is advised to the patients not to consume it on the basis of this information. Before taking this as a medicine it is better to have an expert opinion because dosage and treatment vary from patient to patient depending on their symptoms and medical history.

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About Dr. Ranjana Kaushal

Dr. Ranjana Kaushal (MD Ayurveda) has 11 years of experience in the field of Ayurveda. Right now she is working as an Ayurveda consultant with Life Aveda. She has immense knowledge about herbs, their uses, and formulations. She has published articles related to many herbs and diseases in an international journal. She is also a degree holder in yoga and naturopathy. Read More..

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