Boswellia serrata is commonly known as Shallaki and belongs to the family of Burseraceae. It is well known for its anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties are due to the presence of boswellic acid in it. It is a resin which is widely used in manufacturing process of perfumes and incenses. It also possesses numerous pharmacological and medicinal uses. The resin is a mixture of terpenoids along with other useful components. Higher terpenoids are the major part of the resin and are together known as Boswellic acid.
Other names of Shallaki are Salai, Salai Guggul, Dhup, Indian Frankincense and Gajabhakshya.
It has been used as a medicine and as incense in cultural and religious gatherings. Shallaki or Boswellia serrata is a branching tree of belongs, which grows in Northern Africa, Middle East and India in dry and mountainous areas. An incision is made in the trunk of the tree and the oleo gum-resin is drained, collected, stored and solidified.
Gum resin contains essential oils, resins and polysaccharides including xylose, arabinose and galactose. Its extract has been used to treat some chronic diseases related to inflammation. The resin of Shallaki contains mono, di and triterpenes, penta and tetra cyclic terpinic acids such as:
Acetyl-β-boswellic acid, β-boswellic acid, 11-keto-β-boswellic acid and acetyl 11-keto-β-boswellic acid are present in Shallaki. The later is most potent in inhibiting 5-lipoxygenase enzyme, which is mainly responsible for controlling inflammation. It also inhibits pro-inflammatory reactions and enzymes involved in swelling. Shallaki belongs to extensive genera and has 25 species known till now. Most of them are found in Arabia, north eastern coast of Africa and India.
Benefits of Shallaki
Greeks, Romans and ancient Egyptians used this resin in aroma, incense and fumigations. Oleo-gum-resin have special aroma due to the essential oils, which make it useful for the commercial purpose, also useful in paints, varnishes and aromatherapy, resin retains transparency and yellowish golden colour on hardening.
Consuming shallaki is a good natural option for all the people, especially for the middle aged people who are suffering from the joint related disorders. It works as a first line supplement of defence, and effective and safe Ayurvedic remedy. It is better than an allopathic medication or non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for chronic inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.
Therapeutic value of shallaki makes it present in Arthrogold Tablets.