The book titled, Boswellin® The Anti-inflammatory Phytonutrient, written by Majeed et al. was published in 1996 by Nutriscience Publishers, Inc. When this book was published much of the patent literature concerning Boswellia serrata, its pharmacologically active constituents specifically known as beta-boswellic acids (Majeed et al., 1999), and similar species (B. carterii) was unavailable.
Since the book’s publication, several studies and patents have been published that explain the mechanism by which the boswellic acids inhibit inflammation.
The beneficial role of boswellic acids in inflammatory conditions has also been discussed. This new research adds to the breadth of knowledge of B. serrata and is summarized herein.
Boswellic acids are obtained from the gum resin of B. serrata tree. The B. serrata is a large, branching, deciduous tree which grows abundantly in the dry, hilly parts of India. It is known as “Dhup”, Indian frankincense or Indian olibanum. The gum resin exudate of B. serrata, known in the vernacular as “Salai guggal”, has been in use in ayurvedic system of medicine for the management of rheumatism, respiratory diseases, and liver disorders. The major use of B. serrata in contemporary medicine is as an anti-arthritic and anti-inflammatory pharmacological agent.