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OLIBANUM M.T.

It is also known as Boswellia serrata or Sallaki. A moderate sized deciduous tree with a stem 3.6m to 4.5m high and 0.9 to 1.5m in diameter with a spreading flat crown. Outer bark greenish or ash coloured, peeling off in smooth thin flakes; leaves crowded near the end of branches. Leaflet many opposite or nearly opposite crenate, serrate, very variable in size, shape and degree of pubescence. It is found in India in Madhya Pradesh, Deccan, Bihar, Orissa, Rajputana, Eastern States and North Gujrat. It contains essential oils, which are considered antiseptic.

A homoeopathic tincture is made from the gum. It is covered by Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia of United States. It is used as diuretic and emmenagogue.

The gum resin is burnt to purify air and the tincture is externally applied as antiseptic. It has been used in Ayurveda for rheumatic problems like osteoarthritis. In a double-blind, placebocontrolled trial, Boswellia demonstrated beneficial effect on knee osteoarthritis. Thirty patients were given either 1,000 mg Boswellia daily or placebo in three divided doses for eight weeks. Patients in the Boswellia group experienced a significant decrease in pain & swelling and increase in range of motion compared to placebo (p < 0.001).*

*Kimmatkar N, Thawani V, Hingorani L, Khiyani R., Efficacy and tolerability of Boswellia serrata extract in treatment of osteoarthritis of knee ? a randomized double blind placebo controlled trial. Phytomedicine 2003;10:3-7.

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