Boswellia gum resin and essential oils

potential health benefits - an evidence based review

Luay Rashan*, F. Lukmanul Hakkim, Mohammed Idrees, Musthafa Mohamed Essa, Thirunavukkarasu Velusamy, Mohammed Al-Baloshi, Buthaina S. Al-Balushi, Ali Al Jabri, Mohammed H. Al-Rizeiqi, Gilles Guillemin, Sidgi Syed Anwer Abdo Hasson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Traditional medicine is still widely practiced in many countries due to its complexity and long term benefit. Among various medicinal plants found in Dhofar region of Oman, frankincense has a unique position due to its medicinal and economical importance. The gum-resin and essential oil produced by different species, most of these are related to family Burseraceae under the Boswellia genus. The family members of Boswellia are characterized by resin bearing ducts. Among the twenty-nine species of genus Boswellia, (Burseraceae), Boswellia sacra Flueck is known since decades for the extraction of aromatic gums and resins that are burned as incense. Boswellia resin holds about 60-80% alcohol-soluble resin, 15-20% water soluble gum and 5-7 % essential oil, along with polysaccharide fraction and polymeric substances are also present in limited extent. The physicians and nutritionists show interest in frankincense due to the therapeutic potential of its gum resin and essential oil. Essential oil and gum resin of various species of frankincense has been used to make remedies to treat different diseases. Various reports have described the antimicrobial, immuno-modulatory, anti-inflammatory, hypoglycemic, anticancer, anti-asthmatic, antidiarrheal, hypo-lipidemic, anti-diabetic, hepato-protective, and even antiviral effect of different Boswellia species. In this review, we have highlighted the works done so far on the use of Boswellia gum resin and health benefits along with some pilot clinical studies done on the Boswellia gum resin related products.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-71
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Nutrition, Pharmacology, Neurological Diseases
Volume9
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2019

Keywords

  • Boswellia
  • essential oils
  • frankincense
  • gum resin
  • health benefits

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