Boswellia is a genus of trees known for their fragrant resin which has many pharmacological uses particularly as anti-inflammatories. The Biblical incense frankincense was probably an extract from the resin of the tree, Boswellia sacra.
There are four main species of Boswellia which produce true frankincense and each type of resin is available in various grades. The grades depend on the time of harvesting, and the resin is hand sorted for quality. Anyone interested in frankincense would be well advised to first obtain a small sample of each type from a reputable dealer in order to ascertain the difference between each resin.
has long been used in Ayurvedic medicine
. Recently, the boswellic acids
that are a component of the resin
it produces have shown some promise as a treatment for asthma
and various inflammatory
conditions (Gupta I, Gupta V, Parihar A, et al.
Effects of Boswellia serrata gum resin in patients with bronchial asthma: results of a double-blind, placebo-controlled, 6-week clinical study. European Journal of Herbal Medicine 1998; 3:511-14.) In West Africa
, the bark
of Boswellia dalzielii
is used to treat fever
problems. Boswellia incense may even relieve depression