Indian frankincense essential oil (Boswellia serrata)


Botanical Name: Boswellia serrata

Common Method of Extraction: Steam distilled

Part Typically Used:
Gum Resin

Color: Clear to pale yellow

Consistency: Thin

Perfumery Note:

Strength of Initial Aroma: Spicy, balsamic, instantly recognizable odor.

Boswellia serrata
is a plant that produces Indian frankincense, Salai, referred to in Sanskrit as shallaki and in Latin as Olibanum Indicum. (1)

The plant is native to much of India and the Punjab region that extends into Pakistan. (2)

The Shallaki tree is generally found in dry hilly areas of the Indian sub – continent, mainly in states of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan. (8)

trees can live for at least a hundred years. Their flowers are popular with bees, and the long flowering period from October to February is helpful for bee colony maintenance. (14)
Incense yield by making small incisions in the aromatic bark that produces a milky white resin that hardens as it dries. The collected resin is separated into levels and stored in caves to treat the sale. (15)

Frankincense is among the most widely used of all essential oils. Its benefits are numerous and it has been used extensively in traditional cultures for many thousands of years. (3)

The frankincense Boswellia serrata, also known as olibanum, is among the most rich and exquisite of the majestic frankincense varietals. The clean, citrus – terpenic fragrance of frankincense oil is entwined in ancient myth and sacred ritual. (4)

Frankincense serrata oil: This variety is commonly known as Olibanum and is considered to be the richest and most exquisite in scent and quality. Wild harvested in India, its aroma contains very fresh lemon, citrus, and pine notes. (5)

India produces the frankincense most used in Ayurvedic medicine. Frankincense from India has its own unique aroma distinct from that ofArabian (Boswellia sacra) and North African (Boswellia carterii) frankincense. Large, wonderfully fragrant golden brown Indian frankincense resins with a deeper more balsamic and woody notes than the Arabian and North African resins. (12)

Chemical structure:

There has thus been much confusion about the proper identification of the various types of frankincense. This same complexity carries over to the chemical composition of the oil, which has over 200 individual natural chemicals that endow it with a complex aromatic bouquet and therapeutic profile. There is considerable variation in the proportion of these components depending on the micro – climate where the trees grow, the season at which the resin is harvested, and a number of other factors. (13)


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In Ayurvedic medicine Indian frankincense has been used for hundreds of years for the attempted treatment of arthritis. (6)

Shallaki or Sallai guggulu (Boswellia serrata), has been used for thousands of years in Ayurveda as the extract containing anti – inflammatory properties. It is also widely used as a wonder drug for treatment of against arthritis, rheumatism and its related disorders. (7)

The most important component of the tree is the gum resin, which is dried and powdered to yield the medication. This powdered resin contains essential oils and a mixture of β- boswellic acids, which help reduce inflammation naturally between the joints, or even muscle inflammation in the lower back. (9)

It is also used in respiratory ailments like severe cough. Many studies have shown the effect of this powder against disorders like bronchitis and asthma by inhibiting the inflammatory conditions leading to these diseases. (10)

Shallaki has also remarkable properties against high blood pressure or hypertension in many patients. It also helps to maintain normal levels of cholesterol. (11)

Pregnancy – Lactation : Indian frankincense is likely safe when used in amounts commonly found in foods. But don’t use it in the larger amounts needed for medicinal effects. Not enough is known about the safety of using Indian frankincense in these amounts during pregnancy or breast – feeding. (16)

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No information currently available! If you have specific knowledge on the subject, please submit information below!


No information currently available! If you have specific knowledge on the subject, please submit information below!


There are currently no mixtures created with this compound!


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