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Botanical Name : Ferula galbaniflua
Synonyms: Ferula galbaniflua. Bioss.&Buhse.
Common Name : Galbanum
Habitat:Ferula galbaniflua is native to the Mediterranean region east to central Asia, W. Asia – Central Iran, Turkey and southern Russia. mostly growing in arid climates. Herbaceous slopes in steppes.
Ferula galbaniflua is a herbaceous perennial flowering plant growing to 1–4 m tall, with stout, hollow, somewhat succulent stems. The leaves are tripinnate or even more finely divided, with a stout basal sheath clasping the stem.They are grayish-tomentose, the radical ones being triangular in outline, and decompound-pinnate, pinnatifid, the sections being linear-obtuse. The radical leaves are large and the stem leaves small. The flowers are yellow, produced in large umbels. The umbels of flowers are few, the seeds shiny. The fruit is thin and flat, winged near the face, has slender, prominent ribs, and in the grooves presents single oil-tubes. Sometimes two narrow tubes are present. The commissure has no tubes.
The whole plant abounds with a milky juice, which oozes from the joints of old plants, and exudes and hardens from the base of the stem after it has been cut down, then is finally obtained by incisions made in the root. The juice from the root soon hardens and forms the tears of the Galbanum of Commerce. The best tears are palish externally and about the size of a hazel nut and when broken open are composed of clear white tears. The taste is unpleasant, bitterish, acrid, with a strong, peculiar, somewhat aromatic smell. The common kind is an agglutinated mass, showing reddish and white tears, this is of the consistency of firm wax, and can easily be torn to pieces and softened by heat; when cold it is brittle, and mixed with seeds and leaves, when imported in lumps it is often considered preferable to the tears as it contains more volatile oil. Distilled with water it yields a quantity of essential oil, about 6 drachms, to 1 lb. of gum. It was well known to the ancients and Pliny called it ‘bubonion.’ Galbanum under dry distillation yields a thick oil of a bluish colour, which after purification becomes the blue colour of the oil obtained from the flowers of Matricaria Chamomilla.
Succeeds in most soils. Requires a deep fertile soil in a sunny position. This species is not hardy in the colder areas of the country, it tolerates temperatures down to between -5 and -10°c. Another report says that it tolerates temperatures down to at least -15°c and should therefore succeed outdoors in most parts of the country. Plants are intolerant of root disturbance due to their long taproot. They should be planted into their final positions as soon as possible. The flowers have an unpleasant smell.
Seed – best sown as soon as the seed is ripe in a greenhouse in autumn. Otherwise sow in April in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle. Plant them out into their permanent positions whilst still small because the plants dislike root disturbance. Give the plants a protective mulch for at least their first winter outdoors. Division in autumn. This may be inadvisable due to the plants dislike of root disturbance.
Edible Uses: Condiment.
The gum resin obtained from the root is used as a celery-like food flavouring.
Part Used-:Gum resin.
Constituents: Gum resin, mineral constituents, volatile oil, umbelliferine, galbaresino-tannol.
It is stimulant, expectorant in chronic bronchitis. Antispasmodic and considered an intermediate between ammoniac and asafoetida for relieving the air passages, in pill form it is specially good, in some forms of hysteria, and used externally as a plaster for inflammatory swellings.The leaf aqueous-ethanol extract of Feruia foetida has shown antioxidant and antihemolytic activities.
The whole plant, but especially the root, contains the gum resin ‘galbanum’. This is antispasmodic, carminative, expectorant and stimulant. It is used internally in the treatment of chronic bronchitis, asthma and other chest complaints. It is a digestive stimulant and antispasmodic, reducing flatulence, griping pains and colic. Externally it is used as a plaster for inflammatory swellings, ulcers, boils, wounds and skin complaints.
The aromatic gum resin ‘Galbanum’ is obtained from wounds made in the stem. It is collected by removing soil from around the top of the root and then cutting a slice off the root and can also be obtained from incisions made in the stem. It is used medicinally and is also an ingredient of incense. It was an important ingredient of the incense used by the Israelites.
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