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Herbs & Plants

Boswellia thurifera

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Botanical Name :Boswellia thurifera
Family: Burseraceae
Genus: Boswellia
Species: B. serrata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Common Names:   Boswellia (Frankincense) , Olibanum, Indian Frankincense, Arabic Frankincense, and Salai guggal

Habitat: Boswellia thurifera  is native to  Arabia, East Africa (particularly Oman, Socotra, Somalia)

Description:
Frankincense is tapped from the small drought-hardy Boswellia trees by slashing the bark, which is called striping, and allowing the exuded resin to bleed out and harden. These hardened resins are called tears. There are several species and varieties of frankincense trees, each producing a slightly different type of resin. Differences in soil and climate create even more diversity of the resin, even within the same species.

click to see the pictures……..(01).…(1).…....(2).……..(3)..……..(4).……....(5).……...

Boswellia Sacra trees are considered unusual for their ability to grow in environments so unforgiving that they sometimes grow out of almost solid rock. Attachment to the rock is accomplished by a bulbous disk-like swelling of the trunk. This feature is slight or absent in trees grown in rocky soil or gravel. The tears from trees growing on rock are considered superior for their more fragrant aroma.

The trees start producing resin when they are about eight to 10 years old. Tapping is done two to three times a year with the final taps producing the best tears due to their higher aromatic terpene, sesquiterpene and diterpene content. Generally speaking, the more opaque resins are the best quality. Fine resin is produced in Yemen and along the northern coast of Somalia, from which the Roman Catholic Church draws its supplies.

Recent studies have indicated that frankincense tree populations are declining, partly due to over-exploitation. Heavily tapped trees produce seeds that germinate at only 16% while seeds of trees that had not been tapped germinate at more than 80%. In addition, burning, grazing, and attacks by the longhorn beetle have reduced the tree population.[4] Conversion (clearing) of frankincense woodlands to agriculture is also a major threat

Quality:
Frankincense comes in many types, and its quality is based on color, purity, aroma, age, and shape. Silver and Hojari are generally considered the highest grades of frankincense. The Omanis themselves generally consider Silver to be a better grade than Hojari, though most Western connoisseurs think that it should be the other way round.[citation needed] This may be due to climatic conditions with the Hojari smelling best in the relatively cold, damp climate of Europe and North America, whereas Silver may well be more suited to the hot dry conditions of Arabia.
click to see Frankincense
Local market information in Oman suggests that the term Hojari encompasses a broad range of high-end frankincense including Silver. Resin value is determined not only by fragrance but also by color and clump size, with lighter color and larger clumps being more highly prized. The most valuable Hojari frankincense locally available in Oman is even more expensive than Somalia’s Maydi frankincense derived from B. frereana (see below). The vast majority of this ultra-high-end B. sacra frankincense is purchased by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said the ruler of Oman, and is notoriously difficult for western buyers to correctly identify and purchase.

Currently, there are two dissertations which may enable the identification of a few Olibanum species according to their specific secondary metabolism products

Chemical constituents:
These are some of the chemical compounds present in frankincense:

*”acid resin (56 per cent), soluble in alcohol and having the formula C20H32O4″

*gum (similar to gum arabic) 30–36%

*3-acetyl-beta-boswellic acid (Boswellia sacra)

*alpha-boswellic acid (Boswellia sacra)

*4-O-methyl-glucuronic acid (Boswellia sacra)

*incensole acetate

*phellandrene

Medicinal Uses:
Frankincense is used in perfumery and aromatherapy. The essential oil is obtained by steam distillation of the dry resin. Some of the smell of the frankincense smoke are products of pyrolysis.

Frankincense is used in many Christian churches including the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Catholic churches. According to the gospel of Matthew 2:11, gold, frankincense, and myrrh were among the gifts to Jesus by the biblical magi “from out of the East.” The Judaic, Christian and Islamic faiths have used frankincense mixed with oils to anoint newborn infants and individuals.

Conversely, the growth of Christianity depressed the market for frankincense during the 4th century AD. Desertification made the caravan routes across the Rub’ al Khali or “Empty Quarter” of the Arabian Peninsula more difficult. Additionally, increased raiding by the nomadic Parthians in the Near East caused the frankincense trade to dry up after A.D. 300.
click to see Boswellia sacra tree, from which frankincense is derived, growing inside Biosphere 2

Traditional medicine:
Frankincense resin is edible and is used in traditional medicines in Asia for digestion and healthy skin. For internal consumption, it is recommended that frankincense be translucent, with no black or brown impurities. It is often light yellow with a (very) slight greenish tint. It is often chewed like gum, but it is stickier.

In Ayurvedic medicine Indian frankincense (Boswellia serrata), commonly referred to as “dhoop,” has been used for hundreds of years for treating arthritis, healing wounds, strengthening the female hormone system and purifying the air. The use of frankincense in Ayurveda is called “dhoopan”. In Indian culture, it is suggested that burning frankincense daily in the house brings good health

Frankincense essential oil:
The essential oil of frankincense is produced by steam distillation of the tree resin. The oil’s chemical components are 75% monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, monoterpenoles, sesquiterpenols, and ketones. It has a good balsamic sweet fragrance, while the Indian frankincense oil has a very fresh smell. Contrary to recent claims, steam or hydro distilled frankincense oil does not contain any boswellic acid as these components (triterpenoids) are non-volatile and too large to come over in the steam distillation process. The chemistry of the essential oil is mainly monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes with small amounts of diterpenoid components being the upper limit in terms of molecular weight.
click to see Olibanum resin.
Perfume:
Olibanum is characterized by a balsamic-spicy, slightly lemon, fragrance of incense, with a conifer-like undertone. It is used in the perfume, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.

Medical Research:
For therapy trials in ulcerative colitis, asthma and rheumatoid arthritis there are only isolated reports and pilot studies from which there is not yet sufficient evidence of safety and efficacy. Similarly, the long-term effects and side effects of taking frankincense has not yet been scientifically investigated. Nonetheless, several preliminary studies have been published.
click to see the picture of  FrankinsenceEssOil
A 2008 study reported that frankincense smoke was a psychoactive drug that relieves depression and anxiety in mice. The researchers found that the chemical compound incensole acetate was responsible for the effects.

In a different study, an enriched extract of “Indian Frankincense” (usually Boswellia serrata) was used in a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled study of patients with osteoarthritis. Patients receiving the extract showed significant improvement in their arthritis in as little as seven days. The compound caused no major adverse effects and, according to the study authors, is safe for human consumption and long-term use.

In a study published in 2009, it was reported that “Frankincense oil appears to distinguish cancerous from normal bladder cells and suppress cancer cell viability.”

A 2012 study in healthy volunteers determined that exposure to 11-keto-?-boswellic acid (KBA), a lead boswellic acid in the novel solubilized frankincense extract Boswelan, is increased when taken with food. However, simulations based on a two-compartment pharmacokinetic model with single first-order absorption phase proposed that the observed food interaction loses its relevance for the simulated repeated-dose scenario.

In a 2012 study, researchers found that the “behavioral effect [of insensole actetate] was concomitant to reduced serum corticosterone levels, dose-dependent down-regulation of corticotropin releasing factor and up-regulation of brain derived neurotrophic factor transcripts IV and VI expression in the hippocampus. These data suggest that IA modulates the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis and influences hippocampal gene expression, leading to beneficial behavioral effects supporting its potential as a novel treatment of depressive-like disorders

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider

Resources:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankincense
http://unitproj.library.ucla.edu/biomed/spice/index.cfm?displayID=28
http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail25.php

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Herbs & Plants

Boswellia serrata

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Botanical name : Boswellia serrata
Family: Burseraceae
Genus: Boswellia
Species: B. serrata
Kingdom: Plantae
Order: Sapindales

Common Name : Salai guggal,Shallaki. (Boswellia serrata is Indian frankincense or Salai referred to in Sanskrit as shallaki.)

Habitat :Boswellia serrata  is native to India & Pakisthan.It  is a species characteristic of the tropical dry deciduous forests and occurs in very dry teak forests or in dry mixed deciduous forests in association with species such as Terminalia spp., Anogeissus latifolia and Acacia leucophloea. It is characteristically found on the slopes and ridges of hills, as well as on flat terrain, attaining a larger size on fertile soils. It is resistant to drought and resists fire better than other species in its zone of occurrence. The tree is also frost hardy and serves as a nurse tree for other species.

Description:
Boswellia serrata is a moderate-sized to large, deciduous tree with a light, spreading crown and somewhat drooping branches. It usually has a short bole, 3-5 m in length, sometimes longer if grown in a fully stocked forest. Ordinarily, it attains a girth of 1.2-1.8 m and a height of 9-15 m. Bark is very thin, greyish-green, ashy or reddish with a chlorophyll layer beneath the thin outer layer, which peels off in thin, papery flakes. Leaves alternate, exstipulate, imparipinnate, 20-45 cm in length, crowded towards the ends of the branches; leaflets 17-31 cm, opposite, 2.5-8 cm x 0.8-1.5 cm, basal pairs often smallest, sessile, lanceolate, ovate-lanceolate, crenate, very variable in size. Flowers white, in stout racemes, 10-20 cm long, shorter than the leaves, crowded towards the ends of branches, but not terminal. Calyx persistent, pubescent outside, 5 to 7-toothed; teeth small, deltoid. Petals 5-7 erect, free, 0.5 cm long. Fruits 1.3 cm long, trigonous, with three valves and three heart-shaped, 1-seeded pyrenes, winged, along with the margins. The specific name, serrata, comes from serra (a saw) referring to the toothed leaf-margins.

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Medicinal Uses:
Properties:.
Shallaki has potent analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects that can reduce the pain and inflammation of joints. The salai guggal gum is used as a diaphoretic and astringent. Other products: B. serrata has been recorded in West Bengal as a new lac host.
Shallaki or Boswellia serrata is an herbal extract well known for its anti-inflammatory, anti-atherosclerotic and anti-arthritic activities. Shallaki is effective in the treatment of the common ailments

* Rheumatoid arthritis (In Ayurvedic medicine Indian frankincense (Boswellia serrata) has been used for hundreds of years for treating arthritis.)

* Osteoarthritis (Extracts of Boswellia serrata have been clinically studied for osteoarthritis and joint function, particularly for osteoarthritis of the knee.)

* Cervical spondylosis

* Ankylosing spondylitis

* Lumbar spine

Rheumatic Disorders :

Boswellia (Boswelya, Salai Guggul) is an Ayurvedic herb that contains anti-inflammatory triterpenoids called boswellic acid. Boswellic acids are effective in anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic agents, for both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, soft tissue rheumatism, and low back pain.

Boswellia has a beneficial effect by suppressing the growth of the inflamed tissue, as well as preventing the breakdown of the surrounding connective tissue.

Boswellia Serrata’s anti-inflammatory properties can help to reduce aching and stiffness, especially when associated with low back pain. Although research indicates that boswellia is best taken orally for this purpose, creams appear to be soothing as well.

Inflammatory bowel :
Boswellia may improve symptoms of ulcerative colitis, including abdominal pains, loose stools, and mucus and blood in the stools.

Boswellia may also be beneficial in asthmatics and may also reduce fluid retention associated with brain tumours. This fluid build-up is associated with the action of certain inflammatory chemicals (leukotrienes). Boswellia inhibits the production of these chemicals. Reduction of fluid retention around brain tumours has a beneficial effect on reducing the associated brain damage.

Boswellia gum has been also used for the treatment of diabetes, skin and blood diseases, fever, cardiovascular disorders, neurological disorders, dysentery, diseases of the testes, and myriad of other disorders.

Positive effects of Boswellia in some chronic inflammatory diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, bronchial asthma, osteoarthritis, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease have been reported. A Boswellia extract marketed under the name Wokvel has undergone human efficacy, comparative, pharmacokinetic studies.Some see Boswellia serrata as a promising alternative to NSAIDs, warranting further investigation in pharmacological studies and clinical trials.

Boswellia serrata is used in the manufacture of the supposed anti-wrinkle agent “Boswelox“, which has been criticised as being ineffective.

Topical Application:
Boswellia serrata has been recently developed for topical use in a patent-pending formula in Sano Relief Gel.

Potential for anti-cancer activity:
Boswellic acid, an extract from Boswellia serrata, has been studied for anti-neoplastic activity, especially in experimental primary and secondary brain tumors, indicating potential efficacy from in vitro and limited clinical research. Boswellic acid is also undergoing an early-stage clinical trial at the Cleveland Clinic.[12]

Research on Boswellia serrata:
Shallaki has anti-Inflammatory and anti-arthritic property that can reduce the pain and inflammation of the joints of the body. efficacy and tolerability of Boswellia serrata extract in the treatment of osteoarthritis of knee – a randomized double blind placebo controlled study by Kimmatkar N, Thawani N, et al. at MS Orthopaedics, Indira Gandhi Medical College, Nagpur, India, Phytomedicine 2003 Jan; 10 (1) ; 3-7

Active constituents:
Boswellic acid and other pentacyclic triterpene acids are present. Beta-boswellic acid is the major constituent.

Mechanism of action:
Animal studies performed in India show ingestion of a defatted alcoholic extract of Boswellia decreased polymorphonuclear leukocyte infiltration and migration, decreased primary antibody synthesis and almost totally inhibited the classical complement pathway.

Other Uses:
Fodder: It is not readily browsed by cattle, although in India, it is considered a substitute fodder for buffaloes. Fuel: The wood is a good fuel. Charcoal made from it is particularly favoured for iron smelting. Fibre: B. serrata has recently come into prominence as a raw material for pulp paper and newsprint. Experiments show that writing and printing papers of suitable strength can be prepared when 25-40% long-fibred bamboo pulp is mixed in the finish. The bark can also be used for cordage. Timber: It is used in cheap furniture, ammunition boxes, mica boxes, packing cases, cement barrels, well construction, water pipes, matches, plywood and veneers. Gum or resin: The tree yields a yellowish-green gum-oleoresin known as ‘salai guggal’ from wounds in the bark. This gum has an agreeable scent when burnt. A mature tree yields about 1-1.5 kg of gum a year. It is said to be a good substitute for imported Canada balsam. It is also tapped for resin called ‘lobal’, which is used as incense.

Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider
Resources:
http://www.allayurveda.com/herb_month_may2009.asp
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boswellia_serrata
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/sea/products/afdbases/af/asp/SpeciesInfo.asp?SpID=353

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Ailmemts & Remedies

Immunity Disorders

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Disorders in the immune system can cause disease. Immunodeficiency diseases occur when the immune system is less active than normal, resulting in recurring and life-threatening infections. Immunodeficiency can either be the result of a genetic disease, such as severe combined immunodeficiency, or be produced by pharmaceuticals or an infection, such as the acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) that is caused by the retrovirus HIV. In contrast, autoimmune diseases result from a hyperactive immune system attacking normal tissues as if they were foreign organisms. Common autoimmune diseases include rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes mellitus type 1 and lupus erythematosus. These critical roles of immunology in human health and disease are areas of intense scientific study.

Most modern diseases are caused by prolonged exposure to a combination of faulty lifestyle, food habits and toxic environmental factors. Chronic stress has a vital role in immune disorders.

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There are two types of immunity which protects our body from any infection. These are Innate and Adaptive. Innate immunity – this type of immunity is present at birth and provides the first barrier against microorganisms which causes infections. Adaptive Immunity – it is the second barrier to infections and acquired later in life as – immunity after an immunization.

The higher mortality rate is observed due to AIDS, it is the best example of immune disorders.

In Ayurveda it is known as Byadhikshamata “OJA”, and described two types as Par and Apar Oja.

Symptoms of Lack of Immunity
Recurrent infections
Lack of energy without any pathology
Easily trapped by diseases
Less power to fight against diseases
Easily tiered and over stressed

Root Causes
Microorganisms
Genetic
Virus
Faulty life style and food habbits
Pollution
Stress
Metabolic disorders

Healing Options
Herbs : 1.Giloy (Tinospora cordifolia) 2. Neem (Azadirachta indica) 3.Amalaki (phyllanthis Embelica) 4. Aswagandha (Withania somnifera)

Ayurvedic   Suppliments :1. Giloy Satwa (power) 2.Amalaki Rasayan (powder)
3.Neemguard (capsule) 4.Aswagandhadi churna (powder) 5.Stress Guard

Diet: Patients should drink cold and fresh water, milk , buttermilk, sugar cane juice and easily digestible foods.

Lifestyle : One should follow the recognised conventions and traditions of his family and the religion. The following natural urges should not be suppressed:- passing of flatus, defaecation, urination, sneezing, weeping, vomiting, breathing when fatigued, thirst, hunger, sleep and coitus. Seeing of or reading of sex-stimulating pictures and novels respectively, these acts are harmful to eyes also.

Yoga : 1.The Headstand 2.   The Shoulder Stand 3. Meditation

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.

Source:Allayurveda.com

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