Other Names:

Scientific Names: Boswellia Thurifera, boswellia carteri

Common names:

Ayurvedic names:

Chinese names: Ru xiang

Bangladesh names: luban

Arabic names:    اللبان (al-lubbaan)

Rain Forest names:


Approximate Number of Species Known:

Common Parts Used: 





Known Constituents: 

Constituents Explained:

Description:   (please note: this is the general characteristics –  colour, flavor etc)

Traditional Use:

Clinical Studies:

Patients irradiated for brain tumors often suffer from cerebral edema and are usually treated with dexamethasone, which has various side effects. To investigate the activity of Boswellia serrata (BS) in radiotherapy-related edema, a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, pilot trial was conducted.

Forty-four patients with primary or secondary malignant cerebral tumors were randomly assigned to radiotherapy plus either BS 4200 mg/day or placebo. The volume of cerebral edema in the T2-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) sequence was analyzed as a primary endpoint.

Secondary endpoints were toxicity, cognitive function, quality of life, and the need for antiedematous (dexamethasone) medication. Blood samples were taken to analyze the serum concentration of boswellic acids.

Compared with baseline and if measured immediately after the end of radiotherapy and BS/placebo treatment, a reduction of cerebral edema of >75% was found in 60% of patients receiving BS and in 26% of patients receiving placebo.

These findings may be based on an additional antitumor effect. There were no severe adverse events in either group. In the BS group, 6 patients reported minor gastrointestinal discomfort. 

BS did not have a significant impact on quality of life or cognitive function. The dexamethasone dose during radiotherapy in both groups was not statistically different. Boswellic acids could be detected in patients’ serum.

BS significantly reduced cerebral edema measured by MRI in the study population. BS could potentially be steroid-sparing for patients receiving brain irradiation. 


Kirste S, Treier M, Werhle SJ, Becker G, Abdel-Tawab M, Gerberth K, Hug MJ, Lubrich , Grosu AL, Momm F. “Boswellia Serrata Acts On Cerebral Edema In Patients Irradiated For Brain Tumors: A Prospective, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double Blind Pilot Trial.” 2011 August



Herb Name: Frankincense

Other names: Olibanum

Scientific name: Boswellia Thurifera 

Family: N.O Burseraceae

Common part used: The gum resin

The tree Boswellia Thurifera is a leafy deciduous tree, with leaves that alternate and are not equally pinnated. Each leaf is made up of ten pairs of leaflets, these being serrated and with extremely short petioles. The flowers can be either white or a pastel rose color, and are placed on short pedicels. The corolla of the flowers possesses five longish and oval petals, with ten stamens. The anthers are found to be caducous and oblong, while the torus is a disk, cup-shaped and thick. These flowers have a long and sessile ovary. The fruit is a tri-cellular capsule, and the seeds are solitary in their cells.

One of the definitive characteristics of these trees when grown in the coasts of Somalia is that they grow on smooth marble rocks, entirely without soil, with the gum of the youngest trees being considered the most valuable. In later years, with repeated tapping, the gum of the older trees is exhausted, and they yield merely a glutinous liquid.

A deep lengthwise cut is made in the trunk of the tree to extract the gum – it leaves the tree as a milky exudate, which subsequently hardens with exposure to the atmosphere. It takes three entire months for the resin to mature into the required thickness. When this happens, the resin is removed and sorted, and then packaged for sale. This period of gathering the gum generally lasts from May till September.

Frankincense needs almost no explanation as to it’s possible uses, being used now for millenia as a burned incense, especially in the Jewish tradition, but also in ancient Persia, as well as in Assyria and legendary Babylon. These days it is still used in the east, as well as in the Roman and Eastern Christian churches.

Medieval scholars believed Frankincense would cure a host of ailments, but not proof of these claims has ever been found by modern science.

Herb Name: Frankincense

Other Names:  Olibanum

Latin Name:  Boswellia Sacra

Family:  Burseraceae

Common parts Used: leaves, flower

Frankincense is a resinous dried sap, which is obtained from Boswellia Sacra tree. The trees are found in Oman and Yemen.  The tree is 3 to 8 meter high. It belongs to the family Burseraceae. The tree start to resin when it reaches to 8 or 10 years. The resin is extracted and used for different purposes.

Frankincense is used in perfumes and incense. In Bible it is considered as a gift from Jesus. It is widely used in aromatherapy. In ancient time it was also used as ingredient of eyeliner.

Frankincense is used a traditional remedy in different countries. It is considered good for digestive system and healthy skin. In India it was used from ancient times to treat arthritis. By burning it, it is a good repellent for insects. Essential oil is also obtained from Frankincense. It is also considered good for pain, backache and inflammation of joints.