Boswellia Serrata, commonly called Shallaki is a plant is known for anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties of Boswellic Acids derived from it. It is also a fragrant resin with wide use in incense and perfume manufacture. This resin has many pharmacological uses. The oleo-gum resin of Boswellia Serrata is a complex mixture of lower and higher Terpenoids and carbohydrates. Higher Terpenoids, collectively called the Boswellic Acids are the major fraction of the resin (25-35%).
Interestingly, its medicinal use might be attributable to elephants, as it’s said that ancient Ayurvedic healers discovered its benefits by watching elephants eat boswellia. Since elephants are known for their long life and health, it is thought that the healers wanted to bring the health benefits of the tree to their patients.
Boswellia works through entirely different mechanisms than anti-inflammatory drugs. Whereas most drugs function as Cox enzyme inhibitors, boswellia works by inhibiting lipoxygenase enzymes (LOX), which are powerful contributors to inflammation and disease. By inhibiting LOX enzymes, boswellia effectively blocks leukotriene synthesis. Leukotrienes play a major role in promoting a whole host of age-associated, inflammation-related diseases including joint problems, intestinal disorders, cancer, and lung related disease.