10 Top Medicinal Uses Of Boswellia Serrata | Shallaki | Olibanum | Indian Frankincense | Salai Guggul | Sallaki

I am very fond of natural resins and use them a lot at home. Another favorite resin of mine that many of you must be aware of is frankincense also called as olibanum. The usage of frankincense dates back centuries and we all know that it was one of three gifts offered to baby Jesus. Frankincense is a natural resin obtained from different trees belonging to genus boswellia.

There are different varieties of frankincense and each one differ slightly from one another depending on the species that it is tapped from. Frankincense is mostly found in Arabia, Africa and India. The one found in India is called Indian frankincense and it has been used in ayurvedic medicine for treating pain and inflammation for thousands of years and especially it is very well known for it’s use in treating joint pain.

In general frankincense is very calming if used as an incense, has anti inflammatory and pain relieving properties when used internally and acts as an antiseptic when used on the skin. For internal consumption purified Indianfrankincense extract in the form of tablets or the bark extract is used.

Boswellia Serrata Common Names:

It is popularly called Shallaki| Salai Guggul in Sanskrit and the botanical name of Indian frankincense is Bosewellia Serrata. Butthough it’s named salai guggul,it should not be confused with guggul resin (Commiphora Mukul). Boswellia serrata is also called Salai Guggul in Hindi & Marathi, Andugabanka in Telugu, Attam in Tamil, Lobana in Urdu and Kunturukkam in Malayalam.

Where To Buy Boswellia Serrata?

You can find Indian frankincense for internal consumption sold under the name Shallaki in the markets. Frankincense has been used allover the world for it’s wonderful fragrance and Indian frankincense is no exception. Frankincense incense has been used from time immemorial in prayers and ceremonies and I love to burn frankincense, the smell is very calming and relaxing.
Another great way to use frankincense is in the form of essential oil. Frankincense essential oil has wonderful uses but when you are buying frankincense essential oil please note from what species of boswellia tree it is derived from (it will be written in the bottle) as each species differ slightly. Frankincense essential oil can be used as a massage oil for treating dry skin, infections, acne and dandruff.

Boswellia Serrata Side Effects:

Boswellia serrata when consumed internally will cause stomachirritation and flatulence for some people. Even some dogs and cats experience these symptoms when given boswellia serrata extract. Pregnant women should take it only under medical supervision…

10 Top Medicinal Uses Of Boswellia Serrata | Shallaki | Olibanum | Indian Frankincense | Salai Guggul | Sallaki:

1. Boswellia Serrata Extract For Pain & Inflammation: Rheumatoid Arthritis

Boswelic acid which is the main active ingredient in boswellia serrata has powerful anti inflammatory properties which greatly helps in easing the inflammation, reducing the pain and improving mobility. People who are suffering from joint pain and inflammation can consider taking boswella serrata capsules but please do it only under medical supervision for determining the correct dosage for your body. You can read about the reserach that proves the anti inflammatory properties here.

2. Boswellia Serrata Resin Smoke For Stress:

Till date I have never seen a person who hates the pure smell of natural resins and most of us feel instantly calm, the beautiful fragrance of frankincense does just that. To use, collect hot coal in a traditional burner and sprinkle frankincense on top. I am very sure you will fall in love with the calming smell of boswellia serrata.

3. Boswellia Serrata Extract For Headache:

Boswellia Serrata is a powerful analgesic and it helps one get relief from chronic headaches especially cluster headaches. Cluster headaches which is caused due to the abnormalities in hypothalamus can be very painful, consider taking boswellia serrata extract under medical supervision. You can read the research that proves this use here.

4. Boswellia Serrata Extract For Diabetes: 

Boswellia serrata extracts has blood sugar lowering properties and will have significant impact on the blood sugar levels if you are a diabetic patient. I would suggest taking boswellia serrata only under medical supervision if you are a diabetic patient…

5. Boswellia Serrata Extract For Cholesterol:

When 60 type 2 diabetic patients of both genders were given 900 mg of boswellia serrata extract for a period of 6 weeks there was very significant increase in HDL and decrease in LDL. The cholesterol lowering properties of boswellia serrata has been proven beyond doubt, you can read the study that proves it here.

6. Boswellia Serrata Extract For Crohn Disease & Ulcerative Colitis:

Crohn disease & Ulcerative Colitis which are both a type of inflammatory bowel diseases can be treated with boswellia serrata. In a research broswellia serrata was found equally effective to the medicine that was currently used for treating crohn’s disease but with fewer side effects.

7. Boswellia Serrata For Cancer:

Boswellia serrata has been proven to be effective in treating liver and rectal cancers which are the major causes of death in a scientific research. You can read about the study that proves it here.

8. Boswellia Serrata Essential Oil For Congestion:

Inhalation of boswellia serrata essential oil helps open up nasal passages and will give relief from chest congestion. For the remedy boil water in a wide pan along with turmeric powder, remove from fire and add few drops of boswellia serrata essential oil. Use it for steaming…

9. Boswellia Serrata Essential Oil For Skin:

Boswellia serrata has antiseptic properties so it can be applied on the skin for treating small cuts, wounds, scrapes, insect bites, itching, acne scars and for blemish free skin. But never use essential oil directly on the skin, combine it with a carrier oil like unrefined coconut oil. It can also be added to creams and lotions…

10. Boswellia Serrata Essential Oil For Dog, Cats & Horses:

The wonderful anti inflammatory and pain relieving properties of boswellia serrata can be used for domestic animals too. Dogs with joint pain and arthritis will benefits from taking boswellia serrata. The same can be used for cats and horses too. You can read about a small study that proves this use here.



  1. Anonymous
    April 11, 2016 / 4:47 am

    Would you know the bangla name for Frankincense? I couldn't find a translation online.

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      May 29, 2016 / 11:46 pm

      I am sorry I couldn't find the Bangla name for frankincense either…

  2. Sha Zam
    April 11, 2016 / 9:06 am

    Hello Ramya!Thanks for making me discover this new item. Very very useful article. How do we use this resin to treat the crohn disease? Were can I find it in tamilnadu?

  3. Prairiecactus
    April 11, 2016 / 1:22 pm

    So glad you posted this article! I use Frankincense oil combined with a few others and a carrier oil to help with back pain associated with disc compression. Really has been effective. I also mix it with other oils and a good unscented lotion to help with dry skin issues. So glad I found your site. The bits of history and even the linguistic differences in the names of herbs, oils and resins is always fun to read and I appreciate all the info regarding the the use of these wonderful gifts in nature.

  4. Bethany
    April 12, 2016 / 11:02 pm

    Hi Ramya, thank you for your very interesting and educating articles. Can you explain how the Boswelia Serrata is used in powder form for ingesting? Would appreciate your response.

  5. Unknown
    April 29, 2016 / 6:54 am

    Hi Ramya,How do we use the frankincense crystals?Can we make the frankincense oil at home? If not where can we get it in the oil form in India?Do we just ask for Shallaki oil?

  6. Liya Paul
    April 29, 2016 / 10:34 am

    Hi Ramya,How do we use the frankincense crystals?Can we make the frankincense oil at home? If not where can we get it in the oil form in India?Do we just ask for Shallaki oil?

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      June 6, 2016 / 6:25 am

      Regular frankincense crystals we get in the markets can be used as an incense. We can't make frankincense oil at home as it is made through steam distillation. It is sold in online shops like amazon as frankincense oil..

  7. Ramya Venkateshwaran
    May 30, 2016 / 6:00 am

    Boswellia serrata extract is usually sold in tablet form….

  8. Nitin Rodge
    September 9, 2016 / 5:12 pm

    Is seed or plant we may get?

    • Bethany
      September 10, 2016 / 4:00 pm

      Hi Nitin, your question made me do a search of the Indian Boswellia Serrata. Check out this link for a very pretty picture of the plant. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boswellia_serrataI had no clue that its also good for inflammation of the joints, now that I know I can use it for the pain in my ankles.

    • Ramya Venkateshwaran
      September 10, 2016 / 4:42 pm

      We get the seeds and I think some herb nurseries stock up on the plant too but it is very hard to get the plant here in the South (I haven't seen the plant here in any herb nurseries). Certain online stores sell the seeds…

    • Bethany
      September 10, 2016 / 5:19 pm

      Hi Ramya, thanks for the response. I would love to buy the seeds from you that would give me the confidence that they are genuine/organic. Here in North America almost everything is GMO to the point that most of the best looking produce and products can be very deceptive.Please let me know if you can get me some of these seeds for me and I would also like to buy other veg, herbs, and fruit seeds from you. Please me know. Thank you.

  9. Taher sadriwala
    January 17, 2020 / 1:50 pm

    Is it also useful as an essential oil for breast cancer treatment

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