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Arshiya Zulfeen Mohd Fahim*, Mohammed Shakir Ghouse, Praveen S. Wathore, Syed Qumarul Islam



Olibanum also known as “Dhup”, Indian Frankincense is an oleo gum resin of Boswellia species. In India it is obtained from Boswellia serrata. Boswellia serrata (Burseraceae), much branched, deciduous tree that grows abundantly in the dry, hilly parts of India. In India, the gum resin exudates of Boswellia serrata, known in the vernacular as “Salai guggal”, has been used in the Ayurvedic system of medicine in the managements of several inflammatory conditions and as a topical anti-inflammatory agent. The major use of Boswellia serrata in contemporary medicine is as an anti-arthritic and anti-inflammatory pharmacological agent. The anti-inflammatory properties of the gum resin are attributed to the presence of “boswellic acids”. In 1992, the active principles within the multi-component mixture of resin were identified, resulting in recognition of Boswellic acids. The most important are Acetyl 11-Keto β-Boswellic Acid (AKBA) and 11- Keto β-Boswellic Acid (KBA). Boswellic acids were found to inhibit two pro-inflammatory enzymes, 5-lipoxygenase (which generates inflammatory leukotrienes) and Human Leukocyte Elastase (HLE). HLE is a serine protease that initiates injury to the tissue, which in turn triggers the inflammatory process. This dual inhibitory action on the inflammatory process is unique to boswellic acids. Boswellia species are trees or shrubs with an outer bark often peeling in parchment like flakes, inner bark greenish, with watery aromatic resin, wood with milky latex. The leaves are imparipinnate, mostly congested at the end of the branches. Flowers are bisexual in panicles or racemes. Boswellia trees are found at areas from the sea level up to 1000 meters, usually in rocky slopes and gullies, often on limestone boulders, more rarely on vertical rock-faces, growing to a height of 3 up to 12 meters. The four major pentacyclic triterpenic acids present in the acidic extract of Boswellia serrata gum resin.  β-Boswellic Acid  Acetyl-β-Boswellic Acid  11-keto-β-Boswellic Acid  Acetyl-11-keto-β-Boswellic Acid Drug occurs in globular, transparent, tears forming agglomerates of various shapes and sizes, brownish-yellow, upto 5 cm long, 2 cm thick, fragrant, fracture brittle; fractured surface waxy and translucent; burns readily and emanates an agreeable characteristic, balsamic resinous odor; taste, aromatic and agreeable.

Keywords: Boswellic acid, olibanum, Human Leukocyte Elastase, 11- Keto ?-Boswellic Acid, anti-inflammatory, hilly parts of India, inflammatory leukotrienes, Burseraceae.

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