Gummi Boswellii consists of the dried gum resin of Boswellia serrata Roxb. ex Colebr. (Burseraceae)
A medium to large deciduous tree, up to 18m in height and 2.4m in girth. Leaves imparipinnate, leaﬂets ovate or ovate-lanceolate, variable. Flowers small, white, in axillary racemes or panicles. Drupes 12 mm long, trigonous, scarlet when young, turn white at maturity. Bark thick and aromatic. When cut, a secretion exudes and becomes gum-like after exposure to air
Synonyms: Boswellia glabra Roxb., B. thurifera (Colebr.) Roxb
Major chemical constituents
Contains 5–9% essential oil with major constituents being A-thujene (50– 61%), sabinene (5%), A-pinene (8%) and A-phellandrene (2%). Major triterpene constituents of biological interest are members of the boswellic acids (more than 12) including 11-oxo-B-boswellic acid, 3-O-acetyl-11oxo-B-boswellic acid, A-boswellic acid, B-boswellic acid, 3-O-acetyl-Aboswellic acid, and 3-O-acetylB-boswellic acid.
Uses supported by clinical data: Orally for the management of arthritis, bronchial asthma, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
Uses described in pharmacopoeias and well established documents: Orally for the treatment of rheumatism and arthritis
Uses described in traditional medicine: Treatment of abdominal pain, asthma, coughs, dysentery, fever, jaundice, kidney stones, pimples, sores and stomach disorders. Also used as an antivenin and an emmenagogue
Intragastric administration of the gum at doses ranging from 100.0– 500.0mg/kg body weight (bw) had no analgesic effects in dogs, rabbits or rats (26–28). However, administration of a non-phenolic fraction of the crude drug produced analgesia in 60% of rats treated with a dose of 60.0 mg/kg bw. A dose of 150.0 mg/kg bw induced analgesia in 70% of rats. The degree of analgesia was comparable to a dose of 3–4.5 mg/ kg bw of morphine. A dose of 150.0 mg/kg bw also caused a 70% reduction in spontaneous motor activity that lasted for 2 hours
Boswellic acids exhibited anticomplementary activity in vitro, as assessed by the reduction of immune-induced haemolysis of antibody-coated sheep erythrocytes by pooled guinea-pig serum. The decrease in immune-induced haemolysis was due to inhibition of C3-convertase of the classical complement pathway. The threshold concentration for inhibiting C3-convertase was found to be 100.0 μg/ml
The gestation period or parturition time in pregnant rats and the onset time of castor oil-induced diarrhoea were unaffected by the extract and no signiﬁcant effect was seen on cardiovascular, respiratory and central nervous system functions. Intragastric administration of the crude drug to dogs, rabbits or rats, at a dose of 500.0 or 1000.0 mg/kg bw, did not have ulcerogenic effects. The oral and intraperitoneal median lethal doses were greater than 2.0 g/kg bw in mice and rats. Intragastric administration of the crude drug to monkeys (500.0 mg/kg bw), mice (2.0 g/kg bw) or rats (1.0 g/kg bw) for 6 months produced no observable behavioural, biochemical or histological abnormalities.
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