Shallaki (Boswellia serrata) is most popular herb in Ayurveda, used mainly for the treatment of Osteo – arthritis. 3-Oacetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid (AKBA) is the most active component of Boswellia extract. It is used to relieve the pain and improves joint mobility and flexibility. Due to its Anti–inflammatory action this herb used in many Ayurvedic preparations. It has hypo- lipidemic, Hepatoprotective, Immuno-modulator, Anti- diabetic, Anti-cancerous actions. And it can be used as a substitute for Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS).


Shallaki botanically identified as Boswellia serrata, also called as Indian Frankincense belongs to family Burseraceae. The exudate of Shallaki is called Kunduru (used to indicate resin). The Resin made from this extract has been used for centuries in Asian and African folk – medicine. It gained popularity among consumers to treat various Chronic inflammatory conditions such as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Asthma, Allergies, Arthritis, Osteoarthritis and general pain. It is used as an ingredient for medicated herbal smoking. The essential oil of this plant used for massage and internally it is used to improve the digestion strength.


Shallaki is a deciduous middle sized tree, Bark – Ash colored, peeling off in thin flakes

Leaves – Compound, Leaflets are opposite, sessile, ovate or ovate – lanceolate, crenate margin. Raceme inflorescence

Flowers are bisexual, small and white in color.

Fruits – Drupe variety, trigons, Pyrepes heart shaped.

Niryasa (Exudate): Opaque or translucent tears of greenish white, golden yellow or light brown color, occurring in various sizes. The shape ranges from round and club shaped to typical stalactite. On breaking becomes short pieces exposing a shining glossy surface. It has got turpentine like odour and astringent taste.


Shallaki grows in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and parts of South India.

Taxonomical classification of Boswellia serrata


Subkingdom – Tracheobionta                                                                                                                

Division – Magnoliophyta                                                                                                                                


Subclass – Polypetalae                                                                                                                         

Series– Discifloraeflorae                                                                                                            

Order- Geraniales                                                                                                                                 

Family- Burseraceae                                                                                                                    

Genus- Boswellia                                                                                                                                 

Species- serrata

Vernacular names:

Sanskrit name: Susrava, Gajabhaksya, Vrttika,


Kannada: Sambrani

Hindi: Lubar, Salai lassa                                                                                                                       

English: Indian Olibanum

Telugu: Andugu chettu                                                                                                                                              

Tamil:  Parangi Sambrani

Malayalam: Manna kungiliyam

Marathi: Pahadi Dhup

Gujarati:  Shaledum, Shaleda, Salami,

Bengali: Luban, salai

Punjabi:   Salai Gonda

Urdu: Kundur

Kashmiri: Kunturukkam, samprani

Assameese: Shallaki

Uriya: Loban

Bombay: Salai, Salaphali

Ayurvedic properties of Shallaki:




Kasaya, Tikta, Madhura


Astringent, Bitter, Sweet


Laghu. Ruksha

Physical property

Light, Dry







Metabolic Property

(After digestion)


Effect on Doshas:

It pacifies Pitta and Kapha Doshas.

Chemical composition:

It contains β – Boswellic acid in resin portion, Volatile oil contains p – cymene, d – limonene, terpinolene, α – piviene, α – thujone, α – phellandrene, α – terpineol, bornyl acetate and methyl chavicol. Gum resin has serratol α – diterpene alcohol. Bark contains Tannin, lignin, and β-sitosterol.

Part used:

Niryasa (Exudate)



Niryasa (Exudate): 1 – 3 gm

Bark decoction: 50 – 100 ml

Health benefits:

  • Shallaki is useful in the disorder caused by Kapha and Pitta
  • It helps to remove excess mucous from the lungs and hence It is useful in Asthma.
  • Shallaki is used in the treatment of Wound.
  • It is used in treating the symptoms of ulcerative colitis.
  • Shallaki is an appetizer and digestive, hence used in loss of appetite
  • It is indicated in Dysentery, blood disorder such as nasal bleeding and Menorrhagia.
  • It helps in controlling signs of aging and increases moisture content in the skin
  • It is used in Arthritis and it reduce the pain, Inflammation and Improve the functioning of joints.
  • It helps to improve Brain functions
  • It is used as an aphrodisiac and it enhance sexual pleasure
  • It pleases the mind because of its Aroma.

Research work:

Research work by P. K. Gupta, Clinical evaluation of Boswellia serrata (Shallaki) resin in the management of Sandhivata (osteoarthritis), Ayu journal, Wednesday, September 28, 2016, IP:


Shallaki is an Ayurvedic medicine that can be purchased in capsule form, it can prevent the production of inflammatory substance in the joints, promotes proper functioning of joints and helps to prevent wear and tear of joints. Its therapeutic uses, which mainly focuses on its anti-inflammatory and analgesic action are well known to all Ayurveda physicians. It is safe to use daily dose of 1 gm; higher dose can have side effects on liver, so it should be taken as per its indication in appropriate dosage under the professional supervision.


  • Bhava prakasha Nighantu (Indian Materia Medica) of Shri Bhava mishra, Commentary by Dr. K.C. Chunekar and Edited by Dr. G.S. Pandey, Tenth Edition, Chaukhambha Bharati Academy, Varanasi,1995. Karpooradi varga-Verse, 50 – 51.
  • Dr Prakash L. Hegde, Dr Harini A, A Text Book of Dravyaguna Vignana, Vol 2, Varanasi, Choukhambha Publications, 2014, p 748-53.
  • Aradhna Saklan, A Critical Review article on Boswellia Serrata (Shallaki), ejbps, 2020, Volume 7, Issue 2, 107-112.
  • The Ayurvedic Pharmacopoeia of India, Government of India, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Department of Ayush, part- 1, volume – iv, p 08.
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