Phytochemical Profile of Boswellia serrata: An overview

Pharmacognosy Reviews,2007,1,1,137-142.
Published:January 2007
Type:Plant Review
Authors:
Author(s) affiliations:

Ajay Sharma, A.S.Mann, Virendra Gajbhiye, M. D. Kharya*

Pharmacognosy Research Laboratory, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Dr. Hari Singh Gour University, Sagar-470 003, INDIA

Abstract:

Salai guggal, also known as Olibanum, is an oleo-gum-resin from Boswellia serrata containing essential oil, gum and resin, which is exceedingly valued for alleviating various human sufferings. Its essential oil is a mixture of mono-, di- and sesqui-terpenes revealed the presence of 33 essential components. The gum fraction essentially composed of arabinose, xylose and galactose sugar with some digestive enzymes. Resin is the most important fraction of salai guggal comprising mainly of pentacyclic triterpenic acids succumb e-boswellic acid, 3-O-acetyl-e-boswellic acid, 11-keto-e-boswellic acid and 3-O-acetyl-11-keto-e- boswellic acid. The therapeutic value of salai guggal predominantly resides in its oleo-resin portion, which possess antiinflammatory, anti-arthritic, anti-rheumatic, anti-diarrhoeal, anti-hyperlipidemic, anti-asthmatic, anti-cancer, anti-microbial and analgesic activity. In addition it has hepatoprotective and immunomodulatory activity as well. The drug has been established effective in crohn’s disease, autoimmune-encephalitis and as an alternative to corticosteroids in treating peritumoral edema. The non-phenolic fraction of oleo-gum-resin causes sedation, reduction in motor activity and ptosis in rats. The alcoholic extract of salai guggal inhibits inflammation induced rise of serum transaminase and leukocyte elastase level. Boswellic acids are novel, specific, non-redox inhibitor of 5-lipoxygenase, which is a significant enzyme engross in arachidonic acid metabolism where its hydrophilic group at C-4 was found essential for 5-LOX inhibition. This also reduces the activity of elastase enzyme, thus helping in the management of asthma and allergic manifestations. The anti-phlogistic activity of boswellic acids is also related to antielastase activity. Drug also shows inhibition of topoisomerase enzyme in malignant cell. This review focuses on the phytochemical profile of Boswellia serrata