Frankincense Tears


Botanical Name: Boswellia carteri                                              

Common Name:

  • English: Indian frankincense
  • Ayurvedic: Shallaki, Susravaa, Gajabhakshyaa, Salai. Gum Kunduru
  • Unani: Kundur
  • Also, known as: Alberodell’incenso, anduga, arbore à encerns, Boswellia, Boswellie-dentelee, Samprani, Sanlaki, Shaledum, Shallaki, Susrava, Chilakdupa, Dhupelio, Dhup-gugali, Dhupdo, Fan hun hsiang, Fan hun shu, Kondor, Koonkanadhoopam, Kundre, Kundrikam, Kundur, Kundur luban,Gajabhakshya, Gandhabiroz, Saladi, Salai, Salaibaum, Salai cha dink, Salai gonda, Salai guggal, Salakhi, Saleda, Saledhi, Saledo,Gobahr shalla, Husn-e-lubban, Indian frankincense tree, Indian olibanum, Indischerweihrauch, Kapitthaprani, Kondagugi tamu, Kunduru, Kunthreekan, Kunturukkam, Labana, Loban, Loban zakar, Lobhan, Luban, Luban-dacar, Luban Dhakar, Maddi, Madi, Madimar, Parangi sambrani, Pahadi, Parangisambrani, Parangisampirani, Salgai, Sallaki, Sambrani, Tallaki, Vishesha dhoop,  Isheshdhup, Zarw, Parangisambirani, and Kungli

Habitat: India, Africa, Egypt

Origin: Kenya

Harvested: Wild 

Parts Used: Resin chunk                                                                  

General Information:

Boswellia serrata, is a moderate to large sized branching tree of family Burseraceae, genus Boswellia, grows up to 18 m in height and up to 2.4 m in girth, found in dry mountainous regions of India, Northern Africa, and the Middle East. Also, the tree grows wild in forests in hilly areas of central India. It is one of the ancient and most valued herbs in Ayurveda. “Gajabhakshya”, a Sanskrit name sometimes used for Boswellia, suggests that elephants enjoy this herb as a part of their diet.

 It has smooth, yellow, or ash-colored bark with alternate, imparipinnate leaves that are crowded at the end of branches. Leaflets are sessile and opposite, in 10-15 pairs. Flowers are in axillary racemes. The fruit is three-angled, splitting into three valves.

Oleo-gum-resin is tapped from the incision made in the trunk of the tree and is then stored in a specially made bamboo basket for removal of oil content and getting the resin solidified. The gum is obtained by removing small patches of the bark from the tree trunk. The resin from the stem, on drying, gets deposited along the sides of the bark after a few days and is collected from there. The gum solidifies slowly with time. The gum pieces are globular, club-shaped, stalactitic drops of pale yellow to brown, which may coagulate to form bigger lumps. The gum has a typical odor.  It occurs in small, ovoid, fragrant tears. Sometimes the tears form up to 5 cm long and 2 cm thick. The gum is pooled at collection centers and is sorted by hand, then graded according to its flavor, color, shape, and size into various qualities. In trade, the oleo-gum-resin is known as Kundru, Dhup, Loban, Indian olibanum or frankincense. The resin of Boswellia species has been used as incense in religious and cultural ceremonies and in medicines since time immemorial.


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