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Asthisamharaka (Vitis quadrangularis): A Medicinal Plant with Promising Health Benefits and Therapeutic Potential

Introduction: Asthisamharaka (Vitis quadrangularis), also known as the Devil's Backbone or Hadjod, is a medicinal plant that has been widely used in traditional medicine systems for centuries. With its origins in India, this plant belongs to the Vitaceae family and is characterized by its unique four-angled stem. Hadjod holds significant importance in various cultures due to its potential health benefits and therapeutic properties. Its traditional use can be traced back to ancient Ayurvedic texts, where it is highly regarded for its ability to promote bone health and treat musculoskeletal disorders. Historically, Hadjod has been used as a natural remedy for fractures, bone loss, and joint-related conditions. In Ayurveda, it is classified as a 'Asthisandhaneeya' herb, meaning it has the potential to strengthen bones, promote fracture healing, and improve overall bone health. The plant's name, "Hadjod," is derived from the Hindi word "hadjod,"

Salaki (Boswellia Serrata): Exploring the Medicinal Properties, Traditional Uses, and Potential Health Benefits


Salaki (Boswellia serrata) is a remarkable plant known for its medicinal properties and historical significance. For centuries, this herb has been treasured in various traditional systems of medicine for its therapeutic benefits. In this article, we will delve into the world of Salaki, exploring its botanical characteristics, traditional uses, and the latest scientific research surrounding its potential health benefits. Whether you are seeking natural remedies or simply curious about herbal medicine, this article aims to provide valuable insights into the intriguing properties of Salaki (Boswellia serrata).

Background Information:

Botanical Characteristics of Boswellia serrata:

Boswellia serrata, commonly known as Salaki or Indian frankincense, is a deciduous tree that belongs to the Burseraceae family. It is native to the dry, hilly regions of India, particularly found in the western and central parts of the country. The tree can reach a height of up to 8-10 meters, with a sturdy trunk and a spreading canopy of branches.

The leaves of Boswellia serrata are composed of small, alternate leaflets that are ovate or lanceolate in shape. They have a smooth texture and are typically dark green in color. The tree's flowers are pale pink or white and form clusters at the end of the branches. Boswellia serrata also produces small, oval-shaped fruits that contain seeds.

Geographical Distribution and Natural Habitat:

Salaki (Boswellia serrata) primarily grows in the arid and mountainous regions of India. It is commonly found in the states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra. The tree thrives in dry and rocky environments, often growing in the wild or as part of dry deciduous forests. It is well-adapted to withstand drought-like conditions and can tolerate a wide range of temperatures.

Historical and Cultural Significance:

Salaki (Boswellia serrata) holds great historical and cultural significance, particularly in traditional systems of medicine. In Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine, Salaki has been used for centuries to address various health conditions. It is considered a valuable herb for its anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and rejuvenating properties.

Moreover, Salaki has played a prominent role in religious and ceremonial practices. The fragrant resin obtained from Boswellia serrata has been used as an incense and in religious rituals across different cultures. The resin has a rich, aromatic scent that is believed to purify the environment and promote spiritual well-being.

The historical and cultural significance of Salaki has contributed to its continued use and exploration in modern times, as researchers and practitioners seek to uncover its potential health benefits and harness its therapeutic properties.

Medicinal Properties and Active Compounds:

Salaki (Boswellia serrata) possesses several medicinal properties that have been attributed to its active compounds. The resin obtained from the tree contains a diverse range of bioactive components, including boswellic acids, triterpenoids, volatile oils, and flavonoids.

The primary bioactive constituents in Boswellia serrata are the boswellic acids, which have demonstrated anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic effects. These acids inhibit the activity of certain enzymes involved in the inflammatory response, thereby reducing inflammation and providing relief from pain and swelling.

Traditional Uses in Different Cultures:

Salaki has a rich history of traditional use in various cultures. Here are some examples:


In Ayurvedic medicine, Salaki is considered an important herb for treating inflammatory conditions, joint disorders, and respiratory ailments. It is believed to have a balancing effect on the doshas (energetic principles) and is used in formulations targeting arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, and skin disorders.

Traditional Chinese Medicine:

Boswellia serrata is utilized in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. It is often prescribed for relieving pain, reducing inflammation, and promoting blood circulation.

Traditional African Medicine:

Salaki resin has been used in traditional African medicine to manage various health issues, including arthritis, diarrhea, dysentery, and skin infections.

Traditional Uses for Specific Conditions:

Salaki has been traditionally used for various conditions and ailments, including:


Salaki is highly regarded for its potential to alleviate symptoms associated with arthritis, such as joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation. It has been used in traditional systems of medicine to support joint health and improve mobility.

Respiratory Conditions:

Boswellia serrata has been employed to address respiratory conditions like asthma, bronchitis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It may help reduce airway inflammation and improve breathing.

Skin Disorders:

Salaki has been used traditionally to manage skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and acne. Its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties may help soothe skin inflammation and promote healing.

Digestive Disorders:

In traditional medicine, Salaki has been used to manage digestive ailments such as diarrhea, dysentery, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It is believed to have anti-inflammatory effects on the gastrointestinal tract.


It's important to note that while Salaki has a long history of traditional use for these conditions, further scientific research is necessary to establish its efficacy and safety in treating specific health issues.

Modern Research and Scientific Studies:

In recent years, Boswellia serrata has garnered significant attention from the scientific community, leading to a growing body of research investigating its pharmacological properties, mechanisms of action, and potential health benefits. Here is an overview of some notable findings:

Anti-inflammatory and Analgesic Effects:

Studies have demonstrated that Boswellia serrata exhibits potent anti-inflammatory activity by inhibiting pro-inflammatory enzymes and cytokines. The boswellic acids present in Salaki have been shown to suppress the production of inflammatory mediators, thereby reducing pain and inflammation.

Joint Health and Arthritis:

Research suggests that Boswellia serrata may be beneficial in managing symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Clinical trials have reported improvements in joint pain, stiffness, and physical function with the use of Salaki extracts.

Respiratory Conditions:

Boswellia serrata has been investigated for its potential in respiratory conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Studies suggest that Salaki may help improve lung function, reduce airway inflammation, and alleviate symptoms in these conditions.

Anticancer Properties:

Several studies have explored the potential anticancer effects of Boswellia serrata extracts. Research indicates that certain compounds in Salaki exhibit anti-proliferative, anti-metastatic, and apoptotic effects on cancer cells, particularly in colon, breast, and prostate cancers.

Gastrointestinal Health:

Salaki has been investigated for its effects on gastrointestinal disorders such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Findings suggest that Boswellia serrata may help reduce inflammation, promote gut healing, and improve symptoms in these conditions.

Neuroprotective Effects:

Emerging research indicates that Boswellia serrata extracts may possess neuroprotective properties. Studies suggest that Salaki can help protect against neuronal damage, reduce inflammation in the brain, and potentially benefit conditions like Alzheimer's disease.


While the scientific evidence on Boswellia serrata's efficacy is promising, it is important to note that more extensive clinical trials and further research are needed to establish its effectiveness and dosage recommendations for specific conditions. However, the available studies suggest that Salaki holds great potential as a natural remedy for various health conditions, warranting continued investigation and exploration.

Health Benefits and Applications:

Boswellia serrata, or Salaki, offers a range of potential health benefits due to its diverse array of bioactive compounds. Here are some key health benefits associated with Salaki:

Anti-inflammatory Effects:

Salaki is known for its potent anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation throughout the body. It may be beneficial in managing conditions characterized by chronic inflammation, such as arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, and certain respiratory conditions.

Joint Health and Arthritis Management:

Boswellia serrata has been traditionally used for joint-related issues, and modern research supports its efficacy in managing arthritis. Salaki may help alleviate joint pain, stiffness, and swelling, promoting improved mobility and quality of life for individuals with osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.

Respiratory Conditions:

Salaki may be beneficial in respiratory conditions such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). It possesses bronchodilatory properties, helps reduce airway inflammation, and may assist in improving lung function and breathing difficulties.

Gastrointestinal Health:

Boswellia serrata has shown promise in managing gastrointestinal disorders like ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. It may help reduce inflammation in the gut, promote healing of the intestinal lining, and alleviate symptoms such as abdominal pain and diarrhea.

Skin Health:

Salaki has been used traditionally for various skin conditions, and its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties may be beneficial. It may help soothe skin inflammation, reduce redness, and aid in the management of conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and acne.

Complementary or Alternative Treatment:

Salaki can be considered a complementary or alternative treatment option alongside conventional medicine for certain conditions. It may provide additional relief and support for individuals seeking natural alternatives or experiencing side effects from other medications.


It's important to note that while Salaki shows promise in various health conditions, individual results may vary, and consulting with a healthcare professional is crucial before using it as a treatment option. Salaki should not be used as a replacement for prescribed medications without proper medical guidance.

Dosage and Administration:

Salaki (Boswellia serrata) is available in different forms, and the recommended dosage can vary based on the specific product and the individual's age and health condition. Here are some general guidelines regarding dosage and administration:

Dosage Forms:

Salaki is commonly available in the form of capsules, tablets, extracts, or topical preparations like creams or gels. These dosage forms are formulated to deliver standardized amounts of the active compounds found in Boswellia serrata.

Recommended Dosage:

The appropriate dosage of Salaki can depend on factors such as the concentration of active compounds, the specific health condition being addressed, and individual response. It is essential to follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer or consult with a healthcare professional for personalized dosage recommendations.

Age Groups and Conditions:

Dosage recommendations for Salaki can vary among age groups and conditions. Pediatric dosages may differ from adult dosages, and it is crucial to consult a healthcare professional for guidance when considering Salaki for children.

Dosages for specific conditions may also vary, and it is important to follow the advice of a healthcare professional who is familiar with your medical history.

Precautions and Potential Side Effects:

Salaki is generally considered safe when used appropriately, but some precautions and some side effects should be kept in mind.

Pregnant or breastfeeding women should exercise caution and consult a healthcare professional before using Salaki.

Allergic reactions to Salaki are rare but possible. If you experience any adverse effects or allergic symptoms, discontinue use and seek medical attention.


It is important to remember that these dosage and administration guidelines are general in nature. The specific recommended dosage for Salaki should be determined by a healthcare professional who takes into account factors such as your overall health, the severity of the condition being treated, and potential drug interactions.

Commercial Products and Availability:

Salaki (Boswellia serrata) is widely available in the market in various commercial products and formulations. Here is some information about its availability and where to purchase Salaki-based products:

Health Food Stores and Supplement Retailers:

Salaki supplements, such as capsules or tablets containing Boswellia serrata extract, can often be found in health food stores, supplement retailers, and pharmacies. These establishments typically offer a range of brands and formulations, allowing you to choose the product that best suits your needs.

Online Retailers:

Salaki-based products can also be purchased from online retailers, which provide a convenient option for accessing a wide range of brands and formulations. Websites like Amazon, health-focused online stores, and specific supplement manufacturer websites offer Salaki supplements and related products for online purchase.

Herbal Medicine Shops:

Traditional herbal medicine shops or Ayurvedic stores may carry Salaki-based products. These specialized stores often provide a variety of herbal remedies, including Salaki in different forms such as powders, extracts, or topical preparations.


When purchasing Salaki-based products, it is advisable to choose reputable herbal brands that ensure quality control and adhere to manufacturing standards. Look for standardized extracts or products that mention the concentration of active compounds, such as boswellic acids.

Before making a purchase, it is important to read product labels, check customer reviews, and consult with a healthcare professional or pharmacist if you have any specific health concerns or are taking other medications.

Some Ayurvedic Products with Salaki:

Orthozac Gold Roll On - Ayurvedic Pain Relief Massage Oil:

Orthozac Gold Roll On is an Ayurvedic pain relief massage oil that features Salaki as one of its active ingredients. This roll-on product is designed for topical application, providing targeted relief for joint and muscle pain. It is an option for individuals seeking localized pain relief and the benefits of Salaki in a convenient and easy-to-use format.

Orthozac Gold 60 ml Oil - Ayurvedic Pain Relief Massage Oil:

Orthozac Gold 60 ml oil is another Ayurvedic pain relief massage oil that incorporates Salaki as a key ingredient. This oil formulation is intended for external use and can be applied to the affected areas for pain relief, reducing inflammation, and promoting joint health.

Orthozac Syrup 200 ml - Ayurvedic Pain Relief and Ortho Care Tablets:

Orthozac Syrup is an Ayurvedic product containing Salaki and other herbal ingredients, formulated for pain relief and orthopedic care. This syrup is designed for internal consumption and may provide systemic benefits for individuals with joint-related issues.

The availability of these Ayurvedic products may vary based on geographical location and local regulations. Individuals interested in purchasing these specific products should explore reputable Ayurvedic stores, online retailers specializing in Ayurvedic products, or directly visit the ayurvedic manufacturer's website for more information and purchase options.


In conclusion, Boswellia serrata, commonly known as Salaki, is a botanical species with a long history of traditional use and a growing body of scientific research supporting its medicinal properties. Throughout this article, we have explored several key points:

Salaki contains bioactive compounds, including boswellic acids, that contribute to its medicinal properties. It has been traditionally used in different cultures for various conditions, such as arthritis, respiratory ailments, skin disorders, and digestive issues.

Modern research has revealed its anti-inflammatory, analgesic, joint-protective, and potential anticancer effects. Boswellia serrata shows promise in managing conditions like arthritis, respiratory disorders, gastrointestinal ailments, and skin conditions.

Salaki can be considered a complementary or alternative treatment option, offering potential benefits alongside conventional medicine.

The future prospects for Boswellia serrata are promising. Further research and clinical trials are necessary to establish its efficacy, optimal dosage, and potential interactions with other medications.

In summary, Salaki (Boswellia serrata) holds great potential as a natural remedy with anti-inflammatory, joint-protective, respiratory, gastrointestinal, and dermatological benefits. Continued research and exploration of Salaki's medicinal properties are essential for fully understanding its therapeutic potential and maximizing its benefits for human health.


Disclaimer: The information provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be considered as medical advice. It is recommended to consult with healthcare professionals or Ayurvedic practitioners for personalized guidance and recommendations.



The information provided here is for informational purposes only and should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult a qualified healthcare practitioner for personalized guidance.

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