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Drugs and Health Products

Monograph: Frankincense - Topical

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Date

March 5, 2004

Class

Plant

Proper Name

Boswellia sacra Flueck. (Burseraceae) (USDA 2004)

Common Name

Frankincense, bible frankincense, incense, olibanum (McGuffin et al. 2000)

Source

Gum resin from the bark (Leung and Foster 1996)

Route of Administration

Oral or topical (Lu 1999).

Dosage Form

Those suited to the allowable route(s) of administration.

Use or Purpose

Statement to the effect of:
Oral
  • Traditionally used as an astringent (Williamson 2002; Li 1973).
  • Traditionally used as a diuretic (Williamson 2002; Leung and Foster 1996; Li 1973).
  • Traditionally used to relieve nervous problems (Williamson 2002; Leung and Foster 1996).
  • Traditionally used in TCM to promote circulation of qi (Long 1998; Bensky and Gamble 1986).
  • Traditionally used in TCM to relieve urinary disorders (Williamson 2002; Bown 1995).
  • Traditionally used in TCM to dispel wind-dampness (Long 1998; Bensky and Gamble 1986).
Topical
  • Traditionally used in TCM to promote healing of carbuncles (Bensky and Gamble 1986; Li 1973).
  • Traditionally used in TCM to promote tissue regeneration (Long 1998; Bensky and Gamble 1986).
  • Traditionally used in TCM to promote healing of injuries (Bown 1995; Bensky and Gamble 1986).
  • Traditionally used in TCM to relieve gum, mouth and throat complaints (Bown 1995; Bensky and Gamble 1986).
  • Traditionally used in TCM to relieve pain (Long 1998; Bensky and Gamble 1986).
  • Traditionally applied to treat ringworm (Williamson 2002; Kapoor 2001).
  • Traditionally used in TCM to promote healing of sores (Bensky and Gamble 1986; Li 1973).
  • Traditionally used in TCM to reduce swelling (Long 1998; Bensky and Gamble 1986).

Dose

Oral and topical
Gum resin: 3-8 g/day (Lu 1999; Bensky and Gamble 1986)

Note: Traditional literature suggests frying the resin prior to consumption (Lu 1999; Bensky and Gamble 1986)

Duration of use

For prolonged use, consult a health care provider.

Risk information

Statement to the effect of:

Caution(s) and Warning(s)

No reports known.

Contraindications

Do not use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Non-medicinal ingredients

Must be chosen from the List of Acceptable Non-medicinal ingredients and must meet the limitations outlined in the list.

Specifications

Must comply with the minimum specifications outlined in the Compendium of Monographs.

References

  • Bensky D, Gamble A. Chinese Herbal Medicine Materia Medica- Revised Edition. Seattle (WA): Eastland Press Inc.; 1986.
  • Bown D. Encyclopedia of Herbs and Their Uses. New York (NY): Dorling Kindersley Limited; 1995.
  • Gruenwald J, Brendler T, Jaenicke C. PDR for Herbal Medicines. Montvale (NJ): Medical Economics Company Inc.; 1998.
  • Kapoor LD. Handbook of Ayurvedic Medicinal Plants. New York (NY): CRC Press; 2001.
  • Leung AY, Foster S. Encyclopedia of Common Natural Ingredients used in Food, Drugs and Cosmetics- 2nd Edition. Toronto (ON): John Wiley and Sons Inc.; 1996.
  • Li SC. Chinese Medicinal Herbs. San Francisco (CA): Georgetown Press; 1973.
  • Long Z. The Chinese Materia Medica. Xue Yuan (China): Academy Press; 1998.
  • Lu H. A Comprehensive Textbook of Chinese Herbology. Vancouver (BC): Academy of Oriental Heritage; 1999.
  • McGuffin M, Kartesz JT, Leung AY, Tucker AO. The American Herbal Products Association's Herbs of Commerce, 2nd edition. Silver Spring (MD): American Herbal Products Association; 2000.
  • Next link will take you to another Web site  USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germoplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN). Boswellia sacra [Internet] - [cited 2004 Mar 1].
  • Williamson EM, editor. Major Herbs of Ayurveda. London (UK): Elsevier Science Limited; 2002.