Shallaki is an ancient Ayurvedic herb highly prized for its various therapeutic properties. Termed Boswellia serrata in botanical language, Shallaki belongs to the Burseraceae family, and it is that oleo gum resin tapped out of large branches of this tree, used extensively for treating various conditions related to bones.
A powerhouse of anti-inflammatory properties, Shallaki is a boon for those patients suffering from chronic bone disorders like osteoarthritis, osteopenia, osteomyelitis, etc. In India, the trees of Shallaki dot the hilly regions of Gujarat, Bihar, Orissa, Assam, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Madhya Pradesh.
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The gum resin of Shallaki is like a shortening agent and is a staple in Ayurvedic and Unani medicinal preparations and an integral part of incense powder and sticks. In India, Shallaki is like a sacred plant on par with Tulasi, Neem, and Amla. And it is those anti-inflammatory properties that provide instant relief from swelling and stiffness in the joints make it a sought-after medicinal herb.
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Ayurveda recommends mixing Shallaki powder with coconut or gingelly oil and applying it on inflamed joints for relief in a jiffy. The juice of Shallaki in recommended amounts before taking food regularly improves cognitive function and prevents cell damage caused due to free radicals.
Common Names Of Shallaki
Hindi: Salai, Dhup
Telegu, Tamil and Malayalam: Saambraani, Phirangi
Kannada: Guguladhuph, Chitta
Biochemical Constituents Of Shallaki
Researchers believe that the rich composition of sugars, volatile and essential oils, terpenoids. Boswellia Bark consists of b – oxositosterol and glucosides. Resins comprise of monoterpenes, diterpene, triterpenes, tetracycline, triterpenes acids and four major pentacyclic triterpenic acids i.e., acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid, acetyl-β-boswellic acid, β-boswellic acid, 11-keto-β-boswellic acid. This rich plethora of pharmacological components give Shallaki extract its anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-cancerous, and even soothing properties.
What Are The Medicinal and Therapeutic Properties of Shallaki?
Shallaki or Saambraani is a treasure trove of antiseptic, astringent, anti-inflammatory, and anti-arthritic properties, making it a popular medicinal herb for treating piles or hemorrhoids, diarrhea, stomach ulcer, skin diseases, genitourinary conditions besides providing relief from bone disorders.
What Are The Uses and Benefits of Shallaki?
Uplifts Liver Health:
The thick extract of Shallaki is rich in hypolipidemic activity, which plays a pivotal role in lowering the total cholesterol and augmenting the levels of high-density lipoprotein or HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol). Loaded with hepatoprotective enzymes, regular intake of Shallaki, as recommended by your Ayurvedic doctor, keeps the liver healthy and digestion intact.
Maintains Gut Health:
Shallaki provides instant relief from the symptoms caused by chronic gut ailments like Ulcerative Colitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and Crohn’s Disease. As per Ayurveda, digestive issues are caused due to imbalances in digestive fire or Pachak Agni. Shallaki aid in correcting those issues by correcting the Sita or cold properties. Regular intake of Shallaki treats constipation and rectal bleeding.
According to Ayurveda, rheumatoid arthritis and other bone disorders result from Amavata. Amavata is caused due to significant accumulation of Ama – the toxic remains in the body caused due to lack of proper digestion and Vata dosha. In patients suffering from Ama, the toxic elements accumulate in the joints. The Vata balancing properties of Shallaki reduce Ama and bring down the swelling in the joints. Mix Shallaki powder in coconut oil and apply it topically on the affected joints for instant relief.
Prevents Asthma Attacks:
Asthma is a chronic respiratory ailment, and asthmatic patients are at significant risk of sudden attacks that trouble their breathing. Asthma is caused due to Vata and Kapha doshas, causing severe obstruction in the airways. Asthma, if not treated properly, can result in difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, and a great inconvenience. Intake of Shallaki in the form of tablets, capsules, or inhaling it eliminates chest congestion, thus providing instant relief.
Improves Cardiac Function:
Shallaki is highly recommended for maintaining heart health. The hemostatic, cardiovascular, and anti-inflammatory components boost heart functioning, pump oxygenated blood and prevent anticoagulation.
The topical application of Shallaki brings down the signs of aging besides hydrating the dry skin from within. It restores the natural moisturization of the skin. Mix a spoonful of Shallaki with water and make it into a paste. Apply it evenly on the face and leave it to dry. Wash it with lukewarm water for an instant glow.
What Are The Ayurvedic Properties Of Shallaki?
Sallaki is bequeathed with the following traits that account for its numerous uses. They are:
Guna (Qualities) - Laghu (Light), Rooksha (Dry)
Rasa (Taste) - Kashaya (Astringent), Tikta (Bitter), Madhura (Sweet)
Vipaka (taste after digestion) – Katu (pungent)
Veerya (potency) - Sheeta (Cold)
Effect On Doshas : Balances Kapha and Pitta
How To Use and the Recommended Dosage of Shallaki?
Shallaki is available in the form of tablets, powder, and capsules. Your Ayurvedic practitioner may even prescribe it in the form of bark decoction.
- Mix Shallaki powder with lukewarm water and consume it twice a day or as per the recommendation
- Shallaki capsules and tablets can be taken not exceeding 2 per day or as per the recommendation.
What Are The Side Effects of Shallaki?
If you are pregnant or a lactating mother, check with your doctor while taking Shallaki. Excessive intake of Shallaki can cause nausea, diarrhea, fever, indigestion, and stomach pain.
5 Things To Know About Shallaki?
Shallaki is available in how many forms in the market?
Well, this aromatic oleo extract is available in powder, capsules, tablets, and oil. The oil is used mainly in incense sticks and perfumes for its fragrance.
Is Shallaki good for joint pains?
Yes. Shallaki is a time-tested natural remedy and an Ayurvedic recommendation to bring down joint pains and relieve stiffness and inflammation.
Can Shallaki cause dizziness?
Take it in recommended dosage to avoid dizziness and other side effects.
Is Shallaki suitable for treating asthma?
Yes. This Ayurvedic medicine relieves severe asthmatic symptoms like shortness of breath, panting, etc.
Does Shallaki interact with other drugs?
It is possible for a few Ayurvedic drugs to interact with allopathic medicines. Check with your doctor before consuming Shallaki.
Shallaki is also known as Salai, Dhup in Hindi, Gugali in Gujarati, Kundur in Bengali, Saambraani, Phirangi in Telugu, Tamil and Malayalam, Guguladhuph and Chitta in Kannada and Kundur by Unani doctors, is an ancient Ayurvedic herb, for treating various ailments, especially the bone disorders. Known as Boswellia serrata in botanical language, the oleo gum extracted from the bark of the Shallaki tree possesses a wide range of anti-inflammatory, analgesic, astringent, and anti-arthritis properties.Regular usage of Shallaki in the form of a capsule, tablet, or topical application brings down inflammation and relieves stiffness and joint pains. It also improves gut health and keeps the liver and heart healthy. If you are pregnant or a lactating mother, ask your doctor if Shallaki is good for you. Excessive intake of Shallaki may interfere with digestion, causing diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.