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This article has been retracted as it was found to contain a substantial amount of material from the manuscript titled “The volatile constituents of frankincense - a review” by Michaela Mertens, Andrea Buettnera, and Eva Kirchhoffa which was published in Flavour and Fragrance Journal, Volume 24, Issue 6, pages 279–300, November/December 2009, without proper citation.
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 140509, 12 pages
Review Article

Chemistry and Biology of Essential Oils of Genus Boswellia

1Department of Biological Sciences and Chemistry, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Nizwa, Birkat Al-Mouz, 616 Nizwa, Oman
2Department of Chemistry, University of Paderborn, Warburger Straße 100, 33098 Paderborn, Germany

Received 2 December 2012; Accepted 28 January 2013

Academic Editor: Ruixin Zhang

Copyright © 2013 Hidayat Hussain et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The properties of Boswellia plants have been exploited for millennia in the traditional medicines of Africa, China, and especially in the Indian Ayurveda. In Western countries, the advent of synthetic drugs has obscured the pharmaceutical use of Boswellia, until it was reported that an ethanolic extract exerts anti-inflammatory and antiarthritic effects. Frankincense was commonly used for medicinal purposes. This paper aims to provide an overview of current knowledge of the volatile constituents of frankincense, with explicit consideration concerning the diverse Boswellia species. Altogether, more than 340 volatiles in Boswellia have been reported in the literature. In particular, a broad diversity has been found in the qualitative and quantitative composition of the volatiles with respect to different varieties of Boswellia. A detailed discussion of the various biological activities of Boswellia frankincense is also presented.