Galbanum gum is an aromatic gum extracted by the dished scraping of the stem part, the stem’s bottom, or cutting the stem of the galbanum plant.

What is galbanum?

Where is the source of Galbanum?

Since ancient times, it was common between nations to treat their diseases using herbal cures. Even when getting ill, carnivorous animals instinctively consume plants.

BIOSS gummosa Ferula plant is known as Barzd in ancient Iranian sources and texts and known as Javashir in the market. The latex extracted from that plant is called galbanum. According to ancient books, this plant has a hot and dry nature.

Today this plant is used as a stimulant, antiseptic, and uterine tonic. Also, recent researches show some new properties of this plant. For example, its effect on increasing blood pressure, morphine addiction, and constipation have been proven.

In this study, an attempt has been made to provide the readers with a valuable set of properties of this plant by reviewing ancient knowledge and recent findings.

Appearance

The galbanum plant is 0.8-3 meters tall, and a unique and pungent smell can be smelled from all the plant organs.

The stem of it is thick, cylindrical, and often very long. The leaves of this plant are hairy and greyish and have 6 mm divisions. The total length of leave is approximately 30cm.

The root of galbanum is bulky and has a fibrous texture that can penetrate the soil to a depth of about 1.5 meters.

The flowers of this plant are yellow and aggregated in terminal umbels, which may be simple or, more commonly, compound, often umbelliform cymes. The flowering time is from May to June.

The growth of galbanum is in the form of a rose; from age five, it enters the reproductive stage by forming a flowering stem. Galbanum plants flowers at 6 to 7 years old and is at the end of its life.

The harvesting time of galbanum is from mid-spring to the end of summer, depending on the geographical location. The best time to do so is when the leaves are dry and about to fall.

Places of growth

The galbanum plant grows in mountainous areas and altitudes above 2,000 meters with abundant snowfall and rain. The main habitats of this plant are in Iran, Turkmenistan, and Afghanistan.

Galbanum is highly resistant to cold and frost weather. The plant has favorable growth in semi-arid and sometimes cold and ultra-cold Mediterranean regions.

Shallow and sometimes semi-medium soils, medium to heavy texture, calcareous, sometimes up to 30% lime, and without salinity and alkalinity are favorable for this plant.

In Iran, the plant grows natively in the provinces of North Khorasan, Razavi Khorasan, Tehran, Isfahan, Alborz, Mazandaran, and some parts of Semnan. Also, other species of this plant can be found in Hamadan and Kerman provinces. The largest growth of this plant in Afghanistan is around Herat.

Galbanum gum types

There are 2 different forms of galbanum gum in the market, the hard type and the soft type. The hard types of galbanum gum are divided into 2 models, tear-like and mass gum, based on the method of harvesting.

Tear-like

As a result of insect bites, natural scratches, or cracks on the plant stem, a lacrimal secretion is released, and after a few days, the resulting sap hardens in the vicinity of the air and separates from the plant. This type of gum is greenish-white or red, the size of a hazelnut; if broken, it is white or reddish-yellow transparent, which darkens in the vicinity of the air.

This type of galbanum gum remains soft for a long time, but over time it hardens and becomes crumbly. This model is rarer and more valuable. Its taste is bitter and pungent, with a strong and unpleasant smell. If mixed with water, it easily turns into an emulsion, so 25% of it dissolves in water.

Mass gum

To harvest more gum, one should cut half a centimeter lower than the previous cut once a week and continue until the sap is completely dried. This type of gum is in the form of irregular and larger pieces. Its color is dirty white and is less pure.

Galbanum is an aromatic gum resin product of certain umbelliferous Persian plant species in the genus Ferula.

To harvest more gum, one should cut half a centimeter lower than the previous cut once a week and continue until the sap is completely dried. This type of gum is in the form of irregular and larger pieces. Its color is dirty white and is less pure.

Soft gum

Soft galbanum gum is also called “honey gum,” a thick juice similar to honey with a pungent smell similar to the odor of celery with a bitter taste. It secretes out due to longitudinal or transverse cutting of the rootstock. It can contain 25 to 30% essential oil. This kind of galbanum is also obtained from the refining of mass gum.

Chemical compounds

Galbanum contains 9.5% essential oil, 63.5% resin, and 27% gum. Its quality is determined by the ash remaining after burning, which should not be more than 10%. Galbanum essential oil is obtained from dry distillation after steam distillation and has a specific gravity between 0.890 and 0.895 at 15 degrees. Galbanum gum consists of three main components: monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, and sesquiterpenes.

Properties of galbanum

Galbanum plant has been used since ancient times as a central part of traditional medicines due to its numerous properties.

Iranian scientists were familiar with this plant and its properties through personal experiences, books, and manuscripts available at that time. They have left it as a heritage for us through their books, which are presented here.

Skin

One of the main properties of galbanum is skin rejuvenation. Galbanum contains the necessary vitamins for the skin. Also, it stimulates the collagen production process with its antioxidant properties, which causes the removal of wrinkles, laxity, and sagging of the skin.

For pregnant women, galbanum removes the signs of skin stretching and makes the skin young, beautiful, and fresh.

Among the other properties of galbanum for the skin, we can mention removing scars. To benefit from these properties of galbanum, it is enough to rub galbanum twice a day on the target area. After a few weeks, you will see the effect of this unique herbal medicine on your skin.

Detoxification of the body

Detoxification is another property of galbanum for the body. Galbanum has compounds that help the detoxification process and strengthen detoxification in organs such as fatty liver and kidney.

Galbanum not only helps to purify the blood but by stimulating the secretion of hormones. They play a role in treating and preventing skin damage from skin infections.

Detoxification of the body

Detoxification is another property of galbanum for the body. Galbanum has compounds that help the detoxification process and strengthen detoxification in organs such as fatty liver and kidney.

Galbanum not only helps to purify the blood but by stimulating the secretion of hormones. They play a role in treating and preventing some skin diseases!

Kidney stones

One of the healing properties of galbanum is that it can cause the removal and crushing of kidney stones. To know how to use galbanum as a treatment for kidney stones, it is mandatory to consult with a specialist.

Kidney stones

Relieving respiratory tract congestion is one of the other therapeutic properties of galbanum. It is possible to solve the problem of breathing in people suffering from diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, colds with severe coughs, or people involved in respiratory tract infections for various reasons by using galbanum.

Galbanum also has antiseptic and antibacterial properties, which can treat lung, larynx, and other respiratory tract infections and make breathing easier.

Muscle cramps

Another property of galbanum is anti-spasm. Galbanum extract can treat some common cramps, including intestinal cramps, muscle cramps, and respiratory tract congestion. You can also benefit from galbanum extract and its antispasmodic properties to calm the central nervous system and reduce muscle tension.

Uterus

One of the most important properties of galbanum is on uterine diseases. Galbanum was considered the strongest medicine for the uterus in ancient Egypt. Galbanum oil can be used for uterine diseases. Galbanum poultice is also useful for relieving uterine pain.

Tooth

To treat a toothache, put a pea-sized amount of galbanum extract on your tooth and keep it on your tooth for a while. The pain will be relieved soon.

Industrial uses

Perfumery

Galbanum is widely used in the perfume industry as a stabilizer of perfume and cologne. Galbanum essential oil has a distinct freshness like pine, which is reminiscent of a pleasant green space. Its aroma is distinctly lively and refreshing, and slightly crunchy. Galbanum by itself is not used directly in perfumery. Most galbanum notes are made using synthetic molecules such as galbanum decatriene. Additionally, sometimes the undiluted spirogalbanone perfume molecule is used to mimic the scent of galbanum in many perfume formulas.

Jewelry

Nowadays, galbanum resin is mostly used in perfumery and sometimes in jewelry. In jewelry, galbanum can be found in special colorless glue that is used to fix precious stones.

Edible uses

Galbanum can also be used as a flavoring agent in food products such as soft drinks and meat products. According to livestock farmers, the use of galbanum plants by domestic animals is effective in their milk production. Therefore, it can be used to increase the milk of animals.

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