Boswellia serrata, a tree native to India, has been used for centuries for its healing properties by the people of Madhya Pradesh and in Ayurveda. Verdure Sciences partners with local tribes to sustainably harvest the oleo-resin from the Boswellia trees for the wild crafted, clinically tested, Wokvel, a product designed to deliver bioavailable Boswellia clinically researched to target the 5-lipoxygenase inflammatory pathway and offer joint health support.
In an interview recently featured by the Sustainable Herbs Program, Ashish Kumar, director of quality and compliance at Verdure Sciences, spoke about the need for sustainable measures for the Boswellia tree.
“There were some reports coming to us that the forests do not have sufficient materials to maintain increasing consumer demand,” Kumar said. “At this rate, the tree populations will inevitably dwindle or disappear, and so we thought to begin taking preventative measures to maintain this essential and sacred tree with reforestation efforts, beginning with small steps like planting saplings.”
One key reason the health of these trees is so important now is the long maturation rate of the Boswellia tree. It takes an average of 12 years to mature to the point of producing the gum used in wellness applications. Acting on sustainability measures now helps secure the future of gum producing trees while there is still time for new trees to grow to maturation.
Trees also need resting periods between resin harvests, and this is regulated by the people put in place to protect them. Planting new trees will help each tree get the resting period it needs and ensures financial security during resting periods for the families who protect them.
“Verdure recognizes that the native people tapping these trees are the experts in their area; they know how to safely tap the trees, when to harvest, and how much pressure is on these available resources, as well as what the future looks like for their trees,” Kumar noted.
As demand for the gum resin increases, quality also becomes a question. Planting new saplings will help protect the quality of the harvest by ensuring the gum is coming from the true Boswellia serrata, not other varieties found in the area. In total, these efforts impact the sustainability of the tree, the families, and the quality of the harvested resin.
Verdure Sciences said it’s proud to work in partnership with the local government, forest officers, tribal communities, and more to keep these trees safe and producing gum for the future.