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Ferula galbaniflua

Ferula galbaniflua

[span class=alert]In regards to the Traditional Use and Therapeutic Action sections of Essential Oils, the oils are rated as is standard practice in the French school of aromatherapy and others. The ratings ranked from one (+) to four (++++) with four indicating the highest value, indicate the oil’s therapeutic value from a practicing clinician’s point of view. The French rating system mentioned are obtained from this book reference entitle ‘Les Cahiers Pratiques D'Aromatherapie Selon L'Ecole Francaise’ (Authors: Francine Baudry, Pascal Debauche & Dominique Baudoux). However, further clarification might be required and will be updated once additional information of the rating system is obtained.[/span]

Family Name


Genus Name


Vernacular Name

Galbanum, gammum

Original Habitat

F. galbaniflua is a large perennial plant, which oozes a milky resin that hardens when cold and from which the essential oil is made and from which the essential oil is made.[1][2] The plant is self-fertile with hermaphrodite flowers. F. galbaniflua is native to the Middle East,[3] grows in harsh, arid climates and has an ancient history of use.[4]

Plant Part Used

The gum is obtained by making a cut in the root part that lies above ground. The essential oil is then prepared by steam distillation of the gum.[5]


F. galbaniflua was used as incense and in baths as a perfume by the ancient Greeks and Romans. It is presently used in the food and beverage industry as a flavoring agent, in the fragrance industry to produce ‘green top-notes’ and in therapeutic aromatherapy as a single oil and in more complex, condition specific formulations.[6]


This essential oil of galbanum is clear to yellow, yellow-green and has a very thin consistency.[6] The aroma of this steam distilled oil is very strong and has been described as having “fruity-green-balsamic notes”.[7]

Chemical Constituents

Terpenes: Alpha-pinene (45-55%), delta-carene (15-20%)
Sesquiterpenols: Guaiol, bulnesol, eudesmol
Sulphuric, furanic, nitrogenous composites and coumarins [7][8][9]

Medicinal Uses

Tonic, energizer, stimulant +++
Antispasmodic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory ++
Emmenagogic and resolvant ++

Traditional Use

Painful menstruation, leucorrhoea +++
Painful joints, rheumatism and arthritis ++
Abscess, ulcers +++

There is limited research on the pharmacology and clinical application of F. galbaniflua. Therefore, its attributes are based on anecdotal or traditional use.[3]

Contraindications and Precautions

When used in prescribed amounts, this oil is considered to be safe; however there is limited data available and therefore caution is advised.

Not to be used by pregnant or nursing women. 



[span class=alert]Keep out of reach of children as oils are highly concentrated.Essential oils are irritating to the eyes.  Avoid contact with eye area.Always dilute essential oils with carrier oil, lotion, cream or gel even when using in diffuser or bath.Essential oils are sometimes prescribed to be used internally, but should only be used internally under professional supervision.[/span]


1.     Kraemer H. Applied and economic botany. 2nd edition. University of Michigan; 1914.

2.     Grieve M, Leyel CF. A modern herbal: the medicinal, culinary, cosmetic and economic Properties, cultivation and folk-lore of herbs, grasses, fungi, shrubs & trees. Courier Dover Publications; 1971.

3.     Rose J. 375 Essential oils and hydrosols. Frog Books; 1999.

4.     Lis-Balchan M. Aromatherapy Science: A Guide for Healthcare Professionals. London: Pharmaceutical Press; 2006.

5.     Harbone JB, Baxter H. Chemical Dictionary of Economic Plants. 3rd Edition. Wiley & Sons; 2001.

6.     Bauer K, Garbe D, Surburg H. Common Fragrance and Flavor Materials. New York: Wiley-Vch; 1997.

7.     Miyazawa N. Novel key aroma components of galbanum oil. J Agric Food Chem. 2009 Feb 25;57(4):1433-1439.

8.     Chemical Abstracts. University of California: American Chemical Society, Chemical Abstracts Service; 1914.

9.     Berger RG.  Flavours and fragrances: chemistry, bioprocessing and sustainability. Springer; 2007.

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