Ferula galbaniflua Boiss. & Buhse

Last updated: 15 Apr 2016

Scientific Name

Ferula galbaniflua Boiss. & Buhse (unresolved name)


Peucedanum galbanifluum Baill. (unresolved) [1]

Vernacular Name

English Galbanum [2]
India Gaosheer, jawaasheer (Unani) [2]; gandabiroza (Hindi); jawashir (Indian Bazaars) [3]

Geographical Distributions

Ferula galbaniflua is native to the Middle East [4], grows in harsh, arid climates and has an ancient history of use [5].

Botanical Description

F. galbaniflua is a member of the family Apiaceae. Itis 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 [6][7]. The plant is self-fertile with hermaphrodite flowers [4].

The essential oil of galbanum is clear to yellow, yellow-green and has a very thin consistency [8]. The aroma of this steam distilled oil is very strong and has been described as having “fruity-green-balsamic notes” [9].


No documentation.

Chemical Constituent

F. galbaniflua  has been reported to contain terpenes (e.g. α-pinene, δ-carene), sesquiterpenols (e.g. guaiol, bulnesol, eudesmol sulphuric, furanic, nitrogenous composites and coumarins), and 2-methoxy-3-isobutylpyrazine. [9][10]

Plant Part Used

Oleoresin (the gum). [11]

Traditional Use

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. [11]

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. [8]

Preclinical Data

No documentation.

Clinical Data

No documentation.


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing

No documentation.


  1. The Plant List.  Ver1.1. Ferula galbaniflua Boiss. & Buhse [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2016 Apr 14]. Available from: http://www.theplantlist.org/tpl1.1/record/kew-2808427
  2. Khare CP. Indian medicinal plants: An illustrated dictionary. Berlin: Springer, 2007; p. 262.
  3. Torkelson AR. The cross name index to medicinal plants. Volume IV plants in Indian medicine. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 1999; p. 1734.
  4. Rose J. 375 Essential oils and hydrosols. Berkeley, California:Frog Books; 1999.
  5. Lis-Balchan M. Aromatherapy science: A guide for healthcare professionals. London: Pharmaceutical Press; 2006.
  6. Kraemer H. Applied and economic botany. 2nd edition. Michigan: University of Michigan; 1914.
  7. Grieve M, Leyel CF. A modern herbal: The medicinal, culinary, cosmetic and economic Properties, cultivation and folk-lore of herbs, grasses, fungi, shrubs & trees with all their modern scientific uses. New York: Courier Dover Publications; 1971.
  8. Bauer K, Garbe D, Surburg H. Common fragrance and flavor materials. New York: Wiley-Vch; 1997.
  9. Miyazawa N. Novel key aroma components of galbanum oil. J Agric Food Chem. 2009;57(4):1433-1439.
  10. Berger RG.  Flavours and fragrances: chemistry, bioprocessing and sustainability. Berlin: Springer, 2007; p. 68, 82.
  11. Harbone JB, Baxter H. Chemical dictionary of economic plants. 3rd ed. West Sussex, England: Wiley & Sons, 2001; p. 7, 78.