Herb: Galbanum

Latin name: Ferula gummosa

Synonyms: Ferula galbaniflua, Ferula gumosa

Family: Umbelliferae

Medicinal use of Galbanum:

The whole plant, but especially the root, contains the gum resin "galbanum". This is antispasmodic, carminative, expectorant and stimulant. It is used internally in the treatment of chronic bronchitis, asthma and other chest complaints. It is a digestive stimulant and antispasmodic, reducing flatulence, griping pains and colic. Externally it is used as a plaster for inflammatory swellings, ulcers, boils, wounds and skin complaints.

Description of the plant:


100 cm
(3 1/4 foot)

May to


Habitat of the herb:

Herbaceous slopes in steppes.

Edible parts of Galbanum:

The gum resin obtained from the root is used as a celery-like food flavouring.

Other uses of the herb:

The aromatic gum resin "Galbanum" is obtained from wounds made in the stem. It is collected by removing soil from around the top of the root and then cutting a slice off the root and can also be obtained from incisions made in the stem. It is used medicinally and is also an ingredient of incense. It was an important ingredient of the incense used by the Israelites.

Propagation of Galbanum:

Seed - best sown as soon as the seed is ripe in a greenhouse in autumn. Otherwise sow in April in a greenhouse. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle. Plant them out into their permanent positions whilst still small because the plants dislike root disturbance. Give the plants a protective mulch for at least their first winter outdoors. Division in autumn. This may be inadvisable due to the plants dislike of root disturbance.

Cultivation of the herb:

Herbaceous slopes in steppes.

Known hazards of Ferula gummosa:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.