The family Burseraceae is considered to contain about 700 species comprised in 18 genera. Their resiniferous trees and shrubs usually figures prominently in the ethnobotany of the regions where it occurs, given that such a property has led to the use of species of this family since ancient times for their aromatic properties and many medicinal applications. Although the family is distributed throughout tropical and subtropical regions of the world, the majority of the scientific available information is limited to Asiatic and African genera, such as Commiphora (myrrh), Canarium (elemi incense) and Boswellia (frankincense), or the genus Bursera (linaloe), occurring in Mexico. In the Neotropics, the Burseraceae family is largely represented by the genus Protium, which comprises about 135 species. The present review compiles the published chemical and pharmacological information on the South American genus Protium and updates important data since the last review reported in the scientific literature on Burseraceae species.
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