The boswellia family of trees have been used for healing for over 2,000 years in India and ancient Egypt.
Boswellia is a major component in the Ayurvedic medicine system of India. The white oleo-gum resin that comes from this tree is taken and dried into the incense called frankincense.
Ancient healers used this herb to treat conditions like rheumatism, diabetes, fevers, cardiovascular disorders and asthma. It was also consumed in the belief that it would increase longevity.
A more modern use of boswellia is for treating inflammation. The boswellic acid that comes from the tree’s resin and sap acts as a 5-LOX (5-lipoxygenase) inhibitor and is used to treat rheumatoid and osteo arthritis, asthma, menstrual cramps and inflammatory bowel disease.
Besides being good for treating inflammation, boswellic acid also promotes faster wound healing as it possesses antibiotic and antiseptic properties.
It is often used to support healthy respiratory function and most recently as a topical preparation for the skin to remove fine lines and wrinkles on the face and body.
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- Treat inflammation
- Treat joint pain
- Treat asthma
- Treat ulcerative colitis
- Treat cancer
- Treat rheumatism
- Treat bursitis
- Treat diabetes
- Treat fevers
- Treat cardiovascular disorders
- Promote healthy respiratory function
- Remove wrinkles
- Wound healing
- Reduce pain
- Increase longevity
- Treat Crohn’s disease
- Improve metabolism
- Weight loss
- Treat low back pain
- Treat Depression
- Maintain healthy skin
Indian frankincense, Indian olibanum, dhup, and salai guggul
Where It Grows
Boswellia is native to Africa and Asia
Which Part Of The Plant Is Used
How It Works
Boswellia inhibits the pro-inflammatory enzyme 5-LOX (5-lipoxygenase). It also inhibits HLE (human leukocyte elastase).
How It’s Used
Boswellia can be taken in capsule form as a powered extract or used as a topical gel.
Precautions and Side Effects:
Boswellia could cause diarrhea, and nausea if taken in large amounts. Pregnant women should first talk to their doctor before taking. It should not be taken by people with severe liver or kidney disease.
Description and History Of Boswellia
The Boswellia serrata is a resinous tree with divided trunks. It has small yellow flowers and can be found clinging to rock faces. The resin from this tree is extracted and dried to produce the incense called frankincense.
Boswellia has been used for over 2,000 years and is an important herb in ancient Ayurvedic medicine system.
I have taken a joint comfort supplement containing boswellia. It is very effective at relieving pain and inflammation.
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Sloan-Kettering: About Herbs – Boswellia
A double blind, randomized, placebo controlled study of the efficacy and safety of 5-Loxin® for treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee
LEF.org – Protect Your Joints from Autoimmune Attack