Boswellia Serrata Resin Extract
Also known as Indian frankincense or frankincense oil, boswellia is an extract derived from the Boswellia serrata tree, which is native to India and produces certain compounds that have been used in traditional medicine in Asian and African nations for centuries.
Traditional Health Benefits of Boswellia Serrata Resin Extract
Boswellia serrata resin extract has been used for its potent anti-inflammatory properties to treat a number of conditions, including arthritis, heart disease, and inflammatory bowel disease. It's even believed that boswellia may even have the potential to fight cancer.
What is Boswellia Serrata Resin Extract Used For?
Boswellia serrata resin extract may have numerous benefits to the body, including the following: Reduces Inflammation, Alleviates Joint Pain, Helps Healing from Infection, Treats Irritable Bowel Disease (IBS), Helps Alleviate Asthma and May Help Combat Cancer
Products Containing Boswellia Serrata Resin Extract
Benefits of Boswellia Serrata Resin Extract
Boswellia has a list of benefits to the human body when taken at appropriate doses, including the following. Reduces Inflammation Boswellia extract is a potent anti-inflammatory agent¹. Certain chemical compounds in the herb naturally lower the inflammatory response by keeping T-lymphocytes under control and targeting certain inflammatory enzymes. Boswellia is said to be anti-inflammatory in nature because it may be able to prevent leukotrienes formation in the body, which are molecules that have been associated with inflammation. In particular, specific acids in boswellia resin are attributed to its anti-inflammatory properties and inhibit enzymes like 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO) which produces leukotriene. Boswellia serrata extract is so potent at combating inflammation and the pain that often accompanies it that it rivals the effects of conventional NSAID medications, but without the side effects that may come with pharmaceuticals, including addiction and irritation of the stomach lining and gut. Alleviates Joint Pain Boswellia's impact on reducing joint pain as a result of arthritis has been well noted in various studies. The herb is capable of reducing pain, swelling, and problems moving in patients suffering from osteoarthritis. One particular study² found that participants with knee pain stemming from osteoarthritis who took boswellia experienced a marked decrease in discomfort at the joints, as well as an increase in knee flexion and ability to walk longer distances. Another study found that boswellia is useful in treating patients with rheumatoid arthritis³ by reducing swelling, inflammation, and pain at the joints. Some studies also suggest that boswellia may be able to hinder the autoimmune process4, making it a potentially effective therapy to include in the overall treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. May Help Speed Up Healing From Infection Boswellia has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine to speed up the amount of time it takes for the body to heal from infection5, including viral infections such as the common cold and flu. It's also been used to improve circulation of the blood and may serve as a natural antiviral supplement to both treat severe viruses as well as help to prevent them. May Help Treat Irritable Bowel Disease Thanks to boswellia's anti-inflammatory properties, it may help to treat inflammatory bowel diseases6, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (UC). One study found that participants with Crohn's disease who took H15 - a specific boswellia extract - experienced a reduction in symptoms. May Help Alleviate Asthma Since boswellia may help to reduce leukotrienes, it may be effective in relaxing the bronchial muscles and preventing them from contracting so much. This can, therefore, help open up the airways and allow patients to be better able to breathe. One study found7 that patients with bronchial asthma who took boswellia experienced a reduction in symptoms and indicators, showing that it may be an effective supplement used to treat bronchial asthma. May Help Combat Cancer Frankincense essential oil has recently been associated both with cancer prevention and cancer treatment8. Studies have shown that it may be able to target cancer cells while keeping other cells healthy, which is why it’s sometimes used along with conventional and holistic cancer treatments. The same chemical compound in boswellia that has been shown to fight inflammation has also been linked to protecting against certain cancers. AKBA (3-O-acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid) may be linked to protecting against cancers of the brain, stomach, pancreas, colon, breast, and prostate. It may have this effect as a result of how it may impact the genes to stimulate healing. Boswellia extracts may also be a helpful supplement to take alongside cancer treatments, which are known to be particularly uncomfortable for patients. Chemotherapy and radiation often cause extreme complications and discomfort, and boswellia extracts may be able to curb these horrible side effects.
How to Use and Supplementing with Boswellia Serrata Resin Extract
Boswellia is available in resin, pill, or cream format. The oil may also be infused in cosmetics products, soaps, foods, and beverages. Boswellia is generally safe to take, though it could potentially cause certain side effects, including: Nausea Diarrhea Acid reflux Rashes Since boswellia may stimulate increased blood flow in the uterus, it is not recommended for pregnant women to take it, as it may increase the likelihood of miscarriage. Further, anyone taking certain medications may want to speak with their doctor about taking boswellia, as the herb may interact with medications and limit their effect.
Recommended Daily Allowance of Boswellia Serrata Resin Extract
Since there are so many different boswellia products available, dosing will differ for each. It's important to follow the manufacturer’s directions in terms of how much boswellia to take and how often to take it to not only experience the intended effects, but also to reduce side effects and ensure safety of consumption. Generally speaking, between 300mg to 500mg can be taken orally three times daily, though the dose may need to increase slightly for certain ailments like IBD. Don't forget to speak with a physician before using boswellia or any other type of herbal therapy.
Is Boswellia Serrata Resin Extract Healthy?
Not only has boswellia serrata resin extract been used for centuries to successfully treat a number of ailments resulting from inflammation, but it has been scientifically shown to be effective today. In fact, it may be powerful enough to provide the same pain relief that traditional NSAIDs may provide. As always, be sure to consult with a physician before taking boswellia or any other herbal supplement.
Citations and Sources
1 Natural Medicine Journal, "Frankincense's Efficacy in Treating Osteoarthritis; A review of the literature" 2 International Journal of Medical Science, "A Double Blind, Randomized, Placebo Controlled Clinical Study Evaluates the Early Efficacy of Aflapin® in Subjects with Osteoarthritis of Knee" 3 The Journal of Rheumatology, "Randomized double blind trial of an Ayurvedic plant derived formulation for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis" 4 Drug Delivery Journal, "Transdermal microemulsions of Boswellia carterii Bird: formulation, characterization and in vivo evaluation of anti-inflammatory activity" 5 BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, "Protective essential oil attenuates influenza virus infection: An in vitro study in MDCK cells" 6 Annals of Gastroenterology, "Herbal and plant therapy in patients with inflammatory bowel disease" 7 European Journal of Medical Research, "Effects of Boswellia serrata gum resin in patients with bronchial asthma: results of a double-blind, placebo-controlled, 6-week clinical study" 8 BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, "Frankincense oil derived from Boswellia carteri induces tumor cell specific cytotoxicity"
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