Boswellia herb from the boswellia serrata species is also known as Indian frankincense or salai guggal. Hundreds of years ago boswellia was used in traditional Ayurvedic or Indian medicine to treat arthritis and other inflammatory problems, snakebite, cough, asthma.
Boswellia serrata produces resin that contains boswellic acid. Studies confirmed that boswellia acids produce anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, analgesic, antineoplastic and cytotoxic activities.
In 2003, the Indira Gandhi Medical College of India did a randomized double blind placebo controlled trial on the efficacy and tolerability of boswellia serrata extract in treatment of osteoarthritis of knee. After eight weeks, patients who were given boswellia extract showed a decrease in the frequency of swelling in the knee joint, increase in knee flexion and also a reduction in knee pain. The researchers recommended boswellia serrata extract for patients with osteoarthritis of the knee and stated that it also has the potential to treat other types of arthritis.
In 1998, Institut der Universität Tübingen in Germany did a controlled study on the effects of boswellia serrata extract in patients with bronchial asthma. At the end of the six weeks clinical study, the patients showed improvement. The physical symptoms of asthma such as shortness of breath, the wheezing or snoring sound and number of attacks disappeared.
Boswellia herb extract has also shown to have the potential to treat inflammatory bowel diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease and collagenous colitis or inflammation of the colon. Daily intake of boswellia extract may help control and regular bowel movements.
Although it has not been confirmed, there are positive signs that boswellic acid may help treat brain tumor, brain edema or brain swelling, leukemia and colon cancer.
So, if you have joint pain or want to avoid it boswellia extract might help. Taking boswellia herb daily as a supplement will help supply blood to your joints and keep them nourished, flexible and mobile. It will also help if you suffer from chronic back pain.
Boswellia extract is available in the form of capsules, tablets and boswellia powder. It is also sold in combination with turmeric or curcumin because both produce powerful anti-inflammatory effects. You can also purchase boswellia cream or rub for external or topical application to help reduce aches, pains and stiff joints. Other combinations with boswellia include glucosamine and bromelain.
If taken more than the recommended dosage, the possible boswellia side effects are gastrointestinal problems, nausea and bloated feeling. If you are pregnant, breastfeeding or on prescription medication, check with your doctor before trying boswellia serrata.