Frankincense resin, used for millennia during services in several historic religions, was one of the gifts for Baby Jesus from the Three Wise Men. It is obtained from Boswellia trees and one species, Boswellia serrata is used in the manufacture of many botanical supplements for its anti-inflammatory properties.

Boswellic acids derived from Boswellia serrata directly inhibit pro-inflammatory signalling molecules (5-lipoxygenase, nF-kappa Beta) to reduce inflammation. The Boswellia extract used in studies is known as 5-Loxin, and it has been found to reduce pain and stiffness through its actions on 5-lipoxygenase and MMP3.
A 2014 study established Boswellia serrata extract was effective in reducing pain and immobility due to tendonitis and epicondylitis.

Boswellia can be used for treating joint pain and stiffness and have been shown to reduce pain and immobility associated with osteoarthritis significantly; effects can occur in as little time as one week.

Why Try a Botanical Anti-Inflammatory?
Approximately one third of people who are using NSAID medications long term to control their joint pain and inflammation develop significant gastrointestinal side effects. Boswellia serrata extracts provide comparable relief with little risk of gastrointestinal distress.

Safety and Interactions
Multiple studies with human subjects have established that Boswellia serrata extracts are safe, effective and well-tolerated. Animal studies have established Boswellia serrata is non-toxic in doses that exceed 2,000 times the effective dose in humans.

Boswellia may interact with the following medications: warfarin and other anticoagulants, leukotreine inhibitors for asthma, anticholesterol medications, antifungal medications as well drugs used to treat cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. Please check with your doctor before taking Boswellia.

Side Effects and Cautions
No significant side effects have been identified. Women who are pregnant, may become pregnant or who are breast-feeding should consult their healthcare practitioners before using Boswellia.

How to Take Boswellia
Boswellia serrata extracts are usually taken in amounts ranging from 100 mg to 300 mg in a single dose taken with breakfast, starting with the minimum dose and increasing in a step-wise fashion after 3 months. If improved results do not occur at higher doses, resume taking the lowest effective dose. Always follow your doctor’s instructions for taking Boswellia serrata extracts.

Summary
New natural products, such as Boswellia serrata extracts, Avocado-Soy Unsaponifiables and Natural Eggshell Membrane, are emerging as alternatives which meet or exceed the benefits provided by glucosamine and chondroitin for joint health and may allow many to reduce or replace their usage of NSAID medications.

 

References
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