Boswellia serrata is a tree native to Northern Africa and the Middle East. This tree produces compounds with powerful anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects. Extracts from the Boswellia tree were used to treat inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases and heart disease, long before inflammation medications and supplements existed.
In the last few decades, there were many researches about the benefits of Boswellia, which showed that this plant can be very helpful for our health.
Here is the list of the 5 Benefits of Boswellia
1. Lowers Inflammation
There are many components of Boswellia with strong anti-inflammatory properties. The most powerful are terpenes and Boswellia acids. These compounds also protect the healthy cells. It is important to know that terpenes can be found in other plants too, such as eucalyptus, basil, peppermint and citrus trees.
AKBA (3-O-acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid) is another compound that naturally reduces inflammation by controlling the T- lymphocytes. AKBA acts in different way when compared to NSAID pain relievers because it gives a better protection to the stomach and the gut lining, causes fewer side effects and represents a smaller risk for toxicity. AKBA relieves pain due to its ability to prevent an enzyme called 5-LOX (5-lipoxygenase). This stops the mechanisms of leukotrienes, inflammatory mediators produced by the oxidation of arachidonic acid. AKBA can be effective in the fight with many inflammatory diseases, such as arthritis, bronchial asthma, chronic colitis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and even cancer.
Another strong part of Boswellia is incensole acetate, which has the ability to reduce the inflammatory reactions that target the brain and speed up cognitive decline. Studies have confirmed that incensole acetate protects the neurons, stops the creation of tumors and has mood-enhancing benefits.
2. Reduces Joint and Arthritis Pain
Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database published a study which confirmed that Boswellia extract can help reduce pain, swelling and trouble moving in people with arthritis and osteoarthritis (a common, chronic, progressive, skeletal, degenerative disorder, which affects the knee joint).
3. Fights Cancer
Many researches have shown that Frankincense oil (made by cleansing the resin from the trunk of the boswellia tree) can prevent cancer and protect the healthy cells. In addition, it doesn’t have any side effects. Research shows that there is a connection between AKBA and protection against brain, breast, colon, pancreatic, prostate and stomach cancers. The combination of cancer-killing properties of boswellia extracts and frankincense oil influences our genes to promote healing. In addition, they have the ability to reduce the serious side effects of conventional cancer treatments such as chemotherapy.
4. Speeds Up Healing From Infections
Boswellia can reduce coughing, colds, the flu or a sore throat. Some researches show that it also helps prevent allergies and asthma, and eliminates phlegm in the lungs.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Frankincense oil was as a natural remedy to improve blood circulation and to relieve pain from bacterial or viral infections, such as colds or the flu, leprosy or gonorrhea.
5. Prevents Autoimmune Disease
Frankincense oil and Boswellia have been used to treat many inflammatory diseases such as asthma, arthritis and inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and collagenous colitis. Boswellia prevents inflammatory diseases by helping the control of the production of immunoglobulins, or antibodies, which are made by the immune system to bacteria, viruses, fungi, and toxins.
IBS is a group of intestinal disorders that cause extended inflammation of the digestive tract, especially the bowel lining which is very important for normal nutrient absorption and waste elimination. IBS can also affect the mouth, esophagus, stomach, and small and large intestines. Research shows that leukotrienes are the biggest reason for the disruption of normal bowel function.But Boswellia has the ability to lower the production of leukotrienes. This reduces the inflammation linked with bowel diseases, recovers normal bowel cell structures and helps to heal the openings in the bowel wall.
Studies confirm that Boswellia extract has better effects than a standard prescription for called sulfasalazine!
Other Types of Boswellia
Even though Boswellia serrata is the most popular type of Boswellia, there are also, at least, three other well-known forms of Boswellia: Boswellia carteri, Boswellia frereana, and Boswell sacra. All of them come from a different plant species, but they are still closely related and medically used in similar ways.
Boswellia and Turmeric:
Researchers believe that Boswellia and turmeric can be more effective if they’re used together because they treat the same diseases. Another benefit of their combination is that interactions of their co-occurring phytochemicals can help prevent toxicity that can occur when using only one of these herbs.
How to Use Boswellia Seratta
· You can consume Boswellia as a supplement or use frankincense essential oil.
· You can put a few drops of pure frankincense essential oil under your tongue or you can mix it into your tea.
· In order to use it on your skin, mix it with coconut oil or jojoba oil and do a test first to make sure that you don’t react negatively before using it on larger areas of your skin.
· If you suffer from sinus infections, allergies or asthma, add a few drops to a cloth and inhale deeply several times daily.
· If you want to consume Boswellia in supplement form, look for a high-quality powdered capsule which is very effective. Always avoid brands that use artificial fillers and additives. Try to find standardized extracts that contain at least 37 percent Boswellia acids, which might be labeled as boswellin. Higher percentages around 65 percent or more are even more effective. Also, always follow the directions on the package to know the proper dosage. The usual dosages are:
1. For lowering inflammation, consume 600 to 900 milligrams of Boswellia standardized (60 percent to 65 percent boswellic acid).
2. For treating inflammatory conditions like arthritis, osteoarthritis, asthma, chronic pain, inflammatory bowel disease or injuries, try a higher dose between 900–1,200 milligrams daily.
Are There Any Side Effects?
If you are pregnant or you take NSAID medications, don’t consume Boswellia without consultation with your doctor. You also need to speak with a doctor before giving Boswellia to your children.
NOTE: You need to be patient because it might take several months for Boswellia to have the most effects.