Boswellin (Boswellia serrata extract, aka Frankincense)
Boswellia is a large branching tree native to India, Northern Africa, and the Middle East. The trunk is tapped for its resin, which is purified and used in herbal preparations. The resin, known as frankincense, has been used in religious and cultural ceremonies since antiquity. This resin, or gum, also contains the primary active components, boswellic acids, used in modern herbal preparations. Clinical trials have demonstrated that boswellic acids have anti-inflammatory action similar to that of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). However, unlike NSAIDS, long-term use of boswellia does not appear to lead to irritation or ulceration of the stomach.
Known Uses for Boswellin
Extracts of boswellia are most commonly used for chronic inflammatory ailments. In May of 2013, Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (NMCD) indicated that boswellia extracts “can reduce pain and improve mobility in people with osteoarthritis in joints. Research shows that it might decrease joint pain by 32% to 65%.” A comprehensive 2011 overview of in vitro and animal studies found that boswellic acids inhibit the synthesis of pro-inflammatory enzymes, illustrating its usefulness as an anti-inflammatory agent.