Boswellia or Boswellia Serrata is a tree that belongs to the Burseraceae family thriving in the dry regions of Africa, India, and Mediterranean. Boswellia is more famously known as Indian Frankincense because of its unique resin with aromatic effects and therapeutic value. Derived from the resin, Boswellia extract contains high levels of boswellic acid, the herb’s most active ingredient responsible for the numerous Boswellia benefits for human health.
The Boswellia herb and Boswellia supplements are becoming famous these days for its abilities in supporting the body’s natural ability in fighting inflammation. Boswellic acid works by regulating the 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX), a pro-inflammatory enzyme. This enzyme stimulates the release of leukotrienes, strong inflammatory substances that influence the development of illnesses like arthritis, asthma, and even cancers. Boswellic acid’s ability to control 5-LOX is thought to decrease the production of leukotrienes and the inflammation caused by it. Compared to traditional anti-inflammatory drugs, Boswellia extract does not inhibit the COX-1 enzyme that is essential in maintaining the normal lining of the stomach. Thus, taking Boswellia supplements for inflammation does not causes gastric bleeding, ulcers, and other side effects of NSAIDs.
Actually, Boswellia already has a long history of use in India’s traditional Ayurvedic medicine. History shows that Ayurvedic healers have used Boswella extract in restoring healthy respiratory, gastric, and joint functions for their patients. Some of the clinical studies conducted on Boswellia support these traditional benefits of the herb for human health.
In a 2008 study by Scientists from the University of California Davis Medical Center, Boswellia was found to promote healthy pain response and improve normal physical functions in patients with osteoarthritis affecting the knee. Another study conducted in 2006 suggests that Boswellia herb can be valuable in restoring healthy joint functions in patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. There are also evidences suggesting that Boswellic acid in Boswellia promotes healthy supply of blood to the damaged joints to encourage healthy recovery and normal joint repair.
In a study involving 31 patients diagnosed with colitis (a medical condition characterised by chronic inflammation in the digestive tract) conducted in 2007, researchers discovered that patients who took 400 mg of Boswellia extract three times a day for a period of six weeks have increased chances for recovery. Meanwhile, a separate study found that 14 out of 20 or 70% of the subjects went into remission after treatment of 900 mg Boswellia supplements during the six week clinical trial.
There are clinical studies linking Boswellia extract in optimising respiratory functions in patients with asthma. Based on the results of a 1998 study on Boswellia, 70 percent of the subjects diagnosed with asthma demonstrated improvements in their asthma symptoms.
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