Boswellia (Boswellia serrata)
Boswellia is also known as Indian frankincense, one of several plants in a family of resinous trees famous for their aromatic oils. Boswellia Serrata is an Indian herb with a rich tradition in the ancient health system of Ayurveda. People all over the world rely on Boswellia to help them lead healthy, active lives. Boswellia is primarily used to nourish the joints, promoting healthy function for easy, worry-free activity.
The boswellia tree/plant produces a sap that has been used in traditional Indian medicine as a treatment for arthritis and inflammatory conditions. The primary compounds thought to be responsible for the anti-inflammatory activity of boswellia are known as boswellic acids. These compounds are thought to interfere with enzymes that contribute to inflammation and pain. The plant has a long history of safe and effective use as a mild anti-inflammatory to reduce pain and stiffness and promote increased mobility (without many of the associated gastrointestinal side effects commonly reported for synthetic anti-inflammatory medications).
Boswellia has been used extensively in Ayurveda for joint support and to provide an overall sense of well-being. Also known as "Salai Guggul," it is like its cousin Guggul in offering broad health and immunomodulating benefits. The gum resin is used as an ointment for sores and has anti-inflammatory, antiatherosclerotic and antiarthritic activities. The nonphenolic fraction of the gum resin had marked sedative and analgesic action. The gum is a well known household fumigant and is used as an anti-inflammatory agent when applied externally. Internally, besides being antiarthritic, it has expectorant effects. It also reduces body weight.
One of boswellia's active constituent, Boswellic Acid, is a pyrazoline derivative shown to be very effective in supporting healthy joints. Like its cousin Guggul, Boswellia has many cholesterol and triglyceride lowering properties. One of the principal constituents in the gum resin is boswellic acid which exhibits anti-inflammatory activity. Boswellic acids (BA) are believed to suppress the proliferating tissue found in the inflammed areas and also prevents the breakdown of connective tissue. The mechanism is similar to the action of non-steroidal groups of anti-arthritic drugs with no side effects, gastric irritation and ulcerogenic activity. A purified compound of the Boswellia is marketed in India with the brand name "Sallaki". Many studies conducted since the original study has confirmed that Boswellia Serrata has potent anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic activity. Boswellia was found to improve blood supply to the joints and restore integrity of vessels weakened by spasm. Boswellia Serrata may also be useful for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis with no side effects as those seen with traditional drugs of choice.