You might not have heard of a herb known as Boswellia (Boswellia serrata) which is often called Indian Frankincense. It is indeed native to the hills of India and many healers from the Indian subcontinent have for thousands of years used Boswellia to treat various illnesses and chronic conditions, particularly inflammation and joint related problems.
Historically, Indians have used the tree bark's gummy resin, called salai guggal, for joint health
If you are looking for a natural and safe herb to give you optimum joint health, Boswellia might well be for you. The active constituent – Boswellic Acid – helps promote a healthy immune response so that with sustained use, Boswellia can help maintain steady blood flow to your joints, supporting your joint tissues’ ability to boost flexibility and strength.
Clinical trials have confirmed the anti inflammatory activity of boswellic acid
But don't expect a quick fix. You will need to take Boswellia for at least 3-4 weeks before the benefits can be experienced and for the full range of benefits, Boswellia should be taken for anything from 3 to 6 months – it varies from person to person.
Today Boswellia is commercially available to treat pain in the form of pills, capsules or tablets. As a topical cream it can be applied to any painful area of the body caused by arthritis, lower back pain or other inflammatory conditions.
Research studies on Boswellia
Meanwhile researchers have begun to study whether boswellia may be used effectively to treat osteoarthritis in particular. Some years ago, researchers in India published a study that looked precisely at this question by identifying 30 patients with knee osteoarthritis. Half of these patients were given Boswellia serrata extract and the other half was given a placebo sugar pill. The researchers found that the patients who were given the Boswellia had significantly less pain and swelling plus increased walking tolerance compared to the patients who were given the placebo sugar pill.
This was just a small study group so more research is needed to confirm these findings but they are initially encouraging.
How to take Boswellia as a supplement
According to the commercial producers of Boswellia as a supplement, 2 capsules should be taken twice a day after meals.
And the benefits?
Many fans of Boswellia find it just as effective as many over-the-counter or prescription medications for pain but without any of the side effects.
- Supports normal functioning of the joints.
- Supports normal flexibility of the body.
- Supports normal and comfortable range of movement.