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6 Uses Of Boswellia Serrata

By Jayton Miller

Also known as Indian frankincense or frankincense oil, boswellia is an extract derived from the Boswellia serrata tree, which is native to India and produces certain compounds that have been used in traditional medicine in Asian and African nations for centuries.

More specifically, boswellia serrata resin extract has been used for its potent anti-inflammatory properties to treat a number of conditions, including arthritis, heart disease, and inflammatory bowel disease. It's even believed that boswellia may even have potential to help fight cancer.


Benefits Of Boswellia Serrata Resin Extract:

Boswellia Benefits

Boswellia has a list of benefits to the human body when taken at appropriate doses, including the following.

Reduces Inflammation:

Boswellia extract is a potent anti-inflammatory agent. Certain chemical compounds in the herb naturally lower the inflammatory response by keeping T-lymphocytes under control and targeting certain inflammatory enzymes.

Boswellia is said to be anti-inflammatory in nature because it may be able to prevent leukotrienes formation in the body, which are molecules that have been associated with inflammation.

In particular, specific acids in boswellia resin are attributed to its anti-inflammatory properties and inhibit enzymes like 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO) which produces leukotriene.

Boswellia serrata extract is so potent at combating inflammation and the pain that often accompanies it that it rivals the effects of conventional NSAID medications, but without the side effects that may come with pharmaceuticals, including addiction and irritation of the stomach lining and gut.

Alleviates Joint Pain:

Boswellia's impact on reducing joint pain as a result of arthritis has been well noted in various studies. The herb is capable of reducing pain, swelling, and problems moving in patients suffering from osteoarthritis.

One particular study found that participants with knee pain stemming from osteoarthritis who took boswellia experienced a marked decrease in discomfort at the joints, as well as an increase in knee flexion and ability to walk longer distances.

Another study found that boswellia is useful in treating patients with rheumatoid arthritis by reducing swelling, inflammation, and pain at the joints.

Some studies also suggest that boswellia may be able to hinder the autoimmune process, making it a potentially effective therapy to include in the overall treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.

May Help Speed Up Healing From Infection:

Boswellia has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine to speed up the amount of time it takes for the body to heal from infection, including viral infections such as the common cold and flu. It's also been used to improve circulation of the blood and may serve as a natural antiviral supplement to both treat severe viruses as well as help to prevent them.

May Help Treat Irritable Bowel Disease:

Thanks to boswellia's anti-inflammatory properties, it may help to treat inflammatory bowel diseases, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (UC). One study found that participants with Crohn's disease who took H15 - a specific boswellia extract - experienced a reduction in symptoms.

May Help Alleviate Asthma:

Since boswellia may help to reduce leukotrienes, it may be effective in relaxing the bronchial muscles and preventing them from contracting so much. This can, therefore, help open up the airways and allow patients to be better able to breathe.

One study found that patients with bronchial asthma who took boswellia experienced a reduction in symptoms and indicators, showing that it may be an effective supplement used to treat bronchial asthma.

May Help Combat Cancer:

Frankincense essential oil has recently been associated both with cancer prevention and cancer treatment. Studies have shown that it may be able to target cancer cells while keeping other cells healthy, which is why it’s sometimes used along with conventional and holistic cancer treatments.

The same chemical compound in boswellia that has been shown to fight inflammation has also been linked to protecting against certain cancers. AKBA (3-O-acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid) may be linked to protecting against cancers of the brain, stomach, pancreas, colon, breast, and prostate. It may have this effect as a result of how it may impact the genes to stimulate healing.

Boswellia extracts may also be a helpful supplement to take alongside cancer treatments, which are known to be particularly uncomfortable for patients. Chemotherapy and radiation often cause extreme complications and discomfort, and boswellia extracts may be able to curb these horrible side effects.

Read More: 14 Hacks To Eliminate Inflammation Naturally

How to Use Boswellia:

How To Use Boswellia


Boswellia is available in resin, pill, or cream format. The oil may also be infused in cosmetics products, soaps, foods, and beverages.

Since there are so many different boswellia products available, dosing will differ for each. It's important to follow the manufacturer’s directions in terms of how much boswellia to take and how often to take it to not only experience the intended effects, but also to reduce side effects and ensure safety of consumption.

Generally speaking, between 300mg to 500mg can be taken orally three times daily.

Don't forget to speak with a physician before using boswellia or any other type of herbal therapy.

Supplementing With Boswellia:

Supplementing With Boswellia

Boswellia is generally safe to take, though it could potentially cause certain side effects, including:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Acid reflux
  • Rashes

Since boswellia may stimulate increased blood flow in the uterus, it is not recommended for pregnant women to take it, as it may increase the likelihood of miscarriage. Further, anyone taking certain medications may want to speak with their doctor about taking boswellia, as the herb may interact with medications and limit their effect.



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Not only has boswellia serrata resin extract been used for centuries to successfully treat a number of ailments resulting from inflammation, but it has been scientifically shown to be effective today. In fact, it may be powerful enough to provide the same pain relief that traditional NSAIDs may provide.

As always, be sure to consult with a physician before taking boswellia or any other herbal supplement.