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Boswellia

Also indexed as:Boswellia serrata, Frankincense
Boswellia: Main Image© Steven Foster
Botanical names:
Boswellia serrata

Parts Used & Where Grown

Boswellia is a moderate to large branching tree found in the dry hilly areas of India. When the tree trunk is tapped, a gummy oleoresin is exuded. A purified extract of this resin is used in modern herbal preparations.

  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary "Star-Rating" system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

This supplement has been used in connection with the following health conditions:

Used for AmountWhy
Osteoarthritis

(Ashwagandha, Turmeric)
1,000 mg daily boswellia resin herbal extract or two capsules, three times per day of Aticulin-F (formula containing 100 mg boswellia, 450 mg ashwagandha, 50 mg turmeric, and 50 mg zinc) 3 stars[3 stars]
A combination of boswellia, ashwagandha, turmeric, and zinc effectively treated pain and stiffness in one study, without the stomach irritation that is a common side effect of NSAIDs.
Asthma
300 mg three times per day of a resin extract2 stars[2 stars]
In one trial, people with acute bronchial asthma who took powdered boswellia resin extract had significantly fewer asthma attacks and improved measurements of breathing capacity.
Rheumatoid Arthritis
400 to 800 mg of gum resin extract three times daily2 stars[2 stars]
Boswellia, an herb used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat arthritis, has reduced rheumatoid arthritis symptoms in most reports.
Ulcerative Colitis
550 mg of gum resin three times a day2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with boswelia may help reduce severity and encourage remission.
Bursitis
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
Some doctors recommend using the anti-inflammatory herbs boswellia, turmeric, willow, and topical cayenne ointment for bursitis.
Cluster Headache
Refer to label instructions 1 star[1 star]
In case reports, several patients with chronic cluster headaches showed improvement after supplementing with Boswellia serrata extract, though more research is needed to confirm these findings.

Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)

In the ancient Ayurvedic medical texts of India, the gummy exudate from boswellia is grouped with other gum resins and referred to collectively as guggals. Historically, the guggals were recommended by Ayurvedic physicians for a variety of conditions, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, diarrhea, dysentery, pulmonary disease, and ringworm.

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The information presented in Aisle7 is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2015.

 
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