Although boswellia serrata is a powerful herb, its uses have limitation. This remedy has shown to be effective in treating these numerous inflammatory diseases.
What is Boswellia Serrata?
It is known as the Indian Frankincense and available as a dried extract of gummy resin. Its Indian name is Shallaki Guggal. It is extracted from the gummy resinous of the boswellia serrata tree.
It is native to Indian subcontinent and has been used for centuries by ayurvedic doctors and other Indian folk medicine as a remedy for several inflammatory conditions, such as bursitis, arthritis (osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis), rheumatism, lower back pain, ulcers, dysentery, diarrhea, bronchial conditions, asthma, skin disorders, and fever.
The gum of boswellia consists of gum, essential oils, and terpenoids. The terpenoid portion is composed of boswellic acids which are the active constituents responsible for its actions.
How does It Work?
Specifically, this herb has the ability to inhibit pro-inflammatory compound called 5-Lipoxygenase.
By inhibiting the 5-Lipoxygenase, it also blocks the other pro-inflammatory substances called biosynthesis of leukotrienes and decreases the activity of pro-inflammatory enzyme called human leukocyte elastase (HLE).
Those pro-inflammatory compounds are responsible for promoting the inflammatory response in the body - the root of conditions like arthritis, ulcerative colitis, IBS, asthma and other diseases.
The boswellic acids in the extract are thought to prevent the breakdown of the body’s connective tissue and suppress the inflamed tissues from causing more problems.
These acids are the active ingredients that have a positive effect on antibodies and even help with cell-mediated immunity.
It is also found to improve the blood supply to the joints and help strengthen vessels that have been previously damaged by spasms. This is good news for anyone suffering from painful inflammation and immobility.
Besides having anti-inflammatory activity, this ayurvedic plant also has anti arthritic and analgesic effect.
Health Benefits and Uses
There are numerous conditions that this remedy has been shown to help or improve significantly. Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis of the knee, bronchial asthma, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease are some, to name a few.
Many people with arthritic conditions have appreciated the help of boswellia acids for their pain. The joints of the body are able to move more freely and comfortably without the pain or swelling getting in the way when proper care and treatment is given with the extract.
According to the research in India, the patients who suffer from osteoarthritis of knee show better improvement. Within 8 weeks since taking the extract of this herb daily, the flexibility of the knee joint is improved, the inflammation and the pain is reduced as well.
- Bronchial Asthma
According to a clinical study in Germany, when this herbal remedy is taken as recommended, the bronchial passage is able to relax and allow for healthy breathing without obstruction. 70% of asthma patients experienced lessening or disappearing of their symptoms altogether.
- IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Diseases)
Digestive disorders that are inflammatory in nature are also shown to improve with this supplementation. Studies have been done on patients with collagenous colitis, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease to show its affect on easing the irritation and response of the digestive tract.
In case of crohn’s disease, this herbal remedy has been proved to be more efficacious than the classically used drug mesalazine.
Side Effects and Warnings
Although the side effects of boswellia serrata are very rare, some reactions can still happen. The reactions are also minimal such as nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea and rashes (if it is applied to your skin). So, pay attention to any of those possible changes that may happen to your body.
Other than that, you should only use this herb for short term only and not exceeding more than 12 weeks because the effects on our body are unknown.
According to our research, there are no known drug interactions with boswellia extract, but it is important to consult with a doctor to confirm this. It is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women to take this herb.
Basically, the suggested dosage of boswellia serrata extract can range from 150 to 500 mg 3 times in a day.
Dosage levels will change according to your particular condition. For inflammatory diseases such as:
- Rheumatoid Arthritis and Osteoarthritis: it is often recommended to take it in supplement form for 3 times a day at the 150 mg level.
- Ulcerative Colitis: Some people have had success with taking 550 mg of the extract 3x daily.
- Bronchial Asthma. Taking 300 mg 3x per day until 6 weeks can reduce the asthma attacks and improve its symptoms and signs as well.
Your dosage may vary depending on your specific symptoms and state of health. Again, please consult with your physician for the proper recommendation that is best suited for you.