Boswellia

A powerful herb coming from the bark of the Boswellia tree, boswellia is native to India and Africa, but is found throughout the Middle East, Southeast Asia and the Indian Subcontinent. Also known as Indian frankincense, or salai guggulu, boswellin comes from the gummy sap within the bark of the tree, and is extremely well-known for its use as a treatment for arthritis, as well as other conditions caused by inflammation. In fact, this herb has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine for treating a wide variety of health ailments ranging from lung disease to intestinal worms. Boswellia is safe for use in dogs

Reported health benefits:
Boswellia has many health benefits, but is most prized for its powerful anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.

Purported medicinal uses of the herb include:

  • Rheumatoid and osteoarthritis
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Bursitis
  • Prevention of deterioration in cartilage and joint tissue
  • Treatment for varying skin disorders
  • Lowers cholesterol and triglyceride in the blood stream
  • Promotes a general sense of well-being and calmness

Mechanism of Action
Boswellia works by blocking 5-LOX, the first enzymatic release when creating harmful inflammatory substances called leukotrienes. These substances are related to many diseases, including arthritis and cancer. The active ingredient in boswellia is called boswellic acid. These acids help us slow the creation of harmful inflammatory responses, while simultaneously slowing the pro-inflammatory enzyme leukocyte elastase (HLE). To date, boswellia is the only herb known to stop the action of both HLE and leukotrienes.

Promising Research on Boswellia
A study from Phytomedicine (2003) found that thirty patients with osteoarthritis of the knee, taking 333 mgs of Boswellia, reported decreases in knee pain, better knee flexion, better walking ability and reduction in swelling in the knee joint. The study concluded that, “Boswellia serrata extract is recommended in the patients of osteoarthritis of the knee with possible therapeutic use in other arthritis.”

Contraindications
Do not use if pregnant or breast-feeding, as this herb can be related to birth defects or spontaneous abortion. Consult a doctor if you are taking any prescription medication, as there may be adverse side-effects in the combination. Do not take this herb if you have high blood pressure or any disease related to the heart or blood vessels. Do not take boswellia if you suffer from stomach upset or gastritis. Do not combine with cholesterol-lowering medications or herbal supplements, anti-fungal substances, or medications or supplements used to treat joint diseases.

References
Wei. Arthritis and Osteoporosis Center of Maryland ( HYPERLINK "http://www.aocm.org/" http://www.aocm.org)

Phytomedicine. 2003 Jan;10(1):3-7. Efficacy and tolerability of Boswellia serrata extract in treatment of osteoarthritis of knee--a randomized double blind placebo controlled trial. Vicki Brower, Ancient Herb Suppresses Inflammation, Life Extension Foundation, March 2007: 71-75.

DeCaterina R, Zampoli A, From asthma to atherosclerosis—5-lipoxygenase, leukotrienes, and inflammation. New England Journal of Medicine, 2004 Jan 1; 350(1): 4-7.

- Ingredient used in Human formula

- Ingredient used in Canine formula