Boswellia boswellia serrata
Boswellia is a moderate to large branching tree native of India. When the tree trunk is tapped, a gummy oleoresin is exuded.
Boswellia is standardized to 60 to 65 percent boswellic acid and its derivatives. These are the primary active ingredients in the gum resin. The volatile oil contains pinene and phellandrene, among other ingredients, and imparts a distinctive fragrance, similar to that of frankincense.
Extracts of the resin have shown unmistakable anti-inflammatory power in animals, and rats with experimental arthritis responded well to treatment without apparent side effects. Test tube research shows that boswellic acids inhibit a specific enzyme crucial in producing certain chemicals important in the process of inflammation.
A double-blind crossover study of patients with osteoarthritis demonstrated that a preparation containing B. serrata significantly reduced disability scores and pain, although it did not alter the underlying joint deformity.
The arthritis benefits from boswellic acids may be related to their impact on glycosaminoglycan metabolism; these are the same biochemical pathways affected by glucosamine. Boswellic acid also has an effect on the immune system.
This herb acts as an anti fungal. anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, and antibacterial. It is used topically to relieve pain. Traditionally, this herb has been used to treat arthritis, gout, lower back pain, myositis, and fibromyalgia. It helps repair blood vessels damaged by inflammation.