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Boswellia: Meaning, Benefits, Uses, Warnings, and More

Boswellia: Meaning, Benefits, Uses, Warnings, and More


What is Boswellia?

Boswellia, also known as Indian Frankincense, is a tree native to India, Africa and Arabia. The resin from the bark is considered to be a potent anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic and analgesic agent. Some research shows that boswellic acid can prevent the formation of leukotrienes in the body. Leukotrienes are molecules that have been identified as a cause of inflammation. 

Benefits of Boswellia

Some research shows that taking certain extracts of boswellia can reduce pain and improve mobility in people with osteoarthritis in joints. Other research shows that taking combination products containing boswellia and other herbal ingredients can also reduce pain and improve function in people with osteoarthritis. Since boswellia is an effective anti-inflammatory, it may also prevent the loss of cartilage, and may also have a positive effect on bronchial inflammation related to asthma.

Who Should Use Boswellia?

Those with joint pain, arthritis or significant inflammation in the body could benefit from using boswellia. Those with pronounced stiffness and pain in the knee, have actually reported being able to walk further when using boswellia. The effective dose tended to range between 250-500 mg, taken two to three times a day. Boswellia can take a few weeks to reach maximal effect, so consistent dosing is important.  

Who Shouldn’t Use Boswellia?

Generally most of the research shows minimal side effects for boswellia. However, some medications may interact with boswellia, so it is a good idea to check with your healthcare provider if you are taking medication. Boswellia may also increase blood flow in the uterus and pelvis, this can increase menstrual flow and potentially increase the possibility of miscarriage. Other possible side effects include irritation of the gastrointestinal tract, which might include: nausea, vomiting, acid reflux or diarrhea. If these occur, discontinuing use is generally the best approach. 

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