Boswellia Serrata for Joint Health

2 October 2018
Michelle Haskins

Boswellia Serrata Frankincense

Our ancestors have used many traditional therapeutic botanicals from places like India and China for a variety of health benefits for thousands of years. Boswellia Serrata is an ancient herb that is more commonly known as Frankincense and has a long history in Ayurvedic medicine. Boswellia is known for its positive effects on the body's joints and bones, as well as its ability to act as a neuroprotective agent.

Most people take Boswellia Serrata for it's ability to promote healthy joint function and comfort, which is derived from the boswellic acids in the gum resin of a Boswellia tree. The resinous part of the tree contains diterpenes, monoterpenes, triterpenes, and pentacyclic triterpenic acid (boswellic acid) that all play a role in the botanical’s nutritional value. BOS 2000 is the polysaccharide molecule found in the tree resin that may be responsible for its potent health properties.

Traditionally, Boswellia Serrata was used topically, but recent studies have found that oral supplementation of Boswellia can help with mobility and overall joint support and health. One study showed that those who took Boswellia experienced an increase in joint comfort of around 32% to 65%. Another study showed that those who took Boswellia had an increase in joint comfort after long walks. Additionally, a reduction was observed in the enzyme responsible for cartilage degradation (MMP-3) in the fluid lubricating joints.

Boswellia Serrata works differently than most prescription anti-inflammatory medications that function as Cox enzyme inhibitors. Boswellia works by inhibiting Lox (lipoxygenase) enzymes. When these enzymes are inhibited, leukotriene synthesis is blocked, which can act to support healthy connective tissue. AKBA is the most potent inhibitor of Lox among the boswellic acids. It also contains incensole acetate, a compound found in the resin that inhibits the activity of the main protein controlling inflammation-nuclear factor kappa B. Boswellia also has antioxidant properties, which can help reduce oxidative stress and support bone health. This dual action is unique to boswellic acids and is what makes Boswellia so effective at promoting healthy bones and joints.

Boswellia Serrata is considered safe and non-toxic to humans at doses of 100 - 1200 mg, up to four times per day. There have been some cases where Boswellia caused an allergic reaction, which may be mitigated by trying it topically before oral supplementation. Like any supplement, Boswellia isn't a stand-alone magic pill, and the best course of action for promoting a healthy body and joints is to be pro-active about your health. Combine this supplemental herb with an anti-inflammatory diet and healthy lifestyle for the best results.

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