Boswellia extract has been in use for centuries as an ingredient in Asian herbal treatments, though it is only just becoming known for use in the West.
The extract is taken from the resin of the boswellia serrata tree and is also known as Indian frankincense. It originates in India and has been a prominent part of the Ayurvedic health system. It can be administered as a topical application or taken internally.
Benefits of Boswellia
The extract has many benefits including treating inflammatory conditions. It contains boswellic acid which is thought to strengthen connective tissue and improve the blood supply to joints.
Studies have shown that boswellia is often a better remedy than a prescription medication for conditions such as arthritis where it can reduce the inflammation and pain. It also has a mild sedative effect, which will help the body to cope better with pain.
Boswellia is of benefit in digestive disorders such as Crohn’s disease. Traditional anti-inflammatory treatments can often cause stomach upset, and using the extract may avoid these side effects.
Other digestive disorders that may be eased with this herb include diarrhea and ulcers. When the extract is taken internally, it is thought to be especially beneficial for back pain, while boswellia extract in creams can be massaged into affected areas to reduce stiffness.
Boswellia extract can also be found in a number of weight loss nutritional supplements. The extract can improve the efficiency of the thyroid, which in turn improves the metabolism, which may help with weight loss.
It has been shown that boswellia herb is beneficial for bronchial disorders, helping by reducing the contraction of the blood vessels. The herb has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties.
The recommended dosage of boswellia is between 200 and 400 mg three times a day. This is in the form of a capsule containing the powdered resin extract.
The extract is also available as boswellia tincture, which can be taken diluted in juice or water or placed directly onto the tongue, and this can also be taken up to three times a day.
The liquid forms of the extract can be made into ointments for topical applications.
Boswellia Side Effects
Boswellia side effects are rare, and most users will tolerate it well. Some reactions that may occur include rashes, diarrhea, and nausea. It is thought that these will only occur if excessive amounts are taken, and sticking to the recommended dose should reduce the chances of a reaction.
Pregnant and nursing women should not use this herb without advice from a qualified medical practitioner. Any stomach upset could be aggravated by using this herb. Boswellia serrata could also cause breathing problems, and if it does a doctor should be consulted immediately.
Boswellia extract may also interact with other herbal remedies, particularly if they have similar properties. In this situation, the dosage taken of these remedies may need to be reduced, so it is important to be aware of the effects of anything you are taking. Care should be taken not to exceed the recommended dose.