Boswellia (Boswellia serrata) – Health Benefits, Mechanisms of Action, Effects and Chemical Composition.

Boswellia (Boswellia serrata)
image: wikimedia

– relieves inflammation caused by asthma, arthritis , osteoarthritis;
– attenuated inflammatory bowel disease (colitis, Crohn’s disease ) ;
– reduces the risk of developing atherosclerosis ;
– safe, effective , non-toxic, no side effects.

Known as ” incense tree ” , boswellia ( Boswellia serrata ) is a plant native to India which exuded resin of the trunk are used. Rich in bioactive molecules such as boswellic acids, phlobaphene , arabinose , xylose , uronic acid and beta – sitosterol , boswellia is secular use in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. It has long been used as an important ingredient of oriental fragrances, balms balsamic or during religious ceremonies . For decades , the majority of clinical studies focused on the boswellic acids , which are boswellia’s main components . These bioactive molecules are known for their ability to reduce joint swelling , maintain blood supply to inflamed joints , maintain mobility and reduce pain due to joint stiffness without adverse side effects.

Why take the extract of boswellia ?

What is inflammation?

There are several specific symptoms that characterize inflammation. There is redness , heat , pain , swelling and functional reduction of the affected body part . These symptoms are due among other things to the occurrence of dangerous proinflammatory substances in the blood. Called leukotrienes , these molecules are responsible for many diseases such as cancer, rheumatism and asthma. Leukotrienes incite whites to adhere to the arterial wall cells, vascular permeability and facilitate the oxidation of LDL- cholesterol, harmful to the body. These effects promote the development of atherosclerotic plaques in the arteries. By reducing the production of leukotrienes in the body , it significantly decreases the inflammation , the development of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases.

What are the mechanisms of action of boswellic acids?

The boswellic acids have a single action from anti – inflammatory agents . On the one hand they inhibit the key enzyme ( 5 -lipoxygenase , 5 -LO ) which inhibits the production of proinflammatory leukotrienes. On the other hand , they reduce the activity of enzymes responsible for the degradation of the joint tissues ( eg human leukocyte elastase , HLE ) . However , increased levels of HLE associated with rheumatoid arthritis and respiratory as pulmonary emphysema , chronic bronchitis or acute respiratory distress syndrome diseases. The boswellic acids are currently one of the only means capable of reducing both the production of proinflammatory substances and the degradation of connective tissues. Hence their powerful anti- inflammatory property . It was also shown that boswellic acids improve the blood circulation in the inflamed tissues . Recent research also indicates that they have anti- carcinogenic properties , anti -tumor and antihyperlipidemic .

Boswellic acids relieve joint inflammation.

A study of thirty patients with osteoarthritis of the knee , has been a reduction in pain and swelling of the knees, improved knee flexion and increased walking distance. Another clinical trial eighty-one participants with rheumatoid arthritis showed a significant reduction in swelling and pain over a period of three months. It has been shown that the boswellia , which has anti – inflammatory, analgesic and antiarthritic , is beneficial for patients with osteoarthritis , rheumatoid arthritis , asthma , emphysema , bronchitis, bursitis and tendinitis.

boswellia small tree with leaves
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A significant remission of asthma.

In a recent clinical trial conducted by the team of Dr. Gupta , in Faculty of Medicine, Los Angeles, researchers found a significant improvement in asthma symptoms in patients treated with boswellia . 41 persons aged 18-75 years had received 300 mg of boswellia extract for 6 weeks. About three-quarters of them have seen the disappearance what is called ” ronchu “, which is the characteristic rattle difficulty breathing during a crisis . Tidal volume improved significantly , the number of crises is spaced in time and intensity decreased significantly. After six weeks of treatment with boswellic acids , the remission of asthma was observed in 70% of patients, none of whom received any other medical treatment.

More effective and safer than conventional anti- inflammatory drugs.

The boswellic acids have proved superior to non-steroidal anti- inflammatory drugs ( NSAIDs) . Their therapeutic efficacy has been approved by a series of rigorous tests on animal models. Boswellia extract proved as effective , and in some more effective than anti -inflammatory drugs case standards . But unlike the NSAIDs , such as aspirin or ibuprofen , boswellia extract does not cause the development of ulcers .

Relieving inflammatory bowel disease

The results of two trials published in 2006 and conducted with 72 patients with ulcerative colitis indicate that boswellia extract reduces inflammation in the digestive tract without causing side effects associated with conventional anti -inflammatory drugs. In addition, many people with Crohn’s disease ( chronic inflammatory disease of the digestive tract ) show that they have returned to a normal life by eliminating gluten and dairy products on the one hand and taking regular tablets boswellia of other.

Advantageously used with curcumin

The anti- inflammatory action of boswellia and curcumin antioxidant effect would an interesting solution for people with osteoarthritis and eager to avoid the side effects that often accompany conventional drugs . Curcuminoids ( active molecules ) inhibit the synthesis of curcumin enzymes ( cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase ) involved in the synthesis of pro -inflammatory substances derived from arachidonic acid . They reduce the activity of tumor necrosis factor (TNF – alpha ) and decreases the production of some substances involved in the inflammatory process .

Curcuminoids act against the phenomenon generator joint pain and significantly amplify the effects of boswellia . Curcuminoids also inhibit the secretion of collagenase , elastase , and hyaluronidase enzymes that destroy joint tissue . In combination with curcumin known as a disinfectant and bacteriostatic , boswellia heal skin problems : irritation, eczema and minor injuries .

The efficacy of curcumin and boswellia has been tested with 60 patients with knee osteoarthritis : 30 of them received a preparation of 500 mg of turmeric and an extract containing 37.5 % acid boswellic 15 others a placebo and the last 15 were used as control group. After a month , they could walk longer distances without pain. Two months later , they said they felt an overall reduction in their pain. After three months, we have seen a reduction in the accumulation of fluid in their joints. In comparison, patients treated with placebo showed no improvement.

Top associations and good for use with: turmeric , boswellia , glucosamine.

Contra-indications: pregnancy ( spontaneous abortion ) .

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