Perhaps it’s because other treatments haven’t worked or because people are looking for natural remedies – whatever it is – the popularity of complementary and alternative medicine has continued to rise.
Boswellia serrata is one such natural remedy, and has emerged as a promising dietary supplement for its potential health benefits. Also known as Indian frankincense, this potent plant has a long history of use in traditional medicine for its anti-inflammatory and other health-promoting properties.
This article will explore boswellia serrata supplements and their potential to treat various conditions. We’ll also provide recommendations for properly using and incorporating these supplements into a patient’s treatment plan, so you can offer them the latest in natural medicine.
What is Boswellia Serrata?
Boswellia serrata is a tree that holds the key to a treasure trove of natural health benefits. Hailing from India and other parts of Asia, its resin has been used for centuries in traditional medicine as a powerful remedy for inflammation, pain, and fever. The secret behind its potency? Active compounds known as boswellic acids.
These acids are the magic behind the anti-inflammatory properties of boswellia serrata, making it so highly sought-after. Nowadays, boswellia supplements are available in various forms, such as resin, capsules, oils, and creams. But like any supplement, they’re not created equal – their quality and potency can vary greatly.
Health Benefits of Boswellia Serrata
The health benefits of boswellia serrata are numerous and exciting. The supplement is renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties, which is a common thread among all the health benefits we’ll touch on in this section.
Boswellia resin has been shown to significantly reduce inflammation in the body, which is why it’s cited as an effective solution for many conditions, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, and inflammatory bowel disease.
One study that looked at the anti-inflammatory properties of boswellia resin on osteoarthritis in rats found reduced pain and better protection of cartilage. The supplemented rats had significant improvements in threshold to pain sensitivity to pressure, better body-weight-bearing capabilities, and prevention in structural damage of the cartilage.
Reducing Asthma Symptoms
Boswellia supplements also have the potential to provide relief for people with asthma. This chronic respiratory condition is heavily linked to inflammation and narrowing of the airways, leading to difficulty breathing. Boswellia has been shown to improve lung function and reduce asthma symptoms.
A study published in the European Journal of Medical Research supported this in a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. After six weeks, those with bronchial asthma who took boswellia gum resin showed an improvement in physical symptoms and the number of attacks.
Improving Brain Function and Cognitive Abilities
The benefits of boswellia aren’t just limited to the body – they also help to improve mental function. Boswellia extract has been shown to provide cognitive benefits to those who have experienced traumatic brain injury (TBI) – a major cause of neuropsychiatric problems.
A 2022 study found cognitive improvement among those who had TBI across assessments after a treatment period of 3 months. The assessments included the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test-Recognition Test (RAVLT), Wechsler adult intelligence Digit Symbol Substitution Test (DSST), and trail-making test part B (TMT-B).
Taking Boswellia Serrata Supplements
If you’re a physician or clinic owner considering recommending Boswellia serrata supplements to your patients, taking note of how to do so safely and effectively is still of utmost importance.
These particular supplements are generally considered safe when taken as directed. But it’s always a good idea to speak with patients about any potential interactions with medications they may be taking, particularly if they are on blood thinners or have a bleeding disorder.
In terms of dosage, the appropriate amount of Boswellia serrata supplements can vary depending on the individual and the condition being treated. As with any supplement, you’ll want to suggest a low dose and gradually increase it as needed while monitoring for any adverse effects.
Boswellia serrata presents an excellent opportunity for healthcare professionals to incorporate it into patient care plans. For an array of health benefits and to alleviate symptoms of chronic disease, boswellia serrata supplements can be a safe and effective addition to many healthcare regimens.
Siddiqui M. Z. (2011). Boswellia serrata, a potential antiinflammatory agent: an overview. Indian journal of pharmaceutical sciences, 73(3), 255–261. https://doi.org/10.4103/0250-474X.93507 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3309643/)
Ammon H. P. (2016). Boswellic Acids and Their Role in Chronic Inflammatory Diseases. Advances in experimental medicine and biology, 928, 291–327. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-41334-1_13 (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27671822/)
Alluri, V. K., Kundimi, S., Sengupta, K., Golakoti, T., & Kilari, E. K. (2020). An Anti-Inflammatory Composition of Boswellia serrata Resin Extracts Alleviates Pain and Protects Cartilage in Monoiodoacetate-Induced Osteoarthritis in Rats. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2020, 7381625. https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/7381625 (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32565872/)
Gupta, I., Gupta, V., Parihar, A., Gupta, S., Lüdtke, R., Safayhi, H., & Ammon, H. P. (1998). Effects of Boswellia serrata gum resin in patients with bronchial asthma: results of a double-blind, placebo-controlled, 6-week clinical study. European journal of medical research, 3(11), 511–514. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9810030/)
Meshkat, S., Mahmoodi Baram, S., Rajaei, S., Mohammadian, F., Kouhestani, E., Amirzargar, N., Tafakhori, A., Shafiee, S., Meshkat, M., Balenci, L., Kiss, A., Riazi, A., Salimi, A., Aghamollaii, V., Salmani, F., & Karima, S. (2022). Boswellia serrata extract shows cognitive benefits in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled pilot clinical trial in individuals who suffered traumatic brain injury. Brain injury, 36(4), 553–559. https://doi.org/10.1080/02699052.2022.2059816 (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35385330/)