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Boswellia: Ancient Ally for Modern Times

Boswellia: Ancient Ally for Modern Times

One of the oldest herbs used by humankind has become the subject of much scientific research in modern times. Boswellia serrata (Indian frankincense) offers impressive health benefits for many body systems.

What Is It?

Boswellia Resin

A resin/exudate from the Boswellia tree, also known as olibanum, used in Ayurveda and other civilizations for millenia. The tree is native to North Africa, India, and the Middle East. Traditionally it was/is used in Ayurveda for treating arthritis, ulcerative colitis, coughs, sores, wound-healing, and asthma. Modern science has shown boswellia to be an extraordinarily powerful anti-inflammatory, supporting not only localized issues such as joints, but also dampening systemic inflammation which may lead to cancer, among other diseases.


Boswellia reduces inflammation by suppressing the 5-Lipoxygenase enzyme (5-LOX). That enzyme, if unchecked, increases levels of inflammatory eicosanoids and leukotrienes. This is a different pathway than most other natural anti-inflammatories, such as turmeric, which work on suppressing the COX-2 enzyme.

Respiratory Benefits

Boswella’s powerful anti-inflammatory compounds may inhibit mast cell production and reduce histamine levels. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) , emphysema, and bronchitis are all caused, in part, by a certain inflammatory compound, HLE, for short. Boswellia has been shown to reduce the influence/activity of this compound thereby stopping bronchial inflammation and opening bronchial airways. These actions may also reduce the damage to bronchi caused by these conditions over time.

Digestive System & More

Boswellia benefits numerous digestive conditions, including the symptoms and inflammation associated with Crohn’s disease. As well, it can help alleviate gastric ulcers and ulcerative colitis. Ajay Goel, PhD, an investigator at the Gastrointestinal Cancer Research Lab at Baylor University, is a top researcher on boswellia and curcumin. He has discovered boswellia extract to inhibit the growth of tumors in colorectal cells. It also induces DNA methylation, thereby preventing aberrant cell division. In Goel’s findings, the boswellic extract inhibited cell proliferation, decreased cancer-cell viability, and reactivated tumor-suppressing genes.


Joint InflammationPerhaps best known for helping the inflammation and pain associated with arthritis, boswellia truly shines here. It has been shown to reduce the pain and stiffness in joints as a result of rheumatoid arthritis. It acts the same in osteoarthritis. It is usually combined with curcumin for this purpose, resulting in a double-whammy of anti-inflammatory power. As mentioned, boswellia inhibits the 5-LOX pathway of inflammation. Curcumin inhibits the other main pain pathway, COX-2. Together the results are extremely effective for joint pain. A combination of the two herbs was shown to be superior to the prescription arthritis (pain-relief) drug, Celebrex. In one study, 64% of the people taking the herbal combination versus 29% in the drug group improved to the extent of being able to move from “moderate-severe” arthritis to “mild-moderate” arthritis.

What We Have For You

Evergreen Nutrition and Wellness Center carries a variety of boswellia products, both singly and in formulas. In the single category, Himalaya’s Boswellia is a staff favorite, containing no fillers. Curamin from Terry Naturally has long been a best-seller. This pain formula combines boswellia and curcumin with anti-inflammatory enzyme nattokinase. Available in two strengths and multiple sizes, this gluten-free and vegan product truly gets results for safe and effective joint and muscle pain relief.

Himalaya Boswellia

Terry Naturally Curamins