The power of boswellia
Boswellia, which is also sometimes called Indian frankincense, is made from the boswellia serrata tree. This tree grows wild in the hills of the Indian subcontinent. Indian healers have long known about the strong anti-inflammatory nature of the gummy resin contained in the bark of the tree.
Modern uses of boswellia
In the modern world, many preparations are made from a purified extract of this resin, and they are then packaged in the form of a pill or cream. The cream is used to reduce the inflammation that often comes with osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Unlike the many non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs, boswellia is not known to cause stomach irritation. In addition, boswellia is thought to be effective against both back pain and some chronic disorders of the intestines.
Modern scientific research has identified several of the ingredients of boswellia which are responsible for its anti-inflammatory effects. These active ingredients are often referred to in alternative medicine as boswellic acids. In studies on animals, these agents have been seen to reduce inflammation by deterring the inflammation of white cells and improving the flow of blood to the joints. In addition, these boswellic acids have been shown to block the chemical reactions that can be precursors to inflammation.
Health benefits of boswellia
Specially boswellia is thought to be effective against both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. In addition, boswellia has been shown to decrease the severity of back pain, particularly when used orally. Cream forms of boswellia can also be quite soothing to low back pain and stiffness.
In addition to these anti-inflammatory benefits, boswellia is thought to reduce inflammation that can be associated with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. In addition, boswellia appears to provide this vital relief without the negative side effects often seen with traditional pain relievers. Unlike many other common pain relievers, boswellia has not been shown to cause stomach upset and other digestive problems.
Boswellia is available in a wide variety of preparations, including tablets, capsules and topical creams. The topical preparation of boswellia can be particularly effective against back pain and arthritis.
Back pain and boswellia
Back pain can also be soothed by oral preparations of boswellia, with the most effective dose 150 mg three times daily. If cream is used, a pea sized amount of boswellia should be rubbed into the area experiencing the pain and repeated every four to six hours as needed.
When shopping for boswellia, it is a good idea to look for products which have been standardized to include a 60% concentration of boswellic acids. It is also important to buy products from quality, reputable manufacturers, those who use the highest quality manufacturing processes.
While boswellia does not typically cause side effects, there have been reports of such problems as nausea, diarrhea and skin rashes. Those who experience such side effects should immediately discontinue their use of boswellia.
It is also important to notify your doctor if you intend to start using boswellia to treat rheumatoid or osteoarthritis, back pain and other conditions. It is important that your doctor know about all the medications you are taking, not only prescription medications but over the counter medications and herbal preparations as well.