What Is Boswellia?

boswellia serrata tree

As an all-natural osteoarthritis treatment, Boswellia might be what you need to turn away from painkillers for good. When used medicinally, Boswellia is just as effective as NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like ibuprofen and aspirin for treating inflammation and joint pain without unpleasant side effects.

There are over 16 known species of Boswellia, meaning that online research into its benefits can quickly overwhelm you. To cut down on the confusion, this article delves into the details behind Boswellia serrata, or the variety most used for joint health.

Boswellia

Where is Boswellia serrata from?

Coming from the gummy resin of a Northern African tree, Boswellia is more commonly known as Indian frankincense. Resin has long been extracted from Boswellia trees and put to use in Asian and African folk medicine to treat disease, inflammation and chronic joint pain. Because the resin is free from side effects, it is often used as a natural cancer treatment.

Boswellia Serrata

Boswellia’s effects on inflammation

As unpleasant as it feels, a little inflammation is both natural and beneficial for your body. Inflammation is an automatic stress response to infections, irritation and injuries that triggers pain through your body to prevent you from continuing the behaviour that led to it. In fact, inflammation is your body’s way of indicating when something is wrong. For example, the inflammation in a sprained ankle makes you stop walking on it.

However, too much inflammation leads to long term pain and discomfort, which is where Boswellia serrata can help. Boswellia extract has natural anti-inflammatory properties that prevent toxic compounds from forming in the bloodstream and damaging healthy cells. In this way, Boswellia helps shut down overreactions in the immune system in order to fight inflammation at the source. This reduces the triggers of inflammation and the pain it causes.

How does Boswellia promote joint health?

For millions of people, inflammation is one of the biggest causes of osteoarthritis in their joints. There are three main ways that Boswellia works to lower inflammation: slowing down the body’s response to pain, regulating the behaviour of white blood cells, and controlling the production of antibodies to prevent infections.

Boswellia helps maintain cartilage and prevent the formation of leukotrienes in the body, which are a major trigger of inflammation and joint pain. By controlling the way that your body directly responds to the triggers of inflammation, Boswellia helps keep joints functional for longer, despite the onset of osteoarthritis. Studies from the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database have found that Boswellia can reduce pain, swelling, and mobility problems in patients with arthritis, often by as much as 65 percent.

For this reason, taking a Boswellia-based supplement is a smart solution for reducing inflammation and preventing lingering joint pain from negatively affecting your life.