Never heard of boswellia? Well, maybe frankincense rings a bell? If you’re familiar with the gifts of the Magi, then you’ve heard of boswellia serrata before.
You see, the resinous extract derived from Boswellia trees is frankincense, which can be made into frankincense essential oil. Thanks to its potent anti-inflammatory properties, boswellia serrata can help relieve joint pain, prevent autoimmune disease, speed healing, and more. It’s a gift, for sure!
Benefits of Boswellia Serrata
1. Lowers Inflammation
Compounds in boswellia lead to lower inflammation. Primarily, the extract contains terpenes and boswellic acids, which help protect healthy cells. Specifically, these compounds play an important role in protecting the body from damage caused by free radicals.
Boswellia may also reduce the body’s inflammatory response by controlling T-lymphocytes, including one called AKBA. AKBA helps fight inflammation and reduce pain. Studies have shown that it can help fight multiple inflammatory diseases, including arthritis, asthma, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease. Boswellia is also able to reduce inflammatory reactions in the brain that lead to depression and anxiety. (1)
2. Reduces Joint Pain
And since inflammation leads to joint pain, among other things, the benefits of boswellia include the ability to reduce joint pain. For example, according to a study published in the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database, boswellia serrata extract can help reduce pain, swelling, and movement trouble in people who suffer from arthritis or osteoarthritis. Also, in a study published in the Journal of Phytotherapy and Phytopharmacology, researchers found that the benefits of boswellia include the ability to naturally treat osteoarthritis symptoms, including knee pain, knee jerking and pain while walking. (2, 3)
3. May Help Fight Cancer
In addition to reducing inflammation, research suggests that boswellia may have the ability to help fight cancer. First, frankincense oil is formed by taking the resin from the trunk of the boswellia tree and purifying it. Researchers found that frankincense oil can help target cancer cells while protecting healthy cells in the body. Specifically, AKBA is linked to protection against brain, breast, colon, pancreatic, prostate, and stomach cancers. Frankincense is also able to strengthen the immune system by preventing infections, reducing inflammation and working to balance hormones. (4)
4. Speeds Up Healing From Infections
Benefits of boswellia further include the ability to speed healing and provide relief faster from a sore throat or cold or flu. You see, boswellia serves as a natural antiviral and anti-inflammatory agent to boost the immune system and promote healing. In fact, frankincense oil is often used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to help improve blood circulation, relieve pain, and speed healing from viral infections. (5)
5. Helps Prevent Autoimmune Disease
Because it naturally supports the immune system, boswellia may also help prevent and treat autoimmune problems, such as asthma, arthritis, and chronic bowel diseases. How? Well, boswellia works by interfering with autoimmune disease development. Primarily, it promotes the production of antibodies that help the immune system fight off potential threats, including bacteria, viruses, fungi and other toxins. But by fighting inflammation, boswellia can also help reduce the risk of inflammatory bowel diseases, including ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and IBS. (6)