The people of India use the gummy resin from boswellia (guggals) for arthritis, diarrhea, dysentery, lung disease, and parasitical worms. During the last decade, extensive studies have been undertaken to better understand the action of boswellia serrata. Results from these studies show that boswellic acids are very effective in rheumatic conditions and are safe for human use. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) like aspirin are the mainstay in treating this condition, but many have serious adverse side effects. India's council for Scientific and Industrial Research undertook a series of studies to discover herbal based anti-inflammatory products having beneficial effects on rheumatic diseases without any adverse side-effects. They concluded that boswellic acids, as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents, are more beneficial, less toxic, and more potent than the standard drug of choice, Ketoprofen. Modern research has shown that a group of triterpenoids, called boswellic acids, are responsible for these effects. A comparative study was conducted against known anti-inflammatory agents such as Ketoprofen and Phenylbutazone-examples of non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS). The trial, involving a mixed group of 175 rheumatoid arthritis patients, ages five through seventy five, resulted in 97% reporting moderate to excellent improvement. The treatment (450-750 mg of boswellic acids per day) was effective in reducing pain, swollen joints, and morning stiffness; grip strength and physical performance also improved. None of these patients complained of any undesirable side effects. The abatement of symptoms was seen after 3-4 weeks of treatment initiation.
This ancient Indian (Boswellia spp.) herb has anti-inflammatory properties, and has been marketed in India for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis since 1982. The gum resin has also been used extensively in traditional and Ayurvedic medicine to treat chronic ulcers, diseased bones, rheumatic and nervous diseases, cervical tuberculosis lymphadentitis, urinary tract disorders, skin diseases, amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea, sore nipples, ringworm, jaundice, diarrhea, dysentery, dyspepsia, hemorrhoids, and so forth. [Although the gum resin fraction has been used therapeutically for centuries, frankincenseÆs fame derives from the aromatherapeutic properties of the resin and essential oils, as were the related myrrh (Commiphora). The medicinal use of B. serrata in India has been eclipsed, until recently by the other Guggul, Commiphora mukul.]
The active constituents in the gum resin are fatty acids palmitic, stearic, oleic, and linoleic. It also contains the sugars glucose, arabinose, raminose, galactose, fructose, glucoronic acid, and idose. The gum resin also contains triterpene alcohol, serratol, and triterpenoids. The volatile oil contains p-cymene, d-limonene, terpenolene, bornyl acetates, and methyl chavicol. The anti-inflammatory activity is attributed to four triterpene pentacyclic acids commonly known as boswellic acids.
B. serrata gum resin administered orally to rats elicited anti-arthritic activity in numerous models of acute and chronic inflammation and arthritis. In 260 humans with rheumatoid arthritis, an extract of the gum resin called H15(r) reduced joint swelling, pain, stiffness, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, and the need for additional pain medication. In contrast, a similar but smaller clinical trial showed no significant improvement.
Botanical Name: Boswellia serrata
Notes: Kosher. Non-irradiated. aka Indian Olibanum, Indian frankincense, salai guggal, olibanum, boswellin
Please choose from our selection of various forms for this herb, i.e. cut & sifted is ideal for making teas, decoctions, teas, etc. Powders for mixing in liquids or producing capsules. If available, we also offer bulk vegetable 00 capsules (approximately 575mg/cap depending on herb); Liquid Extracts 1:4 (weight to volume ratio) in 18-20% USP grain alcohol with only organic, ecological or wildcrafted bio-active plants; Tinctures are made in accordance with the Homepathic Pharmacopoeia of the US using fresh plants in 1:10 ratio with pure ethyl alcohol USP 190 grain.
Read More About It
Forms of Herbal Preparations
The Herbal Medicine Chest by Sujata Bristow
The Book Of Herbs by Dawn Titmus (Editor), Thunder Bay Press
Herbal Prescriptions for Health and Healing: Your Everyday Guide to Using Herbs Safely and Effectively by Donald J. Brown, Don Brown
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