Boswellia, also know as Salai Guggal, is a medium to large tree found in a variety of regions throught India. A gummy oleoresin extracted from the trunk of the tree is used to prepare modern herbal remedies.
Boswellia acts as a spiritual symbol and an effective medicinal herb; it seems to function as both an analgesic and an anti-inflammatory. Reports and personal claims indicate that the Boswellia herb may be used in connection with joint mobility, pain, and stiffness, and may be a useful remedy for a variety of inflammatory diseases, including bursitis, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
The gum oleoresin consists of essential oils, gum, and terpenoids. The terpenoid portion contains the boswellic acids that have been shown to be the most important active constituent in boswellia. Currently, most extracts are standardized to contain approximately 37.5-65 boswellic acids.
Boswellic acids may contain an anti-inflammatory action - much like the conventional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs used for inflammatory conditions. Boswellia inhibits the body's pro-inflammatory mediators such as leukotrienes. Long-term boswellia use does not appear to cause stomach ulceration or irritation.Dosage and Administration
A typical treatment program is 150 milligrams of boswellia extract 3 times a day for 8 to 12 weeks. Since strengths of commercial preparations may vary, you should always follow the manufacturer's recommendation found on the label. Possible Side Effects
Use boswellia as directed. Rare side effects can include nausea and skin rash. Any inflammatory joint condition needs to be closely monitored by a doctor.Supporting LiteratureSafayhi H, Sailer ER, Amnon HPT. 5-lipoxygenase inhibition by acetyl-11-keto-b-boswellic acid. Phytomed 1996;3:71-72.
Gupta I, Parihar A, Malhotra P, et al. Effects of Boswellia serrata gum resin in patients with ulcerative colitis. Eur J Med Res 1997;2:37-43.
Singh GB, Atal CK. Pharmacology of an extract of salai guggal ex-Boswellia serrata, a new non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agent. Agents Actions 1986;18:407-412.