How Does Boswellia Fight Inflammation?
|How Does Boswellia Fight Inflammation?||Darrell Miller||04/13/11|
April 13, 2011 03:57 PM
Author: Darrell Miller (email@example.com)
Subject: How Does Boswellia Fight Inflammation?
Boswellia refers to the species of trees where the aromatic gum resin frankincense is obtained from. In herbal medicine, the term Boswellia often means Indian frankincense, which is noted for its potent anti-inflammatory properties. It has a centuries-old association with Ayurvedic medicine, and herbal preparations containing its extracts are formulated for arthritis. It now comes in supplements marketed as a viable treatment for inflammation-induced illnesses, such as arthritis, colitis, and asthma.
Indian frankincense, also known as dhoop in India, is entirely derived from Boswellia serrata, and the common frankincense from a completely different species. The earliest known study looking into its purported benefit as an anti-inflammatory medication was in 1998, and it investigated its effects on asthma. In a span of 6 weeks, the boswellia group took 300 mg of the preparation three times a day and 70 percent experienced a significant improvement in symptoms and a noticeable decrease in incidence of asthma attacks in comparison with the control group.
In Ayurvedic medicine, boswellia has been utilized for hundreds of years with an emphasis on its use in the amelioration of joint pains. It is generally considered safe, explaining its prevalence in the treatment of arthritis and related disorders. Boswellia was the subject of several studies devoted to better management of osteoarthritis, and these studies published results that attracted more research. Today it is also touted to be useful for rheumatoid arthritis, which is inflammatory in nature.
Recent studies yielded outcomes in favor of its anti-inflammatory claims. In 2007 one study pointed to its medicinal potential in the treatment of colitis, concluding that patients with chronic inflammation of the colon went into remission after regular intake of boswellia. In a similar study, individuals diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease reported to have benefited from 6 weeks of supplementation while those who sought conventional treatments responded to their medications in a much longer time.
Boswellia remains under scrutiny. Anecdotal evidence has been very positive largely owing to the fact that it hasn’t been linked to any adverse effect at all. But how does it work? There are many chemical reactions which boswellia may be directly involved in. It has been observed that it reduces the synthesis of pro-inflammatory leukotrienes. These mediators of inflammation are produced in the presence of an enzyme called 5-lipoxygenase, which is thought to be counteracted by the high terpene content of boswellia.
Triterpenes in boswellic acid, the active ingredient unique to boswellia, are also believed to interfere with the adhesive interactions between leukocytes and endothelial cells present in the gastrointestinal tract. Leukocyte elastase is a serine protease, a special kind of enzyme, released by leukocytes or neutrophils during inflammation. It is postulated that boswellia down-regulates leukocytes and leukocyte elastase in addition to inhibiting the expression of endothelial cells adhesion molecules. Down-regulation of leukocytes will help reduce inflammation and improve health.
If you are fighting systemic or joint inflammation, give boswellia a try and feel the difference!