It can be a big help for achy joints and general inflammation in the digestion tract and respiratory system as well. The use of BOSWELLIA resin dates back thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine. But, more recently, medical science has begun to research its full potential and extensive anti-inflammatory properties. Most notably, scientific studies have suggested that boswellia can also block what is known as “5-LOX inflammation,” which has great therapeutic possibilities.
Boswellia is an herbal extract derived from Boswellia serrata, a densely-leaved tree (that looks like a beautiful over-sized shrub) found across India, Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia. The extract’s name comes from old French and means “high quality incense.” It’s gathered from the resin of five varieties of Boswellia trees.
It’s healing properties have been noted for centuries and has been used for a variety of illnesses and ailments, including: asthma, cerebral edema, chronic bowel diseases, arthritis and cancer.
In the case of arthritis, for instance, boswellic acids – the active components of Boswellia – seem to have very strong anti-inflammatory properties. People who have rheumatoid arthritis as well as osteoarthritis may respond well to boswellia because it may also help to reduce cartilage loss and hinder the autoimmune process that contribute to these conditions.
As scientists have looked more deeply into this traditional medicine, they’ve found that boswellia has some additional properties: specifically, its potential to block what’s known as 5-LOX inflammation (which is short for the more scientific term, “5-lipoxygenase inflammation”). 5-LOX is an enzyme that can interact with fatty acids to create leukotriene, which is linked to very strong pro-oxidant and pro-inflammatory activities. (If you saw my earlier podcast on glutathione, I discussed how dangerous an overabundance of oxidants in your system can be!)
5-LOX can impact both the cardiovascular system and the neural system. Its impact on cardiovascular health is often concentrated in the aorta, coronary and carotid arteries. For the neural system, it’s especially localized in the hippocampus and the cortex. In both the cardiovascular and neural systems, the presence of 5-LOX increases considerably as people get older. Luckily, integrating boswellia herb in your diet is pretty easy. You can find it an extract, herbal supplement or powder.
As we all know, frankincense had great value in ancient times. Modern science has confirmed that it’s properties are not just stuff of legend and story. Its anti-inflammatory properties have been proven to be very effective in dealing with some significant health problems like inflammation and they can help ease post race joint aches and pains.
KEY TERMS & IDEAS
Boswellia (or Indian Frankincense) has had a centuries-long reputation for reducing inflammation of all kinds, like arthritis and asthma. More recently, scientists have confirmed this property through studies and have discovered its ability to block 5-lipoxygenase inflammation.
Boswellia: an herbal extract derived from the Boswellia serrata tree, which is a densely-leaved tree (that looks like a beautiful over-sized shrub) found across India, Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia.
5-lipoxygenase inflammation: 5-lipoxygenase (also known as “5-LOX”) is an enzyme that can interact with fatty acids to create leukotriene, which is linked to very strong pro-oxidant and pro-inflammatory activities.
LINKS & RESOURCES:
Jin Chu, and Domenico Praticò, "The 5-lipoxygenase as a common pathway for pathological brain and vascular aging," Cardiovascular psychiatry and neurology 2009 (2009), https://www.hindawi.com/journals/cpn/2009/174657/, accessed 2019.
“Indian Frankincense,” Arthritis Foundation,
https://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/treatments/natural/supplements-herbs/guide/indian-frankincense.php, accessed April 2019
Aaron Moncivaiz, “Boswellia (Indian Frankincense),” Healthline, November 9, 2017, https://www.healthline.com/health/boswellia, accessed April 2019.
M. Z. Siddiqui, "Boswellia serrata, a potential antiinflammatory agent: an overview," Indian journal of pharmaceutical sciences 73.3 (2011): 255, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3309643/, accessed April 2019.
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