Boswellia sacra (generic name)

treats Brain tumors, Crohn's disease, Rheumatoid arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Ulcerative colitis, and Asthma
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Alternate Title

Frankincense, Guggals, Olibanum


Herbs & Supplements


11-keto ß-boswellic acid, Acetyl-11-keto ß-boswellic acid (AKBA), African elemi (Boswellia frereana), Arabian incense (Bakhour), Bibal incense (Boswellia carterii), birdwood, Bosweilla, Boswellia carterii, Boswellia dalziellii, Boswellia frereana, Boswellia ovalifoliolata, Boswellia papyrifera, Boswellia sacra, Boswellia serrata, Boswellia serrata gum resins, BSB108, Burseraveae (family), carterii, dhup, frankincense, guggals, H15®, indish incense, Mexican bursera, nopane (Boswellia), oleogum resins, oleo-resin, olibanum, pentacyclic tritrepertinoid, S-compound®, sacra, salai guggal, sallai guggul, Sallaki®.


Resin extracts from the Boswellia serrata tree have been found to have anti-inflammatory effects. Animal and laboratory studies suggest possible efficacy for inflammatory conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and osteoarthritis, although high-quality human data are lacking. Initial human evidence suggests the efficacy of boswellia as a chronic therapy for asthma (but not for the relief of acute asthma exacerbations). Further studies are warranted in this area.

As opposed to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), long-term use of boswellia has not been shown to cause gastrointestinal irritation or ulceration, although adverse effects have not been well studied in humans.


DISCLAIMER: These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.

Asthma (chronic therapy): Boswellia has been proposed as a potential chronic asthma therapy. Future studies are needed to assess the long-term efficacy and safety of boswellia and to compare the efficacy of boswellia to standard therapies. Boswellia should not be used for the relief of acute asthma exacerbations.
Grade: B

Brain tumors: Boswellia has been used as a cancer treatment but there is not enough human data to support this use over standard therapies. Cancer should be treated by a medical oncologist.
Grade: B

Crohn's disease: Boswellia has been noted to possess anti-inflammatory properties. However, limited human data exist, and there is inadequate evidence for or against using boswellia in the treatment of Crohn's disease.
Grade: C

Osteoarthritis: Due to boswellia's potential anti-inflammatory properties, boswellia has been suggested as a potential treatment for osteoarthritis. Further research is needed in this area.
Grade: C

Rheumatoid arthritis: Due to boswellia's potential anti-inflammatory properties, boswellia has been suggested as a potential treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, data is conflicting and sometimes combination products have been used. Therefore, there is currently insufficient evidence to recommend for or against the use of boswellia for rheumatoid arthritis.
Grade: C

Ulcerative colitis: Due to boswellia's potential anti-inflammatory properties, boswellia has been suggested as a potential treatment for ulcerative colitis. At this time, however, only a limited number of human trials have evaluated this use of boswellia, with inconclusive results. Therefore, there is inadequate evidence for or against this use of boswellia.
Grade: C

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