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  Boswellia (Boswellia serrata)  
 
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Known in Ayurvedic texts by the name Salai guggal, studies have shown that boswellic acids have an anti-inflammatory action much like the conventional NSAIDs used for inflammatory conditions. Uses
In the ancient Ayurvedic medical texts of India, the gummy exudate from boswellia is grouped with other gum resins and referred to collectively as guggals. Historically, the guggals were recommended by Ayurvedic physicians for a variety of conditions, including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, diarrhea, dysentery, pulmonary disease, and ringworm.

Boswellia inhibits pro-inflammatory mediators in the body, such as leukotrienes. [Agents Actions 1986;18: pp.407-12] As opposed to NSAIDs, long-term use of boswellia does not appear to cause irritation or ulceration of the stomach.

Dosage
The standardized extract of the gum oleoresin of boswellia is recommended by many doctors. For rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis, 150mg of boswellic acids are taken three times per day. As an example, if an extract contains 37.5% boswellic acids, 400mg of the extract would be taken three times daily. Treatment with boswellia generally lasts eight to twelve weeks. In the one clinical trial to date, people with ulcerative colitis used 550mg of boswellia extract three times per day.

Active Constituents
The gum oleoresin consists of essential oils, gum, and terpenoids. The terpenoid portion contains the boswellic acids that have been shown to be the active constituents in boswellia. [Phytomed 1996;3: pp.71-2] Today, extracts are typically standardized to contain 37.5–65% boswellic acids.

Adverse reactions
Boswellia is generally safe when used as directed. Rare side effects can include diarrhea, skin rash, and nausea. Any inflammatory joint condition should be closely monitored by a physician. At the time of writing, there were no well-known drug interactions with boswellia.
 

 
 

Boswellia (Boswellia serrata) can help with the following:
 
 
Autoimmune  Ulcerative Colitis
 One small, controlled, double-blind trial has shown that boswellia extract may be helpful for ulcerative colitis. [Eur J Med Res 1997;2: pp.37-43]

Pain

  Low Back Pain / Problems
 Boswellin is a standardized extract from the Boswellia Serrata tree in India. It is the first herbal remedy to have documented clinical evidence that it is useful in rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, low back pain, soft tissue rheumatism and myositis symptoms.

Respiratory

  Asthma
 
 


KEY
May do some good







GLOSSARY

Arthritis:  Inflammation of a joint, usually accompanied by pain, swelling, and stiffness, and resulting from infection, trauma, degenerative changes, metabolic disturbances, or other causes. It occurs in various forms, such as bacterial arthritis, osteoarthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis, the most common form, is characterized by a gradual loss of cartilage and often an overgrowth of bone at the joints.

Ayurvedic:  Type of alternative medicine in which diet and therapies, such as herbal inhalation and massage, are dictated by individual's body type; 4,000 year-old traditional Indian system believed to be helpful to those suffering insomnia, hypertension and digestive problems.

Diarrhea:  Excessive discharge of contents of bowel.

Dysentery:  An inflammatory disorder of the lower intestinal tract, usually caused by a bacterial, parasitic, or protozoan infection and resulting in pain, fever, and severe diarrhea, often accompanied by the passage of blood and mucous.

Essential Oil:  Volatile terpene derivative responsible for the odor or taste of a plant.

Milligram:  (mg): 1/1,000 of a gram by weight.

Nausea:  Symptoms resulting from an inclination to vomit.

NSAID:  Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.

Pulmonary:  Pertaining to the lungs.

Rheumatoid Arthritis:  A long-term, destructive connective tissue disease that results from the body rejecting its own tissue cells (autoimmune reaction).

Stomach:  A hollow, muscular, J-shaped pouch located in the upper part of the abdomen to the left of the midline. The upper end (fundus) is large and dome-shaped; the area just below the fundus is called the body of the stomach. The fundus and the body are often referred to as the cardiac portion of the stomach. The lower (pyloric) portion curves downward and to the right and includes the antrum and the pylorus. The function of the stomach is to begin digestion by physically breaking down food received from the esophagus. The tissues of the stomach wall are composed of three types of muscle fibers: circular, longitudinal and oblique. These fibers create structural elasticity and contractibility, both of which are needed for digestion. The stomach mucosa contains cells which secrete hydrochloric acid and this in turn activates the other gastric enzymes pepsin and rennin. To protect itself from being destroyed by its own enzymes, the stomach’s mucous lining must constantly regenerate itself.

Ulcer:  Lesion on the skin or mucous membrane.

Ulcerative Colitis:  (Colitis ulcerosa): Ulceration of the colon and rectum, usually long-term and characterized by rectal bleeding or blood in the stool, frequent urgent diarrhea/bowel movements each day, abdominal pain.