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Phytotherapy in joint pain III

Boswellia serrata (Indian Frankincense) is a moderate to large branching tree found in India, North Africa, and the Middle East.

Phytotherapy in joint pain III Phytotherapy in joint pain III

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It belongs to the Burceracease family, within which more than 600 species are known. Between species there are great differences in the concentration of the essential oils it contains and only four are taken into account when using them for anti-inflammatory purposes:

  • Boswelia serrata (specific to India).
  • Boswelia sacra (South Arabia).
  • Boswelia carteri Birdw(Somalia).
  • Boswelia frereana Birw (Somalia).


The most interesting is Boswelia serrata.

Boswellia bark produces a gummy oleoresin, which has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years as an anti-arthritic, anti-inflammatory, astringent, stimulant, expectorant, and antiseptic.

Boswellia contains different active ingredients, especially boswellic acids (beta-boswellic, acetyl-beta-boswellic...) which have significant anti-inflammatory properties. Boswellic acids block excess cytokinetic activity in damaged tissues, while facilitating blood flow to the joints. As a consequence of the combination of both effects, it has been shown that it relieves the stiffness of the joints, that is, it increases their mobility.

It has been shown that the anti-inflammatory effect of Boswellia is comparable to that of NSAIDs.


Contraindications of Boswellia:

  • Pregnancy
  • Lactation
  • Children under 12 years
  • Gastrointestinal discomfort (although rarely, it can cause nausea, acid reflux, diarrhea...)
    Skin rashes (when used topically).

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