Boswellia, also called Shallaki or Indian Frankincense, is one of the most potent anti-inflammatory herbs found in the dry, hilly areas of India. When the trunk of the tree is tapped, a gummy resin is extracted that is turned into a purified extract, which is then used for herbal preparations. The health benefits of this herb can be used alone and in combination of other herbs to treat rheumatoid arthritis, back pain and osteoarthritis whether applied internally or externally to the body. Many clinical trials and animal studies have confirmed that this herb provides anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects to those in need.
Indian Frankincense is an ushan virya in potency, which is why it acts on all the vata dosha disorders in Ayurveda. It possesses kashaya, tickt and madhur rasa, which suppress diseases and illnesses caused by vata and kapha doshas. Consequently, this is the reason why the herb is heavily counted in relieving pain as vata is known to be the cause behind every pain in the body.
This herb offers an alternative treatment to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs with its anti-arthritis and anti-inflammatory features. Unlike drugs such as Ibuprofen, Aspirin, Celebrex, and Vioxx, the herb does not irritate the sensitive lining of the digestive tract. In addition, it also provides a great alternative to Prednisone, which is known to be a dangerous steroid. Many studies have also proven the effectiveness and safety of the herb as an anti-inflammatory agent.
In a study done on using boswellia as an herb to treat osteoarthritis, results show that the herb can reduce pain and improve physical functions in patients. The anti-arthritis activities of the herb may be caused by the reduction in both the pro-inflammatory modulators and the enzymatic degradation of the cartilage. The study also confirmed the safety of treatment of the alternative medicine.
Another clinical study showed significant suggestions that Indian Frankincense showed improved conditions on general pain, morning join stiffness, loss of grip strength, gout, skeletal muscle pain and difficulty performing routine jobs with men and women suffering from arthritis.
When it comes to internal benefits, the herb can be helpful for indigestion, constipation, intestinal disturbance, diarrhea, stomach disorders, urinary tract infections and even tastelessness. It also helps the liver function properly by enhancing its secretions such as bile juices. Other benefits of the herb are proven worthy when it comes to heart-related ailments and the herb is also in possession of anti-cancerous properties. Some even use it as an aphrodisiac agent that helps increase sperm count and quality.
The plant is also known as a wound-healer herb as it can be used to make any injury heal faster and efficiently. It can also increase vision in eyes. Aside from physical feature benefits, the plant can increase intelligence levels as well as mental concentration. Finally, aside from medical benefits, the plant is a great herb to use to eliminate foul odor in some areas.
The side effects from using boswellia are rare but some have reported cases of heartburns, diarrhea, nausea and skin rashes. There are also no known drug interactions or contradictions with the herb. The boswellia herb is extremely affordable and quite a quality product against inflammation and arthritis. Those who use it for an effective means for pain and inflammation should use it with care and according to a physician’s directions.