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  • Adriano dos Santos

Boswellia Serrata (Frankincense) as a strong medicine

As I love keeping myself up to dated with the most recent studies in alternative medicine and nutrition here you will understand a bit more about this wonderful natural element to help us treating inflammation in our body, IBD, depression and even fighting against cancer. 

What is it actually?

Frankincense is an herbal extract from the Boswellia tree, native to tropical regions of Asia and Africa. Most supplements oils are made from boswellia serrata (Indian frankincense) and boswellia carteri (most often used to make frankincense oil). Research on boswellia (mostly on boswellia serrata) has largely focused on its impressive anti-inflammatory properties. Boswellia Helps Alleviate Pain and Inflammation from Arthritis. Also this herb’s anti-inflammatory abilities could also extend to helping those with IBD, including ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease. A small study performed on patients with chronic UC showed boswellia serrata to be an effective treatment with few side effects.

In fact, an impressive 70% of patients who took boswellia (thrice daily at 300mg per dose for 6 weeks) went into remission compared to 40% on the IBD medication sulfasalazine Against cancer? How? There are a growing number of studies showing boswellia’s potent effects against cancer. Boswellic acids, particularly AKBA, have shown the ability to inhibit cancer growth and induce apoptosis (cell death) in leukemia and breast, brain, prostate and pancreatic cancers. One of the more exciting results came in a trial on mice with pancreatic cancer who saw a 50% reduction in tumor size with boswellia treatment. Another group of researchers noticed that frankincense oil had the power to distinguish normal bladder cells from cancerous ones, suppressing the latter. How Do You Use Boswellia Serrata? Boswellia or frankincense is often available as boswellia serrata in a resin, pill, powder, oil or cream. Products will typically display their concentration of boswellic acids, including AKBA, the main medicinal component of boswellia.

Brand name products of boswellia serrata include 5-Loxin, Aflapin, and ApresFLEX. These often have higher concentrations of AKBA with lower daily doses (at about 100-250mg). Interestingly, you may want to add some fatty food to your diet when supplementing with boswellia serrata. The fats may actually enhance the absorption of its acids. References: 

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