The active ingredient in Boswellia, Boswellic acid, attacks inflammation by inhibiting 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO) including 5-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (5-HETE) and leukotriene B4 (LTB-4), which cause bronchoconstriction, chemotaxis, and increased vascular permeability. The 5-LO enzyme generates inflammatory leukotrienes which promote calcium dislocation, cell adhesion, and free radical damage.
When this inflammation is treated with traditional NSAIDS like Ibuprofen, they can disrupt glycosaminoglycan synthesis which makes it hard for body to repair and replace cartilage in joints. This can start a downward spiral where inflammation causes the use of NSAIDS for pain which can then cause cartilage damage, which causes inflammation.
Boswellic acids on the other hand have been shown to significantly reduce glycosaminoglycan degradation. This allows the cartilage a chance to heal while still helping to control pain due to inflammation.
Double blind, placebo controlled studies have shown marked improvement for patients with arthritis taking 100mg of boswellia serrata extract. During the study, patients who used the extract rated their pain as 23 points, while patients on placebo rated their pain as 40 points. This was on a 100 point scale with lower numbers meaning less pain.
Boswellia may also be effective in treating inflammation related diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis , asthma, and inflammatory bowel disease.
This amazing plant, prized by for its healing properties for thousands of years in traditional medicine is finally becoming more understood in the modern world. Its unique properties provide hope for people suffering from many inflammation related conditions, especially arthritis and joint pain.
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