I think the most prominent place where boswelia might be recognized in western culture is actually from the Bible, because boswelia, also known as frankincense, was one of the gifts of the Magi.

For the religious, it was a foreshadowing, as frankincense was used in both ancient Egypt and India in cremation or mummification rituals, and especially for healing wounds. Today it is still used as incense in many traditional religious services, and used as essential oils. But despite any “mystical” applications, modern science has found the Boswellia serrata and its gum resin to provide powerful support to our health.

Here’s 4 Ways Boswellia Might Be Your Ally

Depression

In the past decade, science researchers became more curious about this ancient resin, boswellia serrata. And they’ve been amazed to discover it affects the brain, especially those areas that are less understood on the psychosomatic levels, or what they call “ion channels,” which alleviate anxiety and depression. Because of the work and exploration of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology an international team of researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, ScienceDaily has even hinted how “an entirely new class of depression and anxiety drugs might be right under our noses.” How cheeky. And that’s just as incense. In 2015, the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews published their analysis of boswellia studies displaying that it was effective in reducing physical pain and improved all around function when compared to placebos. And there are many, many studies noting the connection between chronic pain and depression. Boswellia extract acts as a powerful natural aspirin or ibuprofen.

Asthma

In 2006, scientists took 40 subjects (male and female) between the ages of 18 – 75 years, and treated them with a preparation of boswellia gum resin for 6 weeks. Post treatment, 70% showed improvement made evident by a disappearance of physical symptoms, including: dyspnoea, rhonchi, and number of attacks…

Did you read that? A disappearance of physical symptomology! Amazing. They said there was a definite positive outcome to the use of of gum resin in treating of bronchial asthma.

Thyroid

So many of the key issues with most thyroid issues are obviously metabolic, and in autoimmune cases, the destruction of the gland becomes worrying. What’s wonderful about the way the resin works in the system is in its natural acids, which increase the blood flow and prevents the breakdown of connective tissue. Boswellia also assists in weight reduction by gently stimulating the thyroid, leading to increased thyroid efficiency, and thereby ups the amount of calories burned.

Cancer 

Frankincense oil appears to be intelligent: it can distinguish cancerous from non-cancerous cells and suppresses cancer-cell viability. It is thereby seen to be antiproliferation, and pro-apoptosis (cell death) in leukemia, and displays antitumor activity. Further, the by-product fluids associated with cancer is nasty stuff, and their build-up in the body is always associated with particular inflammatory chemicals, but boswellia inhibits the production of these chemicals! In one study, 25 patients were administered an extract of boswellia for a single week and then the tumors were surgically removed. “About half the patients had such significant regressions that the tumors had all but disappeared.” WOW! 

Caution: Boswellia can sometimes cause nausea, diarrhea, bloating, acid reflux, heartburn, and in some cases, allergic reactions. It stimulates blood flow, and this may affect the circulation in the uterus, therefore, if you are pregnant or nursing, you shouldn’t take boswellia. Do not use boswellia if you’re using of P-Glycoprotein (P-Gp) drug substrates, as Boswellia may affect their absorption and proper metabolism. Also, if are under prescription for anticoagulant and/or antiplatelet drugs, boswellia is not for you: it may increase risk of bleeding when used with these drugs.

Sources: 

http://www.ultimatefatburner.com/vitamins/boswellia-extract.html 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9810030 

https://bmccomplementalternmed.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1472-6882-9-6 

https://www.foxnews.com/health/boswellia-good-for-joints 

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/05/080520110415.htm 

https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/boswellia 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9049593 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16773534 

 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28537656 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27775780 

https://draxe.com/boswellia/ 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3924999/