Vitamin Expert


(Boswellia serrata)

Botanical family: Burseraceae
Parts used: Resin
Main active constituents: Boswellic acids
Actions: Anti-inflammatory
Good for: Joint and muscle pain relief, osteoarthritis, IBS and other inflammatory conditions
Available forms: Capsule, tablet

Boswellia serrata is a large branching tree native to India, the Middle East and North Africa. Its thick bark is where the resin, known as boswellic acid, is found. The resin is used medicinally and is known as frankincense or olibanum. Boswellia belongs to a family of resinous trees which are all renowned for their aromatic oils.

History of Boswellia

Boswellia has been prized for its medicinal properties for thousands of years. The Chinese used it as a stimulant, a topical ointment for injuries, skin eruptions and leprosy sores, a mouthwash for mouth and throat problems, and pain relief for menstrual problems. It was and still is especially favoured in Indian Ayurvedic medicine as an effective treatment for conditions such as arthritis, pain, fever, and heart problems and as an antiseptic for wound healing.

Current uses of Boswellia

Boswellia’s potent anti-inflammatory properties have been found to be primarily due to its inhibition of 5-lipoxegenase, effectively reducing leukotriene synthesis. It’s this activity that’s adversely associated with a number of chronic disease, but especially inflammatory conditions affecting the joints, skin, digestive and respiratory systems.

Boswellia works as an effective pain relief, particularly in cases of arthritis, over an eight-week period.

There have been many studies to support the effectiveness of Boswellia in treating osteoarthritis with improvements in both pain, swelling and flexibility and increased ability to walk further, compared with groups taking placebos

Frankincense has been valued traditionally for its effect on the respiratory system, and has been used in steam inhalations, baths, and massages to treat coughs, catarrh, bronchitis and asthma.

How to take Boswellia

Dosages of 100mg – 250 mg per day have been found to be effective
Boswellia can be taken with other supplements
Boswellia can be taken continuously, with improvements being found after 8-weeks of treatment


Side effects are rare and significantly lower than the gastrointestinal upsets frequently experienced using NSAIDs.

Try this

Boswellia can be found in Nature’s Way Boswellia Premium Extract, which helps to keep joints flexible and comfortable.