//
Boswellia serrata (Frankincense)

Boswellia serrata                                  

Common name: Frankincense

Family: Burseraceae

Part used: Bark (Resin)

Constituents:

  • Oleo-Resin (α- and β boswellic acids: tetra and Pentacyclic triterpene acids)
  • Volatile oil (pinene, dipentene & phellandrene)
  • Mucilage & Polysaccharides

Medicinal Actions:

 

  • Analgesic
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-rheumatic
  • Hepatoprotective

 

 

Medical uses:

  • A traditional remedy for wound healing (e.g. bruises and infected sores) and inflammatory diseases in various cultures. The first mention of the use of Boswellia resin as a drug is in the Ebers papyrus, approximately 1500 BC.
  • The resin as incense was used ceremonially and believed to have a tranquilizing effect, and in Ayurveda was considered to have a strong action on the nervous system.

Pharmacology:

  • Resin (Boswellic acids) have been shown to be specific non-redox and non-competitive inhibitors of 5-lipoxygenase, the key enzyme of leukotriene biosynthesis. In a dose-dependent manner these acids block the synthesis of pro-inflammatory 5-lipoxygenase products, including leukotriene B4 (LTB4), which cause bronchoconstriction, chemotaxis, and increased vascular permeability.
  • Also shown effects on the immune system such as decreased cytokines (interleukins and TNF-α) levels and diminished complement system and leukocyte elastase activities, reduction of ROS formation and P-selectin-mediated recruitment of inflammatory cells.
  • Boswellic acids, the biologically active ingredients of the gum resin, have been shown to be specific, nonredox and noncompetitive inhibitors of 5-lipoxygenase, the key enzyme of leukotriene biosynthesis.

Pharmacy:

  • Tincture: (1:1. 90%), 1-3 ml TID, 40 ml/week.
  • Capsules: 300-400 mg (standardized to 60% boswellic acids), TID.
  • Tablets: 4:1 extract, 300 mg (DHE 1.2g) 180mg boswellic acids, QID.

Toxicity:

  • High resin content may cause stomach upset.

Contraindications:

  • None known.

Interactions:

  • May theoretically interfere with the absorption of drugs.
  • Boswellic acids may be best absorbed in the presence of bile acids. Consider dosing along with food.

References:

  • Find a complete list of references for this monograph as well as images and a review of its evidence based applications in Dr. Marciano’s Herbal Textbook.
Advertisements

Comments are closed.

A place for all things herbal medicine

Created and maintained with love by Dr. Marisa Marciano, ND

Get my new book here!

The Botanical Medicine Manual is the best multidisciplinary, integrated guide available for students, clinicians & instructors. This book gives top quality content that you will refer to often in class, for board exams & in practice. Topics include, study tips, Botanical Actions, Constituents, Pharmacy, Monographs, Nutrition, Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fats, Fiber and much more evidence informed medicine. Cost is $39.95