Does Boswellia help with arthritis pain? Is it safe?
First, from WebMD, Osteoarthritis. Some studies show that taking certain extracts of Indian frankincense (5-Loxin, ApresFLEX, formerly known as Aflapin) can reduce pain and improve mobility in people with osteoarthritis in joints. Research shows that it might decrease joint pain by 32% to 65%.(1)
The most common type of frankincense used for pain is Boswellia serrata.
According to WebMD the side effects of Boswellia Indian frankincense is LIKELY SAFE for most adults when taken by mouth for up to six months. Indian frankincense is POSSIBLY SAFE when applied to the skin for up to 30 days. It usually does not cause important side effects. However, some people who took it reported stomach pain, nausea, and diarrhea. When applied to the skin, it can cause allergic rash.(1)
According to Superfoods Scientific Research: Side effects from are rare. Side effects of boswellic acids include abdominal discomfort nausea, epigastric pain, hyperacidity and diarrhea. Unlike pharmaceutical corticosteroids which inhibit leukotriene synthesis, boswellia exhibit no significant side effects or toxicity. In clinical trials of pharmaceutical grade standardized boswellia serrata extract, no serious side effects have been reported.(2)
Combined with curcumin: Curcumin has also been explored for other inflammatory diseases. It dropped inflammatory cytokines by 62 percent in colon cancer victims, and reduced obesity-associated inflammation. Curcumin may represent a more effective and safer modality for pain management.
Boswellia also exhibits significant anti-inflammatory properties and treats pain without side-effects. In one study, boswellia reduced the pain index by 90 percent, with a dramatic increase in function. Asthmatics showed improvement in symptoms and lung function, and reduced allergic blood cells. Nearly 70 percent of ulcerative colitis patients went into remission with boswellia, compared to only 40 percent on standard meds. Osteoarthritis patients showed superior benefits from a combination of curcumin and boswellia compared to CelebrexR. (3)
So far I have found nothing but good things about this natural pain remedy. Though I must say for honesty’s sake, there is not a lot of research out yet on these supplements. I am going to give it a try and will let you know how things work out.
I have not yet found a supplement that combines the two in an easy-to-swallow form that I can trust. If you know of any, please feel free to share it here.