Boswellia is a shrubby tree that grows across India, Yemen, Somalia, Saudi Arabia and Ethiopia.
The tree produces a golden resin or milky sap that native populations have used as a health and cosmetic remedy for thousands of years. When the sap is dried, it’s called “frankincense,” which has long appeared in religious and ritual ceremonies.
More recent research has found that boswellia has a powerful action that may not only provide health benefits, but reduce oily skin and the appearance of wrinkles.
The source of ancient frankincense, boswellia is a powerful anti-aging herb.
A Little Bit About the Ingredient Itself
Known scientifically as Boswellia Serrata, this plant is a moderate to large branching tree found in dry, hilly areas. The gummy resin comes out of the tree trunk, and has been traditionally used in the Ayurvedic system of medicine for the treatment of arthritic conditions. The oil of boswellia—called Indian frankincense—has long been an important ingredient in Oriental perfumes, because of its unique scent.
The sap that comes from boswellia contains components called “boswellic acids” that are believed to be responsible for many of the health benefits.
Internal Health Benefits of Boswellia
Boswellia was historically used as a painkiller, particularly for those with arthritis. Interestingly enough, modern-day studies have also found boswellia to be effective against arthritis. In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, for example, researchers found that after 30 days, arthritis sufferers taking a boswellia extract had significant improvements in pain and physical function—and they started experiencing those benefits in only five days.
Other studies have shown similar results with researchers finding people with arthritis to experience less knee pain, improved movement, and less swelling when taking boswellia extract. There have been so many studies showing benefits that we can assume that boswellia not only works, but is highly effective, safe, and tolerable.
Other studies have found that boswellia helps reduce inflammation related to edema and Crohn’s disease, as well as with bursitis and tendonitis. Early research has suggested it may help balance blood sugar levels in those with diabetes.
Boswellia’s Benefits to the Skin
Boswellia can help create clear, even-toned, more youthful looking skin. These properties together make boswellia perfect for:
- Reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines
- Toning: Boswellia naturally helps skin to appear smoother and softer.
- Tames occasional redness: If you’re someone who suffers from occasional redness in your skin, boswellia may help to give you a more even skin tone.
In Annmarie Skin Care, you’ll find boswellia in the following products:
- Anti-Aging Eye Cream
- Herbal Facial Oil for Normal and Combination Skin
- Herbal Facial Oil for Oily Skin
Have you used boswellia? Please share your experiences.
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Vishal, AA et al. A double blind, randomized, placebo controlled clinical study evaluates the early efficacy of aflapin in subjects with osteoarthritis of the knee. Int J Med Sci. 2011;8(7):615-22.
Kimmatkar, N et al. Efficacy and tolerability of Boswellia serrata extract in treatment of osteoarthritis of knee – a randomized double blind placebo controlled trial. Phytomedicine. 2003 Jan;10(1):3-7.
Sengupta, K et al. A double blind, randomized, placebo controlled study of the efficacy and safety of 5-Loxin for treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee. Arthritis Res Ther. 2008;10(4):R85.
Holtmeier, W et al. Randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial of Boswellia serrata in maintaining remission of Crohn’s disease: a good safety profile but lack of efficacy. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2011 Feb;17(2):573-82.
Piergiacomo Calzavara-Pinton, et al., “Topical boswellic acids for treatment of photoaged skin,” Dermatologic Therapy, January/February 2010, 23(s1): S28-S32. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1529-8019.2009.01284.x/abstract.