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Arthritis Studies Focus on Boswellia

Arthritis Studies Focus on Boswellia

Thursday, August 1st 2002

Boswellia serrata is a small tree up to fifteen feet in height, that is found in the hilly areas of India. It has been used as a traditional Ayurvedic herb for more than 3,000 years.

Boswellia resin is valued as a traditional anti-inflammatory which has been used to relieve arthritis and low back pain.

Products standardised to boswellic acid content (usually 65 percent)are considered by Indian researchers to have healing activity similar to non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)such as aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen and naproxyn. Compounds in Boswellia have been found to suppress proliferating tissue at the site of inflamed areas and to inhibit the breakdown of connective tissues. They have also been shown to increase blood supply to the joints and help restore the structure of blood vessels.

Boswellic acids have been shown to inhibit the synthesis of leukotrienes, compounds that result in inflammation when oxygen interacts with polyunsaturated fatty acids. Finally, clinical studies have confirmed Boswellia's effectiveness in the treatment of bronchial asthma and ulcerative colitis.

Studies, however, have produced conflicting results for treatment of arthritic and related inflammatory conditions.One clinical study showed a significant reduction in swelling, pain, and morning stiffness in rheumatoid arthritis patients.

Standardised Boswellia products have been shown to reduce stiffness and associated inflamation after two to four weeks of taking the herb. One of the consequences of arthritis is the gradual destruction of the connective tissues in the affected joints, which results in reduced mobility and painful joint protrusions. The active ingredients in Boswellia are boswellic acids, which confer a protective effect on joint connective tissues by inhibiting the destructive enzymes that breakdown these tissues and contribute to painful inflammation and arthritis.

In another study 178 rheumatoid arthritis patients up to 75 years of age were given a standardised Boswellia extract containing 200 mg boswellic acids three times a day for a period of several months to 5 years. In 88 percent of the patients there was a remarkable improvement in stiffness, swelling and tenderness of various joints and their loss of function with no adverse side-effects.

Boswellia does have an advantage over conventional NSAIDs in that it has a much lower rate of side effects, especially gastric irritation and ulcer-inducing activity.

Generally, no side effects are reported.

Reproduced unabridged from the August/September 2002 issue of Health and Herbal News, with the kind permission of Health and Herbs International Ltd.

Footnote from Ideal Health:

The following products are useful for joint problems:

Boswellia
Collagen Type 2 Joint Complex + Hyaluronic acid
Devils Claw
Efamarine
Glucosamine 1-A-Day
Joint Connnection
Hi Strength Liquid Fish Oil
Joint Vitality
Joint & Muscle Repair Cream
MSM
Pain Relief
Mineral Power

Related health information can be found here:

Anti Inflammatory
Arthritis Program
Arthritis & Rheumatism
Circulatory Problems
Gout
Joint Problems? Are you deficient in Chondroitin, a "liquid magnet" cartilage protector?
Osteo-arthritis
Pain
Rheumatism
Tired and lacking energy?

Related articles can be found here:

Boswellia - rediscovering a powerful anti-inflammatory herb
Efamarine - help for joint mobility and the maintenance of immunity
Gout & Inflammatory Diseases
Landmark clinical trial: Great news for arthritis sufferers
Osteoarthritis is Repairable
Research on Rheumatoid Arthritis
Study finds natural alternative may ease pain for arthrits sufferers
Third generation arthritis treatment - Radiance Joint Connection Capsules and Creme.

If you need help or advice, you are welcome to email our naturopathic team with your health question.

Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.

ref:nh21

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