Boswellia belongs to the Burseraceae family and includes 19 species with different characteristics. The plants originate from Africa, the Arabian peninsula and India but those known for the production of incense are found in Oman, Yemen and Somalia. This type of Boswellia is called Boswellia sacra. From the bark of these plants, the incense is extracted by making decortications on the branches with a special tool called Menghaf which resembles a sort of sharp stonemason on one side, which cuts into the oval branches of the Boswellia tree, obtaining the resin . This product is then selected according to the purity and the season in which the harvest was made in order to be able to decant its quality and value. Incense is used in many countries during religious celebrations but is also adapted by the pharmaceutical and perfume industries. Bonswellia resin contains an essential oil, boswellic acids and polysaccharides. From a therapeutic point of view, the plant is of fundamental importance, in fact specific studies have shown that it can bring different types of benefits.
Properties of Boswellia
Undoubtedly the fundamental property of boswellia, it is the anti-inflammatory one due to an enzyme contained in the plant that acts as a stimulating action to accelerate healing in those processes involving inflamed organs. In fact, boswellia counteracts the elastases, ie those harmful enzymes that allow the proliferation of inflammatory processes, destroying proteins. Elastases help to activate a system whereby arthrosis feels its effects and boswellia counteracts that pain process with its very effective pain-relieving action. Clinical studies have shown that the plant also has beneficial effects on intestinal functions and has been tested on patients suffering from rectal ulcerative colitis, through the administration of dry extract. Well, after six weeks, these patients have found a marked improvement. The rheumatoid arthride, is that pathology on which the boswellia extract has brought more benefits and the doctors who have tested the product on some patients suffering from this disease, have noticed some improvements that have not caused any side effects even with a very treatment extended. It seems that boswellia, even if used in conjunction with other drugs, does not produce any kind of discomfort, on the contrary, it considerably decreases, swelling and pain in the joints. On studies carried out on animals, the boswellia extract appears to have attacked cancer cells, destroying them, but no verification has yet been made on humans, although it must be said that the cells treated were only of the leukemic type. It appears that by using boswellia extracts, the use of those traditional drugs that contain cortisone can be diminished as they are known to bring significant side effects.
Incense extracted from Boswellia
The incense extracted from the boswellia plant has been used for countless years all over the continent for religious celebrations of all kinds. However, some ancient peoples such as the Assyrians and the Romans used them medicinal and cosmetic. Incense was used to expel the mucous secretions in cases of bronchitis or sinusitis and in addition it was used in cosmetics, to elasticize the skin because the boswellia oil prevents the breakage of the elastic fibers. Today this particular oil is used to treat anxious subjects because by breathing in its balsamic values, it rebalances the body. The oil has an effect on the gland of the epiphysis and allows to coordinate the rhythms between day and night. In ancient times the resin of boswellia, was called the "potion that makes you crazy" in fact it was even given to drink in wine, to those condemned to death so that they would be dizzy. It is used today, also as an anxiolytic and calming in all those anxious states that disturb sleep.
Boswellia: How to use Boswellia
Boswellia is used in the form of dry extracts that contain boswellic acid and the most popular extract is that which contains 65% of the acid. The dose to be taken is 11 mg for every kilogram of body, away from meals. The dry nebulized extract is the most sold product in herbal medicine. All the studies carried out on this extract, have found that there are no specific contraindications and if the boswellia is taken for a short time and if its intake is prolonged over time, the plant does not produce any ulcerogenic action. However, it is always good to consult with experts in the field before approaching the use of boswellia because as well as any species of supplement, this must also be used in combination with a diet and must never replace it. Also, be careful not to exceed the recommended doses because even boswellia, like all medicinal plants, can cause adverse effects if taken in improper doses. The leaflet present in each pack of extract contains all the indications and daily doses to be taken. A specialist will be able to indicate the exact doses to be taken daily and you will be able to formulate the best pharmacological solution especially if you are looking at other treatments using traditional medicine.