There are two factors that are the basis of disease, inflammation and oxidation. Over the counter and prescription drugs can relieve inflammation, but at a heavy cost.  Fortunately, Boswellia serrata can help your patients overcome a variety of health conditions without risk.


The causes of all disease really narrows down to two factors: inflammation and oxidation. They are factors in autoimmune diseases, arthritis pain, and even cancer.

Over-the-counter and prescription drugs can relieve inflammation, but at a heavy cost. The risks to liver function, the stomach lining, and cognition are too great to use them in only the most limited ways. But Boswellia serrata — properly extracted and standardized—can help your patients address not just the underlying symptoms of diseases, but their causes as well.

  • Fights 5-LOX inflammation—like nothing else can
  • Inhibits tumor growth
  • Stops asthma, allergies, COPD, and other respiratory disease symptoms
  • Fights joint pain from arthritis
  • Soothes digestive disease symptoms of IBS, IBD, Crohn’s and colitis

While the use of boswellia resin dates back thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine, it is only in recent decades that the full potential of extracted boswellic acids has been studied in earnest. Unlike conventional drugs which usually target one pathway, boswellia affects multiple pathways in the body. But its most important benefit is probably its ability to block a particular inflammation pathway called the 5-LOX (5-lipoxygenase) pathway. 5-LOX inflammation is associated with many conditions, including allergies, asthma, arthritis, cancer, and digestive diseases including irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s disease, and celiac disease. Boswellia is also being investigated in cutting edge cancer research and has been shown to have the power to inhibit cancer cell growth.

Why Stopping 5-LOX Matters
Although when your patients hear the word “inflammation” they may think about sore muscles, or allergic responses—and they’d be right—inflammation at a cellular level can very easily be considered the cause of virtually every disease state in the body.

Boswellia is amazingly effective at fighting 5-LOX inflammation that can be a major factor in tumor formation, autoimmune diseases, and inflammatory digestive, respiratory, and cardiovascular conditions.

Boswellia Stops Tumors
Tumor formation is caused by many things, but research has shown that age and environment can cause certain protective genes in the body to go to “sleep.” Some of these genes direct the body to suppress tumors (cancer). That is why cancer risk increases with age—some of the body’s defense mechanisms are inactive.

Researchers have found that high-AKBA (acetyl-11-keto-B-boswellic acid) boswellia extract inhibits the growth of tumors in colorectal cells. It does this through a process called DNA methylation, which “wakes up” the sleeping genes that suppress tumor growth. Overall, the high-AKBA boswellic extract stopped the spread of cancer cells, lowered their chances of mutating and spreading, and reduced the survival of the mutated cells that create tumors. But beyond that, the boswellia extract actually reactivates those “sleeping” tumor-suppressing genes—essentially “waking them up”—which can put the body on a path toward healing itself.

Another cell study found that boswellia was comparable to doxorubicin and 5-fluoroucil—two chemotherapy drugs for stopping colon and liver cancer cells. Other work has shown that AKBA from boswellia was a primary compound that inhibited the growth of leukemia cells and prostate cancer cells by suppressing the ability of cancer cells to form blood vessels.

Aside from this, boswellia has been shown to reduce fluid (edema) around brain tumors. After radiation treatment, 60 percent of patients receiving a boswellia extract saw a 75 percent reduction of fluid buildup.

Recommending Boswellia
Because AKBA is one of boswellia’s critical compounds, it is not unusual to find extracts that have artificially increased (spiked) levels of AKBA, or are essentially all AKBA. But that isn’t necessary — other compounds in the plant can be beneficial as well, and have a cooperative impact with AKBA.

However, unstandardized boswellia is not the answer either. First, it has very little AKBA per mg. Secondly, one of the naturally occurring compounds in boswellia—beta-boswellic acid—is actually pro-inflammatory. Leaving beta-boswellic acid at its natural levels as found in unstandardized extracts can mean that up to 25 percent of the herb would have an inflammation-causing compound. A balanced approach is best.

Boswellia can be a true gift of health for your patients. If they have been struggling with inflammatory conditions for some time and want to stop the symptoms and causes of these diseases, it may be the best botanical you can recommend.