Boswellia, soothe your joint pain

What is Boswellia?

AKBA, a standardised plant extract of boswellia serrata, helps to soothe very sensitive joints.

Resinous extracts from the boswellia serrata tree have been used in the treatment of joint inflammation since the dawn of time.


The founding books of the ancient Indian medicine Ayurveda ("science of life" in ancient Sanskrit) refer to boswellia serrata. This plant extract has been part of the traditional pharmacopoeia for over 4000 years...


Some plants make their own natural defences to protect themselves from predators, parasites and diseases. In the course of evolution, plants with high levels of such protective organic compounds become more adapted. This is part of the ongoing interactions that take place in nature between predator and prey.


Insects evolve in their ability to digest plant toxins, while plants develop more potent compounds that allow them to keep predators at bay.


Scientists have discovered that many compounds produced by plants and their roots do indeed prevent insect attacks, but more importantly provide health benefits to the plant itself, as well as to the animals and humans who ingest them. Traditional cultures create their own botanical pharmacopoeias and the medicinal knowledge of the remedies has been passed down through generations of healers. Ethnobotany is the study of the local use of plants.


Through the use of sophisticated laboratory tests, biologists are analysing the composition of many native plants from around the world, and some of their metabolites are becoming research candidates.

Current scientific research is taking a close interest in boswellia serrata, after it was discovered that its resin contains powerful antioxidants, the boswellic acids. One variety of these boswellic acids has a particularly beneficial effect on painful joint inflammatory phenomena: it is called Acetyl-11-Keto Boswellic Acid, or AKBA. The first clinical studies on boswellia serrata resins rich in boswellic acids and especially in AKBA show a particularly promising interest in relieving very sensitive joints. Boswellia serrata is also said to have a protective effect on the digestive system.

Bibliographical references on Boswellia

Sengupta K, Alluri KV, Sathis AR, Mishra S, Golakoti T, Sarma KVS, Dey D, SP Raychaudhuri: 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:R85. http://arthritis-research.com/content/10/4/R85


Pr Dougados (Head of department COCHIN hospital) Edito Arthritis Research & Therapy 2008. "Lipo-oxygenase inhibition in osteoarthritis: a potential symptomatic and chondro-modulatory effect?" Arthritis Research & Therapy 2008, 10:116


Safayhi H, Mack T, Sabieraj J, Anazodo MI, Subramanian LR, Ammon HPT: Boswellic acids: novel, specific, nonredox inhibitors of 5-lipoxygenase. J Pharmacol Exp Ther 1992, 26:1143-1146.


Sailer ER, Subramanian LR, Rall B, Hoernlein RF, Ammon HPT, Safayhi H: Acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid (AKBA): structure requirements or binding and 5-lipoxygenase inhibitory activity. Br J Pharmacol 1996, 117:615-618. Lalithakumari K, Krishnaraju AV, Sengupta K, Subbaraju GV, Chatterjee


A: Safety and toxicological evaluation of a novel, standardized 3-O-acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid (AKBA)-enriched Boswellia serrata extract (5-Loxin). Toxicol Mechanisms Methods 2006, 16:199-226.


Joos S, Rosemann T, Szecsenyi J, Hahn EG, Willich SN, Brinkhaus B: Use of complementary and alternative medicine in Germany - a survey of patients with inflammatory bowel disease. BMC Complement Altern Med 2006, 6:19.


Anthoni C, Laukoetter MG, Rijcken E, Vowinkel T, Mennigen R, Muller S, Senninger N, Russell J, Jauch J, Bergmann J, Granger DN, Krieglstein CF: Mechanisms underlying the anti-inflammatory actions of boswellic acid derivatives in experimental colitis. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol 2006, 290:G1131-G1137.


Gupta I, Parihar A, Malhotra P, Gupta S, Ludtke R, Safayhi H, Ammon HP: Effects of gum resin of Boswellia serrata in patients with chronic colitis. Planta Med 2001, 67:391-395.


Kimmatkar N, Thawani V, Hingorani L, Khiyani R: Efficacy and tolerability of Boswellia serrata extract in treatment of osteoarthritis of knee: a randomized double blind placebo controlled trial. Phytomedicine 2003, 10:3-7.


Safayhi H et al, Inhibition by boswellic acids of human elastase, J. Pharmacol. Exp Ther, 1992 Jun, 261(3):1143-6.


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.


Roy S. et al, Human genome screen to identify genetic basis of the anti-inflammatory effects of Boswellia in microvascular endothelial cells. DNA Cell Biol. 2005 Apr, 24(4):244-55.


De Catherine R. et al, From asthma to atherosclerosis 5-lipoxygenase, leukotrienes and inflammation, N. Engl. J. Med, 2004 Jan 1, 350(1):4-7.