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Home / Health Insurance / Articles / Ayurvedic Medicine / Boswellia (Ayurvedic Medicine): Uses, side effects & more

Boswellia (Ayurvedic Medicine): Uses, side effects & more

Team AckoJan 17, 2024

What is Boswellia Serrata?

Boswellia Serrata, popularly known as Indian Frankincense or Shallaki, is a tropical plant belonging to the Burseraceae family. It has been used for generations in India to treat inflammatory disorders such as osteoarthritis and asthma. Boswellia (BSW) extract contains therapeutic chemicals known as BSW acids, which combat inflammation and decrease oxidative stress. Boswellia Serrata oil is popularly known for its anti-inflammatory properties.

BSW resins, popularly known as frankincense or olibanum, are extracted from BSW plants. Incisions are made in the tree trunks, and gums are extruded, which solidify into orange-brown gum resin. This resin's purified extract is used in modern herbal medicines.

In Ayurveda, BSW is used to treat inflammatory disorders such as arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, joint pain, brain injury, bursitis (swelling of the joints), tendonitis (swelling of the tendons), and ulcerative colitis. Boswellia Serrata contains naturally occurring phytochemicals such as triterpenoids and beta-Boswellic acid. These components make BSW an effective anti-inflammatory. Boswellia Serrata sap, bark, and other plant extracts have been taken orally for medicinal purposes.




Health benefits of Boswellia Serrata

In Ayurveda, Boswellia may help alleviate a variety of inflammatory disorders. The potential health benefits of Boswellia Serrata may include the following.

1. Inflammatory bowel disease

Several studies found that Boswellia's anti-inflammatory properties may help patients suffering from inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. BSW Acid could improve IBD markers without having any negative effects on the surrounding organs. As a result, they may prove to be an effective supportive treatment for these chronic medical conditions.

2. Osteoarthritis (OA)

BSW can be used to relieve joint pain and stiffness, which are common symptoms of osteoarthritis. It reduces joint swelling as well as cartilage damage, which makes it a great treatment for osteoarthritis.

3. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)

The major cause of rheumatoid arthritis is inflammation surrounding the joints. Boswellia appears to be useful in decreasing RA-induced inflammation. It interferes with the autoimmune response of the body and effectively reduces the symptoms of RA.

4. Cancer care

A 2016 study depicts that Boswellic Acids may have anti-cancer effects and can destroy malignant cells. A recent study shows that BSW essential oil destroys malignant skin cancer cells without affecting healthy skin cells.

BSW may also combat advanced breast cancer cells. Another study found that Boswellic Acids were efficient at inhibiting the growth of pancreatic cancer cells.

5. Asthma

Research indicates that BSW acid reduces inflammation in the airways and decreases the release of cytokines, which are inflammatory markers. As a result, Boswellic Acid appears to inhibit the allergic response that triggers an asthma attack.

6. Parkinson’s disease

As per a 2019 study, Boswellia could be useful in the treatment of Parkinson's disease because it has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that appear to protect neurons in the brain and enhance motor functioning.

7. Male fertility and sexual health

Boswellia Serrata is a highly effective aphrodisiac. It can increase sexual desire in men, improves sexual mood, and increases sexual enjoyment. It also helps treat people with poor sexual desire and boosts stamina. It can also help increase male fertility by increasing sperm count and sperm motility.

8. Female reproductive health

The use of Boswellia has been evident to improve female reproductive health. It can encourage regular and painless menstruation, clears uterine congestion, and improves circulation in reproductive organs.

How to use Boswellia

As per Ayurveda, BSW can be used externally and internally. BSW extract is frequently used in herbal medicines in tropical countries such as India and Africa. It can be used in the following ways.

  • Boswellia powder: One-fourth or half tea-spoonful BSW powder with warm water, warm milk, or almond milk can be consumed according to your preference. All work as carrier substances for delivering the effects of Boswellia deeper into the tissues.

  • Boswellia resins: Boswellia's texture as a resin is thicker and more difficult to dissolve, and it tends to clump. Hence, combining it with hot water can soften the resin and make it easier to swallow. The leftover residue will be soft and chewable. For softer BSW, use a coffee bean grinder, a blender, or an herb grinder.

  • Boswellia tablets: Take one or two BSW tablets once or twice daily to support healthy joints.

  • Boswellia essential oil: This oil is used in aromatherapy. It is also used for palm inhalation. Put a few drops of Boswellia oil into your palm and gently rub it to inhale for better mental concentration. Massaging your body with pure frankincense essential oil diluted in a carrier oil helps rejuvenate your skin.

Is Boswellia safe?

Boswellia is generally considered safe as a relaxing, rejuvenating supplement that may balance all three doshas. However, it may elevate vata or pitta if used in excess.

Side effects of Boswellia Serrata

Even though BSW is an herbal product, it might cause negative effects. It can lead to digestive disorders such as nausea, acid reflux, and diarrhoea. Some people may get skin rashes from using BSW, especially if they apply it directly to their skin.

Since it promotes blood flow in the pelvic regions and uterus, incorrect use can interrupt the menstrual cycle and possibly cause miscarriage in pregnant women.

It may react with some medicines, such as analgesics and anti-inflammatory treatments. As a result, before combining BSW with other medications such as aspirin, naproxen, ibuprofen, anticoagulant, and antiplatelet drugs, consult your doctor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here’s a list of common questions and answers related to Boswellia Ayurvedic Medicines.


What are the side effects of Boswellia Serrata medicines?

Although Boswellia is an herbal extract, it can still cause negative effects. Potential side effects of BSW may include nausea, acid reflux, and diarrhoea. By using BSW, some people may get skin rashes, especially if they apply it directly to their skin.

Who should not use Boswellia?

Since Boswellia promotes blood flow in the pelvic regions and uterus, it can potentially lead to pregnancy-related complications and possibly cause miscarriage in pregnant women.

What are the uses of Boswellia?

Boswellia is commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat arthritis, ulcerative colitis, coughs, sores, wound healing, and asthma. BSW supplements can also help alleviate the symptoms of joint pain.


Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. Please consult a doctor before making any health-related decisions. Boswellia is also written as (BSW) in this article.


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