Boswellia Serrat and Boswellic Acid

In the field of natural medicine we encounter a lot of unfamiliar names.  And even if we have heard the names before, it’s likely that we have no idea where they come from, or what they’re good for.  That’s why this week we at XY Wellness continue our close examination one ingredient we use to promote health, Boswellia serrata (or simply known as Boswellia).

Boswellia is a plant native to India and Pakistan.  Aside from its use in making Indian Frankincense, Boswellia has been used in India to help minimize inflammation of the joints for hundreds of years.  This, however, is not the only reason why I use Boswellia. I use it because of it also has a positive effect on the immune system.

Boswellic extracts and β-boswellic acid have produced positive results in scientific research.  An article published in the journal Phytomedicine suggests that moderate doses of boswellic extracts stimulate the proliferation of lymphocytes, a kind of white blood cell (Ammon, 2010).  Slightly older research points to Boswellia serrata’s anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and anti-arthritic properties (Kimmatka et al., 2003).  It is suggested that Boswellia serrata’s effect on arthritis is related to its effect on the immune system, specifically on the inflammatory response (Umar et al., 2014).

The most recent research on Boswellia serrata products is even more interesting.   In a paper to be presented at the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology 2015 annual meeting, Boswellia serrata was found to improve the symptoms of people who suffered from inflammation due to seasonal allergies (Marogna et al., 2015).  According to another article to be published in the March issue of the European Journal of Medical Chemistry, several derivatives of boswellic acid were found to be hostile to damaged, dangerous and aberrant cells (Csuk et al., 2015). 

It is because of this growing body of research that I like Boswellia for oral consumption. 

We at XY Wellness hope that you do more than read our blog and simply follow advice. This is the reason why we provide detailed references to the research that backs up our philosophies on nutrition and lifestyle.  We aim to promote your thriving, and that includes keeping you informed as well as citing our sources so that you can investigate the answers for yourself.  

Thank you for your valued readership, and be well.


Ammon, H. P. T. (2010). Modulation of the immune system by Boswellia serrata extracts and boswellic acids. Phytomedicine, 17(11), 862-867. doi:

Csuk, R., Niesen-Barthel, A., Schäfer, R., Barthel, A., & Al-Harrasi, A. (2015). Synthesis and antitumor activity of ring A modified 11-keto-β-boswellic acid derivatives. European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 92(0), 700-711. doi:

Kimmatkar, N., Thawani, V., Hingorani, L., & Khiyani, R. (2003). Efficacy and tolerability of Boswellia serrata extract in treatment of osteoarthritis of knee – A randomized double blind placebo controlled trial. Phytomedicine, 10(1), 3-7. doi:

Marogna, M., Braidi, C., Colombo, C., Colombo, F., & Palumbo, L. (2015). A Randomized Controlled Trial of a Phytotherapic Compound Containing Boswellia Serrata and Bromeline for Seasonal Allergic Rhinitis Complicated By Upper Airways Recurrent Respiratory Infections. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 135(2, Supplement), AB271. doi:

Umar, S., Umar, K., Sarwar, A. H. M. G., Khan, A., Ahmad, N., Ahmad, S., . . . Khan, H. A. (2014). Boswellia serrata extract attenuates inflammatory mediators and oxidative stress in collagen induced arthritis. Phytomedicine, 21(6), 847-856. doi: