Frankincense is an aromatic resin that has been used for perfume and incense for thousands of years. The most aromatic is the that is obtained from the Boswellia sacra trees in Oman and Yemen. Indian Frankincense, which is considered to be an inferior aromatic compared to the Arabian form, comes from the Boswellia seratta tree found in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Indian Frankincense has been used for thousands of years in India in the Indian system of traditional medicine known as “Ayurveda”. Recent research has also found that Indian Frankincense can reduce the symptoms of osteoarthritis.
The research which was led by Siba Raychaudhuri, a faculty member at the University of California at Davis, specifically tested an extract which they called (3-O-acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid) from the Boswellia serrata tree. The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study focused on 70 patients that had been diagnosed with knee osteoarthritis.
The participants were randomly given one of two doses of an enriched Indian frankincense extract, under the brand name of , or a placebo on a daily basis. The groups that had been taking the indicated that they noticed improvement in their symptoms within 7 days. After 3 months, the participants that had been given the frankincense extract reported reductions in pain and stiffness, as well as improvements in their mobility compared to the control group.
According to Raychaudhuri, “The high incidence of adverse affects associated with currently available medications has created great interest in the search for an effective and safe alternative treatment… AKBA has anti-inflammatory properties, and we have shown that B. serrata enriched with can be an effective treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee… In this study, the compound was shown to have no major adverse effects in our osteoarthritis patients. It is safe for human consumption and even for long-term use”.
The team’s findings were published in the July 31st edition of the online journal Arthritis Research & Therapy.