Boswellia, also known as Frankincense, has been used by many cultures for thousands of years as a botanical medicine.
Traditionally, Ayurvedic medicine in India, uses Boswellia to treat conditions like asthma, intestinal bowel disease, and arthritis.
Many nutrition supplements combine boswellia with active components of turmeric, another time-tested anti-inflammatory herb. (See Curaphen)
Modern scientists have discovered that the boswellic acids found in Boswellia are modulators of inflammation of mucosal linings in the respiratory and GI tracts as well as in joints.
The most active of the boswellic acids, AKBA (Acetyl-11-keto-beta-boswellic acid) has been clinically studied for its anti-inflammatory properties.
An inflammatory state exists in many conditions such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis) and arthritis.
The GI tract and its mucosal lining are key to our immunological health. This protective layer interfaces with the outside world and needs to be healthy in order to successfully prevent foreign, toxic substances and microorganisms from reaching our cells.
Asthma is a disease of the bronchial tubes (which carry air to and from the lungs).
The asthmatic bronchus which is oversensitive to things like respiratory infections (e.g., colds), smoke, air pollution, pollen, and dust mites, becomes inflamed and swollen upon exposure.
In an asthma attack, this inflammatory overreaction causes the airways to constrict and restricts airflow. If constriction limits air getting into and out of the lungs, it may lead to shortness of breath and difficulty breathing.
Chronic bronchitis is a chronic inflammation of the bronchial tubes. It leads to irritation and overproduction of mucus, as well as thickening of the bronchi. Symptomatically it’s characterized by a chronic productive cough.
If left untreated, chronic obstructive airway diseases affect oxygenation of the body, the exchange of gases (oxygen and carbon dioxide) and acid-base balance. Ultimately these diseases diminish a person’s ability to physically exert themselves and have a big impact on quality of life.
Boswellia and 5-LOX Enzymes
Clinically studied Boswellia works in a targeted way to reduce inflammation of mucus membranes by inhibiting a specific pathway of enzymes (5-LOX or 5-lipoxygenase) and balancing levels of leukotriene, a pro-inflammatory mediator.
In the respiratory system, when inflammation is calmed, mucus production decreases and airway constriction eases.
In the GI tract, a reduction in unhealthy inflammation of the mucosal lining supports immune health and optimal nutrient absorption.