An Ancient Health Superstar
I’m not going to beat around the bush here.
I have a love/hate relationship with Western medicine.
Obviously, as an MD, I love the fact our collective understanding of the human body and how it works has helped us devise ultra-effective medications and treatments that save millions of lives every year.
On the flip side, I can’t stand the fact that many of the treatments we’ve devised come with harsh side effects…
And that many of them cost tens of thousands of dollars.
And I also am incredibly frustrated that Western medicine turns a blind eye to alternative methods for improving health.
That's why I find such value in the practice of integrative and functional medicine.
Now just so we’re clear, if you have an interest in integrative and functional medicine, it doesn’t mean you necessarily have to shun advances we’ve made in modern Western medicine.
Likewise, it doesn’t mean you have to discount ancient medical remedies used by cultures worldwide for a millennia.
Which is why I’m happy to say I’ve found a happy middle ground in my love/hate relationship.
One that ultimately allows me to cherry pick the best from both worlds.
Since this is true, I wanted to talk about one of the most powerful natural treatments known to man.
You might have heard of boswellia by a different name before…
But a different name won’t negate the intense healing power associated with this ancient health superstar.
Boswellia Packs A Punch Pharmaceutical Companies Crave
Boswellia Serrata is an incredible healing agent that we get from a plant called the Boswellia tree.
This tree is responsible for producing a resin (or sap) you know of as frankincense. From that resin we get boswellia, i.e. frankincense oils and extracts, which can be used both topically and orally for a much needed health boost.
And it’s the power found inside this extract that pharmaceutical companies crave.
See, when I mentioned the impact Western medicine has on improving health, one of the things big pharmaceutical companies can be thanked for is their quest to help fight inflammation.
I write about inflammation all the time, and for good reason.
Unregulated inflammation is known to contribute to a growing number of health problems.
Here are just a few conditions we believe to be caused by inflammation:
- Persistently painful joints that make even the simplest movements painful
- Impaired insulin sensitivity which leads to crazy blood sugar levels, weight gain, and in some cases, even amputation
- Damaged brain matter which eventually causes memory loss, impaired motor skills and worse...
And pharmaceutical companies are always trying to figure out new ways to beat inflammation.
That’s where boswellia really shines.
While ancient cultures didn’t know what inflammation was, they knew administering boswellia could help with problems related to it.
What makes boswellia shine is the fact it contains a collection of chemical compounds known to inhibit sustained inflammatory responses.
The truth is, there’s a wide body of research on these chemical compounds and what they do to help keep inflammation down.
Here’s a sample of what we’ve learned:
- Boswellia has chemical compounds which help inhibit the production of inflammation producing cytokines (cytokine production that raises inflammation - interferon gamma, interleukin-4 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha).
- It helps boost immune function and ease inflammation by regulating how your body’s T-cells and white blood cells interact.
- It can help fight pain associated with inflammation in the joints by inhibiting a pro-inflammatory protein called Nf-Kb.
- Plus so much more! Here’s a link that has over 100 links to studies on boswellia helping fight inflammation.
Pharmaceutical companies want to replicate these kinds of effects when they develop drugs...and for good reason.
Anything that can be done to help fight inflammation is worth spending time on.
2 Other Remarkable Ways Boswellia May Boost Health
Far and away the biggest thing boswellia does is help your body not be overcome by inflammation.
Because it’s an antioxidant, it has the power to inhibit not only some of the deadliest conditions, but also some of the just plain most bothersome conditions on Earth.
Interestingly enough, not only does boswellia help fight these conditions, it’s also known to help improve factors associated with immune health.
If you’re like I am, and hate simple things like colds, sore throats, etc. this will be of great interest to you.
As Dr. Josh Axe noted in an article.
“Boswellia is capable of lowering the severity of infections of the respiratory or sinus tracts, which means you can experience relief from coughing, colds, the flu or a sore throat faster. Research shows boswellia also helps prevent allergies and asthma, eliminates phlegm in the lungs and acts as an anti-inflammatory in the nasal passages, which makes it easier to breath.†
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, frankincense has been used as a natural remedy for improving blood circulation, speeding up healing time and in relieving pain from a variety of bacterial or viral infections, such as colds or the flu, leprosy or gonorrhea.† Studies also show that boswellia carteri and boswellia serrata extracts serve as a natural antiviral and can help treat strong and serious viruses, such as the flu or those caused by insect bites. (10, 11)”
Then there’s what it does to help improve autoimmune disorders.
As many of you know, autoimmune attacks occur when your body decides to create an immune response that actually ends up attacking your own body.
This is almost always a result of inflammation...but in this, your body isn’t fighting an outside invader...it’s fighting itself.
The way boswellia does this is quite interesting.
One of the main ways boswellia influences your body to help fight inflammation is by regulating the production of antibodies.
In the case of an autoimmune attack, you want your body’s production to be regulated. An unhealthy immune response means too many antibodies are being released...and your own cells are being attacked.
Boswellia actively suppresses the production of leukotrienes (a type of antibody). This helps to keep autoimmune responses in check…
Thus leading to the possible improvement of serious autoimmune conditions later on.
These effects are so powerful, they have caused researchers to take note. A study published in the International Journal of Phytotherapy and Phytopharmacology writes the following,
“At the end of the cascade of events in the cellular immune system, as far as it directs to various tissues of the body — i.e. autoimmune diseases — formation of oxygen radicals and proteases play an important destructive role … it’s not surprising that positive effects of boswellia in some inflammatory conditions...have been reported."
The other thing boswellia has been shown to do relates to cancer.
Now let me just say this up front.
Because claims about supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA, I’m not allowed to tell you boswellia does in the fight against cancer.
That being said, I can’t stop you from researching on your own and coming to your own conclusions regarding boswellia and cancer.