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boswellia plant

Boswellia benefits

20 Apr 2021 • 13 min read

Boswellia makes frankincense, the ancient perfume known as one of the three gifts the Wise Kings gave to the Christ child.1 In those days, frankincense was extremely expensive and was considered a gift fit to honour a king.2

Boswellia has been used in India’s ancient medicine tradition, Ayurveda, since at least 600 AD. Ayurveda practitioners believed Boswellia would calm a bad stomach and help perfect the body.3

Modern science has proven that Boswellia is antiarthritic, so the ancients were likely onto something.4 In this article, we’ll answer all your questions about Boswellia, so you can decide if this homoeopathic remedy that’s worthy of royalty is right for you.

What is Boswellia?

Boswellia is the plant that produces the aromatic resin frankincense. Boswellia is native to Punjab, encompassing parts of India and Pakistan. Boswellia can be orally ingested as a supplement or applied topically as an essential oil.

Boswellia benefits

The people of the ancient world were right to believe Boswellia had benefits for health and wellness. Here’s what modern science has to say how Boswellia enhances health:

  • Supports joint health

One scientific study showed that individuals with joint issues experienced less discomfort after topically applying Boswellia for eight weeks. They could walk further and had greater flexibility in their knees after the study.5

  • Anti-ageing effects

Photoaging is a type of premature ageing caused by overexposure to UV rays. Topical application of Boswellia has been shown to reduce the appearance of sun damage on the skin.6

How to use Boswellia

Enjoy some of Boswellia’s health benefits by incorporating it into your wellness routines.

  1. Take Boswellia as a supplement

 Most supplements advise only taking 300 – 400mg of Boswellia, two to three times a day. Experts at the Arthritic Foundations suggests that patients with arthritis ingest 300 – 400mg of Boswellia three times a day and to ensure the supplement is at least 60% Boswellia acids.7

  1. Use Frankincense essential oil

Another way to benefit from Boswellia at home is by using Frankincense essential oil. Apply to the wrists and inhale this oil with a rich perfume, which individuals self-report relaxes tension.

Boswellia side effects

Boswellia side effects

Side effects associated with Boswellia include8:

  • Nausea
  • Heartburn
  • Diarrhoea
  • Rashes

Boswellia is known to increase blood flow in menstruating women and is thought to potentially cause miscarriages, so should be avoided by pregnant women.9

Last updated: 1 April 2021



Author: Bhupesh PanchalSenior Regulatory Affairs Associate

Joined Holland & Barrett: Apr 2019

Masters Degree in Toxicology and BSc Hons in Medical Biochemistry

Bhupesh started his career as a Clinical Toxicologist for Public Health England, advising healthcare professionals all around the country on how to manage clinical cases of adverse exposure to supplements, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, industrial chemicals and agricultural products.

After 7 years in this role and a further year working as a drug safety officer in the pharmaceutical industry, Bhupesh joined Holland & Barrett as a Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate in 2019.

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