Is Boswellia Good for Treating Asthma Symptoms?
Respiratory diseases such as Asthma are incredibly dangerous if left untreated and ultimately affect the patient’s entire life. Asthma treatments are effective, but none of them completely get rid of Asthma; they only alleviate its symptoms.
Respiratory diseases are most common during Spring when there’s plenty of pollen flying around, but the truth is, any sort of trigger (dust, pollen, etc.) can happen at any time.
Boswellia is a great choice for additional relief from Asthma symptoms, and it’s been used for such medical conditions for thousands of years. Boswellia belongs to the Ayurvedic school of medicine that was created in India some 3,000 years ago.
Ayurvedic medicine utilizes the power of spices and herbs to battle common ailments, including Asthma. Boswellia Serrata, or Indian Frankincense, is an extract from the Boswellia tree containing Boswellic Acid as one of the active ingredients.
Boswellia seems to be a unique medication for battling inflammation and several respiratory conditions thanks to its ability to prevent 5-LOX (5-lipoxygenase) inflammation. It must be said that even synthetic drugs have trouble doing it safely without causing side effects.
It’s always great seeing new Asthma treatments pop up because of how Asthma makes patients feel. Each Asthma attack can cause additional anxiety and stress, especially due to the lack of knowledge about when the next attack will occur.
Asthma is also triggered by numerous factors such as allergies, pollen, dust, tension or anxiety, cold air, pollution, and exercise. Genetics also affects how often Asthma attacks happen and how severe they are.
Results of Boswellia Clinical Trials for Treating Asthma
Traditional Asthma medicine is tried and proven but often has annoying or dangerous side effects. Some of these side effects include depression, aggression, agitation, anxiety, and stress.
While you shouldn’t stop using your inhaler or other medication, there is strong evidence suggesting the usefulness and effectiveness of Boswellia for treating Asthma. There haven’t yet been any strictly clinical trials conducted on humans, but there have been studies that seem to confirm Boswellia’s benefits.
For example, in a double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical study conducted over six weeks, researchers tested Boswellia in 40 Asthma-afflicted individuals. These individuals were between 18 and 75 years of age, and the study featured a mix of men and women (23 to 17, respectively).
When the study was finished, 70% showed noticeable improvement and reported lessened Asthma symptoms.
Here’s another example: In a study similar to the previous one, 63 patients were split into two groups - one receiving a placebo and the other receiving a specific herbal combination of Turmeric root, Licorice root, and Boswellia.
After the four-week study period, the group that received the herbal combination showed a substantial drop in Leukotriene levels and similar inflammatory markers compared to the group that received the placebo.
However, even with these positive results from studies, clinical trials on humans have not yet been conducted. As such, Boswellia cannot be recommended as the primary treatment of choice for Asthma.
With that said, it is a perfect supplementary medication that will enhance the effects and efficiency of traditional Asthma treatments. But Boswellia isn’t good just for treating Asthma; it’s also shown promise for combatting other medical conditions.
Additional Boswellia Treatments
Boswellia has natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that are useful for reducing the symptoms of other diseases. It must be said that the positive effects that are about to be explained for the following conditions were only registered in clinical trials using cell or animal models.
However, the above-mentioned studies (although not as important to medicine as a whole) seem to show Boswellia’s benefits quite clearly. Again, small sample sizes and limited testing mean that Boswellia still isn’t that close to being accepted in traditional medicine or manufactured into more effective medication.
Nonetheless, it can act as a boost to traditional medication for the following medical conditions:
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)
The biggest symptom of Rheumatoid Arthritis is joint inflammation which causes a lot of discomfort to the patient and affects their quality of life. There is no cure for RA; instead, people suffering from it must take medication throughout their lives.
Patients usually have to take steroids or NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) to relieve RA symptoms. Still, they cannot take them in some cases due to other underlying health conditions.
Boswellia seems to be a good alternative due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Ideally, patients should take Boswellia with traditional medication to enhance its effects but those that cannot might be able to turn to Boswellia for relief.
Certain studies have shown that Boswellic Acids may contain antitumor properties that can effectively fight cancerous cells. However, most of these studies were conducted using cell and animal models, which may hinder its application in humans.
More clinical studies and tests need to be done before we know the entire story of Boswellia and cancer, but the results are already promising. Parkinson’s Disease is one of the most common neurological conditions among the elderly; it’s also one of the most terrifying. It can completely ruin one’s quality of life due to what it does to the brain and body.
In essence, involuntary movements such as shaking, jittering, and problems with balance are all symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease. Eventually, the individual will have trouble speaking and walking, ultimately limiting them to their quarters.
Boswellia has shown promise in alleviating some of the symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that slow the degeneration of neural cells.
Although it’s still early days regarding Boswellia’s benefits for combatting cancer, some studies have reached a positive result. In fact, Boswellic Acids seem to contain some amount of antitumor properties that can fight cancerous cells without harming healthy ones.
However, these studies were conducted using cell and animal models, so we still don’t know the extent (and usability) of the benefits of Boswellia in fighting cancer.
Effective Application of Boswellia for Asthma
Boswellia’s most potent active ingredient, Acetyl11-keto-β-boswellic acid (AKBA for short), is found in both standardized and unstandardized variants of Boswellia. Standardized Boswellia is often found with AKBA levels artificially increased, which essentially lowers the levels of all other beneficial compounds.
On the other hand, unstandardized Boswellia medication lacks the potency of AKBA due to very low levels per milligram. On top of that, Beta-Boswellic Acid - a pro-inflammatory compound - is sometimes found at high levels, meaning that almost 25% of the herb contains an inflammatory compound.
None of these are good enough yet for large-scale medical applications, and there’ll need to be a new standard with which Boswellia medication is designed.
However, for over-the-counter usage and support of traditional medicine, Boswellia is a great choice. Ideally, you’d want to take 300-400mg pills that contain Boswellia resin thrice a day for maximum potency.
Alternatively, you could also try Boswellia tablets, though they’re a bit different than pills since they contain a higher concentration of Boswellic Acid.
The recommended course of action, however, is to talk to your doctor about whether or not you can safely take Boswellia for Asthma. Boswellia doesn’t interact well with certain medications (such as Aspirin and Ibuprofen), and you wouldn’t want any unwanted side effects to happen to you.
Asthma is a troublesome and dangerous medical condition that, thankfully, isn’t as big of a problem as it once was. Modern medicine has paved the way toward completely managing asthma so that it minimally influences how people live.
However, we’re still a long way away from eliminating respiratory conditions from existence, so it’s always a refreshing sight to see new potential treatments for it. Boswellia is a promising prospect, but we simply do not have enough information at the moment to truly start using it in medicine.
For now, we can be sure that Boswellia might become a treatment of choice for many, especially considering its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.