Saturday, September 26, 2020

Boswellia Serrata: Natural Pain Relief?


Why do I put Boswellia or Boswellic Acids among the foremost Natural Remedies for Inflammation and Natural Pain Relief?

Boswellia serrata is commonly known as Salai Guggul in Ayurveda. Indian Frankincense is its another name and it is a native of Indian subcontinent. It is not actually the Guggul or Guggululipid but this word is used to signify resinous characteristic of its gum. You can also find some Biblical references of Frankincense.

Boswellia Serrata as Salai Guggul or Shallaki or Indian Frankincense in Ayurveda:

Even though, Shallaki is mentioned in Ayurveda for thousands of years. I give credit for its foremost place among natural remedies for inflammation and natural remedies for pain relief and anti-arthritic property to modern herbal medicine researches. This could be tough to accept by many ‘hard-core’ Ayurveda practitioners but it is true.

I believe that this is also a great sign of development and is in perfect accordance of Sage Charaka who wrote “Charaka Samhita”, one of the most ancient and authoritative books of Ayurveda. The great pioneer wrote…

“The herbal remedies mentioned in Charaka Samhita give you a practical insight about medicinal herbs and their usage. With time, many of their uses will further be validated, some of the new properties will be found and some herbs might be out of use as well.”

Isn’t it actually fantastic for a person who is writing a wonderful treatise on a subject for millennia to come to think and write in such a noble manner?

Boswellic Acids as Actives in Indian Frankincense Tree:

Salai Guggul or its gum is not used in crude form. Its extract is generally used and it comes at various specifications. Salai Guggul extract standardized at 65% Boswellic acids is most commonly used.

Boswellic Acids well as Natural Remedies for Inflammation:

At first, we have to understand pain. Pain in most cases is a part of inflammatory process, although pain can be present without inflammation in some cases like pain due to nerve irritation. Boswellic acids work best in pain accompanied with inflammation.

When there is inflammations in some specific part of body, certain inflammatory change are always present – pain, swelling, redness, increased temperature and disturbed functioning in that area. And if you analyse your painful conditions, you will find it true.

The pain relieving property of Boswellic acids is commonly used in following conditions…

  1. Chronic Joints pain and stiffness
  2. Arthritic pains
  3. Muscular and Tendon pain
  4. Dental pain
  5. Irritable Bowel Disorders, Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s Disease

However, based on supportive research studies as well as traditional herbal uses, Indian Frankincense benefits in many other conditions such as of lungs, bronchial asthma, skin conditions and different types of cancerous conditions as supportive supplement.

Boswellic Acids among Best Natural Remedies for Pain Relief:

This is a tricky question!

You can’t gauge benefits of Salai guggul as you do with pain killer drugs. Mostly, there is little or no benefit with a single dosage. And it would be a false comparison if there are some supportive studies.

You will start to get its benefit in in short term (few days or 2 weeks) and they gradually build up mid term (few months) duration. Even if you are taking it for arthritis pain, and you feel natural pain relief with it in first few days, still I suggest you to continue its use.

Boswellic Acids or any other herbs, even if their actives are supported well with researches for a specific health condition like pain, are having positive effects in many different manners. And that needs some time. Few researches support its pain relieving property, plenty of researches support anti-inflammatory and anti-arthritic property.

So if you have acute pain and you need to subside it with urgency, it is better to take pain killer drugs. It will give you prompt relief.

If you have chronic pain, there are two options for using Boswellic Acids. You can take it alone or with other herbs. Or you can continue it with you pain relieving drugs, of course after discussing with you doctor or health care provider.

How much of Salai Guggul should I take for Natural Pain Relief?

It is taken as Boswellia extract standardized on 65% of Boswellic Acids. You can take 200 mg to 400 mg once or twice a day. It is better to take it after meals and to have some interval between this herb and other medication. Don’t forget to check the label of the supplement for serving size and Supplements Fact. Companies can have different specifications of its extract and then, the suggested serving could change.

Can I combine it with Other Natural Remedies for Inflammation and Pain Relief?

It is better to use a combination of herbs wisely. However, it is not a good practice to combine herbs yourself without proper research and study.

Is it safe to use?

Yes, it is perfectly safe for most individuals. Few people who are prone to hyperacidity or stomach upset might feel these digestive upset especially if they use Boswellia empty stomach.

References of Boswellia and Boswellic Acids:

  1. Phytomedicine. 2010 Sep;17(11):862-7)
  2. J Inflamm (Lond). 2004; 1: 1
  3. Schweiz Arch Tierheilkd. 2004 Feb;146(2):71-9
  4. Phytomedicine. 2003 Jan;10(1):3-7)
  5. Anticancer Res. 2002 Sep-Oct;22(5):2853-62
  6. Z Gastroenterol. 2001 Jan;39(1):11-7
  7. Eur J Med Res. 1998 Nov 17;3(11):511-4
  8. Z Rheumatol. 1998 Feb;5791):11-6)
  9. Agents Actions. 1986 Jun;18(3-4):407-12)
  10. Planta Med. 1971 Apr;19(4):333-41
As a native Indian and an Ayurvedic holistic healer, Arjun writes in the lane of herbal healing and home remedies. Certification: BAMS (Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine & Surgery With Modern Medicine).

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