Chances are you’re dealing with some form of inflammation and joint pain as you age. But before you start knocking back prescription medication or painkillers, there may be a natural supplement out there that can not only cut down on your body’s unnecessary immune response, but protect cartilage in the long run. It might even reduce your risk of certain cancers. Here are the benefits of boswellia and why you should consider giving it a try.
What is boswellia?
Boswellia, also commonly known as Indian frankincense, is a special herbal extract harvested from the Boswellia serrata tree.
Boswellia is known for its ability to block the development of leukotrienes, which are molecules that cause inflammation throughout the body. In doing so, it’s gotten a reputation as a powerful anti-inflammatory supplement that also helps with pain management. While research is still ongoing, it may even lower the risk of breast cancer and also prevent cartilage loss in your joints.
Just how much could it help you? Some studies of this supplement have found that it may be even more effective at reducing signs of inflammation than some prescription drugs. As for how often to take it, some people take lower doses daily for general pain management, while others have used higher doses as a course of treatment for a specific issue. For example, one study had people with ulcerative colitis flare-ups take it three times per day for six weeks.
What are the boswellia side effects?
Most commercial boswellia supplements contain about 300 to 500 milligrams, a dosage that’s usually taken anywhere two to three times per day depending on the person. Some people take boswellia for weeks or months at a time, but scientists are still studying its long-term effects when people take it for years or decades.
Boswellia’s side effects are generally pretty mild and usually include nausea, skin rashes, and acid reflux if you consistently take more than the recommended dose.
While you should always talk to your doctor before starting any supplement regimen, it’s especially important to do so in this case if you’re already on anti-inflammatory medication, as it could end up inadvertently canceling out its effects. Pregnant women should also steer clear of boswellia, as it can affect the uterus and menstruation.
How should I take boswellia?
Boswellia often comes in two forms on the market. You can either get it as an oral supplement (Buy on Amazon, $12.99) that you take with meals or in powder form (Buy on Amazon, $19.95). It’s easy to mix the powder into smoothies, shakes, and more. Both forms are just as effective, so pick whichever one you prefer and try it out!
This article originally appeared on our sister site, First For Women.
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