Boswellia (Frankincense)

Boswellia (Frankincense) photo

Boswellia serrata – Resina

Common name: Frankincense (E), Salai guggul (H), Indian olibanum (E)

Sanskrit: Shallaki, Kapitthaparni, Konkanadhoopam

Family: Burseraceae

Frankincense has dual energetics of being both heating and cooling. It is heating due to its blood circulating property and cooling due to its anti-inflammatory action. Frankincense has had a long-term connection with the spiritual realm and religious ceremony. It is also used in psychiatric and mental conditions.

Botanical Description

Frankincense is a small tree that grows up to 8 metres in height and is native to desert-woodlands and grows on rocky, limestone slopes and gullies. It is a tree with a papery, peeling bark with leaves clustering at the end of branches. The small yellow flowers grow on long stems, up to 10cm long, crowding along its length. It is the resin secreted from the trees bark that is used medicinally.

How it Works

Boswellia contains the constituent boswellic acid. Boswellic acid inhibits the inflammatory enzyme 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX) which has a direct impact upon the inflammatory cascade and will reduce levels of pain and inflammation throughout the body, but specifically within the musculoskeletal system. Boswellic acid is also believed to reduce levels of substance P within the body, having a direct action of reducing pain. In addition to its painkilling and anti-inflammatory activity, frankincense has demonstrated the ability to improve the granulation process that takes place during wound healing, encouraging the formation of new blood vessels at the site of injury.

Into the Heart of Frankincense

Frankincense stimulates the body and mind. It stimulates the circulation of blood throughout the body with a particular affinity for the musculoskeletal and reproductive systems. The stimulant effect upon the blood flow also impacts upon the reduction of circulating lipids in the blood, contributing towards reductions in cholesterol levels. The constituent boswellic acid is a particularly strong anti-inflammatory which, when combined with its circulatory stimulant activity, helps to reduce characteristically congested and heat dominated conditions such as chronic inflammatory conditions of the musculoskeletal and reproductive systems. Boswellic acid is also valued as a pain killer and is an excellent remedy for reducing pain and inflammation throughout the body. The ability of this plant to encourage the granulation process during wound healing means that it will target the combination of pain and inflammation in addition to improving wound recovery mechanisms.


Pain: All types of pain, specifically arthritic or post trauma where there is inflammation and congestion. Energetically applied to cold and damp types of pain and swelling. It circulates and clears congested toxicity. Used to hasten the healing of wounds, broken bones and bruises via its blood circulating and granulation enhancing actions.

Inflammation: Useful in inflammatory diseases, especially of the joints, lungs, GIT and skin, and is a specific for osteo and rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, bronchitis, colitis, Crohn’s disease or psoriasis where there is obstruction and stagnation in the channels or tissues.

Gynaecology: Excels in the treatment of fibroids, cysts, painful periods with clots and pain caused by congestion the uterus.

Reproduction: Specific herb for impotence and sexual debility; it brings blood to the reproductive organs and therefore facilitates issues such as erectile function.

Cholesterol: Reduces LDL count in the blood and clears toxicity from the blood.

Mental: The plants essential oils are said to support the spiritual body and improving connections between the pituitary and hypothalamus gland.

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