Boswellia is a powerful natural remedy with many health benefits. Used as a supplement and/or essential oil, boswellia treats conditions like arthritis, fibromyalgia, sciatica, cancer and Lyme disease pain.
Boswellia is the name of a species of tree that grows naturally in northeast Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and India. Boswellia has been used since ancient times for religious ceremonies and for natural healing.
There are at least 20 different species of the genus boswellia. Currently, boswellia serrata, boswellia carteri, boswellia frereana, and boswellia sacra are popular for their healing properties and availability.
Is Frankincense the Same Thing as Boswellia?
While sometimes the names frankincense and boswellia are use interchangeably, the two words are not quite the same. Boswellia is the name of a tree. Frankincense is the name of the resin that is produced by the tree.
When the bark of the boswellia tree is cut or injured, a sap comes to the surface to heal the tree. This sap or resin is called frankincense. This is the part of the boswellia tree that is used for medicinal purposes. As the sap is healing to the tree, it has found to be a wonderful medicine for humans and pets as well.
The origin of the word frankincense is French, meaning, “high quality incense.”
How is the Frankincense of the Boswellia Tree Used?
Many are familiar with frankincense used as incense. The resin is burned to produce an aroma, which has sweet and woodsy notes. Incense is historically used in religious ceremonies or to purify the air.
The frankincense resin is sometimes called “tears” because of the shape the resin takes on when it solidifies. (It is a liquid when it first comes out of the tree and then becomes “gummy.”) These tears are sometimes used as an all natural chewing gum.
What Heath Benefits does Boswellia Provide?
The more boswellia is used, the more discoveries are found regarding its benefits.
Because it is an anti-inflammatory and pain relieving substance, it is commonly used to treat different forms of pain including arthritis, fibromyalgia, nerve pain, skeletal pain, muscular pain, stiffness, menstrual cramps and pain from Lyme’s disease.
Its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties make it useful for infections, colds, and wounds.
Research is being done about its usefulness in treating cancer. It certainly helps with different kinds of cysts.
How to Take Boswellia
1. Chewing Gum
The frankincense “tears” can be used like chewing gum. Admittedly, they are not delicious, but could be gotten used to with the benefits being a motivating factor. And they have no sugar or artificial ingredients! Chewing the frankincense tears can be used to treat bad breath, oral infections, and tooth pain.
The frankincense gum can also be used as a topical treatment for tooth pain. Chew the frankincense piece (it does swell up a bit after you chew it, so you don’t need much) and mold it around the tooth that is giving you trouble. This simple “poultice” can be left on for several hours to reduce pain and inflammation.
Boswellia tincture is commonly used to treat pain, inflammation, asthma, and arthritis among many other ailments. The tincture can be added to water or taken straight. You should be able to find alcohol or glycerin based boswellia tincture at your health food store or online.
A salve of boswellia can be made or bought to use topically for cysts or pain. Usually other anti-inflammatory herbs or essential oils are included in these salves. Salves are an advantage to those who have trouble taking medications orally. They also get the substance straight to the source of pain.
4. Essential Oil
Boswellia in the form of frankincense essential oil is a powerfully concentrated form of boswellia. The oil has been used to treat cysts, including ovarian cysts and ganglion cysts. It is applied topically over the cyst area. Frankincense essential oil is also used to help coughing and wheezing. A drop of this oil, placed on a cotton ball next to the head at night can help reduce a night time cough.
Essential oils are very concentrated. They should be used sparingly. They are usually used externally. For internal use, it is best to consult with your natural physician.
5. Frankincense Tea
A tea can be made with boswellia. Put a teaspoon of the frankincense tears into a mug and add 1 cup of water. Cover the cup and steep for 15 minutes. Strain out the tears and sweeten with honey if desired. A hot boswellia tea would be wonderful for colds, coughs, and the flu.
6. Standardized Extract
Probably the most common way that boswellia is taken today is through a standardized extract. This is the most convenient way to take boswellia. It is commonly used for arthritis pain, fibromyalgia, sciatica, colitis, knee pain and back pain.
Boswellia is also used to promote healthy skin, hair and nails.
Have you tried boswellia? What form did you use? How did it work for you? Please share your feedback with us or continue reading to learn how our readers used boswellia.