In this Focus on Food Supplements Ingredients, we choose to highlight Boswellia, a plant recognized for its multiple virtues.
From its botanical name, Boswellia Serrata, Boswellia is famous for its medicinal properties. Indeed, thanks to its anti-inflammatory effect, Boswellia is used, among other things, to maintain joint flexibility and to contribute to good intestinal functioning.
Here are 2 key questions to which the answers justify using Boswellia in your dietary supplement formula :
1) Is Boswellia an Ayurvedic plant ?
The Boswellia gender counts around twenty species including Boswellia Serrata (called Salai guggul in Indian language), a tree that grows in hot, dry and mountainous areas of India, Northern and Eastern Africa along with the Middle East.
On the tree, it is the Boswellia resin (called boswellie) that is exploited: it is collected by tapping the tree trunk with a traditional tool called mengaff.
Ayurvedic medicine was the first to harness the beneficial virtues of Boswellia.
Coming from India, Ayurvedic medicine is considered as the world’s oldest holistic medicine. This medicine takes into account the patient as a whole, that means both body and mind.
Therefore, Ayurvedic medicine claims that Boswellia has natural and powerful anti-inflammatory properties, useful in the treatment of rheumatic pain. Thus, Boswellia is an Ayurvedic plant.
Boswellia resin is currently part of the official Indian pharmacopeia.
Let us point out that in 2009, the World Health Organisation published1 a monography about Boswellia serrata in which it is recognized as a traditional medicine.
Besides, according to the INSERM (French national institute of healthcare and medical research), in 2016, in France, one in two people declares suffering from rheumatic problems.
Therefore, Boswellia is an interesting alternative to drugs.
2) How to formulate efficiently with Boswellia ?
a) Find ingredients that act synergistically with Boswellia
Boswellia can be associated with other ingredients that boost its efficacy.
Turmeric, Curcuma longa, can be one of these ingredients. Indeed, through a study2 published in 2013, Boswellia, associated with Turmeric, was administered In Vivo to a group of 54 people to treat knee arthrosis. This study reveals that the association of Curcuma longa and Boswellia serrata extracts is more efficient than Célécoxib, a first intention anti-inflammatory drug in the treatment of arthrosis.
Moreover, Boswellia also boosts Turmeric’s efficacy3 for physical performance.
b) Check the level of Boswellic acids
Boswellia serrata resin contains numerous compounds such as essential oils and more particularly boswellic acids which are titrated in Boswellia extracts.
It is recommended to rely on a liquid chromatography titration (HPLC), more accurate than regular titration which over estimates the real levels of acid. Of all the boswellic acids, AKBA (3-O-acetyl-11-keto-β-boswellic acid) is the most active.
Two claims4 are currently being assessed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). A daily intake of 300 to 730 mg of boswellic acids could allow sustaining joint flexibility. This level could allow the claim “contributes to joint health and promotes joint flexibility”.
3) Strengthen the oral efficacy with topical efficacy
In fact, it is very common to use Boswellia essential oil to massage joints. Boswellia helps to limit cartilage loss both via oral intake and topical application, as shown on a 2014 study5 published in the Osteoarthritis Cartilage journal.
Thus, an In & Out routine appears ideal to fight arthrosis symptoms.
Kares-up puts at your disposal a complete formula containing ingredients recognized to help joint mobility and strengthened by the Boswellia – Turmeric couple. Available in glass ampoule, with a nice citrus taste, this formulation provides a differentiating galenic form.
Our team remains available for any further information on this topic (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Scientific and Marketing development Officer at Kares-Up
Raphaëlle DA COSTA
- World Health Organization monographs on selected medicinal plants, Volume 4. 2009.
- Kizhakkedath R. Clinical evaluation of a formulation containing Curcuma longa and Boswellia serrata extracts in the management of knee osteoarthritis. Molecular Medicine Reports. 1 nov 2013.
- Haroyan A, Mukuchyan V, Mkrtchyan N, Minasyan N, Gasparyan S, Sargsyan A, et al. Efficacy and safety of curcumin and its combination with boswellic acid in osteoarthritis: a comparative, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. BMC Complement Altern Med. 9 janv 2018.
- Scientific Opinion on the substantiation of health claims related to various food(s)/food constituent(s) claiming maintenance of joints, maintenance of bone and maintenance of muscles pursuant to Article 13 of Regulation (EC) No 1924/2006. EFSA Journal. 2010.
- Wang Q, Pan X, Wong HH, Wagner CA, Lahey LJ, Robinson WH, et al. Oral and topical boswellic acid attenuates mouse osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. janv 2014.