Boswellia: and it's mysterious affects daily problems.



Do you know why people in India make so much smoke in their prayers to God? Watch this video to learn more.





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The answer is hidden in a lot of ancient and scientific reasons but one of those reasons is also to spread the richness of medicinal herb "Boswellia Serrata" or "Guggul" or "Indian Frankincense". The resin of Boswellia has been used as incense in religious and cultural ceremonies and in medicines for thousands of years in India.


In ancient times, Hindus, Persians, Romans, Babylonians, Greeks, and Chinese as well as the people of old American civilizations used natural resins primarily for embalming and for its incense in various cultural functions. They believed that when Boswellia and similar resins get in contact with fire, the smoke and fragrance they produce not only soothe their souls but also please their God. Burning of these natural resins had always been an important component of their cultural life. They burned these resins also to prevent the influence of evil spirits on their souls or to honor the cycle of life and death of the human being.


Oleo gum-resin is extracted from the incision made on the trunk of the Boswellia tree and is then stored in a specially made bamboo basket for removal of oil content and getting the resin precipitated. After its processing, the gum-resin is graded by flavor, color, shape, and size. The oleo gum-resins contain resin (30-60%), essential oils (5-10%) which are soluble in the organic solvents, and the rest is made up of polysaccharides. Gum-resin extracts of Guggul have been traditionally used in folk medicine for centuries to treat various chronic inflammatory diseases. The resin extract possesses various chemical compounds that are responsible for the inhibition of pro-inflammatory enzymes. Studies have shown that some of these chemical compounds are potent inhibitor of 5-lipoxygenase, an enzyme responsible for inflammation.


Boswellia is thoroughly mentioned in the ancient texts of Ayurvedic Science in India like in

  • Charaka's Charaka Samhita (c.B.C. 700), the first fundamental medical text ever;

  • Susruta's Susruta Samhita (c.B.C. 600), which attempted to amass the entire medical knowledge, with special focus on surgery;

  • Astanga Samgraha and Astanga Hridaya (c.130-200 A.D.), written by Vagbhata the Elder and Vagbhata the Younger. About Astanga Samgraha and Astanga Hridaya, synthesized the works of Susruta and Charaka and summarized the eight parts of Ayurveda in prose and verse forms.


The first two pillars of Ayurveda describe the anti-rheumatic (anti-arthritis) activity of Gugguls. In addition to its beneficial use for arthritis, this gummy resin is also mentioned in traditional Ayurvedic and Unani texts as an effective remedy for dysentery, diarrhea, ringworm, boils, cardiovascular diseases, mouth sores, fevers (anti-pyretic), skin and blood diseases, bad throat, bronchitis, asthma, cough, hemorrhoids, syphilitic diseases, irregular menses, vaginal discharges, hair-loss, jaundice, and stimulation of the liver. It is also astringent, diuretic, diaphoretic, and acts both as an internal and external stimulant. Modern medicine, pharmacology, and associated studies point out to Boswellia's use as an anti-arthritic, anti-inflammatory, anti-hyperlipidemic (controls blood lipids), anti-atherosclerotic (anti-coronary plaque), analgesic (pain-reliever) and hepatoprotective (protects the liver).


Specifically for a few conditions like below, many research found Boswellia very useful.


1) Rheumatoid Arthritis [RA]:- RA is an autoimmune disease that can cause joint pain and damage throughout your body. If a joint is affected in one of your arms or legs, the same joint in the other arm or leg will probably be affected, too. Research shows Boswellia helps reduce RA joint swelling and interferes in the immune process to make it effective.


2) Asthma:- Boswellia can play a role in reducing leukotrienes, which causes bronchial muscles to contract. A study of Boswellia's effect on bronchial asthma found that people who took Boswellia experienced decreased asthma symptoms. This shows the herb could play an important role in treating bronchial asthma. Research has shown the positive immune-balancing properties of Boswellia can help the overreaction to environmental allergens that happens in asthma.


3) Cancer:- Boswellic acids in a number of ways may inhibit cancer growth. Boswellic acids have been shown to prevent certain enzymes from negatively affecting DNA.


Studies have also found that Boswellia can fight breast cancer cells, and it may limit the spread of malignant leukemia and brain tumor cells. Another study showed Boswellic acids to be effective in suppressing the invasion of pancreatic cancer cells. Further studies continue to understand the anti-cancer properties of Boswellia.


Boswellia has some side effects so do not take without consulting an expert/practitioner


1) Boswellia can stimulate blood flow in the uterus and pelvis

2) It can accelerate the menstrual flow

3) It may induce miscarriage in pregnant women. Pregnant women must not use it without consulting with doctor/practitioner

4) Nausea, Acid Reflux and Diarrhea

5) Skin rashes


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References:

  1. US National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3309643/

  2. https://www.healthline.com/health/boswellia

  3. If you want to know more on how to do Vedic/Hindu puja at home, watch this video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pbxlh8oRNWU

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