This section was compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C. Send all comments or additions to:Frankp@chiro.org
If there are terms in these articles you don't understand, you can get a definition from the Merriam Webster Medical Dictionary. If you want information about a specific disease, you can access the Merck Manual. You can also search Pub Med for more abstracts on this, or any other health topic.
Boswellia's Effectiveness in the Treatment of Osteoarthritis
NHI-On-Demand ~ 8-04-2008
A recent study published in the journal Arthritis Research & Therapy found that patients taking an extract of the herb Boswellia serrata showed significant reductions in symptoms of osteoarthritis. Seventy patients completed this 90 day, double blind, randomized, placebo controlled study.
No More Joint Pain
Delicious Living ~ 1-01-2008
Herbal supplements can also reduce pain and help joint tissues heal. Boswellia (Boswellia serrata) and scullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora), for instance, are known to interfere with enzymes that contribute to inflammation. “These two work well together to inhibit the main inflammatory pain enzymes, COX-2 (cycloxygenase-2) and 5LO (5-lipoxygenase),” Talbott says. Move more, stress less.
Ease Gout Pain
Nutrition Science News ~ July 1999
A swollen big toe and a hobbled gait—finally, excruciating pain sends your customer to fill a prescription for allopurinol, the standard drug for treating gout. Are there natural remedies you can recommend to ease his suffering in addition to or instead of the pharmaceutical? YES! The enzyme xanthine oxidase catalyzes the last step in the conversion of purines to uric acid. Allopurinol, the medication prescribed for gout prevention, is a xanthine oxidase inhibitor. In vitro, xanthine oxidase is inhibited by the flavonoids luteolin and apigenin nearly as well as it is by allopurinol.  The flavonoids chrysin, baicalein, isorhamnetin, and several caffeic acid esters are also effective. 
Boswellia serrata: An Overall Assessment of In Vitro,
Preclinical, Pharmacokinetic and Clinical Data
Clin Pharmacokinet. 2011 (Jun 1); 50 (6): 349–369
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) intake is associated with high prevalence of gastrointestinal or cardiovascular adverse effects. All efforts to develop NSAIDs that spare the gastrointestinal tract and the cardiovasculature are still far from achieving a breakthrough. In the last two decades, preparations of the gum resin of Boswellia serrata (a traditional ayurvedic medicine) and of other Boswellia species have experienced increasing popularity in Western countries.
Boswellia serrata Monograph
Alternative Medicine Review 2008 (Jun); 13 (2): 165–167 ~ FULL TEXT
In vitro testing reveals boswellic acids, isolated from the gum resin of Boswellia, in a dose-dependent manner block the synthesis of proinflammatory 5-lipoxygenase products, including 5-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (5-HETE) and leukotriene B4 (LTB4),  which cause bronchoconstriction, chemotaxis, and increased vascular permeability. 
Dietary Support with Boswellia Resin in Canine Inflammatory
Joint and Spinal Disease
Schweiz Arch Tierheilkd 2004 (Feb); 146 (2): 71-79
An open multi-centre veterinary clinical trial, comparing conditions before and after treatment with a herbal dietary supplement consisting of a natural resin extract of Boswellia serrata, was conducted by 10 practicing veterinarians in Switzerland. Because quality and stability of the resin extract were ensured, these data suggest that a standardized preparation can be recommended as a herbal dietary supplement providing symptomatic support in canine osteoarthritic disease.
Efficacy and Tolerability of Boswellia serrata Extract in
Treatment of Osteoarthritis of Knee--A Randomized
Double Blind Placebo Controlled Trial
Phytomedicine 2003 (Jan); 10 (1): 3–7
Osteoarthritis is a common, chronic, progressive, skeletal, degenerative disorder, which commonly affects the knee joint. Boswellia serrata tree is commonly found in India. The therapeutic value of its gum (guggulu) has been known. It posses good anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic and analgesic activity. A randomized double blind placebo controlled crossover study was conducted to assess the efficacy, safety and tolerability of Boswellia serrata Extract (BSE) in 30 patients of osteoarthritis of knee. All patients receiving (Boswellia serrata Extract) treatment reported decrease in knee pain, increased knee flexion and increased walking distance.
Boswellic Acids (Components of Frankincense) as the Active
Principle in Treatment of Chronic Inflammatory Diseases
Wien Med Wochenschr 2002; 152 (15-16): 373-378
Preparations from the gum resin of Boswellia serrata have been used as a traditional remedy in Ayurvedic medicine in India for the treatment of inflammatory diseases. A series of chronic inflammatory diseases are thought to be perpetuated by leukotrienes. In clinical trials promising results were observed in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, chronic colitis, ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, bronchial asthma und peritumoral brains edemas.
The Etiologies, Pathophysiology, and Alternative/
Complementary Treatment of Asthma
Alternative Medicine Review 2001 (Feb); 6 (1): 20–47 ~ FULL TEXT
Antioxidant nutrients, especially vitamins C and E, selenium, and zinc appear to be necessary in asthma treatment. Vitamins B6 and B12 also may be helpful. Omega-3 fatty acids from fish, the flavonoid quercetin, and botanicals Tylophora asthmatica, Boswellia serrata and Petasites hybridus address the inflammatory component. Physical modalities, including yoga, massage, biofeedback, acupuncture, and chiropractic can also be of help.
Treatment of Osteoarthritis with a Herbomineral Formulation:
A Double-blind, Placebo-controlled, Cross-over Study
J Ethnopharmacol 1991 (May-Jun); 33 (1-2): 91-95
Clinical efficacy was evaluated every fortnight on the basis of severity of pain, morning stiffness, Ritchie articular index, joint score, disability score and grip strength. Other parameters like erythrocyte sedimentation rate and radiological examination were carried out on a monthly basis. Treatment with the herbomineral formulation produced a significant drop in severity of pain (P less than 0.001) and disability score (P less than 0.05). Radiological assessment, however, did not show any significant changes in both the groups. Side effects observed with this formulation did not necessitate withdrawal of treatment.
Effect of Non–steroidal Anti–inflammatory Drugs
on the Course of Osteoarthritis
Lancet 1989 (Sep 2); 2 (8662): 519–522
To test the hypothesis that non–steroidal anti–inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) accelerate the progression of osteoarthritis by reducing synthesis of vasodilator prostaglandins, thereby diminishing joint perfusion, 105 osteoarthritis patients awaiting hip arthroplasty were treated prospectively with a strong or weak prostaglandin synthesis inhibitor, indomethacin or azapropazone, respectively.
Pub Med for their
excellent MEDLINE search tool!