Frankincense, is an aromatic gum resin obtained from an African tree (genus Boswelia), and is usually burned as incense.
The scientists at Cardiff University were examining the potential benefits of Frankincense in alleviating the symptoms of arthritis. The research particularly focused on determining if the extracts of frankincense, when taken as a traditional herbal remedy, could help in bringing relief from the inflammation that causes pain.
The scientists have been able to demonstrate the treatment with extract of Boswellia frereana, the rare frankincense species. They found that it inhibits the production of major inflammatory molecules that prevent the breakdown of cartilage tissues which causes the condition.
According to Dr. Emma Blain, the Research Lead, and her co-investigators, Proff. Vic Duance from Cardiff Universitys School of Biosciences, and Dr. Ahmed Ali of Compton Group, this research has managed to achieve usage of innovative chemical extraction techniques in determining the active ingredient in frankincense.
Further, the chemical entity identified could be compared with other anti-inflammatory drugs used to treat this condition, they said.
A similar study was also conducted two years ago, using an enriched extract of Ãndian Frankincense herb, Boswellia Serrata, and it was found to reduce osteoarthritis symptoms. This study was published in the journal Arthritis Research & Therapy, and the patients who took to this herbal remedy showed considerable improvement within a week.
Boswellia Serrata has been used for thousands of years in Ayurveda, and this study was the first among them to prove that this enriched plant extract can prove to be a successful treatment.