Thank you! Please check your inbox shortly for a welcome message from Dr. Ryan and your 5 Pillars of Anti-Aging Masterclass! If you don't receive the email in a few minutes please check your spam folder.

Your FREE Gift Is Waiting...

Sign up below to get:

  • check

    The “5 Pillars of Anti-Aging Masterclass” Video Series ($47 value)

  • check

    Valuable tips on nutrition, exercise & supplementation

  • check

    Insights to keep you happy and healthy at any age

Boswellia for Joint Pain

Boswellia for Joint Pain

Joint pain is an inevitable part of everyday life for millions of Americans. Whether it is due to overuse of the joints, or simply age related wear and tear or autoimmune disorder, for those who suffer from it, joint pain can be debilitating and often non-repairable due to the nature of the tissues involved.

Because the tissue of the joints, like cartilage, ligaments, and tendons, all of which are tissues that usually cannot be healed or regrown naturally, joint damage is not only permanent without intervention, but can be extremely painful. Bones begin to grind together without cartilage on the ends, resulting in loads of pain and eventually, permanent damage to the bone.

The leading cause of joint pain is arthritis, which comes in many different variations. Among the leading types of arthritis are osteoarthritis, a type of arthritis that occurs when flexible tissue at the ends of bones wears down, and rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic inflammatory disorder affecting many joints, including those in the hands and feet.

Between these two types of arthritis, millions of people are suffering with swollen, tender, and painful joints in America, and because these conditions are so common, researchers are naturally constantly looking for better ways to treat them.


Among the newest treatments for joint pain, at least to Western medicine, is Boswellia, more commonly known as Indian frankincense. This biblical plant has a long history of medicinal use throughout Southeast Asia. Aside from wise men handing it out as gifts, frankincense has been used as an anti-inflammatory agent, astringent, disinfectant, digestive aid, diuretic, and an expectorant traditionally. Indian frankincense grows in the mountainous regions of the Middle East, and as the name implies, is related to the tree that produces frankincense.

To procure Indian frankincense, harvesters slice the bark of the Boswellia serrata tree and allow the resin to leak. It is collected in special bamboo baskets and allowed to cure, then graded and separated by color and shape.

Indian frankincense

The resin contains numerous active compounds including the fatty acids palmitic, stearic, oleic, and linoleic, as well as sugars such as glucose, arabinose, rhamnose, galactose, fructose, glucuronic acid, and idose. The gum resin also contains triterpene alcohol, serratol, and triterpenoids. The volatile oil contains p-cymene, d-limonene, terpinolene, bornyl acetates, and methylchavicol.

Researchers, constantly on the lookout for new treatments for common ailments, have conducted exhaustive studies on Boswellia for many disorders, including arthritis and its resulting joint pain and swelling.

A study published in Minerva Medica tested the efficacy of a standardized Boswellia extract called FlexiQule to mitigate the symptoms of osteoarthritis. Researchers provided the Boswellia extract to participants with symptomatic knee arthritis for four weeks, measuring progress via the Karnofsky scale (the Karnofsky Performance Scale Index allows patients to be classified as to their functional impairment. This can be used to compare effectiveness of different therapies and to assess the prognosis in individual patients. The lower the Karnofsky score, the worse the survival for most serious illnesses), Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Arthritis Index (WOMAC), and a treadmill test.

At the end of the four week study, those receiving the Boswellia extract noted improvements on all three measurement scales, and even more improvements when combined with the standard management regimen common for arthritis.

Researchers noted that effects for those receiving Boswellia extract were “significantly higher” than the control group receiving only standardized management, and in addition, “The WOMAC Score was decreased significantly more in the supplement group in comparison with controls considering pain, stiffness and physical functions. Social/emotional functions improved better with the supplement. Both groups improved their walking distance at 4 weeks.”

In regard to side effects, Boswellia is very well received, and has a long history of having little to zero side effects. Having been used for centuries in Eastern medicinal systems like Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic medicine in India, Boswellia is trusted by medical professionals across the regions as well as the people who use it to treat a multitude of symptoms, including inflammation and joint pain, especially that which is caused by inflammatory diseases like arthritis.

Another study published in Molecular Medicine Reports expounds on the safety of Boswellia, and its efficacy when coupled with other drugs used to treat joint ailments, reporting that “BSE was well tolerated by the subjects except for minor gastrointestinal ADRs. BSE is recommended in the patients of osteoarthritis of the knee with possible therapeutic use in other arthritis.”


This is why Boswellia performs so well for arthritis specifically. The hallmark of arthritis is inflammation in the joint, which eventually leads to swelling and long term joint damage, harming the tissues that allow the joint to function properly. Because it helps so well to reduce inflammation in the joint, Boswellia is able to reduce the swelling, reduce pain, and reduce the damage that would otherwise be taking place due to arthritis.

The same study also evaluated the efficacy, safety and tolerability of Boswellia serrata Extract (BSE) in 30 patients suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee.

For this study, 15 participants received Boswellia serrata extract, and the other half placebo. At the conclusion of the study, 8 weeks, researchers found that “All patients receiving drug treatment reported decrease in knee pain, increased knee flexion and increased walking distance. The frequency of swelling in the knee joint was decreased.”

It’s easy to think of the medicine we see every day in television commercials and magazine advertisements as being the best that medicine has to offer, but this simply is not true. Many of the most revolutionary treatments for our most pervasive illnesses are repurposed or rediscovered remedies long used in Eastern medicine.

Many of the medicines we rely on in America simply treat the symptoms, and neglect to address the cause of the ailment. In addition, many of these medications are very harmful to our bodies, often causing more damage than they relieve. This is a major factor in the resurgence of traditional remedies, and will continue to influence our medicines as we progress towards safer and more effective treatments.

Dr. Ryan Shelton, N.M.D.
Latest posts by Dr. Ryan Shelton, N.M.D. (see all)

Share This With Friends & Family!

Related Posts

Dr. Ryan Shelton, N.M.D.

Dr. Ryan embodies our philosophy of natural treatments backed by hard science. Between his best-selling books and his medical practice in Hawaii, Dr. Ryan has helped hundreds of thousands of men & women reach their health goals. Here at Zenith Labs, Dr. Ryan and his team use their extensive knowledge of alternative medicine and recent developments in traditional medicine to custom-formulate each supplement. Each formula relies on a precise combination of ingredients to maximize results.

Zenith Labs

4610 Prime Parkway
McHenry, IL, 60050, USA

Email Us
+1 (800) 928-1184

Business Hours:6 AM to 5 PM M-F, Sat 6 AM to 2 PM (PST)

Pay Securely with:

Zenith Labs Payment Methods
Copyright ©